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Moving to Seattle Area...got a bread question...


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Hi Folks,

I just signed up here and I am thrilled about my move to Seattle. Can't WAIT to go to Salumi..... but my question now is about REALLY good bread. I did a search and did not turn up too much.

Does ANYONE make a baguette as tasty and fabulous as Acme in Berkley?...or the baguettes from the Cheese Board there?

As an Italian girl...my meals revolve around fantastic bread.

So tell me WHERE is the REALLY good stuff...shattering crust....interior that holds lots of breath and taps hollow when you turn it over....

AND LOTS of REAL flavor????

Italian bread...French bread.....I want it all.

Is it in the Seattle area ? if so...where?

Any help you can give me would be fabuous.

Thanks so much.

And by the way....when is the next get together....would love to meet people that value their taste buds.

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Never been to Berkley, but I can vouch for the breads at the bread and pastry stand run by Seattle Culinary Academy at Seattle Central Community College. :wink: (yes, I am a student there but not in the bake shop) Fresh new things every day from the students in the baking program, all of it even made with organic flour, and under the tutelage of French and European trained bakers/chef-instructors. Go there from about 10:30am - 3:00pm Tuesday - Friday, but towards earlier in that time frame is better because stuff sells fast.

Welcome to Seattle. I want to go to a local gathering too at some point, but my schedule makes it difficult. Hopefully sometime soon.

(edited to add hours)

Pat

Edited by Sleepy_Dragon (log)

"I... like... FOOD!" -Red Valkyrie, Gauntlet Legends-

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If there's one thing that Seattle does very well, it's bread. For Italian style bread, my favorite in La Panzanella at 14th & Union on Capitol Hill. Grand Central baking in Pioneer Square (is it still there?) is a Seattle institution and produces a variety of great breads.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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ExtraMSG, send me some Jammers.

But the original Grand Central is still in Pioneer Square, although their commercial kitchen is on Marginal Way. Essential Baking is good, though not as good as GC in my view. They have two locations, one in Fremont and one on East Madison, and a third is opening on Broadway in a couple of months. Plus their bread is sold almost as widely as GC's.

Dahlia Bakery, downtown, makes some of the best bread in town. For baguettes I'd send you there, and get a Dahlia house loaf while you're at it.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Welcome to both eGullet, and Seattle!

I used to eat Acme bread exclusively when I lived in SF, and when I visit my friends there, a few loaves always come home with me.

That said, if your particular requirement is a great baguette, I second Mamster's recommendation for Dahlia Bakery. Their baguette is the best this side of paris.

Second, I'd nominate Essential bakery, and their baguettes, especially the seedy baguette. Macrina does good bread, and I really love their Guiseppe rolls (better than the Guisippe loaf. Must be the crust to crumb ratio). For whole wheaty type bread, the Macrina Volkhorn loaf is outstanding, and terrific with aged cheeses. And Essential Bakery does a Mille Grana that is just wonderful.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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I'm a big fan of the sour ficelle from Macrina, and their Greek olive bread is delicious too, with hints of rosemary and lemon zest beefing up the olive flavor. I also love Tall Grass Bakery's pain au levain, although it is a bit heavy in comparison to Acme's version. Terrific flavor, though.

She blogs: Orangette

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Dahlia Bakery, downtown, makes some of the best bread in town. For baguettes I'd send you there, and get a Dahlia house loaf while you're at it.

I recently picked up a house loaf and a kalamata olive ciabbata from Dahlia that was phenomenal. One problem with Dahlia is they sell out of bread early in the day, or at least that's been my experience. The selection dwindles in the afternoon.

OnlyTheBest, I am a HUGE fan of Acme bread. When hubby and I were in SF last fall, we bought probably 3 or 4 loaves of sourdough and we chowed them down over a few days with a few wheels of red hawk cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery. Yum yum yum.

I think Essential Bakery makes great bread, as does GC. I get my loaves at the Metropolitan Market in Tacoma, not in Seattle though (plug for southenders who don't know where to get good bread). Also good bread in Tacoma can be found at the Harbor Bakery on Sixth Avenue. Get the rustic loaf.

edited: typo queen.

Edited by girl chow (log)

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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Just a note: You can get most of these breads at regular grocery stores. I'm not sure if you're moving right from Berkeley, in which case this wouldn't be terribly exciting and new, but if you live in a place where you have to make a special trip to a bakery for decent bread, rest assured the good stuff is everywhere.

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Just as Kiliki said. Other than having to buy Dahlia bread at the bakery, most of these other bakeries mentioned sell their bread in grocery stores. I go to Metropolitan Market (Queen Anne, Admiral, and up north somewhere), and they carry Essential, Macrina and Grand Central, as well as Poilane.

MetMart (Metropolitan Market, otherwise known as 'YupMart', short for Yuppie Market in my group) also makes good soups. Sometimes when I'm beat, I just head up there for a container of the homemade soup and a Guiseppe roll. Mmmm...a bowl of Wild mushroom (or Carrot curry, or Asparagus), Guisepe roll with Plugra...simple and tasty!

I think that Larry's carrys most of these breads, too, as well as Whole Foods.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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PCC carries most of these as well - as well as Wildwood Breads from Kent (!). These are softer, but pretty tasty, as I recall. They haven't gotten much press here.

There is also Le Pain du Four / Biofournil on 4th in Belltown, Le Painier in the Pike Place Market has very good bread and little press, La Brea Breads at some markets, such as they are. Sadly, we lost Sweet Lorraine's (good rye!) due to rent increases, but she may be selling at Farmer's Markets again. There are some other Farmer's Market only types. And some other neighborhood bakeries. For heavy duty stuff, there are a number of Great Harvest Bread Companies - Sandpoint and Ballard come to mind.

Oh yeah, even Trader Joe's carries Essential.

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PCC carries most of these as well - as well as Wildwood Breads from Kent (!). These are softer, but pretty tasty, as I recall. They haven't gotten much press here.

I think you meant Wild Wheat Bakery.

I posted a few times about this place a few years back. It's in downtown Kent on First Avenue, right next to the railroad tracks (the restaurant shakes when the trains roll by). The bread is luscious, but I still think Bittersweet, across the street and down a few restaurants, makes better sandwich bread. They don't sell their breads outside the restaurant, though.

Wild Wheat is also a restaurant, serving an eclectic lunch menu. They don't serve dinner, except the occasional special occasion and sometimes on Friday nights when the owners feel like it.

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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"There is also Le Pain du Four / Biofournil on 4th in Belltown"

Where? Is this new?

"Le Painier in the Pike Place Market has very good bread and little press."

I love their pastries. It's a good stop for a latte and croissant for a break when shopping!

Edited by lala (log)

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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"There is also Le Pain du Four / Biofournil on 4th in Belltown"

Where? Is this new?

Not new. 2507 4th Avenue. Started by the French company "Biofournil" - perhaps the largest organic bakery in the world (?). I haven't been in quite awhile, but they were doing things very traditionally when they began - including bringing bakers over from France. They also have pastry, mostly of the breakfast sort.

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Cool. I haven't worked downtown years, and now I sort of skip around the perimeter of downtown, so I likely just missed it. I'll have to check it out!

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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WOW Thanks for all the information. I can't wait to get moved in. I will be in Gig Harbor. I wanted a place with some kind of water view and it was it was the least expensive in Gig. I work on the computer so it does not matter where I live.

I guess I will be going into Seattle several times a week to get bread and stuff. I do intend to buy stuff from salumi and make my own sandwiches.

I am amazed to know they also sell poiline bread...I thought that you could only get that mail order.

How do they sell it ? in quaters?

Good to know that...I have had it before.

I can't live without a good baguette I am moving from arizona so I am looking forward to fresh fish and all the farmers markets veg.

Thanks again for all your help I am sure I will have lots more questions.

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tsquare said: "Le Painier in the Pike Place Market has very good bread and little press."

I love their pastries. It's a good stop for a latte and croissant for a break when shopping!

Eclair or tart slice of some kind for me. I love getting enveloped in that warm butter-saturated atmosphere as soon as as I set a foot in.

Pat

Edited by Sleepy_Dragon (log)

"I... like... FOOD!" -Red Valkyrie, Gauntlet Legends-

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I'm always the last to get a posting in but I just wanted to put in another plug for Essential Bakery! The basic loaves (Fremont, Columbia, Palouse, Pugliese) are wonderful, but be sure to try the rosemary sometime.

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Another question...cxt mentioned the pugliese loaf at Essential. Does anyone know how that compares to the same pugliese loaf from that Italian bread bakery in NYC that Mario uses all the time on his show...the name escapes me but the loaves are very dark and crusty.

I just cannot remember the name of the place.

Can anyone compare them...if you have had that NYC bread?

Thanks alot.

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WOW Thanks for all the information. I can't wait to get moved in. I will be in Gig Harbor. I wanted a place with some kind of water view and it was it was the least expensive in Gig. I work on the computer so it does not matter where I live.

I guess I will be going into Seattle several times a week to get bread and stuff. I do intend to buy stuff from salumi and make my own sandwiches.

OTB, if you can't make it into Seattle for your bread fix, as I posted before, there are several places to find good bread, cheeses and meats that are much closer to you in Gig Harbor.

I just wanted to reiterate that the Metropolitan Market in Tacoma's Proctor District (located at about 26th and Proctor) carries bread from Essential Bakery, Grand Central and a few other great regional bakeries. They also have a terrific selection of cheeses and meats. A good place to go in a pinch if you can't make the drive to Seattle.

Also, Harbor Bakery in Tacoma (2810 Sixth Ave., 253-274-1008), as I posted before, is a quick jaunt for a good bread fix. I can't say enough good things about the rustic loaf.. and the ciabata, when you can get it (go early).

Also, there's a new cheese shop in Gig Harbor that has a terrific (if not small) selection of really excellent quality gourmet cheese. It's called Isa Mira, 3313 Harborview Drive, 253-857-7511. It's tucked down below Harborview, you have to walk down the parking lot and through a hallway to find it. They have a great deck with a view of the harbor for lunching. Very nice.

Just down the street, Susane's Bakery in Gig Harbor also has very nice quality bread, but you usually have to call and order it the day before. They carry a pesto loaf, herb loaf, cracked whole wheat and a French caraway. They're at 3411 Harborview Drive, 253-853-6220. Also a deck with a great view.

Hope these help. I'm a Pierce County resident, and although I love searching Seattle for food finds, sometimes its easier to stay in my own territory for great food (thankfully there is no shortage of fantastic food in Tacoma).

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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I am amazed to know they also sell poiline bread...I thought that you could only get that mail order.

How do they sell it ? in quaters?

Good to know that...I have had it before.

At Metropolitan Market, I've seen the Poilane bread in quarters.

QUOTE (lala @ Apr 26 2004, 11:52 AM)

QUOTE

tsquare said: "Le Painier in the Pike Place Market has very good bread and little press."

I love their pastries. It's a good stop for a latte and croissant for a break when shopping!

Eclair or tart slice of some kind for me. I love getting enveloped in that warm butter-saturated atmosphere as soon as as I set a foot in.

Ohhhh...yes, that aroma! So decadent... mmmm.....butter......

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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Oooh! You all are making me really miss Seattle! I had a slice of the olive bread at the Dahlia Lounge, when I ate there earlier this month. It was wonderful. Also, Le Painier....the chocolate filled croissants.....beyond delicious! I have been missing them ever since I've been home!

Betsy in KY (who will hopefully be in Seattle again in June!)

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I'm surprised that noone has mentioned Tall Grass Bakery or their neighbor Cafe Besalu (for pastry) in Ballard on 24th. Tall Grass has a few too many whole grain breads for my taste but their baguettes are fresh and are the closest thing I've found to a real Parisian baguette. I just has one the other day with some butter and country pate (smuggled from Paris) that was delicious!

Hal

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I'm a big fan of the sour ficelle from Macrina, and their Greek olive bread is delicious too, with hints of rosemary and lemon zest beefing up the olive flavor. I also love Tall Grass Bakery's pain au levain, although it is a bit heavy in comparison to Acme's version. Terrific flavor, though.

this did mention Tall Grass.

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