Rustic Bakery (Tampa)
- andy huse
Here's another good place on MacDill in Tampa--- Pane Rustica. First and foremost a bakery, they make a variety of kick-ass breads in several forms (loaf, round, etc) along with a few sweeter items. In addition, they have high-quality sandwiches and soups.
I stopped in and split a soup and sandwich with a friend. The cheesy chive soup was great stuff. The thick stock had plenty of flavor without being too salty, and instead of being oppressed by melted cheese food, it had little chunks of a white creamy cheese swimming around in it (goat cheese, i think). Their special sandwich for the day was curried chicken salad. Normally i don't like this type of thing (leftovers in mayo), but this was a fine sandwich (we chose sourdough as the bread), with raisins giving jusr enough sweetness.
This place ain't cheap, tho. The split lunch, with tea, cost almost $12. But for $6 apiece, we left very happy and very full.
We grabbed their formidable multi-grain loaf to go along with a scone and a sticky bun. The multi-grain bread was great, soft and moist in the middle with a substantial crust coated in oats. I had 2 buttered slices of it for brunch the next day and didn't eat til dinner.
The scone was good, not very sweet, laced with blueberries, great with coffee. The real surprise was their sticky bun. The best i've ever had--- not too sweet (tho it looked sweet), wonderful texture, simply a prize any time. Give this place a try, a very pleasant experience.