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Jul 8, 2006 04:03 AM

House of Bread?

noticed House of Bread in Albany (on San Pablo Ave. near Solano) -- has anyone tried it?

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  1. Yes, I've tried it and I like it and I don't care if every single Chowhound turns there noses up at it.

    Stop in. They have a sample of every bread they are selling that day.

    They are not Acme or that class of Artisan bakery, but they are an good mid-class bread maker. They have interesting daily flavors. Whenever I see a parking space in front and have time I stop by and see what is new every day.

    So stop buy and try the free samples and decide for yourself.

    Here's my report from when they first opened.

    You need to click on the link at the end of the above report because House of Bread is a chain and the discussion about the information common to all HOB bakeries was on the General Board (this was prior to the new board for chains).

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      They're not Acme, but Acme's only a mile down the street.

    2. I stopped in today. They were very nice. The bread looked anemic. I sampled the cinnamon bread, in all its pale blandness. Everything looked underbaked. I tried the chocolate cookie which was not bad. The sandwich descriptions looked nice, but I just had eaten at the new Thai place next door. I felt badly not buying anything, but nothing looked good enough to eat. Maybe next time - I'd be tempted to try one of their sandwiches.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lmnopm

        What is the new Thai place next door, and how was it? :-)

        1. re: susancinsf

          Zapp Zapp Noodle house.. there's been a couple of mentions here

      2. Stopped in a few months ago. Staff was extremely friendly and generous with samples. Seems their niche is "flavored bread." And yes, everyting seemed woefully underbaked. Either they were skimping on yeast, or they were running the ovens at 200 degrees.
        We bought a loaf to be nice neighbors, but never finished it at home. Too gummy.

        1. Yeah, like I said, they have samples so you can decide if it is for you.

          For me, the big selling point is that it is a good quality sliced sandwich bread, better than supermarket bread ... I mean Bimbo owns Orowheat after all.

          It isn't the heavy crusty artisan bread so it might seem under-baked compared to that.

          I can't think of too many places that do a nice sliced sandwich loaf. If the Bread Garden was closer to me I'd buy that instead. It is too much of a pain having to order it sliced ahead of time from Arlington Baking Company in Kennsington. I am SO not a fan of Bread Workshop, so that's out.

          HOB is organic, fresh and makes a nice sandwich for my purpose. I hear they make good hot cross buns, so I'm looking foward to that ... yep, looking forward to Lent for the chow ... I'm going to hell, fer sure.

          5 Replies
          1. re: rworange

            Vital Vittles sells great sliced whole-wheat bread.

            Good sliced white bread's tough since Tassajara closed. Whole Foods carries a good one but I can't recall the brand.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Yeah, that's true. For some reason Vital Vittles at the Farmers market is great, but what they sell in the stores, not so much ... and I am looking for white. I haven't tried Semi-freddi's sliced white yet.

              1. re: rworange

                Virginia Bakery has sliced white bread, but I've never tried it.

                1. re: Glencora

                  Thanks When I think of that type of bread, I think of Neldham' which is out of my driving range, although Neldham recently added these huge football shaped loaves of Vienna bread I've been meaning to try.

                  I would have bought one, but I got into a snit with the staff. I was trying to throw some business their way and find out about thier new cake menu, which from what I could understand might mean one new cake, I forget what, but it means they no longer sell half-cakes.

                  Anyway my miserable $4 iced latte took 20 minutes to make due to a new staff member. It was a real joke. There wasn't ice in the bin near the coffee so she circled around the bakery about four times until someone told her where the ice was, then there was more circling. In the middle of this I made the mistake about asking about the bread and that required a few more laps around the bakery and I never did get an answer.

                  All of that was fine ... new person and all that ... until someone came to help her and when I gagged about the price of the latte which wasn't posted and said something about the 20 minutes I was there, the staff member got pissy about it. The correct answer was ... sorry, this person is new ... not a counter attack. I was so annoyed I left without the bread and have been too annoyed to return ... but I digress ... skip the latte at Nelhams ... it didn't taste good either.

                  Hopkins Street also has sliced white bread. I should check them out. I probably could get a sliced challah which would be nice.

                2. re: rworange

                  Vital Vittles at Berkeley Bowl is as good as at the farmers market. Probably due to high turnover.