Pane Fresco by Marc Bakery Café
414 Locust Street
Pane Fresco is a delightfully unassuming bakery and café in downtown Burlington. They offer a variety of breads and pastries baked with care, as well a selection of competent pizzas, sandwiches and salads.
I felt moved to post about it because if this place were transported to Toronto and given a sleek makeover it could easily charge 50% more and be swamped with business. Not to say that Pane Fresco is a steal, it’s simply priced fairly and that’s both rare and satisfying.
They aren’t trying to blow your mind...no quinoa loaves here. Just familiar and pleasing fare. For example, the chicken ceasar (yawn) but with homemade dressing and a chipotle kick.
Warm service and consistent quality make this place worth a visit!
Pane Fresco is great, their carmelized onion with goat cheese (I think) loaf is my favorite... However an older lady who often works at the front cash is quite snappy and rude often. I have left this place before (even though their product is amazing) because of this grumpy woman.
Hmmm...Having been a few times, I think I know who you are talking about. I'd hazard a guess that she is related to the owner (why else hire a grump?) Perhaps the downside of a family business!
Yes, it is a nice spot with decent pizzas, paninis, and some amazing gelatos and breads. Everything is fresh and because of the demand, you never know what will be available at any given time. I stopped in for a cappuccino and dessert recently and managed to snag the last cannoli (which was good). The only other desserts available after this point were some whole apple or cherry pies. Quite understandably, the bread was also going fast.
I'm glad you mentioned the gelato, I had completely forgot about it even though it is very good.
My wife and I also enjoy Pane Fresco. What I enjoy is the pizza, panini and most of the breads. Since we do not get out to that part of the world very often, we try to pick up some bread and eat a pizza or two when we get the chance.
Imho I think this place has the best pizza dough and very good pizza toppings. You can order the pizza un-baked for take away and finish the pizza on your own pizza stone at home. That way you are guaranteed a crisp crust! The next time you order a pizza from Pane Fresco take a look at the bottom of the crust after it’s been baked. You will see tiny little pockets of air from the dough making process. This is not an easy task, and does take some time. Why this is important is that the slow rising of the dough not only creates those little tiny pockets of air, it also helps to create flavour.
Not all the bread is made the same. Some (can’t remember which ones) are made with a Biga starter, which helps to develop flavour and also creates a small cell structure i.e. small air pockets in the bread. If you ever see large wholes in your bread, you’ll know that the bread was not allowed to rise over time. The slow rising of bread takes time, space, and patience to create wonderful flavour.
It’s well worth the Drive to Burlington!