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May 24, 2007 07:47 AM

Bread, I need bread, really good bread...

And i'm not that particular about if it's Italian (semolina) like I used to get in Hoboken, or French with a crispy crust the way I got it in Manhattan but I need to be able to get good bread on the weekends in o near Union County. I've tried most of the local bakerys, and nothing. Can anyone help me?

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  1. Napoli Italian Deli & Spclts in Union sells good bread it might be Calandra's from Newark

    6 Replies
    1. re: timmy

      I feel your pain! Most local bakeries just don't seem to have decent breads. I can find great pastries and cakes, alas, not an artisanal loaf around. I used to live in Manhattan, and I miss great bread like you can't imagine (well, actually - you can!).

      Kings Supermarket in Garwood (and I assume elsewhere) carries a lot of major NYC bakery brands such as Ecce Panis, Tribakery, etc. They even get in real bialys from someplace in Brooklyn (they come in frozen in 6-packs, sometimes you have to ask for them at the bakery department if they aren't already put out in the bin). They also just started stock another brand of an amazing baguette that is so intensely wonderful my husband and I nearly ate the whole thing in one sitting (they usually have it right at the front of the store by the deli counter) but I can't remember the name off-hand, it's in a yellow wrapper.

      Shop-Rite also carries Ecce Panis, but not as good a selection.

      1. re: sivyaleah

        Have you tried Bavella in Westfield? I am not a Wegman's fan but they also have decent bread. Woodbridge Deli (not close for you) carried Calandra's.

        1. re: nyebaby37

          Bovella's doesn't have good bread at all. I'm pretty sure they don't even bake it there. We've been a regular customer of theirs for years. Excellent pastries/cakes, bread nothing to write home about - let alone if you don't get there first thing in the morning, you're not getting any!

          Edit: However, Ferrara's has taken over recently. I wonder if things have changed since they did? We haven't been in there in a few weeks. Maybe the bread selection has been revamped? We'll have to go check this out...

          1. re: sivyaleah

            really? doesnt bake it there? received cookies as a gift last year and they are good. Which Ferrara's, of the City?

            1. re: nyebaby37

              I said they don't bake the BREAD there, NOT the cookies. All pastries/cakes/cookes are most definately made on the premises.

              Ferraro's of Westfield - the restaurant that's been there forever (I spelled it wrong above). They bought Bovella's recently. Have also revamped it into a bit of a cafe and redid the front of the store as well. Very cute looking now. It needed a facelift.

              1. re: sivyaleah

                oh I thought u meant the real Ferrara's...

    2. Whole Foods' in-house bakery has a very nice variety of excellent breads. If you are in Union County, you could visit the one located in the old Lord & Taylor store in Millburn. And of course, their produce is also top-notch, as is their selection of cheeses. Expensive? Yes, but as Mr. Arbuckle allegedly said, "You get what you pay for".

      6 Replies
      1. re: Ted in Central NJ

        I never knew that used to be a L&T. Yes, Whole Foods has a great bread selection too. And of course, may as well get some cheese while there :-)

        1. re: sivyaleah

          sivyaleah i really value your opinion, esp u were right on the $ re aquaviva -- have an isolated ? from the bread and should prob start a new post BUT -- looking for a restaurant in westfield (main "strip") similar to aquaviva but not, with liq license, pref italian food. any suggestions? thanks

          1. re: nyebaby37

            Does Theresa's have a liquor license?. I have to be honest, I'm not very impressed w/the restaurants in Westfield, none that really knock your socks off. Yes, Chez Catherine was fantastic at one time, and yes Mojave Grill was good when it first opened (now just avg. in my op). The Brick Oven is good for a lunch but really just an avg. rest. Even the Westfield Diner fails to come through. Any opinions?

            1. re: jnk

              First they probably will shoot this off to another thread but I'll give this a shot anyway.

              I've never been a fan of Theresa's personally. I don't even remember if they have a liquor license since it's been years since I've been there.

              First, as for Italian. We go to Brick Oven most often in town. While service can be a bit slow at times because everything is cooked to order we happen to enjoy it a lot. The dishes are quite creative for an "average" eatery of this type. I'm not a fan of the pizza. Thin crust should not be overloaded with ingredients and they tend to overdo theirs which is unfortunate. But I think I'm out of the ordinary w/my opinion on this.

              We still enjoy Mojave but I totally agree that is has slipped a few notches since it moved. It also has lost it's cache a bit if you ask me. It used to be sort of an "adult" oriented restaurant. We never saw kids in there (rarely anyway) and now, well if you go around 6pm or so, it's frequently over-ridden and extremely noisy (the new space itself has a horrible noise problem).

              Haven't been to Chez Catherine in a while. Loved it last time but the last couple of times we wanted to go, when we looked at the price list and compared what we were going to spend with what we were getting, we nixed it, especially since the choices didn't wow my husband. Still want to get back at some point.

              nyebaby37, there is a lesser known Italian that is not in the town proper called La Spezzia which we really like a lot. It's on South Avenue, near the Shalom Nail Salon in a small strip mall and there's a sushi place there too (which I've never been to). Chef Ed is really creative, portions are nicely sized and the waitresses really are knowledgeable (albeit a bit too chatty sometimes but we don't mind that too much now that we've gotten to know them). Elegantly presented food, similar to Aqua Viva but the atmosphere isn't as upscale, but still nice inside for a strip mall restaurant. You may want to give this one a try. For some reason, nobody seems to know about it, although it's always busy when we are there. Plus, on weekday nights, they will give you a card for 15% of dining :-)

              1. re: sivyaleah

                Well that sounds like a great find, and will check that out for sure esp w/ the discount. Going to look at the website. Ive been to Theresa's, good food, no license and PACKED!!! I was thinking of Mojave, for a change. Also may check out Tosca's in Kenilworth this weekend. THANK YOU!

                1. re: nyebaby37

                  You'll enjoy Mojave - nothing wrong with it at all, innovative for sure - just we liked it better when it was in it's smaller space (where Blue Wave is now, which BTW is a very good seafood place). If the babyback chipotle/peanut ribs appetizer are still on the menu try them - awesome!

      2. Well, back to the topic. Somerset Farms on Rt 22 in North Plainfield carries a line of very good quality breads from a Portuguese bakery, probably in the Newark area.