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Simply Bread... is simply amazing; but where to find pastries?

oryza Dec 7, 2007 09:44 AM

After visiting their outlet on 42nd St about 5 times in the last month, I have to say that this may be one of the best boulangeries I have ever been to within the US.

The service also is terrific. The ladies who work the counter are super nice. They'll point you to the specials (no haughtiness here), work with your needs, and give you samples of yummy stuff.

Prices are great; much lower than the retail outlets where you will also see their goods (AJ's, restaurants), especially when you buy what's on sale for the day

I've tried nearly all of their breads, and each one is excellent. My preference is for the plain breads because they tend to showcase what bread is all about, whereas one can always find the seeded, seasoned, variety anywhere in breads where texture and flavor don't necessarily matter as much. That said, the walnut raising whole wheat may be one of my favorite snacks.

Even the funky monkey (sticky cinnamon pull-apart) is great. It's a sweet treat alternative to home-baked sticky buns and is heads and tails beyond any cinnabun or its ilk. But it leaves me wanting to know where to find a bakery that does pastries just as well?

Simply Bread is one of the best discoveries so far in Phoenix; and there are rumors they will be opening a patisserie... but not yet.

  1. t
    travelchow Dec 7, 2007 09:48 AM

    I recently saw that they had orange anise twists, haven't tried them yet but they sound great! Have you had them?

    1. silverbear Dec 7, 2007 10:03 AM

      Glad to hear you found a place in Phoenix you like. I agree that Simply Bread is incredible. You might want to try their pizza crusts, which are available only on Fridays.

      As for pastry, you might want to try Sweet Pea for incredible tarts and cookies.

      sweet pea bakery
      209 W Jackson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003

      7 Replies
      1. re: silverbear
        travelchow Dec 7, 2007 10:06 AM

        What are their pizza crusts? Are they pre-made dough to make pizza or just crusts?

        1. re: travelchow
          silverbear Dec 7, 2007 10:10 AM

          They are parbaked crusts, not balls of dough -- same concept as Boboli in the supermarket, but a thousand times better. They're sold in sets of five. You can take them home, keep them in the freezer, and use as needed. Each one makes a nice pizza for two. They sometimes run out, so call ahead on a Friday if interested in buying some.

          Simply Bread
          2117 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

          1. re: silverbear
            sunshineinaz Dec 7, 2007 10:59 AM

            Do you know the hours at Simply Bread or do they change from day to day? I tried going a couple weeks ago on a weekday and they were closed. Are they ever open on Saturdays? The pizza crusts sound great.

            1. re: sunshineinaz
              azhotdish Dec 7, 2007 11:46 AM

              According to their website, it's 9-4 M-Th and 9-5 F, although I do know that sometimes they close a little early if they've had a busy day and don't have much product left.

              1. re: sunshineinaz
                silverbear Dec 7, 2007 12:27 PM

                No evening or weekend hours, and the store is closed on most Jewish holidays.

                Most of Simply Bread's business is with resorts, restaurants, etc. The little retail shop called the Bread Bar is wonderful, but it's secondary to the business, so the hours are not terribly customer-centric. Nevertheless, if you get over there around lunchtime on a weekday, you can stock up on great bread and have lunch nearby at Eliana's or El Napolito.

                1. re: silverbear
                  azhotdish Dec 7, 2007 02:27 PM

                  That's exactly what I usually do - El Nopalito for street tacos and Simply Bread for dessert (and a few breads of course). I better have my cholesterol checked soon!

          2. re: silverbear
            oryza Dec 7, 2007 11:55 AM

            hey now, there are a few others... well, at least three. :)

          3. winedubar Dec 7, 2007 11:03 AM

            im assuming you mean the simply bread on 24th street? ;)

            on friday's simply bread has cookies, which are fantastic.

            and for other desserts/pastries - sweet pea bakery is amazing. their french macaroon is a knockout.

            1. IamJacksBrain Dec 7, 2007 11:58 AM

              Not exactly French pastries, but La Purisima (two locations) makes great Mexican pastries.

              La Purisima Bakery
              4533 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301-2808

              La Purisima Bakery
              2318 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ

              1. z
                ziggylu Dec 7, 2007 01:49 PM

                There's an outlet? really?? we love their bread and pick it up at Whole Foods and AJ's but have never been in the store on 24th st as it's enver been open when we're in that part of town. is there another location somewhere?

                4 Replies
                1. re: ziggylu
                  azhotdish Dec 7, 2007 02:03 PM

                  assuming the OP meant the bread bar on 24th st, which is technically an outlet store since they sell their bread directly to the public.

                  1. re: azhotdish
                    ziggylu Dec 7, 2007 02:19 PM

                    Oh, OK...that's the one we've tried to go to a few times but are never in the area when it's actually open.

                    1. re: ziggylu
                      azhotdish Dec 7, 2007 02:25 PM

                      Can't argue with you there - luckily I work a couple miles up the road so I can get to it during the week, but it's useless for Sunday dinner parties - really wish they would start those Saturday hrs like they've mentioned in the past!

                      1. re: azhotdish
                        ziggylu Dec 7, 2007 02:42 PM

                        Fortunately whenever I"ve picked it up at AJ's or the new Whole Foods now that it's in the neighborhood, the bread has always been fresh and delicious so can't complain about that!

                2. z
                  zephyr53 Dec 11, 2007 06:02 PM

                  Get to Phoenix on Occasions and am not familar with Simply Bread. If any of you are familar with Beyond Bread in Tucson How would Simply Bread Rate. If you think it is worth it I would try it the next time I'm up there.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: zephyr53
                    hohokam Dec 11, 2007 06:24 PM

                    I might be in the minority here, but I have a strong preference for MJ Coe's baguettes over those from Simply Bread. The flavor and texture are just more to my liking. If I were going to be in town for a short time and had baguette on the brain, I would seek out MJ bread first and treat Simply Bread as a fallback option.

                    Tammie Coe Cakes MJ Bread
                    610 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

                    Tammie Coe Cakes MJ Bread
                    4410 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ

                    1. re: hohokam
                      silverbear Dec 11, 2007 08:05 PM

                      To be honest, I've never done a side-by-side baguette comparison. When I'm at Simply Bread, I'm usually too busy buying challah twists, pizza crusts, focaccia, and various sandwich breads. I like both Simply Bread and MJ a great deal, but in my experience the Bread Bar at Simply Bread offers a lot more variety in terms of bread types than the Tammie Coe / MJ shop on Roosevelt. I don't know about the MJ bread sold at 40th and Campbell since I've all but stopped going to LGO.

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