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Best restaurant bread

Warthog Feb 14, 2008 07:37 AM

Some form of bread is usually a part of most, if not all, restaurant meals. In some cases, it's the highlight. So, in keeping with that idea, who has the best bread in a restaurant in the area?

If you want to post about good local bakeries, or even about bakeries that happen to also serve sandwiches, please start another bread thread. I want to keep this one focused on those restaurants where the bread arrives (bread basket, outer portion of a sandwich, tortilla, pizza crust, I don't care - just as long as it's some form of bread), one takes a bite, and experiences bread nirvana.

PS On the subject of restaurant bread, I recommend the chapter (I believe it's entitled "Adam, Real Last Name Unknown" or something close to that) in Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential". I found that chapter in particular to be a hilarious read.

  1. f
    Feathered Friend Feb 23, 2008 02:46 PM

    Atwater's in Belvedere Square Market has outstanding bread. They also have maybe the best soups that I've had. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this place. Perhaps because it's more of a lunch spot, specializing in soups , salads and sandwiches.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Feathered Friend
      monavano Feb 23, 2008 03:38 PM

      Probably because in DC Atwaters just sells at farmers markets so we don't get to enjoy their incredible sounding soups. I adore their sourdough and peasant wheat. See here: http://www.dcfoodies.com/2008/02/atwaters-bakery.html

      Not sure if Eve was mentioned yet, but I vote their bread for best. Great crust, chewy inside and with the room temp Irish butter...wow.

      1. re: monavano
        poached Feb 24, 2008 12:47 PM

        I have really mixed feelings about Atwaters. I'll agree that some of there breads are great as are some of there soups- but I find in general that they have a tendancy to cram in too many ingredients (both in soup and bread) I have a big problem with their Raisin bread- it is very dry and far out ways walnuts to raisins. When they keep it simple their goods are great but I've had some odd offerings Pumperknickle style Chocolate cherry walnut ciniamon???

        1. re: poached
          baltimorejim Feb 25, 2008 06:45 PM

          I've held back on this since the bread at Zorba's downstairs is nothing to write home about. What sets it apart is that they place it on the charcoal grill for a short time and the flavor becomes a little smokey and the texture slightly toasted. Great for sopping up their salad dressing or sauce on the green beans.

    2. f
      filelilly Feb 18, 2008 05:07 PM

      I like the bread selection at Pazo.

      1. Meg Feb 18, 2008 09:15 AM

        Hands down, the Hunter's Head Tavern in Upperville, VA. No matter how hard I try, I can't not spoil my dinner for the love of their bread. It's ultra crusty on the outside but soft, chewy and tasty in the middle. And best of all they cut their slices really really thick. You can get loaves to go as well, which are just as good reheated at home.

        1. s
          SGI Feb 17, 2008 10:12 AM

          The Carlyle Club on University Pkwy. delivers a wonderful pita bread basket to the table. The basket always include a couple pieces of a savory pita that is simply delicious. I'm not sure how it's prepared, but I totally crave it. Make sure one of your fellow diners doesn't hog because you'll definitely want your share.

          1. b
            bylinemjf Feb 15, 2008 05:41 PM

            Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring has surprisingly good bread. It's a pain in the ass to get it - you usually have to ask for it, and flagging down a server can be a battle.

            I like the Great American Restaurants' offerings as well. I'm blanking on others.

            1. e
              elizzy Feb 15, 2008 03:26 PM

              Liberty Tavern in Arlington has a delicious bread basket - homemade, 3 varieties. Also, Le Chat Noir, the crepe place in Tenleytown DC has good baguette and butter.

              1. poached Feb 15, 2008 01:32 PM

                My fav Baltimore resaruant breads
                Peter's Inn makes a mean garlic pesto bread, I have had dreams about it.
                Gertudes has a great bread basket, a little french, a little corn bread and a tasty herb.
                Coco bread at Trindad gourmet! with the trindad cheese it's truly decadant

                1. monavano Feb 15, 2008 11:00 AM

                  Restaurant Eve- oh when the room temp. Irish butter melts as it hits the heavenly crusty bread....OMG! (as an aside for Eve bread lovers-you can now buy Eve breads at Grape + Bean in Old Town)


                  1. e
                    ebcindc Feb 15, 2008 10:54 AM

                    Hate to drag anybody outside of the city, but Luna Grill and Diner in Shirlington has a wonderfully simple italian bread- pane rustico, I think they called it. I've often found myself sheepishly asking the waiter for another loaf after finishing the first one before the entree arrived..

                    1. d
                      Dakota Guy Feb 15, 2008 09:15 AM

                      The most heavenly bread to me is Naan. Indebleu made a great variant on it and any Indian restaurant that makes Naan in-house is better than most French bread variants in other restuarants.

                      The other bread for which I swoon are the Parker House rolls at Cityzen.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Dakota Guy
                        Annapolis07 Feb 15, 2008 10:05 AM

                        Not quite Baltimore, But the Guggenheim rolls at Cynthia's in Severna Park are to die for. The desserts there are also great, but the rest of the food is just ok.

                        1. re: Annapolis07
                          Warthog Feb 15, 2008 11:04 AM

                          I was there for the first time a couple nights ago, and the rolls were good. The only problem was the "one at a time" deal. Yes, it's elegant, and they do supply more on demand, and I'm sure it eliminates a lot of waste, but I still felt like telling the server, "Dude, just put down your tongs, and leave the whole freaking TRAY - I like bread!"

                          1. re: Warthog
                            Annapolis07 Feb 15, 2008 11:54 AM

                            Funny, My husband feels the same way. He actually told the server to leave two for him when he came around the second time with the bread.

                      2. h
                        HilkaryIC Feb 15, 2008 06:37 AM

                        I don't know about the CP location, but Cafe Deluxe in Bethesda has some yummy bread. Big, crusty on the outside, soft and warm inside.

                        1. c
                          cleveland park Feb 15, 2008 05:36 AM

                          Central has pretty good bread

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cleveland park
                            hill food Feb 15, 2008 08:27 AM

                            2nds on Central

                          2. j
                            Jeserf Feb 15, 2008 05:12 AM

                            PS7s...Zaytinya...and the bread at Rock Creek (at least at Mazza) was really fabulous

                            1. brooke Feb 15, 2008 03:05 AM

                              I like the one from Foxfire Grill. It comes with warm, crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-and-holey-on-the-inside rolls in plain, multi grain (I think), and lastly, cheddar jalapeño which is my favorite.

                              1. m
                                MDicecreamguy Feb 14, 2008 04:58 PM

                                Geez......doesn't any restaurant in BALTIMORE have good bread?
                                I really like the Home Made bread at Mia Carolina in Glyndon....Not only is the bread really crispy, hot and fresh but they always offer unique spreads ( along with your usual butter and olive oil)

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: MDicecreamguy
                                  Warthog Feb 15, 2008 05:07 AM

                                  I was wondering the same thing. Does "MOBtown" stand for "Merely Ordinary Bread"? C'mon, you Baltimore Hounds! There's gotta be *some* good bread in restaurants around here.

                                  I'll offer up a meager example. OK, it's pizza crusts, but I'll offer up the crusts at Matthew's Joe Squared, and Iggie's. Each different, but each a crucial component in their respective pies.

                                  1. re: Warthog
                                    becs Feb 15, 2008 05:36 AM

                                    B'more doesn't have the variety of DC, but there are a few gems.

                                    It may be a local chain, but the Lebanese Taverna has great homemade pita.
                                    The black olive has (you guessed it) black olive bread that is quite nice.
                                    Not bread, but the sopaipillas at Golden West make for a good start to breakfast.
                                    Also in the "not quite bread" category are the fabulous biscuits at Blue Moon.

                                    1. re: Warthog
                                      Jason1 Feb 15, 2008 10:26 AM

                                      I keep trying to think of something, anything that has stood out, and I really can't think of a thing. I'd say that the current Baltimore/Anne Arundel/Howard County state of breadmaking is very, very weak. I'll keep racking my brain, because surely I must have had "something" unique in the area.

                                      1. re: Jason1
                                        Jason1 Feb 15, 2008 10:30 AM

                                        I guess if I stretch to non-European varieties, the flatbread at the Helmand and the tortillas at the Tortilleria are both quite good. I also like the bread at Maiwand Kabob in Columbia.

                                    2. re: MDicecreamguy
                                      charmedgirl Feb 15, 2008 05:53 AM

                                      Was also wondering the same thing! Not sure it counts, but I absolutely loved the bread/crackers they started us off with the one time I went to Pazo.

                                      1. re: charmedgirl
                                        pigtowner Feb 15, 2008 09:45 AM

                                        Does Pazo still offer all the breads for sale as sides?

                                        Their fougasse was totally delicious.

                                      2. re: MDicecreamguy
                                        KAP Feb 15, 2008 11:23 AM

                                        The huz and I LOVE the garlic bread at Peter's Inn. The pesto spread is delicious, but the bread itself is fabulous in it's own right.

                                      3. m
                                        Minger Feb 14, 2008 04:13 PM

                                        Kebab Bazaar in Clarendon. Each meal comes with an neat basket of delicious Persian bread with fresh herbs and raita or yogurt(?). It's thicker and more uniform than the clay oven one finds at kebab places. It's like barbari (sp?) found in Persian stores but fresh, softer and smaller.

                                        1. Unplugged Feb 14, 2008 02:47 PM

                                          I have to go in for Brasserie Beck here, but I'm partial.

                                          1. a
                                            ALLex16 Feb 14, 2008 11:42 AM

                                            My SO and I went to New Orleans Bistro in Bethesda recently - they had the BEST cornbread, sooo yummy.

                                            I also think the Great American Restaurants have good bread.

                                            I know they are both chains, but I love the bread at Outback and Logans Steakhouse.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: ALLex16
                                              Warthog Feb 14, 2008 12:10 PM

                                              Yes, there is something to be said for the "miniature loaf of freash-baked bread with Rambo-sized bread knife and cutting board" thing at some chains.

                                              1. re: ALLex16
                                                Bob W Feb 14, 2008 12:59 PM

                                                I second the rec for GAR bread. The chain has its own bakery, Best Buns, in Shirlington.

                                                Yeah, and Outback too.

                                              2. ktmoomau Feb 14, 2008 11:19 AM

                                                Oh the breadbasket at Southside 815 is great, they have cornbread, biscuits and another option and the jams ans sauces served with them are excellent.

                                                Urban BBQ also has delectable cornbread, well at least it was on the night we went, very sweet and corn and moist and light (for cornbread).

                                                1. e
                                                  Elyssa Feb 14, 2008 10:50 AM

                                                  I really like the bread at PS7 and Hudsons. The parker house rolls at Hudson are addictable but you need to get them fresh, otherwise I've heard they can be a little hard. But I always ask for the ones right out of the oven and they are incredible.

                                                  The biscuits and spicy honey/jam spread at Acadiana is also quite good.

                                                  And I know it's a chain but my boyfriend and I LOVE the bread at Cheesecake Factory.

                                                  1. c
                                                    CuriousGrrl Feb 14, 2008 10:40 AM

                                                    Hops in Alexandria makes these yummy little honey covered turn overs that I could eat a million of that they serve as their dinner rolls! Also, Amphoria Diner in Vienna makes a delish cranberry walnut bread and country white bread that they serve with dinner.

                                                    1. j
                                                      Jason1 Feb 14, 2008 10:39 AM

                                                      The Parker House rolls a Cityzen for sure, the rest of their bread service, not so much.

                                                      1. p
                                                        polly parker Feb 14, 2008 10:11 AM

                                                        oya has a delicious cheesy roll basket they bring out. soooo good, i kept sending the waiter back to refill it!

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: polly parker
                                                          nissenpa Feb 14, 2008 10:14 AM

                                                          I love the warm pumpernickle with golden raisins at the Capital Grill. The basket also comes with a large cracker that is great with butter.

                                                          1. re: polly parker
                                                            elegantelliot Feb 14, 2008 10:53 AM

                                                            the Popovers at BLT are unreal.

                                                            1. re: polly parker
                                                              HilkaryIC Feb 14, 2008 12:12 PM

                                                              What I love about them is how bizarre they are. Here you are sitting at a swanky Asian fusion restaurant, sampling sushi, and then comes these cheesy bread balls of warm yummyness.

                                                              1. re: HilkaryIC
                                                                elegantelliot Feb 14, 2008 12:18 PM

                                                                if you like the ones at Oya you will LOVE the ones at BLT. similar in taste only 10 times the size and they come with butter and sea salt.

                                                            2. Dennis S Feb 14, 2008 09:52 AM

                                                              Lightfoot in Leesburg, which bakes their own bread.

                                                              1. Bob W Feb 14, 2008 08:49 AM

                                                                Thanks for starting this thread, Wart. One of my favorite restaurant adages (ok, I created it) is "Good restaurants may have bad bread, but bad restaurants will not have good bread."

                                                                1. orangemix Feb 14, 2008 08:23 AM

                                                                  Carlyle in Shirlington has warm bread and yummy mini-donuts last I went.

                                                                  2941 had wonderful bread when elder Krinn was baking - I haven't visited since, so I don't know.

                                                                  Ray's the Steak (visited last night) had a wonderfully soft, yummy rosemary bread.

                                                                  I like Zaytinya's pitas when they're warm. I've had really dry ones there before too....

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: orangemix
                                                                    ktmoomau Feb 14, 2008 10:17 AM

                                                                    They are still making homemade bread at 2941 which is very tasty I think they got some recipes.

                                                                    No one has mentioned the parker house rolls.

                                                                    1. re: orangemix
                                                                      Goldielocks1225 Feb 18, 2008 05:45 PM

                                                                      Zaytinya's are wonderful! I always ask for more.

                                                                      I also like Mon Ami Gabi and Jaleo...I like good crusty bread!

                                                                    2. d
                                                                      dcandohio Feb 14, 2008 07:42 AM

                                                                      The bread at PS7's is really innovative and tasty. My problem is that we had trouble flagging down a server for seconds. I also happen to love that puffy hot pita-esque bread at Zaytinya.

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