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Cheap Challah on the Westside

smfoodie Jun 15, 2009 08:37 AM

I am making large amounts of creme brulee french toast for Father's Day using challah. In the past I have purchased the challah from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods where each loaf can cost between $3 and $4.

I was wondering if the Jewish bakeries are cheaper. Since challah is usually sold for the Sabbath, do any of the Jewish bakeries sell it as "day old" on Saturday?

  1. s
    smfoodie Jun 20, 2009 12:22 PM

    Well, I just came back from my challah run. I ended up getting the challah at the Russian bakery near the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Fairfax (the one across the street from Whole Foods. Not the one next door to Whole Foods). The fresh challah was $2.50 and I managed to also pick up some day old challah for $1.75.

    1. Kitchen Queen Jun 19, 2009 02:34 PM

      I LOVE the chocolate chip challah from Bristol Farms... Would make incredible creme brulee french toast!

      1. c
        clertzman Jun 19, 2009 02:25 PM

        Best is definitely sold at San Vicente Foods. You can get some (average) in the bakery (back right corner of store) but the best is on the kosher baked goods stand/shelves right nearby to the bakery!

        1. f
          fangler Jun 19, 2009 01:12 PM

          I just got a challah ($4.65) from The Bagel Factory on Sepulveda & National. It makes for great French toast. They sell day old bagels, so maybe they will sell day old challah for cheaper too. Whole Foods challah is $6. Bagel Factory has several locations on the Westside and in Torrance.


          1. OC Mutt Jun 18, 2009 08:51 PM

            Anyone know of good challah in the south bay area? Preferably Torrance?

            1. s
              smfoodie Jun 16, 2009 08:21 AM

              Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!

              1. p
                paprkutr Jun 15, 2009 10:21 PM

                Go to a Jewish Bakery, but not one that is observant and they will be open on Saturdays. Try on WEstside even Juniors Deli, Beverlywood Bakery, Factors, etc.

                1. c
                  coffeebrownies Jun 15, 2009 09:51 PM

                  Pain Quotidien has great Challah (but not cheap) on Fridays, and if we restrain ourselves on Friday (not easy), it makes great French toast on Saturday. When I call the Pain Quotidien at the Brentwood Country Mart at the end of the day, they always seem to have a spare loaf--so maybe they would sell it to you cheap on Saturday morning.

                  As an only slightly obsessed French toast maker, I urge you to go for a good quality day-old challah and not settle for supermarket quality. You will taste the difference.

                  1. b
                    bulavinaka Jun 15, 2009 06:37 PM

                    Check with your local Costco. I've seen it at the Marina del Rey store pretty regularly, but I haven't checked since they flipped everything around recently.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: bulavinaka
                      Phurstluv Jun 15, 2009 08:20 PM

                      Really I don't think I've ever seen Challah there, and I go pretty regularly, like every few weeks. Is it by the La Brea bread bags, bagels and muffins???

                      1. re: Phurstluv
                        bulavinaka Jun 15, 2009 08:38 PM

                        They used to have it on racks against the far wall adjacent to the table of bagels. But everything is moved around now and I haven't sorted out where everything is now. The Challah usually came plain, sesame seeds, and I think poppy seeds. They didn't consistently carry it but it was there enough for me to grab some to regularly make the same thing that the OP is planning.

                        1. re: bulavinaka
                          Arthur Jun 17, 2009 11:10 PM

                          I always see it there and I buy it often. Unless they've shifted everything again, it's still on the southwest corner wall near the Noah's Bagels and La Brea Bakery breads.

                          1. re: Arthur
                            Phurstluv Jun 18, 2009 03:18 PM

                            Well, I hate to report but I was there today and looked there and saw no challah at all. Is it on the tables in the aisles or on a rack, double-bagged?

                            1. re: Phurstluv
                              Arthur Jun 18, 2009 08:18 PM

                              It's always been there without fail whenever I've needed one. My guess is either you just plain missed it (did you ask anyone?) or they sold out, which is a distinct possibility since tomorrow night is the Jewish Sabbath.

                              1. re: Arthur
                                Phurstluv Jun 19, 2009 09:41 AM

                                Probably the latter, as it was after noon. Next time I'm there I will hunt someone down, not always easy!! I am determined to find it if they really do sell it!

                                1. re: Phurstluv
                                  bulavinaka Jun 19, 2009 12:48 PM

                                  The last place I saw the racks of challah was directly adjacent to the Noah's Bagels table. The challah is normally on metal racks, along with the basic sandwich-type breads and other baked goods like madeleines in plastic tubs, etc. They've moved these racks around quite a bit over the past six months, often times placing them in the rack aisles where you would normally find things like Gatorade (the northwest area of the store) or even where the beer and bicycles were (more or less the southwest part of the store adjacent to where the wines were for a long time).

                                  1. re: Phurstluv
                                    bulavinaka Jun 22, 2009 08:38 PM

                                    I was in Costco today and found the challah. The store has repositioned the metal bread racks directly adjacent to the bagels - I think it would be east of the bagel table. The company is Renaissance in Van Nuys, and the loaves are 24-ounces for $3.75.

                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                      Servorg Jun 23, 2009 04:18 AM

                                      Obviously trying to hold down the "cross contamination" of the baguettes by moving the challah to keep it from turning into "bagallah" (a possible new Irish bread?)... ;-D>

                      2. Phurstluv Jun 15, 2009 02:05 PM

                        I would call the bakeries you know of and ask. Hard to say if they can beat Trader Joe's prices, tho.

                        And don't get it at Huckleberry's - I did last week, it was superb, but cost $8. I made it into a Brioche bread pudding with fresh strawberries that my family devoured.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Phurstluv
                          mrfood16 Jun 15, 2009 06:03 PM

                          I don't know what the cost is, but Jewish bakeries do sell day old challahs. You can buy them on Fridays for sure, and maybe other days.

                          1. re: mrfood16
                            Phurstluv Jun 15, 2009 06:34 PM

                            I'm not surprised. There's nothing wrong with day old bread, if you know how to use it!!

                            1. re: Phurstluv
                              Emme Jun 15, 2009 09:47 PM

                              and day old is better for french toast...!

                        2. Servorg Jun 15, 2009 10:05 AM

                          This prior thread may be of help: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/481011

                          1. e
                            eatinman Jun 15, 2009 09:18 AM

                            'kosher' jewish bakeries would not be open on a Saturday - as they'd be sabbath observant.

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