I recently moved here from NYC and am looking for some good bread. My wife and I picked up a whole grain loaf from Boulangerie on Magazine and she later stumbled across a delicious boule from a small farmers market off the side of the road in Luling. Do you have any other recs? Most of what we've tried has left much to be desired but I think we might be looking in the wrong places.
Longing For Sullivan Street Bakery.
I'm baking my way thru Jim Lahey's new baking book, and you won't find much (if any) bread like his here in NOLA. La Boulangerie is the high-water mark of European-style bread hereabouts, especially if you like thick crust & chewy crumb.
On the other hand, if you can learn to love light, airy Vietnamese french bread, you'll find joy at Dong Phuong in New Orleans East, Hi-Do on the Westbank, or Chez Pierre. CP is on Veterans Blvd in Kenner; it is viet-french style & offers some sourdough, croissants, and a few other styles (an epis loaf, etc).
Several baking vendors sell at the Sat & Tues Crescent City farmer's markets; Windfield Farms has pretty good bread (plus a variety of pastry), and Mueller's sells German style (volkornbrot, among others) breads (I think he's on an every-other-week schedule, though).
Boulangerie is really about it aside from New Orleans style french bread. People are so enammered with the local french bread that there just isn't that much demand for anything else. However, Leidenheimers and Susan Spicer, a local chef, put out an artisanal line of breads under the moniker Wildflour Breads that are available at several grocery stores in the area. The seven grain and the ciabtta are pretty good, but expensive. There is Whole Foods of course. Another good french bread option is the last of the Gendusa Bros. bakeries in gentilly. The gigits are wonderful. ch
So sorry--no Sullivan Street Bakery here. We are not a great city for bread, but we're a lot better than we used to be.
You found Boulangerie; you found our best. However, you can get pretty good breads (and lots of variety) at Whole Foods, and I buy a decent multi-grain and sourdough at Rouse's--an "artisanal" bread under an Italian label. And it's pretty easy to find good ciabatta.
We mourned the passing of the gourmet shop Susan Spicer once ran, which had fabulous breads. The bread making operation was bought by Leidenheimer's I think, but if they still exist as Leidenheimer's artisanal arm, I think it's only to make ciabatta, under the Wild Flours label (or something like that). I used to see it at Martin's, but haven't lately.
Anyone starting a really good bakery in NOLA should, I think, be very successful.
Thanks for everyone's replies.
I never loved the breads at WF in NY and dont really like them much here either. They are generally too dense and undercooked IMO. Not all, but most.
I will continue buying from LB and I intend on going to the CCFM in search of some good bread.
The Hollygrove farmer's market carries a line of artisanal breads from a local baker. They had samples out a few weeks back and the bread was tasty. The loaves run $6.50 each. The market is on Saturdays from 10-2 on Olive St. behind the post office on S. Carrolton. They don't seem to have lots of loaves so for the best selection get there early.
I'll be heading to NYC in a couple of weeks and had heard about Sullivan Street Bakery and was planning on stopping by. Any recs on what to get there.
Also while I'm at it, any other places I shouldn't miss while I'm there. I know its hard for such a big city but thought you might throw out a couple.
Lastly is Babbo worth it?
Thanks in advance
When you go to SS make sure you to try one of their pizzas. These are the Roman style pizzas that are thin and served room temp -- a minimalist's delight!
I went to Babbo the year they opened before all the hype and it was phenomenal. I have to tired to go back since but could never get a reservation. I still remember that beef cheek pasta after what feels like 50 years later. The Batali empire has become a bit unwieldy but everyone still raves about Babbo. If you cant get into Babbo and want a taste of Batali head on over to Otto on Waverly. Its a completely different experience but very good nonetheless.
What types of food do you like? The Manhattan board here is full of extremely knowledgeable (and particular!) people but I'd be happy to help if you give me a bit of direction.
Like NYNO, I went to Babbo years ago and had the beef cheeks--and it was fabulous! But, with a reservation made a month earlier, we still waited, standing in a crowded space, two hours. So we never tried going back. But for equally fantastic (but much less expensive) pasta, I always go to Lupa when in NYC (another in the Batali empire). And I also love Otto, a lot.
As many posting here, I am a recent NYC transplant & if you're into bread, I would suggest Amy's in the Chelsea Market (9th Ave & 15th St). Best bread this side of Paris, especially the Baguette or the Rosemary or the Olive Boules!
Closer to home, there is a new vendor at the Tuesday Crescent City Farmer's Market that has a baguette that rivals Sullivan's or Tom Cat but unfortunately I can't remember the name. Ask at the "welcome" tent, they know.
Try the New Orleans Cake Cafe on Chartres in the Marigny sometime to see if there's
something they do that you'll like. I would try them on a Wed or Friday morning (challah
on Friday) and NOT over any weekend as they are just slammed.
Also in the Marigny is BInder's Bakery on Frenchmen. They do the super crispy New Orleans style po boy and french bread - not the artisanal quality of SS but great anyway.
Susan Spicer's breads....I too fondly remember her breads and that great store. She had Mario Batalli, John Besh (back in Artesia days) in for cooking demo's - just amazing. I'm remembering that the Spice Inc bread equipment got sold to Ti Martin for the Foodies Cafe venture but the recipes and branding went to Liedeheimer's. I haven't seen
Wildflour on the shelves in quite a while.
I adore the "Seeduction" loaves from Whole Foods. I haven't found any whole grain bread that is better than that one.
I hate to admit this, but in a pinch I'll run to La Madeleine's for some bread. They are obviously a huge chain, but the artisan breads aren't half-bad.
I typically get bread from Whole Foods the most often because I'll be buying some cheese there, as well.
La Boulangerie has the best pastries in the city, in my opinion! I haven't bought bread there all that often.
Also, I agree with what people are saying about the New Orleans style french bread being what you'll mostly find places, and I think for that style, it doesn't get better than Hi-Do on the westbank.
Although, I'm definitely going to try Chez Pierre.