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where can i find thin sliced, sturdy bread for tea sandwiches in the east bay?

i've decided to make tea sandwiches for my daughters 3rd birthday party but was wondering where i can find thinly sliced, sturdy white and wheat bread. i've heard pepperidge farms thin sliced is good, but i haven't seen it in any supermarkets around here. does anyone know where i can find it, or alternately a bakery that can slice bread thin? i'm decidedly not handy with the bread knife, so would prefer to not hack away at it myself. i'm in berkeley.

also, would love to hear your favorite adult and kiddie sandwich combos. thanks!

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  1. I am pretty sure that Andronico's has the Pepperidge Farms bread; they also carry the "cocktail" size loaves of rye and sourdough, which also are thin-sliced and make nice tea sandwiches. Another good option is to see if Acme will slice their pain de mie for you--that is a great sandwich loaf, and seems like it would make perfect tea sandwiches, though I don't think I have seen it pre-sliced before.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Leadbelly

      I don't believe I've ever seen Pepperidge Farm bread around here. Perhaps it's not distributed in the West Coast?

      1. re: mrs bacon

        It is. I got it for tea sandwiches from the Andronico's on Solano.

        EDIT: This was about 2 years ago.

        1. re: adrienne156

          So, I happened to run in there a little while ago and while there was no Pepperidge Farms bread, there were a few different types of tapioca bread (didn't stop to really check if that was a brand or literally what it was) that was sliced thinly and quite sturdy. Have never had tapioca bread, so don't know what it actually tastes like though.

          1. re: adrienne156

            I remember buying Pepperidge Farms bread years ago, but according to the letter they sent chowfun (in the other thread) it's not available on the West Coast "due to the
            location of our plants and the limited shelf life of the bread..." Maybe they used to have a plant out here and closed it down.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              FWIW Nancy Berry posted this link to Netgrocer if you gotta have Pepperidge Farms.
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4475...

      2. Here are a few old threads on this topic: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/40334 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/417375 I think that the consensus has been that there aren't any bakeries that will slice it thin, so your best bet is to either find the Pepperidge Farm thin sliced bread, or freeze the bread first and then slice it yourself.

        1. Safeway has thinly-sliced breads in assorted varieties (I think I've seen white and rye) in their bakery department that would make great tea sandwiches. They're sold in clear plastic wrapped sleeves (similar in size to a sleeve of saltine crackers).

          They're not on the shelves with the regular sliced breads. At my Castro Valley store, they're located in baskets across from the in store-baked bagels and rolls.

          For sandwich ideas, check out the link below.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/654016

          1 Reply
          1. re: cvhound

            I used those when I had a tea party last year and I wasn't crazy about them. As they're marketed as "cocktail" bread I think they're designed to be used as a bottom layer for a canape, rather than a sandwich, so for a sandwich I found them to be a little too chewy and not delicate enough, and the flavors to be too strong.

          2. Virginia Bakery in Berkeley is where I get bread of all types for tea sandwiches. They have white, wheat and a marbled loaf that's very pretty for tea sanwiches. Have them slice it horizontally instead of vertical which makes long slices that are easy to fill and trim. For kids it's not really necessary to trim the breads anyway..but make sure to have it sliced lengthwise.

            -----
            Virginia Bakery
            1690 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

            1. I'm pretty sure Pepperidge Farms bread is only east of the rockies or something - I've never been able to find it here, although if someone has seen it, I'd love to know where to pick it up.

              I have heard that the bread at Chinese bakeries like 99 Ranch and Sheng Kee is also a good substitute. I haven't tried it myself, but I was looking for this purpose as well. The ShengKee I went to (Daly City) had a very small selection of sliced breads, an they were either flavored or widely sliced. The bakery in the 99 Ranch seemed promising - the sliced bread was thing. I don't know how they taste though.

              1. Earlier thread on finding (or not finding) Pepperidge Farm bread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/447564

                Short answer: not available on the West Coast.

                1. You might try Neldhams. I found their little snowflake rolls perfect for tiny sandwiches.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: myriamg

                    You'll have to slice yourself, but the long loaf of Acme pain de mie works really well for this.
                    You can buy it at the Acme outlet on San Pablo at Cedar.

                  2. You would have to go to South Shore Alameda, but Panera white whole grain bread is sturdy but quite tasty in an old--school white bread way, and they can do thin-sliced.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Nina

                      Thanks for that -- right down the street I'll have to check it out. For clarity, "South Shore" aka "Alameda Towne Centre" (note the pretentious spelling!).

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        At least it is not The Shoppes At Alameda Towne Centre Plaza...yet!

                    2. Just another suggestion for an alternative: Oroweat is now making a bread it calls "sandwich thins" -- about the size and shape of a hamburger bun but only half the thickness. Only comes in whole wheat, but I think it would make nice tea sandwiches cut into thirds or even quarters. http://www.sandwichthins.com/