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Feb 13, 2010 05:33 AM

Best French Bread in MSP

See below for info copied info from the General Midwest Archives in response to a similar question.

I personally like the Rustica baguettes. However, a friend wants excellent French bread for her elderly mother, who LOVED the Trung Nam loaves with the "shattery" crusts and the softer interior, which are great for anyone elderly with dental issues. But I believe Trung Nam is now closed :0( (I will try to verify this next time I drive past it.)

So here's the question: Where can one find a loaf of French bread similar to that which Trung Nam made?

***You might enjoy Rustica's offerings. 46th and Bryant Ave (although they are moving later in the Fall).

*** If you're open to small loaves (and they may actually have long ones, but I'm not sure), you should try Trung Nam - they do it Vietnamese style (I think this may involve using a bit of rice flour) so they get an extra crisp exterior.

Do pick up a croissant while you're there, too. May I recommend coconut?

* Trung Nam French Bakery
739 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104

***It's an old standby, but I love the baguettes and ciabatta from New French Bakery.

When I lived nearby, I bought the day old to make strata for breakfast. Many grocers now feature their take and bake breads. A baguette lasts about thirty seconds around my house with fresh tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Good stuff.

***IMHO, Rustica makes the best Baguette. I purchase from them either at Coastal Seafood (Mpls) or Seward Coop. Half the time I am biting the end off the baguette during the drive home.

It is probably difficult to reproduce this at home. I believe most bakers will use steam ovens for these types of breads.

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  1. TRUNG NAM IS STILL OPEN. I just called and a man answered the phone and he told me they are open Mon-Sat, 8am-1pm. They are going to be closed this week for Tet (as are many Vietnamese restaurants in the Twin Cities and elsewhere) but Trung Nam is alive and well and open for business.

    Also, if you find any threads out there in the archives that you think are worth having moved to our shiny, new MSP board, just "report" it as off topic and put a comment in there asking for the thread to be moved to the MSP board. The mods will usually move it for you. I've done that on a couple already and it works quite smoothly. It's a heck of a lot easier than having to cut and paste all of the text from the old threads into a new one. Sorry you had to go to all of that trouble!


    1 Reply
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      They've closed for a week or 2 annually. They were open last time I drove by - which was w/in the past 2 weeks.

    2. Their bread is also available and many of the Asian Grocery Stores. I know that they have it at Shuang Hur. It sometimes is not as fresh, but the hours available are better.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ibew292

        YOU GUYS RULE! Thank you so much for these responses. I am so happy to learn that T.N. is still open.

        FYI---I love their Vietnamese sandwiches :0)


        p.s. Dairy Queen---Thanks for the tip on moving threads.

      2. I don't know where the best place is. Maybe Panera or even Byerly's/lunds. But you definitely can't get anything decent at Franklin Street Bakery-1020 E Franklin Avenue in Mpls. That place is horrible. Horrible baguettes and probably everything else too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: alpa chino

          Alpa Chino - have you tried anything else from Franklin St Bakery, or just the baguette? I've been shopping there for years and have had nothing but delicious, fresh, breads, pastries, and cakes.

          1. re: SmartCookie

            I've had all the baguettes, french-sourdough-etc. And I think I might've tried a pastry of some sort. For a professional bakery, it's cheap but the quality is not good at all. That's my opinion. I was not impressed.

            Oh, I think that Wuollet makes a quality product. Don't know about the baguette though. The cakes are magnificent.

        2. I agree with the OP...Rustica makes the best baguette by far in the twin fact maybe further than that. It reminds me of several from Paris that I had a year ago when I was there for a week. Also, for $2.25 its about the same price...aka reasonable.

          They have amazing white bread too (pain de mie)....actually haven't had a bad one.

          Satly Tart was good..but not as good...