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?
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
***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. http://www.newfrenchbakery.com/
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.
I agree with the OP...Rustica makes the best baguette by far in the twin cities....in 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...
re: alpa chino
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.
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!