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Madonia Brothers Bakery

jhopp217 Jun 14, 2010 11:41 AM

I have long questioned the wonderful hoopla surrounding Arthur Ave breads. A friend got a whole bunch for a weekend away and couldn't stop talking about it. On another post of mine from a while back I mentioned I grew up on bread from Camarari's in Brooklyn and to me that has been what I compare all others too. My friend got three different kinds. Provolone Bread, Olive Bread, and Semolina.

Provolone - if a bowling ball was edible this would be it. To me it tasted like the pieces of wonder we'd press together like silly puddy as a kid. Provolone taste? I didn't get any. Many people said it was delicious, but most agreed, a bite was about all you could handle.

Olive Bread - some pieces had one olive, some had about 10. those were almost too salty to swallow. The bread wasn't as dense, but too dense to do anything but rip a few bites off of. And it's not like you could make a sandwich with this, because the olives were too overpowering.

Semolina - no Camarari's, but delicious. Perfect for wrapping an Italian sausage off the grill in (which I did). Delicious crust, which was just right, not chewy, not stale. Best of the bunch.

I'm always willing to try anything, but I was left unimpressed by the breads as a whole, although I'd love some semolina to soak up the juices from my roasted pork lunch!

Madonia Brothers Bakery
2348 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458

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  1. janie RE: jhopp217 Jun 14, 2010 12:48 PM

    they have an amazing freshly filled cannoli there. ---have you tried Addeo Bakery? Their semolina bread was good.

    Addeo Bakery
    2372 Hughes Ave, Bronx, NY 10458

    1. erica RE: jhopp217 Jun 14, 2010 02:15 PM

      Although I, too, have been unimpressed by the breads on AA, I will say Madonia does make one bread that I think it absolutely stellar. Surprisingly for this type of bakery, that bread is the multi grain loaf, which comes in two shapes--vaguely round and vaguely long. For this bread alone I would walk many blocks.

      4 Replies
      1. re: erica
        Striver RE: erica Jun 14, 2010 04:23 PM

        Madonia's multi grain is exceptional - and the provolone bread is one of my favorites with this caveat: it MUST be cut thick and toasted. That brings out the provolone flavor, and with a little salted butter, makes a great piece of toast.

        IMO, distinctly better regular breads can be found both at Terranova (which, AFAIR, has a coal oven), and Addeo's (where I believe Roberto gets the bread for his restaurants, and a fine bread it is). Addeo's also makes my favorite lard bread.

        1. re: Striver
          erica RE: Striver Jun 15, 2010 07:27 AM

          Striver thanks for those tips. I have been buying the double choclate biscotti (chocolate in the dough and then dipped in chocolate) at Madonia but am open to suggestions on who in the area has the best biscotti (especially chocolate versions).

          1. re: Striver
            jhopp217 RE: Striver Jun 15, 2010 08:20 AM

            I've had lard bread once and can't remember where, but it was heavenly!

          2. re: erica
            jhopp217 RE: erica Jun 15, 2010 08:19 AM

            I've heard the multi-grain is their best!

          3. b
            bob96 RE: jhopp217 Jun 14, 2010 03:35 PM

            I've never bewn a fan of anyone's "speciality" breads, but Madonia's semolina is fine. Addeo makes a very nice whole wheat pane di casa; for much more rustic and memorable bread, go east a few blocks on 187th St to Terranova. Superb bread and foccaccia, and as it might be in a small town in Basilicata.

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