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Is there any really good bread out there?

v
vvv03 Oct 27, 2011 07:31 AM

I don't know if I am incredibly picky or if there really isn't a great bread bakery in Manhattan (or Brooklyn for that matter.) In particular, a really nice, fresh, crusty baguette. Ideally I'd like the place to smell like they had just baked it. It's not an atmosphere thing, it simply assures me that it was baked recently and not transported from elsewhere.

In terms of neighborhoods, at this point I just want to know where the great stuff is. But I work in Flatiron area, my husband is around Wall Street, so the vicinity of those areas is ideal. I go to Eataly when desperate, but frankly their bread sucks. It's heavy and the crust is tough and they do this weird thing with too much flour on top. I'm looking for a light, flaky, happy crust and delicious inside.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

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Eataly
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

  1. asiansupper Oct 30, 2011 04:06 PM

    I like Sullivan St's Filone -- even though it's not a baguette it has that 'empty' crusty sensation -- but overall I'm agreed with you, OP, not enough good bread in this town. And Eataly's bread is awful.

    And while I'm complaining, the croissant situation is bad, too. Nearly all croissants sold in the city are doughy, barely cooked hunks.

    -----
    Eataly
    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    2 Replies
    1. re: asiansupper
      k
      kathryn Oct 30, 2011 08:26 PM

      Have you tried Mille-Feuille lately?

      1. re: kathryn
        asiansupper Nov 13, 2011 09:28 PM

        No ... thanks for the tip, will check it out

    2. Peter Cuce Oct 30, 2011 11:30 AM

      Have you tried Petrossian? I used to think their baguettes were the best, but it's been a few years since I had them.

      -----
      Petrossian
      182 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

      1. k
        kathryn Oct 29, 2011 08:50 PM

        I like Pain D'Avignon's a lot, especially if it's a little toasted/warmed up.

        Amy's Bread and Balthazar and Tom Cat are OK.

        I thought Sullivan Street's to not have enough fluffy inside. Too skinny!

        Related:
        http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/0...

        -----
        Sullivan Street Bakery
        533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

        Balthazar
        80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

        Amy's Bread
        672 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

        Pain D'Avignon
        120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

        1 Reply
        1. re: kathryn
          Delucacheesemonger Oct 30, 2011 12:05 AM

          And there is the difference. l want only the crust. When l walk into a bakery in Paris to get a chunk of bread off a huge loaf, a giant rectangle, l always ask for the 'croute', which means l get the the corner with the double crust. When l buy a baguette here always scoop even the minimal fluffy, as you call it, out of the crust. In the same way always get flagels not bagels. New York is the only place in the US, San Francisco included, that has bread like that. For me, Sullivan Street offers the same bread l search out in Paris.

        2. Delucacheesemonger Oct 29, 2011 05:20 AM

          Balthazar has a great miche, Sullivan St almost everything. Amy's semolina/raisin, tomcat baguette, Pain d'Avignon has a super raisin walnut.

          1. g
            gutsofsteel Oct 28, 2011 08:14 PM

            Les Ambassades makes a decent baguette. Harlem.

            -----
            Patisserie des Ambassades
            2200 8th Ave, New York, NY 10026

            2 Replies
            1. re: gutsofsteel
              rose water Oct 29, 2011 03:02 AM

              I (usually) love their croissants but think their baguettes are awful

              1. re: rose water
                g
                gutsofsteel Oct 29, 2011 04:00 AM

                That's funny - I think their croissants are leaden and greasy and I think their baguettes are okay. But my favorite is their pain aux raisins.

            2. f
              foodlife Oct 28, 2011 08:09 PM

              Try Payard on Houston Street or Blue Ribbon Bakery market on Bedford. I also like Le Pain Quotien.

              -----
              Francois Payard Bakery
              116 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

              Blue Ribbon Bakery Market
              14 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodlife
                k
                kathryn Oct 29, 2011 08:53 PM

                Blue Ribbon Bakery Market's breads are pretty good -- of note are the bacon-onion bread, their challah, and their version of matzoh crackers.

                -----
                Blue Ribbon Bakery Market
                14 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

              2. s
                sugartoof Oct 27, 2011 12:59 PM

                Sullivan Street and Amy's both make a long rustic bread, that's similar in crumb to a sourdough with a spongey bread, and harder crust. It's the best bread I've had in NY.

                Bread Alone's rustic breads sold in wedges are also very good.

                Faila's olive bread. Only when fresh however.

                The Portuguese breads brought in from Jersey can be excellent.

                Tomcat baguettes are really good.

                It does seem like good bread is an area really lacking lately.

                -----
                Sullivan Street Bakery
                533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

                Amy's Bread
                672 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                1. a
                  abrocadabro Oct 27, 2011 09:17 AM

                  Pain D'Avignon at the Essex Street Market. Not baked there but still fresh.

                  -----
                  Essex Street Market
                  120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

                  Pain D'Avignon
                  120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: abrocadabro
                    Wilfrid Oct 27, 2011 10:35 AM

                    I haven't had a disappointment with Pain D'Avignon yet.

                    -----
                    Pain D'Avignon
                    120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

                  2. g
                    gutsofsteel Oct 27, 2011 08:48 AM

                    A really good fresh crusty baguette is hard to find in NYC. Personally, I lime TomCat but they're a wholesaler so you are not going to find them warm. I also like Ceci Cela. Balthazar is okay too.

                    -----
                    Ceci-Cela
                    55 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                    Balthazar
                    80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: gutsofsteel
                      v
                      vvv03 Oct 27, 2011 12:15 PM

                      It's a strange absence, don't you think? Perfect opportunity for a young French breadmaker who wants to make it big in America, in case any of them are listening...

                      1. re: vvv03
                        erica Oct 27, 2011 12:47 PM

                        Very strange. But what about Sullivan Street?

                        1. re: vvv03
                          g
                          gutsofsteel Oct 29, 2011 07:42 PM

                          I happened to be at a market pretty early this morning and was there when the TomCat delivery came...baked early this morning. I got one, had some of it shortly thereafter when I got home. So this is a baguette eaten within a few hours of being baked. And this is the best in NYC - and that is a sorry state of affairs. Yes they are probably the best in NYC, but that doesn't make them good. I "like" TomCat's baguettes but when I really thought about that as I was eating this morning...what that means is that I like them relative to what's available here. It would be nice if there could be one, just one, truly good baguette made here.

                          1. re: gutsofsteel
                            Delucacheesemonger Oct 30, 2011 12:10 AM

                            imho, the baguettes in NYC are not French baguettes. Yes they are torpedo shapes of bread, but they generally are dense, heavy with chewy crusts. Here, in Paris, the baguettes are almost air filled. Huge holes is what you get when you open then. No need to slice, just a gentle knife rip along the edge and they fall open, must be a difference in baking style.

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                              n
                              Nancy S. Oct 30, 2011 10:41 AM

                              I agree. When in Paris every year I always visit the boulangeries that have been awarded "winning" status. The baguettes in NY are not comparable, and, most importantly and not fresh enough. Baguettes have an extremely short shelf life. That is why I don't buy baguettes in NY and buy chiabatta from Sullivan Street Bakery instead -- for me, it's the best substitute.

                              -----
                              Sullivan Street Bakery
                              533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                b
                                Brian W Nov 14, 2011 08:30 AM

                                My older sister's mother-in-law baked bread every day and she said that bread was denser on rainy days. The humidity in New York must have an effect on the lack of lightness in the local breads. It certainly makes Irish Soda Bread denser when it's very humid. But in that case it's a good thing.

                        2. strangemd Oct 27, 2011 08:45 AM

                          Silver Moon: 105th and Broadway. Wonderful bread.

                          -----
                          Silver Moon Bakery
                          2740 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: strangemd
                            a
                            Alan Henderson Oct 27, 2011 11:07 AM

                            Recently purchased a baguette from Silver Moon and it was of very, very poor quality. Can't speak to other items, but would definitely not recommend their baguette.

                            1. re: Alan Henderson
                              strangemd Oct 27, 2011 11:14 AM

                              I haven't really had their baguettes. Their strong suits are their loaves: sourdough, rye, Ethiopian, cheese bread, French rye, etc.
                              I must say, I've never really been wowed by anyone's baguette in NYC, but I spent my youth in Paris, so I'm spoiled.

                              1. re: Alan Henderson
                                m
                                mahler5 Oct 30, 2011 07:03 AM

                                It's their "rustic" baguette that's delicious.

                            2. erica Oct 27, 2011 07:46 AM

                              Sullivan Street Bakery; Royal Crown Bakery; Madonia Brothers in the Bronx..the 3 best in my book.

                              -----
                              Sullivan Street Bakery
                              533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: erica
                                j
                                johnindabronx Oct 27, 2011 09:18 AM

                                Addeo in the Bronx gets my vote for Italian style "boule" in the Bronx. For Jewish style bread, corn rye and a fabulous pumpernickel raisin try Orwashwer's on the OES,

                                1. re: johnindabronx
                                  erica Oct 27, 2011 10:39 AM

                                  I wish that I could love the rye at Orwasher's!

                                  What else does Addeo do well apart from the Boule and the lard bread?

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