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Jun 14, 2012 07:59 PM

Crust Bakery (Fenton) > Zingerman's (Ann Arbor) [Michigan]

Apparently The French Laundry used to source (most or all of?) their baked goods from Zingerman's but now they have their own bakery a block away called Crust. We've tried pies, cakes, cookies, french pastries, ham/cheese croissants, bistro style sandwiches they call "toasts", gourmet doughnuts. EVERYTHING HAS BEEN AMAZING, seriously. I'd eat at Zingerman's once a week during college and Crust puts them to shame - with much friendlier pricing. Congrats to the owners for the effort a new bakery of this scale and quality must take. I highly recommend the stop if you're traveling thru Fenton via US-23, or if traveling via I-75, Crust/Fenton is down Grange Hall Rd exit #101.

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  1. Interesting. While I have no doubt that Crust does, in fact, do quality breads and such, it would be astonishingly hard to top the Jewish Rye bread that Zingerman's produces for their sandwiches. Yes, it's very high in price, but by far, it's my favorite part of the corned beef sandwich I had. Sheer "A" (and very possibly "A+") territory, but I look forward to Crust trying to dethrone them!

    6 Replies
    1. re: boagman

      I have to be honest, I'm not a huge bread girl. But we certainly haven't noticed any drop off in quality on the sandwiches they serve at The Laundry (which used to feature Zingerman's bread). The bread they sell in the bakery does look amazing, and I can't imagine it distances itself from the quality of everything else I've had. The place is truly amazing. Completely blown away to find such a bakery in Fenton of all places.

      1. re: leahfitz

        Oh, that might explain it somewhat. I'm a *huge* bread guy, and when I tried Zingerman's my expectations weren't just surpassed, they were blown away. It's always amazing to me when a new high water mark is made in *any* food category, but after, what, 38 years? To have my bread threshold raised in such a way was mind-blowing.

        Don't worry: I'm sure that Crust does a very, very good bread, and I hope to try it soon. It would please me to the Nth degree if their bread was even 75% as good as Zingerman's...and maybe it is! Here's hoping. Heck, here's hoping it's even *better*!

      2. re: boagman

        Yep, some things Zingermans bakehouse does, their Jewish Rye in particular, is stellar. Other things not so much. I'm not paying $4 for a croissant. I do like Zingerman's innovation, but damn get your prices down holmes.

        1. re: charlesbois

          Zingerman's prices became obscene. I'll pay $15 for a sandwich I would share with my boyfriend, but $4 croissants and $80 carrot cakes are outrageous. The croissants at Crust have delicious turkey or ham and high quality cheese in them for something like $3 and a quarter. I think the plain croissants are maybe $2.

          1. re: leahfitz

            And see, that $15 sandwich? It was only decent for me. Of all the ingredients, the bread was the best thing, and most everything else (while still being of extremely high quality) wasn't as good as I'd hoped, while the pickle was just...just awful.

            But oh...that bread. Legendary. Worth the price of admission just for that discovery.

          2. re: charlesbois

            "but damn get your prices down holmes."

            This is not the Zingerman's way. ;)

        2. I have been there twice now and items that I would buy again include the lemon scones, spicy Mexican chocolate cupcakes, and some of their cookies. I haven't tried any of their breads yet so I can't comment on the quality though they look really good, as do all of their baked goods. I definitely plan to go back again so I can try more items. One word of warning - they only accept cash though there is an ATM inside. It's definitely worth the trip to Fenton.

          1. I've only had their cookies - and they were pretty amazing!

            Are they making bagels as well? Zingermans Bagels would be hard to beat.

            Editted to add ....Oh yes, for those in Clarkston area (closer then Fenton for many), there is a little store across from Rudy's market downtown (forget the name) that carries Crust products. I'm sure they would bring in whatever anyone requested.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Markcron

              Their bagels are called "bailys", which Google tells me is basically a baked -- instead of boiled -- bagel. They were phenomenal.

              1. re: leahfitz

                Bialys? Do they have onion bialys? Be still my beating heart. I haven't had a good bialy in YEARS. I may have somewhere to go tomorrow. I will bring my own butter.

                1. re: missmind

                  Pretty sure they make 3 or 4 varieties daily. I think one of them was onion.

              2. re: Markcron

                The place in Clarkston is called Essence on Main!

                1. re: Jack Freeman

                  My parents live on Oakhurst in Clarkson but I've never heard of that place. At first I thought you were talking about the donut shop across the street from Ruby's. Is Essence new? I just checked their website out and it looks like a lunch deli, but it doesn't list anything from Crust. Are just their sandwiches served on Crust bread or do they stock pastries?

                  1. re: leahfitz

                    No it is not the donut shop which is still in existence.
                    When Essence opened I did not think they would last - it is a small place with some fancy grocery items and a very small selection of deli stuff.
                    But it has been open over a year now.
                    I don't know about the sandwiches (but I assume they are on Crust bread) - there is a big sign out front that says "Now serving Crust breads" or something like that.

                2. re: Markcron

                  Compare their bagels, please, to New York Bagel in Ferndale.

                  1. re: boagman

                    Never had the NY Bagels - will have to try, but it could be awhile since I don't get to ferndale often

                3. A friend that lives in Fenton, swears that both French Laundry and Crust Bakery, are owned by Zingermann's.

                  Anyone else heard that?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: rainsux

                    hard to believe Ari wouldn't put his unmistakeable stamp on a successful business

                    1. re: rainsux

                      Negative. The Laundry and Crust Bakery are owned by Fenton locals. The confusion probably arose from serving all of their sandwiches on Zingerman's bread and selling Zingerman's wholesale pastries in the restaurant bake shop. But since the opening of Crust, they don't import anything from Zingerman's. I am shocked how quickly Crust started producing such great baked items. There didn't seem to be any opening jitters.

                      1. re: leahfitz

                        Thank you, both. I was surprised that Ari/Z would miss an opportunity burn their brand on
                        a new outpost ... that ain't exactly in a mainstream geography.

                    2. I have tried only one style of bread from Crust and only once: The egg bread.

                      It was similar to a commercial airy white bread colored by yellow dye #7(I’m making up the # 7).

                      Having eaten egg bread every week of the first 18 years of my life, made by my grandmother, and now made by the Jewish women in our synagogue, I feel comfortable in saying this not good bread.

                      As I said I have not tried other breads from Crust so no comment on those.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: au lait

                        Odd. You should tell them the next time you're in. Perhaps you got a bad loaf? Your experience is in such contrast to all of mine I bet they would love to hear your constructive criticism and you'd prob leave with a free loaf.