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

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leahfitz Jun 14, 2012 07:59 PM

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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    boagman RE: leahfitz Jun 14, 2012 08:29 PM

    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
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      leahfitz RE: boagman Jun 14, 2012 08:44 PM

      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
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        boagman RE: leahfitz Jun 15, 2012 12:53 PM

        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
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        charlesbois RE: boagman Jun 15, 2012 07:21 AM

        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
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          leahfitz RE: charlesbois Jun 15, 2012 07:51 AM

          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
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            boagman RE: leahfitz Jun 15, 2012 12:57 PM

            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
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            boagman RE: charlesbois Jun 15, 2012 03:16 PM

            "but damn get your prices down holmes."

            This is not the Zingerman's way. ;)

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          mi2ca2mi RE: leahfitz Jun 15, 2012 07:11 AM

          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.

          http://www.crustandbeyond.com/

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            Markcron RE: leahfitz Jun 15, 2012 07:28 AM

            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
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              leahfitz RE: Markcron Jun 15, 2012 07:38 AM

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

              1. re: leahfitz
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                missmind RE: leahfitz Jun 15, 2012 07:18 PM

                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
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                  leahfitz RE: missmind Jun 17, 2012 07:50 AM

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

              2. re: Markcron
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                Jack Freeman RE: Markcron Jun 15, 2012 07:59 AM

                The place in Clarkston is called Essence on Main!

                1. re: Jack Freeman
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                  leahfitz RE: Jack Freeman Jun 15, 2012 08:08 AM

                  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
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                    Markcron RE: leahfitz Jun 18, 2012 05:08 AM

                    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
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                  boagman RE: Markcron Jun 15, 2012 12:58 PM

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

                  1. re: boagman
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                    Markcron RE: boagman Jun 18, 2012 05:08 AM

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

                3. rainsux RE: leahfitz Jun 15, 2012 01:45 PM

                  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
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                    charlesbois RE: rainsux Jun 15, 2012 05:40 PM

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

                    1. re: rainsux
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                      leahfitz RE: rainsux Jun 17, 2012 07:55 AM

                      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
                        rainsux RE: leahfitz Jun 17, 2012 01:40 PM

                        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.

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                      au lait RE: leahfitz Jun 15, 2012 02:48 PM

                      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
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                        leahfitz RE: au lait Jun 17, 2012 07:58 AM

                        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.

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                        darkom RE: leahfitz Jun 20, 2012 08:32 AM

                        http://www.mlive.com/business/index.s...

                        Congrats to the owners on winning the $37,000!

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                          Julie_S RE: leahfitz Jul 20, 2012 04:29 PM

                          Stopped in Fenton on the way up north because of this post. Thank you for the tip. Haven't tried the breads yet but the cookies and filled pastries rival any we've ever had. Took us about 15 minutes to come from 75 and then the navigation said we can hop on 23 to get back to 75. Well worth it. Hidden gem that I don't expect to stay hidden for long. It was pretty busy for mid day.

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                            Julie_S RE: leahfitz May 6, 2013 09:02 AM

                            I've been back to Crust probably a half dozen times since last summer. Blows us away every time. I went to Zingerman's last week and the croissants I got were dry & the slice of cake alone (which was nothing special) was like 8 dollars. No thanks.

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