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Oct 24, 2013 08:11 AM

A few nice places that serve bread and butter with the meal - no charge.

Nell Thorn in La Conner. And Le Pichet in Seattle.

Nell Thorn.
Very cozy place, great food and here's what they have to say about bread and butter which they give out with the meal.

"The purest form of our inspiration is kneaded into our bread. The organic flour already smells of a fresh loaf when you open a sack. This flour is mixed with water and allowed to ferment, gathering the wild yeasts and finally baked to yield a moist, crispy-crusted bread."

Diners, we have a choice. Wouldn't you rather eat at a place that has this attitude versus a restaurant that charges $3 for bread and butter with dinner?

Here's another place I love - Le Pichet.
I emailed them regarding their policy and attitude and here's their response. (They never have charged for bread)

"...our goal is to convey to our guests the hospitality and warmth of the traditional French table"

That comment about "hospitality" and "guests" sums it up. My feeling is that restaurants that don't serve bread and butter without charge DO NOT have that warm attitude about their customers. By their policies those places that charge see us and think, "How can we get another 3 bucks out of these suckers?"

The previous posts about bread and butter policy at local restaurants was moved to "Not About Food" evidently because we didn't mention names.
Now we are mentioning names.

What is your feeling about bread and butter at the table?

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  1. I would say that the place in la conner is an exception and that most places that serve bread do it as an after thought, and the bread is not good, and I'd rather they focus time and money budgets on excelling at whatever they do best. If someone else wants bread, they can pay for it.

    That said, I also love that when I want bread, I want good bread with good butter or oil, and I am more than happy to pay $3 or whatever the cost is to do so.

    That said, we got free bread at Tilikum Place Cafe on Friday. That's the only place recently I've noticed it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dagoose

      Yes, exceptional is what I like in a restaurant.
      Interesting that Nell Thorn's bread (in LaConner) was great and their food was great also.
      Too bad they aren't in Seattle.
      They would be stiff competition and raise the bar.

      1. re: dagoose

        Dagoose - OT, I know.... but how was your meal at Tilikum Place? I keep meaning to go there - I have heard good things....

        1. re: gingershelley

          I've eaten there a number of times and it is always extremely good. This most recent time was the least good, but in general it's a great option for casual, central, something to please everyone food.

      2. I have no problem paying for bread and butter. I'd rather have that then it brought to the table, unrequested and then adding to the food waste that is already so prevalent.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lauren

          Know what you mean about waste.
          These places should have a herd of pigs or chickens out back to feed the scraps to.
          Or a farmer coming by.
          I wonder if the health dept would allow?

        2. Le Pichet is French - bread is a cornerstone of a French meal. Of course they don't charge for bread:)

          5 Replies
          1. re: gingershelley

            The original place that started this tirade is a french place, Le Zinc. They served a very nice meal but their bread policy is off the charts rude - especially because it's a French place.

            1. re: JayDK

              How was Le Zinc otherwise? I'm hoping to stop by tomorrow for happy hour...

              1. re: mcmullek

                Very nice.
                Mussels with chanterelles are great.
                The cheese plate was quite small for the price.
                The bread was Grand Central and house made butter. $3.
                I understand HH is half price mussels.
                Please report back.

            2. re: gingershelley

              In France bread is never brought to the table before the meal is served. It is brought with or after the meal has been served. Also, in most restaurants, the quantity of bread is modest -2 diners merits 2 slices of baguette, 4 diners get 4 slices. Bread baskets are not refilled unless requested, and French diners rarely, if ever, ask for more. The bread is not charged for separately, but it is a modest addition to the meal, not something diners fill up with while waiting for their meal.

              1. re: twinsue

                I beg to differ, Twinsue. I had a French BF (from Paris) for several years, and both here in the states, there was a baguette EVERY day - and he could eat most of it himself. I know that is a more 'traditional' consumption pattern, rather than the modern trend - but not unusual.

                When we traveled in France multiple times, we were often served a generous bread basket, and it frequently came before we had ordered. JF would of course eat quite alot. But never had butter with his bread.

            3. I don't have a problem with charging for bread and butter so long as the bread and butter is at least very good. The cost of bread and butter (or tortilla chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants) is otherwise a pretty big overhead cost for the restaurant, which I assume is otherwise folded into the cost of other menu items. I love Cafe Juanita's bread/cracker basket (no charge)--several types of housemade breads and crackers. Divine!

              1. Hi, JayDK:

                IMO, Ray's' free rolls makes the place worth coming back to.


                1 Reply
                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Yeah, and how about the rolls at Ezells?