Monday, February 23, 2009

Good Bread in Fort Worth?

Rambler's last comments got me thinking about bread. Not that I need a comment to get me thinking about bread, but his mention of Brueger's bagels on Camp Bowie brought back fond memories of them and of the old, original La Madelaine's down the street. If asked to give up a category of food, bread would be the last that I wanted to give up. I like them all: whole wheat, rolls, biscuits, cornbread, bagels, french bread, sourdough, rye, pumpernickel, you name it, if it has flour and yeast, I like it.

Bad news: it is also the one category I think needs improving in Fort Worth. I have talked about this before, and talked critically about what used to be a real bakery, La Madelaine's, and was criticized by some for it. Bit in my opinion, La Madelaine's hasn't made a good loaf of bread in years, or since the original owner and founder sold it. Corner Bakery is only slightly better. Panera's is a great store, I love it, but their bread is average, at best. Central Market? They have a loaf or two worth buying, but do they have a local bakery style killer loaf? Not IMHO. Whole Foods has good bread for certain items, whole wheat especially. Yogi's has a good bagel. Einstein's is okay -- but we really do not have a knock your socks off bakery of any kind.

What if someone could put together a hundred thousand dollars or so and buy a little warehouse off Magnolia, put in some good bakery ovens, and start baking breads for the public and for restaurants? Put a little coffee shop in. Open at 7 close at 2. How many local Fort Worthians would find it and how fast?

I think it would be an instant success. Maybe, I'm wrong, maybe, the supermarket's inexpensive, all-taste-the same-breads drives quality out. The business of restaurants is different than the aesthetics. It could be that there just isn't enough demand for an old fashioned bread bakery.

Any thoughts?
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8 comments:

catherine said...

Love this post! That pic is making me hungry! :-)

Over here in the Mid-cities, we have family owned & operated Breadhaus. I've had a couple of friends work there over the past few years. Fabulous. I'll post the website below. Next time you're in town, you'll have to make at trip out to Grapevine... :-)

http://www.breadhaus.com/index.html

nemajo said...

Other than what we bake at home, this is where we buy our bread.

http://www.artisan-baking-company.com/index.html

Neil

Rena said...

Ditto Neil...

Francis Shivone said...

Catherine -- yes, been to Breadhaus. Great place, good bread.

Nemajo -- thanks for the Artisan link. I was not aware of this.

Anonymous said...

Gwin Grogan Grimes is the pastry instructor at the Culinary School of Fort Worth and also owns Artisan Bakery on White Settlement. She sells at the Farmers Market on the Weatherford Traffic circle when it is open and also coordinates a eat local effort. She used to sell at Eurotazza (boo hoo). The bread is great and my kids eat the croutons as a snack before I can use them in salad. She makes cookies, cinnamon rolls, breakfast breads, you name it. You have to give her a try!

Francis Shivone said...

Jake, Becca (E&W), Rambler, a little far for Catherine, but:

Ever been?

Rambler, West Mag historian said...

No, but going soon...

You do know, I trust, that one very successful bread-baking operation was already started just off Magnolia. When her husband died, a lady sold the large house and moved into smaller quarter on Washington Street. To make ends meet, she baked bread in a small shed behind the house. The shed is gone, but the house was refurbished beautifully about 5 years ago.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Open at 6, and I'm there. (7:00 is too late for some of us to get to work.)

Great idea.