BEST BREAD - 2004
Bakery on Grand
We're sure that Bakery on Grand has the best bread in town--just, we refuse to pick which bread exactly. There are many to choose between! The baguette happens to be so airy, so weighty, so filigreed, so robust, so very full of holes and yet also full of the heavy substance of bread that if you told us that it was not made like regular bread but in fact crocheted, we would believe you. A crocheted baguette? You have to see it to believe it. The épi, the "pain d'épi," too, you have to see to believe: This thing is a wreath, a sunburst of bread petals, a bread made to resemble the head of a stalk of wheat, bent into a circle, and it's so beautiful you can almost resist pulling it into its constituent petals and slicing into them for fancy, fancy bread-and-butter sandwiches. The brioche--rich, custard-scented and egg-yellow--is another marvel. It also makes toast fit for the Queen of England, and French toast fit for anyone you love enough to stand over the stove for. The semolina is another in this Super Friends-style allegiance of mega-stars. It's as sturdy as a house, heavy as a promise, and hearty as Tarzan--rap on it with your knuckles and its chest thump-thump-thumps with just that noise. And if you think it's weird to rap with your knuckles on a bread, try it with some lesser bakery's bread sometime. You know what you'll hear? Nothing. Nothing but squishy silence.