I recently gave a positive report, one perhaps influenced by the opening cocktail of heroic proportions, and certainly by the company, on La Ferme. Remarkably, it was the first time for all four of us, even though both we and La Ferme have shared the neighborhood for decades. Here’s a report on another longstanding favorite that I’ve neglected, Bread and Chocolate.
I had been to Bread and Chocolate for breakfast off and offer over the years, but was put off that they offered only scrambled eggs at breakfast, and not fried. They certainly offer good breads (and pastries which I try to avoid), but there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of high calories and big aggressive flavors that have long grabbed me. Passing by daily and seeing people enjoying their meals eventually wore away the stone, however, and Nancy and I decided to go there and take Lily for a breakfast treat on the occasion of her 3 1/2 birthday.
Lily chose her own breakfast. (This was around Halloween.)
I was all set to order an omelet but suddenly chose a quiche Lorraine ($11.99), shown here in progress.
Lily enjoyed her cookie, and I was very impressed by the quiche. It tasted good, but what really impressed me was its exceptional creaminess. It was on the order of a flan. The quiche came with a nice pretty standard salad, but the quality of the quiche lured me back a few weeks later to try another dish that had been on my mind.
I’d heard much about a Middle Eastern/Magreb dish, shakshuka, eggs in a tomato-based sauce. I’d tried the version at the Tazza Cafe (great pizza!), and to say I was disappointed in it would be an understatement — bland and flavorless. Now, bland and flavorless and Magreb don’t compute, so I’d been on the lookout for another version. As it happened, Bread and Chocolate offers shakshuka. Impressed by their quiche, to Bread and Chocolate I went.
I was greeted with smiles and chose a seat on the line of banquettes to the left as you enter, facing the display of baked goods. Nothing could be more calculated to improve an appetite.
I ordered the shakshuka ($14.59), and it arrived in good time, steaming, and smelling delicious.
It was a generous portion, with the eggs nicely poached and suitably runny, and accompanied by two thick slices of country bread, fresh and warm from a light toasting.
The sauce was well seasoned, including with some Middle Easternish herbs I couldn’t identify, and with what appeared to be ground meat but which I’m informed was not — the dish is meatless. At any rate, when the egg yolk merged with the sauce… delicious! The dish was full of flavor, spiced but not hot and good enough that I ignored the butter (!) and dressed the bread with the sauce. This was a fine meal at a reasonable price.
The meal raised shakshuka several notches in my estimation, and my two visits raised Bread and Chocolate high in my estimation. Indeed, this Blog has made me pay much closer attention to the food I’m eating, more sensitive to the various flavors and to balance, and more thoughtful about what it is that makes me enjoy something. I now appreciate more subtle flavors, and the Blog has broadened my tastes as well as my waistline You now can count me as a fan of Bread and Chocolate. Come join our merry band.
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