The No. 6 cucumber with turkey on birdman bread
There are few things that affirm my desire to live more than the smell of a bakery. Add to that aroma the visual gratification of an open format kitchen, the kind that allows seriously deranged kneading voyeurs like your author to really ball their vicarious fists into those pliant mounds of dough, and the result is nearly narcotic. It should come as no surprise then, that I took a shine to Broadway Daily Bread on DeZavala.
Next to Ayala & Associates Driving School and across the street from Clark High School, Broadway Daily Bread sits in a nondescript flat of buildings, distinguished only by its baby blue awning and beleaguered, perpetually over-packed parking lot. Tables line the window and classroom-sized seating area on the south side of the counter, though everything on the other side belongs to the bakers.
There they turn out daily breads, such as whole wheat, white, and their iconic birdman, a seeded creation that houses sunflower, flax, millet, poppy seeds; they also produce daily specials such as tomato basil, jalapeño cheddar sourdough, and cinnamon raisin walnut, among many others. Though their breads are phenomenal in themselves (something the vanishing trial slices at the register will attest to), the starch’s true calling is to become a sandwich.
Broadway keeps it simple, offering only eight menu options, though alterations are permitted. In fact, after discovering to my chagrin that the chicken salad stores were cashed on a Tuesday afternoon, I quickly audibled into a No. 6 cucumber sandwich ($8.00), add chicken and avocado. I chose the birdman bread, and found myself biting into a sandwich with bread so soft, lettuce and tomato so clean and fresh, and avocado so lovingly adorned with cracked pepper, that in an instant, I remembered all the elegance a simple, bright, well-executed sammie can yield.
The No. 7 TBA on white bread
My lunch companion, who ordered the No. 7 TBA ($8.25), found himself echoing similar astonishment. Though never one to idolize bacon, I found myself plucking it from between its white, pillowy bookends and examining the 2-inch chunk for clues to its intensely porcine flavor. Crunchy, softly salty, and performing gustatory miracles alongside the sandwich’s herbed mayo, the balance of textures, tastes, and scents was precise. Both sandwiches were minimalist, but their shortage of components only highlighted each ingredient’s quality.
The service was efficient and friendly, showing great patience as I quibbled over my order and then genuine pride when I complimented the food. The seating area hummed with locals enjoying a quick lunch in the bright, pleasantly buzzing background, all while the bakers kept at it in the back, punching, pulling, stretching, and slapping their manicured dough into proper form, knowing full well that their bread has high expectations to live up to.
5011 DeZavala Road, (210) 697-0020.
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