Winner: Bakery Lorraine
Multiple locations, bakerylorraine.com
Bakery Lorraine opened in 2011 in a small cottage on Grayson (the place now houses Jason Dady's Alamo BBQ Company), and it's likely that not even Anne Ng and Jeremy Mandrell imagined they'd expand faster and farther than a batch of runaway sourdough. But with business partner Charlie Biedenharn on board, the trio has moved well beyond the prominent corner at the Pearl that the bakery next conquered. A small, similar outlet took the concept to the Medical Center area. The more tightly focused Maybelle's Donuts became a part of the mix at the nearby Pearl Bottling Department. With the recent debut of BL at The Rim on I-10 West, beer and wine were added to the original menu — itself much expanded over the years to encompass much more than pretty-in-pastel macarons. Breakfast offerings include banana toast with indulgent whipped cream, a kind of morning dessert, and savory bread pudding with ham, spinach and cheese. Yes, there's the obligatory quiche expected of a bakery. But, bakery also implying bread, there are ultra-stuffed sandwiches such as the irresistible Cuban with roasted pork loin and the offbeat but excellent roasted cauliflower with marinated shiitakes and Fontina. A grilled cheese sandwich incorporates comte, chevre, Fontina and apricot jam. Bacon can be had for an additional two bucks. Go ahead and have it — though not if it stops you from leaving with a peanut butter chocolate chip or Mexican hot chocolate cookie in hand.
2. La Panaderia
3. Bird Bakery