Friday, September 5, 2014

Bakery Review: La Brea Bakery, Downtown Disney

La Brea Bakery - visited August 30, 2014
While I was in Anaheim for the half marathon, I was hanging out – of course – around Disneyland. Since I wasn’t running the 10K, I had all day Saturday to kill. One of my fitness friends was running the 10K and we agreed to meet at Disneyland after the race so we could go on a few rides that morning. The park didn’t open until 9 am and while I was waiting for her to finish, shower and head over to the park, I treated myself to breakfast at La Brea Bakery at Downtown Disney.

I had heard of Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery and even have one of her cookbooks but they’re primarily in Southern California so I’d never been to one before.  The lines were fairly long as people who’d completed the 10K and their supporters were at the park early, also killing time before the parks opened. But, like all lines in the Disney sphere, they’re handled very efficiently and fairly quickly. The Downtown Disney location is separated into the formal café/restaurant part (longer wait for a table) and an “Express” section where you place your order at the counter, they prepare it, hand it over after some minutes and you find your own seating in their outdoor patio area or elsewhere.

I hadn’t eaten but wanted protein so I opted for a ham, egg and cheese panini.  I knew La Brea Bakery was known for its bread so I definitely wanted something with bread so I could try it. I also got what looked like a “downtowner” which is what Gayle’s Bakery in Santa Cruz calls a cinnamon-roll-shaped puff pastry rolled in cinnamon sugar. Gayle’s version is light and flaky but unfortunately, La Brea’s was not. I think if I’d been able to eat it warm, I would’ve liked it better since I’m partial to warm bread. But, at room temperature, it was more dense and a bit dry. It had a drier texture than a typical cinnamon roll so I opted to just eat the center coil. Even that would’ve been better warm.

The panini though was served warm and it was delicious. There’s not much that can go wrong with ham, egg and cheese, especially when you’ve woken up early and hadn’t eaten for 3 hours. Even so, it was a good (and filling) way to start the day. Loved the bread they used for it too.

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