Coast Cuisine - February 2016
Serious Bread Making Serious Sandwiches
The Bay's favorite bakery raises the art of sandwich making to a whole new level with scrumptious combos layered between slices of their own bread.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Lisa Monti and Ellis Anderson
On a recent dreary weekday, when a hot grilled sandwich seemed like the perfect comfort food, I doubled down on The Works: Black Forest ham, Fontina, the fresh pesto, salty olives and rich sun dried tomatoes on Al’s Roasted Sunflower Seed bread.
The sandwich was crisped in a panini press (using olive oil, not butter) and served with a pickle slice and a bag of Lay’s potato chips, a classic accompaniment. Depending on availability and your preferences, the sandwich ingredients vary, but you know the bread and everything in between will be good and tasty.
Turns out The Works is a runaway favorite with Old Town workers who order their panini to go.
Back to those carryout items. The deep green pesto is a swirl of fresh basil, walnuts, garlic, sea salt, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The spicy hummus (garbanzo beans, extra-virgin olive oil, tahini, garlic, cumin, sea salt, fresh lemon juice and just a bit of red pepper flakes).
You’re probably familiar with Serious Bread’s chicken salad, made with freshly roasted chicken, apples, almonds and cranberries, but maybe not with tabouli, a Lebanese salad blending bulgur wheat, feta, tomatoes, black olives, green onions and cilantro.
Another big seller, and also new to the menu, are the delicious energy bars. “We can’t keep them in the store,” said Janet Densmore, a seller of breads and sweets behind the counter.
The bars are made of dried fruits, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, oats, coconut, almonds, pecans, flax seed, sesame seed and honey. Like everything made at Serious Bread, they’re all natural.
It’s been a dozen or so years since the Jensens started making Serious Bread and selling it at farmer’s markets. Lucky for locals (and visitors), for the past two years, they have an Old Town home at 131 Main Street.
Al, a retired oceanographer long known as "The Breadman," was a lifelong fan of sourdough and after he started baking his own bread, he and Vivian traveled to bread classes all over the country.
Between operating the Old Town storefront and working various farmer's markets, the Jensens and their crew stay busy making and selling all those great artisan sourdough breads, double chocolate brownies, cinnamon rolls, scones, and a variety of muffins and cookies. Their famous flatbreads are available in their cafe on weekends and on farmer's market days.
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