Best Bread - 2006
German Bread Haus
When it comes to the staff of life, Europe rocks. If you're looking for something awesome with which to mop up your gravy, go straight to the Italians, the French, and the Germans. While the first two favor a crusty, airy loaf, the German version is typically too heavy to carry one-handed. It's also lugubrious in mood, slightly sour in flavor, and best when heavily buttered -- much, come to think of it, like the national character. Deiter and Norma Dauer, who've owned the German Bread Haus for 20 years -- that tiny gingerbread-looking concoction you've passed a thousand times on Commercial Boulevard -- import some of their flours from Germany and offer several entirely organic loaves studded with seeds and nuts (like their popular Jogger's Loaf, Survival Power, and other multigrains also sold at Whole Foods) in addition to classic German wheat-rye mixes, sourdough, sweet raisin-inflected stuten, Christmas stollen, and a cornucopia of rolls to fill Little Red Ridinghood's basket. They'll let you stand and taste (heavily buttered) samples for as long as it takes you to make up your mind. And by that time, you'll be packing up cherry strudels and bags of ginger and pepper nut cookies too.