Wednesday, January 16, 2002

La Brea Breads add to area choices

        Unlike just a few years ago, there are now plenty of baguette and artisan bread choices in the Tristate. But there's always room for another quality loaf or two.

        When HoneyBaked Ham opened its cafe near the intersection of Fields Ertel and Mason-Montgomery roads in December, the company brought in La Brea Bakery breads from California to wrap around its spiral-sliced ham and smoked turkey. Founded in 1989 in Los Angeles by chef Nancy Silverton, La Brea has earned a reputation for making some of the best artisan breads in the country.

        Although the La Brea loaves are shipped frozen, they pop out of the HoneyBaked ovens fresh and robustly flavored: The roasted garlic bread is studded with chunks of smoky, sweet cloves, the olive oval is swirled with seductively rich bits of cured olives and the whole grain is firm and toothsome with healthy grains.

        HoneyBaked Cafe offers the La Brea breads on sandwiches or whole loaves (staff will slice it for you) to go. Other varieties include Italian round, rosemary olive oil, seeded rye and pecan raisin. The bread costs $1.99-$5.99 per loaf.

        Note La Brea breads are only available at the HoneyBaked Ham Co. and Cafe location (12170 Mason-Montgomery Road, Symmes Township; 583-8792).

— Chuck Martin


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