THE PLACE: Who knew that House of Bread, purveyor of basil Parmesan loaves and cherry cheesecake wedges and some deeply righteous sticky buns, also does lunch?
But it does, a friend recently reminds me, and so late the other morning, I find myself at House of Bread (which, conveniently, lies in the same California Avenue center as my barber, my pharmacy and the best pot stickers in Reno).
THE LOOK: “Bread Baked Fresh Daily” a sign announces in cheery red letters as you enter. A rack of packaged loaves rises beneath, stacks of pink bakery boxes on top.
HOUSE OF BREAD (LUNCH)
Address: 1185 California Ave.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
On the web:www.renohouseofbread.com
There are shelves and cases filled with various confections, and while I wait to order, a baker emerges to admire the golden flanks of a round of challah.
Three small tables for two sit adjacent to the window at House of Bread, but they look to be a tight fit if filled, so it’s take-out for me.
THE MEAL: House of Bread offers a meal deal that features a sandwich, chips or cookie, and drink for $10 and change. You build your own sandwich, ticking off the components on an order slip.
Sandwich No. 1: turkey, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onion on honey whole wheat (baked in house, of course), with swipes of mustard and of a garlic pesto sauce that really makes the sandwich.
Sandwich No. 2: ham, Swiss, lettuce and tomato on an onion and cheddar un-bagel (shape of a bagel but loaf bread). There’s mayonnaise here, too, along with red pepper sauce that, like the pesto, elevates my meal.
The sandwiches are packed in brown paper lunch bags, a nice touch; I choose chips for both meal deals rather than cookies.
KUDOS: The bread, naturally. The slices and un-bagel are firm enough to provide structure but soft enough to absorb some of the condiments and tomato juice. I like an integrated sandwich.
The paper bags make it handy to carry out (and divvy up) orders for the office or other groups. In fact, the woman ahead of me takes out a half dozen sacks.
QUIBBLES: Not a quibble but reality: It’s impossible for me to visit House of Bread and simply order lunch.
I manage to resists the croissants, but the un-bagels, well, I’ve never met a bagel (un or otherwise) that I didn’t like, so a package of four comes home with me.
ALTERNATIVES: Other bread choices are grandma’s white, jalapeño jack un-bagel and the bread du jour. Other meats are roast beef, salami and a special of the week. You also can have your sandwich grilled.
RETURN TRIP?: Next time, cookies, not chips.