Exterior Breads Bakery, retail area, and co-owner Gadi Peleg
Yesterday was an unusually gorgeous Saturday, especially with the recent onslaught of snow a few days ago. Walking around Manhattan was both a joy yet distressing from the tourists and New Yorkers alike crowding on the streets, as I did not anticipate Union Square to be that crowded until late spring or summer.
Beyond my typical weekly walk through the farmers’ market, I recalled reading about Breads Bakery and curious to drop by since it’s steps away from Union Square. This place is a spacious bakery that has a take-out section in the front and there’s seating toward the middle and the back.
Breads Bakery is co-owned by Gadi Peleg (photographed above), who brought the Israeli-born, Denmark raised, head baker Uri Scheft to this warm, comforting bakery in New York City. Mr. Scheft created a cult following with Lehamim Bakery in Tel Aviv, Israel – and I can see (or I should taste) why.
Various breads and almond croissants at the bakery
Once I stepped into the crowded retail/take-out area, I was immediately hit with the wonderfully delicious, warm scent of freshly baked bread and there was an employee posted at a nearby table slicing samples of freshly baked olive sticks and sesame ficelle. I was informed that the bakery bakes multiples times throughout the day rather than just the morning or twice a day.
Mini pear tarts and almond marzipan tarts
I’ve had their sublime mini pear tarts and almond ($2.95). The buttery, crumbly, shortbread-like crust filled with a balanced filling of sweet, luscious pears. The almond tarts were delicious, especially from the crunchy texture from the flaked almonds.
Loving what the bakery has to offer, cannot resist getting a few items for friends and family to have. Obviously, since I was surrounded by all the tantalizing baked goods, it’s hard to pick just one thing! The tantalizing freshly rolling racks of baked almond croissants, sheet pans filled of their highly acclaimed “best chocolate babka” by New York Magazine, and various bread loaves. How can a carb-phile choose? Instead of just picking one, I managed to lug a bag of freshly baked goods home.
Their freshly baked baguette ($5) was literally baked two hours prior – and I was haunted by its delicious aroma while I was taking the subway home. The baguette was crusty and its crumb was incredibly moist and dense.
The cereal bread ($7) was dense and delicious. You might associate this loaf of bread as “healthy” but healthy never tasted so good.
Moving toward the sweeter spectrum, the chocolate rugelach ($1.50 each) were simply divine. Buttery, flaky and filled with lots of chocolate. It’s the most richest rugelach I ever had.
The almond croissant ($4.25) was decadent as well. Buttery, crisp and flaky, filled with a creamy, almond pastry cream.
As much as I liked the aforementioned sweets, their chocolate babka ($9.95) definitely steals the show. I have eaten my fair share of babkas and this loaf is my current favorite in New York City (makes absolute sense why New York crowned them as the best bakba). The buttery, wispy layers of laminated bread and intertwined with hefty amounts of crumbly chocolate filling. It was bliss eating it – and I wish I didn’t have to share it.
I will definitely visit Breads Bakery soon as the staff is friendly, the space feels welcoming, and of course, all their baked goods are divine.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):
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18 E 16th St (between Union Square West and 5th Ave)
New York, NY 10003