I was spoiled living in St. Louis…just a hop, skip and jump away from what has to be on of the best bakeries in the US. 222 Artisan Bakery When we were planning our move to the Southwest…we lamented on not having access to our favorite place for cinnamon rolls..bear claws…pecan rolls….COFFEE! But, in talking with our friends, we were given a glimmer of hope. The person that taught our friends to bake the most delectable edibles set up shop in our soon to be new home. Simply Bread. Talk about luck of the Irish. Of course, the actually bakery is about 30 miles from our new house…but as if we weren’t lucky enough..the gourmet food store that Simon works at is a Simply Bread retailer. We wouldn’t get the FULL experience of Simply Bread but we would at least be able to get our hands on a decent baguette.
So, as time passed, we became accustomed to our lovely local selection of Simply Breads in our little town’s store. Not feeling the need to travel to downtown Phoenix to score our next loaf….we were happy with what we had.
But, as luck would have it again…I got lost. Yep, on the way home from dropping a friend off at the airport, my trusty TOM TOM ran out of juice. Now, I like to think I’m pretty go at directions (Simon will tell you different) I figured if I could just get to a street I recognized, I would be able to find my way home. As I turned down N. 24th St…looking at cross streets or a sign to the I-10…there it was in all it’s glory. Simply Bread! I couldn’t let this chance meeting go by without a stop in…and lucky for me it was a Monday afternoon and they were open. I parked the car in back…wondering if I should drop the names of my friends…but more curious than that…to see what else was going on inside. I walked into a small home, converted into a retail space…flanked by what looked like industrial type barns for baking. I was greeted by a lovely woman who was quick with a slice of a chocolate baguette (I could have finished the rest of the entire thing if she’d let me at it). I asked for Jeff…my friend of a friend…but he was busy working his magic in the bakery next door. No matter…I was still in awe of all of the yummy goods that were sweetly sitting in my view. Without a thought, the nice woman behind the counter phoned the bakery and I was able to make the connection I wished I’d made sooner upon arriving here in AZ. Jeff was very pleased to hear his friends had sent him a new customer and was very warm and polite during our short phone conversation…despite the fact that I most probably took him away from his work.
The conversation made me long for home…to see my friends that we both had in common…to have a warm cup of coffee and bear claw on a clear and bright Saturday morning in Edwardsville….but, Simply Bread would do for now. I left with 3 loaves of bread and little package of coconut macaroons as a special treat.
As happy as I was with my bread…words cannot describe the beauty of my little macaroons. There is another post coming soon on the coconut macaroon, itself…so I will spare you my superfluous diatribe now…but believe me when I tell you that I would drive 60 miles to get my chubby little fingers on these macaroons again….and no, I didn’t share one of them….I couldn’t resist.