One of the only respites from the sweltering D.C. summer has been the farmer's market. I can put up with the heat and humidity, as long as I believe that the vegetables I buy at market are going to be better for it! This past Saturday, after picking up a few yellow peaches (which were not mealy and very sweet, contrary to what I've come to expect from years of supermarket peaches) and some zucchini and swiss chard (the latter of which later went into two very delicious ham, swiss and chard omelettes), I was feeling a little thirsty, so I decided to walk across the street to Heller's bakery to get an iced coffee.
I've been wanting to go to Heller's ever since we moved here late last summer. The green awning reminded me of a little bakery in Northfield, MN where M and I used to get pastries occasionally. Once inside and forced to wait in line, it occurred to me that I should try out their baked goods (since it was a bakery, after all!). M had requested bagels to go with some cream cheese that we had leftover from making maki sushi (yes, I do make *that* kind of sushi sometimes), so I ordered a half dozen and waited for my coffee. Then, halfway out the door, I realized that duh, bakery bread would be much better than Bestway or Safeway bread, so I waited in line again and ordered a loaf of wheat (the price for a loaf of wheat, at $2.25, was about the same as it would be anywhere else, even Trader Joe's). The nice man behind the counter even asked me if I wanted it sliced! (I said, of course!)
Later, as we bit into the first slice while making omelettes, I was so glad I stopped by! The wheat bread was incredibly fluffy and soft in the middle, with a really chewy dark crust. It didn't need hardly any toasting (or butter, for that matter). Next time I might get it unsliced because the slices were a little too thin for such a fluffy bread. Then the next morning we tried the bagels. They were huge, for one thing, and decently chewy. M, who is more picky about his bagels than I am, approved. I found our bread source! Hurray! It's so exciting to find a good local place, especially for bread!
I'll have to go back and try their pastries; they also had something that looked like fat squares of bread pudding topped with lemon filling that interested me.