Friday, January 15, 2010

Great Harvest Bread brings South Pasadenans their daily bread

Sandwich-sized loaves, cookies, muffins and scones, hot and cold sandwiches and soon, soups and salads are on the menu.

South Pasadena is a pretty placid place, so locals were excited to see a new addition to Mission Ave. with the opening of Great Harvest Bread, first announced last April. It's not a frou frou French bakery with baguettes and croissants; rather Great Harvest is a franchise concept (though it's locally-owned) offering freshly baked wheat and white sandwich loaves, baked goods, sandwiches and Peet's coffee. The selection of breads rotates each day with choices like cheddar garlic and raisin cinamon chip. I tried a slice of hearty, slightly sweet Dakota bread, with pumpkin and other seeds. The addition of cream cheese to a berry scone made it much moister than most scones, though I suspect a berry/apple oat bar packed an awful lot of sugar into one square. Since it's a franchise, the mix of items seems tailored pretty much to mid-America -- it would be nice to see more local food items for sale or a nod to Southern Californians' somewhat more sophisticated, healthier tastes.Opening day drew South Pasadena city council members and lots of curious locals.

Though today was the first day, Great Harvest's earthy decor and location in a historic building (next to Mission Yoga) makes it look like it's been there forever, handing out cookies to kids in strollers and providing a new spot for coffee and pastries in the morning, and sandwiches at lunch. Several tables and a few comfy chairs provide in-store seating; no word yet on whether they'll have wi-fi. Wonder if my yoga classes will now be scented with baking bread?

10 comments:

DailyChef said...

Very cool! South Pasadena is really sleepy, so good to see something new entering.

Sandy T. said...

I wasn't impressed. The bread's OK, there's not enough room. I don't think either Buster's or the far better Heirloom across the street have anything to worry about.

lynn @ the actors diet said...

this is beyond exciting for me. i have been waiting to try great harvest for a while now, having read about it on other food blogs...

Diana said...

I had no idea they were coming to Pasadena! I used to go to the location in Evanston, IL all the time in college. Their apple scrapple bread was dangerously addicting, and the scones were always perfect.

Natty said...

Oh wow, it finally opened? I was worried they were going to abandon the project for a little while there.

I haven't been to a GHB since I was in college in Pennsylvania. I remember their bread being very, very dense and heavy. Is that still the case?

Bup said...

I went there today to try their bread. I ordered their Dakota loaf, a chocolate cherry muffin and their veggie sandwich.
Having only tried the sandwich and part of the muffin so far, I have to say I LOVED the sandwich. I was a bit surprised. The bread is good, though I can find equally good bread here in the L.A. area. The muffin was good - nothing exciting.
Overall, I would definitely return if I am in the area.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care much for another bake spot in South Pasadena. What that city needs is a good bar. I'd much rather get my carbs from a really great beer than from a slice of white bread.

Rachael said...

The rosemary bread is out of this world; I really love it <3

Ellie said...

ommmmaahhhgoodness!!! FINALLY! I can try some GH bread! haha. I always wanted to try it, but had no idea you guys were in pasadena. I thought most GH stores were in the eastcoast or northern areas. :D

Diana Ou said...

This morning I had the pumpkin chocolate muffin and my friend had the blueberry scone. DELICIOUS and great service!