Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bakery Road Trip

Seret and I went on a Baked Goods Odyssey last month, two friends in search of unusual pastries.  Seret is amazing in many ways, not the least of which is her ability to take one bite of a doughnut and toss the rest in the trash.  I, on the other hand, had no compunctions about downing every last bite of that vegetable-glazed cakey sticky .... well, let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

We'd done a bit of research, on-line and through degrees of separation from native Tucsonans with culinary talents and we had a general plan.  Once we started, though, it became obvious that we were making it up as we went along.  "OOOhhh look at that one" was all I needed to steer The Schnozz into the strip mall (it's all strip malls.... just like Long Island has become..... though I never saw a taco truck on Sunrise Highway.... but I digress...) and park in front of Ghini's Cafe.

Park in front of it.  No worries.  No meters.  My choice of spots, even without invoking my awesome parking karma.  We entered through the bakery

and began to smile.  I mean, seriously, who could resist that face?  We bought a long loaf of interconnected mini-baguettes which I really meant to photograph for you but the smell of warm bread over-powered my senses and the loaf was damaged before the picture could be taken.  Trust me, it was pretty and it was good.

Continuing down Campbell I returned her to Beyond Bread for some ice tea and memories of the lunch we'd shared there a year before.  The free samples were tempting

and the cashier was charming

but we had miles to go before we'd eat.
(sorry about that)

Long ago, talking about kids and nutrition and food in general, Seret, the best cook I know, suggested that I make a conscious decision with every bite I put into my mouth.  It's a good mantra to bring out when my mouth is hungry but my brain and my belly are full.  It's also allowed me to taste things I'd ordinarily shun.  Am I practicing mindful eating?  Is that a thing like mindful speaking.... a meditative technique involving lots more silence than I could deal with? But, yet again, I digress.

We tried to find something interesting in downtown Tucson, but that was, predictably, a failed enterprise.  We parked easily (really, why not when there's nothing there at all) and the Hotel Congress was good for a quick look/see, but the offerings at Maynards weren't that interesting so we headed further south where we found Le Cave's Bakery, right where it was supposed to be.  (Don't laugh, some of the places we tried to find could not be accessed by land nor sea, as far as we could tell.  Ask anyone who's ever tried to follow any of the numbered streets or avenues.  But again, I digress.)

Since 1935, this unassuming warehouse on a corner lot, with a dusty display window and no signage to speak of, this immaculately kept interior contains some of the world's most heavenly smells.  Remember the sticky-gooey-glazed-wonderfulness of the first paragraph?  It's called a vegetable donut and no, it's not broccoli or asparagus or carrot flavored.  Rather, it is completely vegan.  And it has been since 1935.  Why?  Because it tastes good, I guess. 

I made a conscious decision to put every single marvelous bite into my happily awaiting mouth.  I saved Seret's freebie from the trash (I'm telling you, she walks the walk) and made sure that none went to waste.  (I am not even going to the waist space..... ).  It was very mindful munching.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. The part of me who's still in high school badly needs to hear this. ^^
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