Superba Food + Bread
Heart La Palmera Americano
Civil War Recipe Biscuit
Vanilla Brioche Cinnamon Bun
Arriving at Venice’s Superba Food + Bread just after 7:30am, and dutifully informed at the hostess podium that breakfast does not begin until nine o’clock on weekends, I assured the young lady that would not be a problem; my interests fully invested in the fresh pastry and hot coffee at the renovated former garage from Snack Bar founder Paul Hibler and a well pedigreed culinary team. Located on Lincoln Boulevard, and oft the butt of jokes about $8 toast, a visit to Food + Bread begins by taking in the spacious design and with Fleetwood Mac on the walls while Led Zeppelin tunes are carried by light breeze blowing through open doors one cannot help but feel very “California” – the clientele of surfer-sorts, families, hipsters, and students already studying with free WiFi a sure sign of the restaurant’s wide appeal, in no doubt attributable to the quality of their goods. Admittedly hard-selling concepts of organic, sustainable, and artisan at nearly every turn it was with wide eyes that I approached the pastry counter after finding a seat and with no less than fifteen options appealing to my post-run appetite it was only through significant restraint that I selected a mere five, the addition of an Americano from my favorite coffee roaster plus tax and tip tallying a hefty $25, but not a single item unworthy of the expense. Beginning first with a delicate biscuit tinged in both butter and buttermilk from a recipe said to date back hundreds of years one would be hard pressed to decide whether this or the one from Republique is the new reference standard outside the deep South, and moving quickly to an item I’d generally not order had I not heard so many good things the “Everything Croissant” was even more compelling, the still warm laminated pastry intensely aromatic with melting cream cheese filling the yawning caverns within. At this point moving into my wheel house with a trio of sweets, a first bite of the sugar lacquered almond croissant found the shattering pastry still warm within and although I generally prefer a bit more subtlety the intense sweetness sealed in the double-baked beauty was exceedingly natural, not a speck of frangipane to be found. Moving onward through a springy cinnamon roll that balanced its eponymous aromatics with butter with vanilla-spiked glaze it was finally in an appropriately named banana ‘cake’ sliced like bread that the meal culminated, the small slab seemingly supersaturated with ripe fruit while an aggressive spice profile perfumed the palate beneath salty-caramel cream.
RECOMMENDED: Coffee, however you take it. Everything Croissant. Banana Cake. Buttermilk Biscuit.
AVOID: Arriving too early as new items emerge from the kitchen up until breakfast begins at 9:00am with fresh bakes then occurring throughout the day to replenish supplies.
TIP: Offering free WiFi, Comfortable Seating, and tableside service that ramps up when breakfast begins this is the sort of place where people are prone to linger, the outdoor patio an option for those wishing to enjoy the sun, though waits reportedly as long as an hour after 10am during Saturday and Sunday brunch may make the grab and go pastry counter and barista bar a better option for those on the go.