I would love to start this profile with the words “tucked away in Glenwood Springs is a real treasure,” except that the Daily Bread Cafe and Bakery isn’t exactly “tucked away.” Oh, it certainly has that “tucked away” feel: lots of real wooden furniture, cheesy (the “good” cheesy) little lamps at the booths, a bursting pastry display, hip waitresses, and a lunch waiting line that extends out the door … a sure sign that somebody knows something about what goes on inside. The only problem, though, is that it is right there on Grand Ave in Glenwood, in the little pedestrian mall area, right next to Bagel Bites, for gosh sakes. It could scarcely be less tucked away.
It’s lack of tuckage, though, is easily gotten over quickly, even before you get a taste of the food. Forgive me if I begin to wax philosophical, because I realize that this is only a restaurant profile, so I’m really just supposed to be telling you what is on the menu at whatever restaurant I ate at, but I live in Aspen, and it is always a treat for me to venture out into the Real World. There is a, well, a buzz in the Daily Bread that is hard to find in Aspen. Maybe a sense of community, a lack of pretentiousness, the fact that you can have lunch for under $20? Maybe a different energy that radiates from people who aren’t either richer than God or struggling to live among those who are richer than God? There’s something “real” about the feel at the Daily Bread. But enough of my Plato impersonation, on to the grub:
There’s like 200 things on the menu, so if you are a Bread-Head and I leave out your favorite thing, forgive me. Here’s what catches my eye for breakfast–Greek Skillet, (I have a soft spot for any dish that has the word “skillet” in it) a bed of potatoes topped with fresh spinach, tomatoes, black olives, feta, Greek spices and eggs and toast ($6.50). Schnookum’s Favorite Omlette, artichoke hearts, bacon, tomatoes, sprouts, sour cream and a cheese choice ($5.95). Breakfast Burrito, scramblers with bacon, tomatoes and green chilies wrapped in a tortilla and covered with cheese and salsa for $6.50. Biscuits and Gravy, homemade buttermilk biscuits with spicy cream sausage gravy and two eggs for $5.50.
Oh, and did you say that you wanted toast with any of those? Fine. Will that be whole wheat, whole wheat cinnamon raisin, sourdough, light rye, dark pumpernickel, onion dill, parmesan, seven grain whole wheat or fat-free whole wheat? All baked fresh on the premises, by the way.
And you can get granola, oatmeal, bagels, fruit, yogurt, juices, coffees, croissants, French toast, egg white omlettes, and on and on. And you should. You really should.
Lunch, then. We had the special mushroom quiche with the soup of the day, which happened to be mushroom bisque, for $6.95. Both were exceptional. I had, in addition, the Tuna Grill, tuna salad, red onion, tomato and cheese all grilled up real nice like with a little bag of Ruffles on the side. You should really never to attempt to eat a tuna sandwich of any kind without Ruffles. My companion had a Reuben with turkey instead of the corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese (and lots of it), thousand island and Dijon mustard, also with a lil’ Ruffle bag (though you can also get potato salad with your sammies). Both sandwiches were $5.95 and went quickly. As if that wasn’t enough, and believe me, it was, he also went and ordered the Crunch Salad, because it sounded so darn good: fresh garden greens and veggies with sunflower seeds, popped wheat, soy bacon, two cheeses and a roll for $5.95. We also saw what looked like the Daily Bread Bomber salad making its way to another table: fresh veggies, grated cheeses, ham, roast beef, turkey, pastrami, sprouts and “crunchies,” $6.95. The waitress had to use both hands to lift it, and when she sat it down she said, “Be careful, the dish is very cold.”
OK, not really, but someday I’ll hear someone say that.
OK, there’s loads more sandwiches, from your plain old turkey, ham or roast beef to clubs, subs, BTA’s and veggies, all in the $6 range, as well as a few low-fat sandwiches, if you are so inclined, like chicken salad and chicken breast, all from low-fat chickens, I presume. There are also a few burger variations, Mexican, bacon, barbecue, veggie, like that. The are also in the $5-6 range.
Now, back to the salads, you got your spinach, Cobb, Greek, Teriyaki chicken, taco, Caesar, $6-7 for what will surely be a full meal (we had to take most of our Crunch salad home with us). And there is an endless variation of combos, like of the half sandwich, three quarters bowl of soup, five eighths salad and 2.37 slices of bread variety. You can have all, you know.
And then, if you’ve made it this far (or started at this point), there’s the pastry case. You know what pastry cases look like, so fill in the blanks here. As we were leaving, two women came in just so one could point out a cookie to the other.
“See,” she said, tapping on the glass. “That’s the one I was telling you about, the chocolate mocha raisin nugget double fudge.” Or something like that. It’s a deli case that incites window shopping. And all baked fresh on the premises for your glass tapping pleasure. Yum-a-rific.
And that’s it. I can’t, for the life of me, think of a “Daily Bread” pun to wrap this piece cleverly, so I’m going to back out now before I’m tempted to make that horrible “pay them a visit, they knead the dough” joke.