There is bread and then there is artisan bread. There’s the baguette that’s just a soft mass of melt-in-your mouth dough. Then there’s the baguette with texture, flavor and a crust with some crunch.
Nothing irritates Buzz more than to want to support a Point Loma newcomer (that would be Charlie’s Best Bread) only to find that the new place can’t come up with their own unique menu of breads and various sandwiches. How does Buzz know this? Well, the new guy occupies the space that the artisan bakery Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe had for ten years. Charlie’s moved in and instead of creating their own menu items, decided to see if they, their bread and some of their menu items could emulate those of Con Pane. They do not.
Many of Charlie’s breads are baked someplace else, as they are bagged in plastic and ready to take (just as they are at the Hillcrest Farmers Market). They do have muffins and breakfast items, roast beef, pastrami and veggie Cobb sandwiches, paninis and daily breads ( listed in exactly the same order as Con Pane). They use organic flour in some of their breads, and their prices can be higher on some items than the former tenant’s. Buzz bought challah and have had their turkey Cobb…same ingredients vastly different outcome. You’ll also find already wrapped cinnamon rolls with walnuts and raisins that for many don’t hold a candle to the light and flavorful ones at Con Pane that are never pre-wrapped.
Buzz would like to see Charlie’s find their own identity. There are a zillion sandwich combos, why not create your own? And don’t try to fool the customers who recently came in thinking it was Con Pane redone and ordered a turkey Cobb sandwich. Expectations were high–but dashed-when they tasted the wannabe Cobb (roasted turkey breast, bacon, avocado, blue cheese, roasted roma tomatoes mayonnaise and romaine lettuce). When the customer found out that Con Pane moved to Historic Decatur and Dewey Roads in Liberty Station, they rushed down and happily enjoyed the original Cobb (roasted turkey breast, applewood smoked bacon, fresh avocado, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, house roasted roma tomatoes, mayonnaise and romaine lettuce).
Certainly it is a matter of taste as to which bakery you’ll make yours. Charlie’s also has an unfortunate parking situation as many spaces around the building are marked for the bank and other tenants. Buzz wants to see the new guy on the block succeed, though not as a copycat. If, dear reader, you’re up to it, try your own taste test with breads from each place. Buzz wants to hear from you.