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Breads Bakery brings Israeli inspired treats to Union Square

Posted on February 13, 2013 | by Caitlin Schnack

Joon Lee/WSN

Just steps away from Union Square, the newly opened and aptly named Breads Bakery invites customers to warm up with freshly baked breads and pastries.

Uri Scheft, owner of the popular Lehamim Bakery in Tel Aviv, Israel, opened Breads Bakery, his first American outpost, on Jan. 30. He was born in Israel but grew up in Denmark, and he translates the fusion of his roots into baked offerings at his new establishment. Breads offers several traditional Jewish treats, such as chocolate babka and rugelach, as well as artisanal breads made with Scandinavian rye.

Many of the items at Breads are reasonably priced and attractive for a student budget. Little chocolate rugelach are in abundance, priced at $1.50 each. Paired with Breads’ $3 cappuccino, they make for the perfect afternoon treat. For those who prefer savory pastries, Breads offers highly addictive cheese straws (five for $9), a perfect blend of Gouda cheese and flaky pastry that will literally melt in your mouth. Equally delectable is the mini Mediterranean quiche ($2.50), a tiny savory pie filled with feta cheese, fresh roasted tomatoes and sunflower seeds. Breads also offers a soup of the day and a variety of sandwic-hes, such as smoked salmon, goat cheese and beet, and tuna salad.

One of Breads’ best products is babka ($9.95), a sweet yeast cake available with either chocolate or raisins. Breads, in an effort to create a welcoming environment, offers samples of their products throughout the day.

Most of the products offered at Breads are similar to those sold at Lehamim in Tel Aviv, but Sharon Kazes, a co-manager of Breads, explained that some of the recipes had to be altered for different tastes in the United States.

“A good recipe in another country might not work here,” he said. Rugelach and babka are staples in the Tel Aviv bakery, and he hoped that they would be attractive to the large Jewish population of New York City.

According to Kazes, the concept of the bakery is freshness. Behind the espresso bar, Breads boasts a large baking facility that is uniquely open to customer viewing. This open baking area, complete with racks of rising bread dough and giant mixers, is a testament to the freshness of the products offered at the bakery.

CAS freshman Hannah Weinstock had mixed feelings about the environment.

“I feel a bit like I’m in a warehouse,” she said. “But I enjoyed the cappuccino. It’s cheaper than Starbucks’.”

The open environment may not be the best for studying, but it is definitely a perfect place for meeting friends and grabbing a snack.

After all, as Kazes said, one of the many philosophies of Breads is to create an environment in which you feel like you are “visiting your friend in their living room.”

Breads Bakery is located at 18 E. 16th St. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Joon Lee/WSN

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Feb. 13 print edition. Caitlin Schnack is a contributing writer. Email her at dining@nyunews.com.

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Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

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Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

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Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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