Dallas Has Some Decent Delis, But We Need Some Help With Our Bread

Categories: Whimsy

Jimmy's.jpg
Jimmy's Italian Stallion. Not a hoagie
Oh Dallas. I'm about ready to admit defeat. In a story I did calling for hoagie suggestions to satisfy my East Coast carpetbagging cravings, many chimed in citing Jimmy's, The Great Outdoors, Biladelphia, Great American Hero and more. I asked for shredded lettuce, a sturdy roll and high-quality meat. Commenter BigJonDaniel nailed it, though; I'd have to settle for two of three.

The issue you will have in Dallas is the bread. It's a poor bread town. Jimmy's comes closest, but theirs is more like an "Italian" from Maine than a Hoagie. Great Outdoors is a stand by, mainly because they bake their own bread, but the bread is not as robust as the roll you describe...

I ate at several of your suggestions. I found lots of great cold cuts, and shredded lettuce is obviously an easy find. But we've gotta have a chat about bread in this town.

I'm not ready to go as far as Jon and proclaim Dallas' bread scene broken, but I think many area bakers are leaving something on the table. Even the sourdough I had during a fine dining experience left a little to be desired. Where's the chewy structure and the crunchy flaky crust I crave?

Many knee-jerk to blaming the water, citing the superior water supplies in stronger bread cultures like New York, Philly and San Francisco. But any master baker worth will tell you that water is minimally important. Flour quality, dough handling and baking conditions are what give bread its taste and texture. The bread in Dallas is the way it is because of how Dallas bakers bake it.

It is possible the heat could be affecting things, if area bakeries don't have good climate control. But that seems unlikely. You don't open a bagel shop in hell without calling the HVAC guy first.

Perhaps expecting coastal qualities in a Dallas sandwich is just too much to ask. Regional cuisines are usually better when closest to their point of origin. I wouldn't ask a Dallasite what they think of Tex-Mex in Jersey City, so why ask Aters where to land a good hoagie?


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16 comments
Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

You want great bread on a sandwich, go to Garland and get a bánh mì from one of the Vietnamese places.

Tuckspub
Tuckspub

Reserve a table at Lucia and all your bread longings will be met. Outrageously good bread, fantastic crumb, great crust the only downside is it may take four weeks to get a table.

Ralphy
Ralphy

Like most things;  ya gotta get your cold cuts from your favorite deli, buy good bread from Empire or Central Market, and make your own !!!!!!!

but in a pinch I think Jersey Mike's comes closests to my NJ boyhood subs ...

Guest
Guest

If you're up for a bit of do-it-yourself, try buying your bread at Vietnamese grocery/bakery.It's closer to a baguette (obviously) but has the crust and crumb reminiscent of an East Coast roll though a bit smaller in size.

Aaron Barker
Aaron Barker

MR. G'S BEVERAGE & DELI on Coit rd in Plano has the best sandwiches in Dallas hands down. FYI. 

Emily Samuel
Emily Samuel

Scott, One year ago this month, I too moved from DC to Dallas. There I worked for Lyon Bakery, here I work for Empire Baking Co. I think your "It's a poor bread town" comment is stemming more from a lack of quality restaurant suggestions. Please give us a chance to defend ourselves. We'd love to have you over to the bakery.

Frank Stokes
Frank Stokes

I lived in Philadelphia for two years, and let me tell you: the Mexican food SUCKED!

elbueno
elbueno

Hmmm. I would say grab yourself a Gotham's Kitchen or other sandwich item at Eno's...They bake their own bread and I wouldn't hesitate to say it is some of the best in town.

Jjerrier
Jjerrier

Have you tried any of the bread from Empire Bakery? Their torpedo roll is strong to quite strong. Whiskey Cake uses it on their Bahn Mi sandwich. Crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. Also JC Blanc is now behind the bread at Eatzi's and La Francais (I think). His old sandwich shop, Voila, in Allen was fantastic.

C Standerfer
C Standerfer

Emily I also think this is more of a restaurant issue and not particularly a bakery issue. That said,if a restaurant's bread isn't wowing its customers, consider buying from another local vendor. We all like to support each other!

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

@emily I agree that the bread at some indie bakeries is great, ( I have tried your excellent stuff too!) and at Central Market/ Whole Foods/Eatzi's also. But none of it seems to make it's way to the sandwich shops

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

@jjerrier - I agree that the bread at some indie bakeries is great, and at Central Market/ Whole Foods/Eatzi's also. But none of it seems to make it's way to the sandwich shops

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

It's almost always price point. Bread from smaller bakeries is cost prohibitive unless you're scaled large enough to negotiate a good rate.

I actually went to Eatzi's while hunting for the Hoag. I tried their baguette and "bone bread?" With those two massive deck ovens and a sizable bread program I thought that might be the place. It was good but....I'm still looking for a show stopper sandwich.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

negatory were way too far north for great torts

Jeremy A
Jeremy A

EH. Not gonna happen; there's no WaWa here. When that type of quality is served to the lowest common denominator consider yourself spoiled. Happiness on a bun in Dallas takes the form of tortillas.

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