Featured Restaurant: Crumb Brothers Bakery in Logan, Utah

Crumb Brothers Bakery and Cafe

You may have noticed that I’ve scaled back on the fast food reviews as of late. For those of you who expect nothing but fast food I apologize, but believe it or not, Ryan and I do get around to eating other things. For me in particular, the past few weeks have been a chance to explore my local community and cross off some local establishments from my college “to do” bucket list. These are the places people have always been telling me to go, yet for one reason or another, I’ve never made time for in the past. Now, with less than a month until I step out into the “real world,” it’s high time I got around to seeing if these places can match their local reputation.

Check out that Challah!

One of the first places I decided to hit when embarking on my own little “foodie quest” was Crumb Brothers Bakery. These guys, I’ve always been told, are legit. Crafting artisan breads in an old world, European tradition, Crumb Brothers has been selling their breads to grocery stores around Cache Valley for years. I knew I liked their breads from buying them in stores, but had never been to their actual bakery.  The Crumb Brothers Bakery is situated in a rustic-looking, but modern, building that hosts a picturesque cafe.

The sticky buns (top right) are big sellers

I was pretty much overwhelmed when I got in there. The first thing I noticed was the delectable looking pastries. The girls behind the counter (who, by the way, offered me oodles of free bread samples) expertly described all their offerings, which they told me were made with European style butter and all natural ingredients. The breads, they said, take two days to rise and work off of a cultured starter, which gives them an amazingly firm and crunchy exterior that yields to an airy yet chewy interior. I had the chance to sample a few breads while there and thoroughly enjoyed a slice of Sun Flower Honey Oat, which has a wild sweetness and chewy interior. I also really enjoyed the slice of a Hot Cross Bun I received – not overly rich or sweet, it still moist and plump with raisins.

Hot Cross Buns

Making a decision for breakfast in a place like this is almost impossible for me. Everything just looked so good. As much as I wanted to try one of their pastries or sweets (including Blueberry Bread Pudding), I had a lot of walking ahead of me that particular morning so I wanted to get something a bit more substantial. My eyes gravitated towards a small sandwich menu, and to two choices in particular. Because it was a Friday I couldn’t have meat (good Catholic boy like me) so I had to choose between an amazing sounding peanut butter and honey on whole wheat, or a fresh mozzarella and artichoke sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil drizzle, and basil. Oh jeez this was a tough choice – do I go with the sweet, safer sounding breakfast option (peanut butter) or the Italian flavor profile with ingredients just too good to pass up? Well, you guessed it; no way was I passing up fresh mozzarella!

Subway Smubway. A vegetarians dream sandwich

At $3.50 for a half sandwich it’s not cheap, but it’s not a bad deal either considering you are getting quality ingredients and a side (I chose chips). The sandwich itself is compact, but it packed a punch where it counted. I got at least a full 2 ounces of mozzarella (maybe closer to three), and the olive oil drizzle was pretty heavy. The mixture of artichokes, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes was outstanding, bringing a symphony of sweet and briny and earthly flavors to my mouth.

Check out that Mozz!

The bread had a perfect and hard crunch that held together the wet inside mixture together and soaked up the oil, but the star of the show was the huge slab of cheese. Fresh mozzarella is so underrated. With good olive oil on top, it’s smooth and mild, but has a distinct mellowness in its sweetness and a sense of creaminess that best comes with savoring each bite. I would have added some black pepper and perhaps a bit of balsamic for a tang, but hey, who am I to argue with such great cheese? It’s the size of the sandwich that makes you slow down and think about what you’re eating, and really gain an appreciation for the purity of flavors. For me, sometimes lost within the overpowering flavors of sweet and salty that you get with fast food and dining hall food, the careful attention was a bite of something special.

Bread Samples

I wish I had found Crumb Brothers’ bakery earlier. I don’t have much time left at Utah State University, and the bakery is a bit outside my “normal” price comfort zone, but I think I’ll have to make a special point to stop in one morning and pick up a pastry. The service is friendly and attentive, the food borders of ethereal, and the ambiance sings “vacation.” What more can you ask for? Oh yea, a beautiful morning with a mountain view, and that’s exactly what I got.
Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread on Urbanspoon

9 comments on “Featured Restaurant: Crumb Brothers Bakery in Logan, Utah

  1. Keith says:

    I wish people would stop saying “bucket list.” It really annoys me. Is it just me? It was a horrible movie and using it to describe stuff on your daily to-do list is using it incorrectly. Just sayin’.

    As awesome as this place seems, it’s pretty much inaccessible to about 99% of your readers. That’s probably why we enjoy the fast food reviews more.

    What this does do is make me wish we had a great bakery in my hometown – although I was able to stop at a good one this weekend in Rockville, MD.

    PS – That mozzarella does look totally awesome, and my tone is probably just a result of my extreme jealousy.

  2. Graham says:

    Great review, if you are checking items off a list before leaving, I DEMAND you visit my number one lunch spot, the Italian Place. I ate somewhere between 2-5 Boston sandwiches at the I.P. per week when I lived in Logan, dressed with mayonaise, mustard and ketchup. Another good choice is the Killer Burger. Tell John Harder I sent you, he’ll take good care of you and probably make several critical remarks about my person.

    • Adam says:

      The Killer Burger at Elements?

      • Graham says:

        As you’ll find out when you visit the Italian Place, hopefully soon, the Killer Burger is not a burger at all. I don’t eat at the Elements because I don’t enjoy being waited on poorly by a returned missionary lacking social skills, or overpriced faux-good food. It bothers me that they are stealing the names of items from John’s menu.

        In all seriousness, the idea of you leaving Logan without eating an Italian Place sandwich is really upsetting.

  3. Chefprotoss or dan says:

    Nice review adam. Good call with the balsamic too. You know your stuff. Not talking about vinegar, but good food having acidic and base balence. Though you must be one of like three people in Utah that are jewish. $3.50 seems like a bargin too me. Sorry for the lame joke, but I was just watching family guy and well yeah… Jews are great. You brought us lox on bread and seinfeld, and for that I thank you. =P

    Oh, and in case anyone didn’t know european style butter has a higher fat content. Thus, more bounce to the ounce and or flavor.

    • Adam says:

      Oh, I agree. 3.50 was a real bargain. I’m trying to put it in perspective for people who might see a small sandwich and think “dollar” menu. Thats why I don’t like to review just fast food – price distortion. You put meat and cheese in one thing and sell it for a buck, and suddently people expect meat+cheese to be a buck. Always good to remind yourself that good quality should be a little more expensive!

  4. rob says:

    One thing I miss about living in the city is good bakeries.

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