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Issue Date: May 2009

Silver Spoons: Carbo Lode

When you’re hungry enough, the West Side Market’s iconic clock tower resembles a tasty baguette reaching toward the sky. (Come on, work with us on this. We were famished.) If you don’t buy that, maybe you haven’t checked out the wealth of fresh breads on sale here, especially on Saturdays. You’ll find bakery stands filled with creations that would make even the most mundane turkey sandwich memorable.
stand >> Mediterra, B-8, B-9
must-try >> Mount Athos Fire Bread
price >> $12 full loaf/$6 half-loaf
why >> The Pittsburgh bake house’s flagship bread is created from European recipes (think sourdough and wheat, says worker Eugene Pylypiv) and is 100 percent organic. With a thick chestnut-colored crust, it can be used for sandwiches, soups, toast or dipping into tomato sauce or olive oil. “We have a lot of European people that buy it,” Pylypiv says. “Some people say, ‘It’s exactly like I had [in Europe].’ ”

stand >> Theresa’s Bakery, D-6
must-try >> Roasted Red Pepper
price >> $6.50 loaf
why >> The French-breadlike concoction features roasted red peppers and Parmesan cheese. “It’s one of a kind,” says Sabrina White, the daughter of stand owner Theresa. “You can eat it as is or put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, and it gives it a little warmth.” If roasted red pepper isn’t your bag, Vidalia onion or Kalamata olive are terrific fallbacks.

stand >>
Michelle’s Bakery, B-12, C-12
must-try >> Roasted Garlic Parmesan
price >> $5.95 loaf
why >> “You have to like garlic, because there are whole cloves in it,” says owner Michelle Vigh. “But it’s truly a garlic lover’s dream.” Vigh says the recipe came from a friend. It’s the typical combination of flour, yeast, water and salt with Parmesan cheese, but with enough garlic to topple a vampire. Keep the breath mints handy.

stand >>
Spanos Bakery, H-6, H-7
must-try >> Italian Twist
price >> $1.75 loaf
why >> A market mainstay since 1965, Spanos features many classic, Old Country options. But the twist looks different with its curves and contours. “The recipe came from Greece from my dad, Gus,” says Tina Spanos. It’s made of all-natural ingredients (shortening, white flour, yeast, salt and water) and is perfect for dipping in olive oil, cheese or tomato sauce.

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