Early to Bread

O n the discarded grounds of JoJo’s Coffee, half a block from the departed Four Flours bakery, a new location of G Café has stepped in to make sure Chapel West is both caffeinated and carbed.

An hour before close one day this week, the renovated shop was flush with afternoon light. Seats like drums and tables like giant trumpet keys hugged a wall of cushioned benches with windows behind. An array of the day’s pastries filled a neat angular case, while a pegboard display of boules, bâtards and baguettes had been gradually plucked bare. Now only three loaves in two varieties remained, among them a pair of gnarled brown rounds above a tiny label: “Cranberry & Walnuts.”

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One can only guess why customers had passed them over. Perhaps the singe of their complexion suggested too much bake. But the G family—founded on the cafes’ verticalized supplier, Whole G Bakery, which stocks the cafes fresh every day—knows bread, and right away I could tell my loaf was baked to perfection. Bejeweled by blackened berries, the crust sighed a satisfying crackle before springing right back each time I pressed my thumbs in. A knife soon revealed a soft and cool crumb mottled with garnet pops of berry and beautifully mellow walnuts. Savory and sweet, crispy and fluffy, earthy and tangy, charred and moist, the bread offered so much pleasing complexity that a single hungry person could—and that day did—devour most of a boule inside an hour.

At $7 per loaf—G Café’s other offerings range from $6 to $10—this bread costs bread. But while I may have regretted the speed of my relishing, I didn’t at all regret relinquishing the cash.

G Café (Chapel West)
1177 Chapel St, New Haven (map)
Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories.

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