Sunday, May 16, 2010

Manna from Heaven?

The smell of bread immediately out of the oven is exposed from the door of this undersized bakery on Devon Avenue and makes it almost hopeless to get a bread purchase home intact. I started to eat mine even before I walked out and tonight I consumed two samoons before I could even say حتى المدهش.

Inside the store, you witness bakers with wooden paddles turning enormous disks of flatbread in the firebrick oven. I can’t ever remember seeing an operation like this anywhere in Chicago. It was compelling – so much so I wanted to roll up my sleeves and pitch in.

Yes, there are more modern methods but do they make the bread taste any better than this does? For that matter, does anyone put this much love into their practice because each and every scrap of dough placed in their firebrick oven had TLC written all over it.

Everything is made by hand and the owner, Eddie Adaba, greeted me covered in flour, bits of dough and a huge scowl.

Eddie Abada, came to the U.S. from Iraq nine years ago and worked in a variety of stores before deciding to open this bakery. He wanted to supply Chicago with the breads he saw his mother making at home. After apprenticing for a baker in Detroit, he opened Eastern Breadstone Bakery and now turns out amazing Iraqi tandoor bread and Samoons…which is what I had at the Belly Shack. He also supplies bread to many Middle Eastern groceries in the city.

Forget that he does not want his picture taken…not sure why because he has a rather interesting face but truth of the matter is he is far more into baking than all the hype…another reason to LOVE Eastern Breadstone Bakery at 2818 West Devon Avenue.

Bon Appetit!