This morning I woke up at about 3AM and never really got back to sleep, so I got up around 5:30 and started doing some work on the old laptop. My first thought was to head to the gym, but unfortunately the Buckhead YMCA doesn’t open until 8AM on Saturday’s. My next thought for an early morning jaunt… a bakery! But not just any bakery, one I have been wanting to try – I decided to hit up H&F Bread Co. for the first time. (note: their website is pretty much empty, but go check out H&F Bread Co. reviews on Yelp).
Before I continue, one other thing I wanted to mention. Last night after work some friends and I headed to Atlanta Brewing Company to enjoy some beer and music, as every Friday from 6-8PM they have their beer tour (similar to Sweetwater’s setup). For $7 you get a glass and 4 beer cap tokens for “samples”. We also made reservations for JCT Kitchen at 8:30 so we could head directly from ABC to JCT.
When we arrived at JCT it was jizammed to the max. We were happy to have a reservation, but the tables that could accomodate us were still seated, the parties being done with their meal, but just hanging out. We kept inquiring every 15 minutes or so, and finally some time around 9:30 we were seated. We didn’t cause much of a fuss, but we did mention how late it was, and they cooly and quickly brought us a complimentary bottle of prosecco, two orders of the parmesan truffle fries, and one order of the deviled eggs. Quite classy, and our mood changed instantly! What a way to handle this! They could have let us order and complimented a few appetizers after the meal, but our demeanor during the meal might not have been as much great. Or they could have done nothing at all. My halibut was pretty good, a little over seasoned, and the agnolotti were fantastic, but the style with which they handled this is what stands out, and the overall experience is why I keep going back.
OK, sorry about that. Back to H&F Bread Co. As you can see below, I was there during “o’dark hundred”, as my mom would say.
In fact, I was there exactly at 7AM when they opened and they had to unlock the door for me. I was greeted by the friendly smiles of three lovely ladies, who were bustling about, setting up for the day.
I spent a few minutes looking around and finally decided to pickup a half dozen bagels, cream cheese, a coffee, and some specialty black sesame crackers I read about on the Blissful Glutton. There were plenty of other great looking breads, and I want to give their pizza dough and pimento cheese a shot, but there will be plenty of more visits in my future, so no need to rush things.
After choosing my bounty, I spent a few minutes talking with the staff, who really were so friendly. Though quite a small space, I found the environment to be much more welcoming than the bakery at Star Provisions. It’s true that so often people make the difference! Finally, I headed home to enjoy my breakfast.
The coffee was pretty good, no complaints. The bagels, while not exactly what I had in mind that morning (I was thinking of a thick, dense Goldberg’s bagel), the bagels with cream cheese were lovely. The bagels are large, light and pillowy with great bubbly structure, chewy, and obviously so fresh. Regarding this style of bagel…it made me think of what a Panera bagel would be like if it didn’t suck.
I tried a few of the sesame crackers and they were quite good too – thin and crunchy with loads of fresh flavor, but I probably won’t try to make this a regular purchase at $5+ a bag.
H&F Bread Co. is definitely a winner and I can’t wait to go back for lunch. It’s obvious that the cast over at the H&F/Eugene family know what they are doing – they’ve created a high standard for themselves, and with each endeavor they continue to live up to those expectations.
At roughly 4 miles from my house, it does take 10 minutes to get there (probably 20 during normal traffic hours), but it’s not that bad and I will more likely try to hit it up when I am in that area for other errands.
What else did I eat with my bagel? If you aren’t bored already, you can continue to see my homemade corned beef hash (kind of, I didn’t make my own corned beef).
I love corned beef hash. I’ll shamefully eat a whole can of that pre-made stuff in one sitting. Yeah, it looks like dog food, but get off my case. Though, the real deal is so much better. Here I have steamed some potatoes (yesterday) then this morning I diced them up, with some chopped parsley for garnish later.
I still had a 1/4 lb hunk of corned beef in the freezer from a purchase at the deli counter of Whole Foods. I took it out of the freezer this morning around 4AM, then later trimmed the fat and chopped them into cubes as best I could.
First I let the potatoes fry for a few, then added the corned beef, hit it with some black pepper and salt, then added some chopped onion and garlic. After another 2-3 minutes I took it off the heat, plated, garnished, and got down with some coffee/bagel/early morning ESPN. Good day so far…now off to my first group run with the Peachtree Triathlon Club!
pictured above: awesomeness