This time I really lucked out and it was bread from the newest place in town – Townsend Park Bakery. It’s on the same strip of Washington as Golden Choice and Iffy’s bar. (238 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12232)
Albany John got a half loaf of the stuffed bread (with Kalamata olives). He said it was something like $4.
How was it? Is magical a good word? The crust on the outside was crunchy and crisp, shielding a soft, chewy inside. There was a punch of salty olive at first bite, then a wonderful flavor of buttery/floral olive oil (really good olive oil flavor), and then a finish of kalamata again. I’ve never had bread so complex!
It also wasn’t tear-the-roof-of-your-mouth crunchy – it was a thinner outer shell than ciabatta, which is good, but I’ll be the first to admit that it can rip up your mouth if you take gigantic bites of it.
We also went at another point and got a pizza from their wood fired oven. This was at night, and they’d said they sell out of bread normally around 2 pm. Phoo. Need more bread! But the pizza was good – we got a basic one for $9.95 which included fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and sea salt. It was tasty. A little skimpy on the cheese, I thought, but oh that sourdough bread. Totally great, and we even ate on the couch in the back!
If you’re hungry like we were, I’d recommend following the pizza either with copious amounts of libations at the Lark Tavern like we did, or ordering two pizzas. Most people we saw ordered 1 pizza per person. Or maybe they just went to Iffy’s, heh heh.
Townsend Park Bakery is cash only, and rush in around noon to get your lunch. … I mean bread that you wouldn’t eat the entirety of for lunch. But if you did, it would be so worth it. They also sell sandwiches in the afternoon (unless they run out of bread for that, too) and then pizzas once they really sell out of everything. They aren’t the cheapest bakery in town, but oh they are worth a try if you absolutely love bread. They are tied for my favorite bakery with Mrs. London’s.
All Over Albany had one of the first peeks.
Senor Barnes enjoyed the place as well.
Central Bid was maybe the first to write up a blurb about them.