The Nicest of the Nice

With the holidays almost over and on the last day of a troubling year, I am compelled to unload what is probably the most unabashedly positive review I have in the vault (my head, that is). I certainly hope that anyone who has lived in Ellensburg for any amount of time is familiar with Daily Bread and Mercantile and all the wonders that lie within that unassuming strip mall storefront.

I know very little about German Baptists but I do know that the ones who own and run Daily Bread are, without exaggeration, the nicest people in town.  I don’t typically take my sandwiches with a side of religion, but I’ll buy anything Daily Bread and Mercantile has to offer. Because of this I usually order whatever sandwich they feature that day, as it is always a creative combination and has allowed me to try some things I would not have ordered on my own, such as the sweet Bologna. I have yet to be disappointed with featured sandwich (though the horseradish on my roast beef gave me a real punch in the sinuses the other day), but you can choose from a rotating menu of fresh and flavorful meats, cheese, vegetables, sauces, etc. and order a sandwich to your liking.

How did I almost forget about the breads!?!?? Their house-made breads are what sandwich breads should all aspire to: pillowy-soft, full of flavor, and just sturdy enough to deliver delicious meats and cheese to your mouth hole.  I never knew that I could crave a deli sandwich until Daily Bread and Mercantile showed me the way.

If you’re a regular reader (thanks, by the way!) then you know I don’t eat a lot of sweets, but I rarely leave Daily Bread without a pastry of some sort. The scones are spectacular: dense but flaky and so soft but not crumbly. If you’re unfamiliar with a kolaches, I suggest you acquaint yourself immediately. It’s like a fluffy version of the best fruit danish you’ll ever have. See below.

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Sorry, I couldn’t help take a few bites before snapping a picture.

I’ve tried several of the salads because you can add them to your sandwich for a few bucks and they’re all amazing. They all hit that elusive balance of freshness, crunch, sweet, and savory that salads should be. I’ve only sampled a few of the ever-changing soup offerings, but, surprise, they’ve all been very good.

Daily Bread and Mercantile gets very busy at lunchtime but I never mind a short wait because it affords me the chance to wander through the mercantile side of the store. It’s my favorite place in town to buy dried herbs and spices, and looking at their curated collection of baking supplies, candies, and other food goods just makes me smile.

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Behold.

So, yeah, I really like Daily Bread and Mercantile. The only negatives I could point to are not actually criticisms but just me being greedy. For example, I would love to taste what they would do with a breakfast sandwich (because I’m slightly obsessed with breakfast sandwiches) and I wish they were open weekends. But, alas, I’ll count my blessings and enjoy Daily Bread and Mercantile as it is because it’s truly a gem.

As a footnote, I would like to say thank you to all of you who have read, shared, and commented on my posts in this past year. I’ve learned a lot and I hope you have enjoyed my musings. I’m looking forward to “seeing” you all in 2017. Thanks and Happy New Year!

–your friendly neighborhood food critic