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A customer pays for an order at Street Breads, located at 3475 Nelson Road. (Donna Price / American Press)<br>

A customer pays for an order at Street Breads, located at 3475 Nelson Road. (Donna Price / American Press)

The Street Breads Mediterranean Portabella sandwich. (Donna Price / American Press)<br>

The Street Breads Mediterranean Portabella sandwich. (Donna Price / American Press)

Street Breads offers sophisticated sandwiches

Last Modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 5:02 PM

By Donna Price / American Press

Street Breads has been open for a while now in Lumpkin Plaza on Nelson Road, but until last week I had never eaten there. I’ve been missing out. The food is good, and I will definitely be back.

I asked a friend what to expect before I went.

“Think gourmet Subway,” she said. That pretty much sums it up. The store is laid out similar to a Subway sandwich shop, but the menu options are kicked up a notch — less mainstream and more sophisticated.

Because of the eye-catching fancy sign that hangs over the business, I had always assumed Street Breads was part of a chain. I was wrong. It’s locally owned by Josh and Melissa Priola and is unique to Lake Charles.

The interior has a polished, urban feel, looking very much like a place where cool young people might eat. Indeed, there were a number of younger people eating and ordering food to go when I visited for lunch one day with my friend, Gail. I don’t know how cool they were, but they were young.

The restaurant is narrow and long. When customers walk in, the idea is for them to walk to the back of the store, order, and then make their way up to the front again to pay — sort of the opposite of a typical Subway. I didn’t know this and was a little perplexed at what to do when we first walked in. After we ordered and sat down with our food, I did see a big, how-could-I-ever-have-missed-it sign on the back wall: “start here.”

Gail and I both began with a 6-ounce serving of tomato basil soup for $2.95 each. I can honestly say it was the best tomato basil soup I have ever eaten. It was hearty, spicy and robust. I wasn’t sure what the rest of the meal would be like, but my expectations were raised considerably after tasting the soup. It was awesome.

I ordered the Mediterranean Portabella sandwich, and Gail ordered the Baja Chicken Roll Up. The cost was $6.50 for each. Since they both came cut in half, we decided to share half of our sandwiches with each other so we could each sample more of the food. I liked the Baja Chicken Roll Up. It was decent. Gail thought is was good, too. But I absolutely loved the Mediterranean Portabella sandwich and was almost sorry I had given half of it to Gail. I would order it again in a heartbeat. It was juicy and full of flavors that I don’t know that I could identify, but they were wonderful.

Besides mushrooms, the sandwich contained grilled eggplant and zucchini, feta cheese, sun-dried tomato and pesto hummus with romaine lettuce. It was served on focaccia bread.

The Street Breads sandwich toppings are made fresh every day, and the artisanal breads are fresh-baked, too.

The sandwiches come wrapped in white paper. A nice touch is that each one comes with a printed label attached to the wrapper with the name of the sandwich on it. So when multiple orders are ready, diners don’t have to unwrap each sandwich and try to guess which is which.

There was Mamma’s Louisiana bread pudding on the dessert menu, but we were pretty full after the soup and sandwiches and decided to pass.

Out of curiosity, on the way out I asked the cashier what the most popular sandwiches were. He said the Mexico City Chicken and Chipotle and the Deep South Pork and Slaw were hot sellers.

Street Breads is conveniently located next to a Starbucks, so diners could run there for coffee after, or they could exit and turn right and go to Orange Leaf Yogurt.

Besides soups and sandwiches, Street Breads serves salads, pizza, dessert and quesadillas. Patrons can order from the signature breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m. each day. Two kids’ meals are available.

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