This article originally appeared as part of the story On the Bench in the October 2019 issue.
The baguette is a plain, long, crusty loaf of bread—and at Red Bench Bakery, it costs just three bucks. But it’s incredibly versatile, which is why the humble loaf is a daily centerpiece of several European cultures’ cuisine. If Red Bench owner Andy Mooney asks a customer the age-old question, “what’s for dinner tonight?” and they seem stymied, he’s always ready with a litany of simple yet delicious meal ideas that all start with the same thing: a baguette.
Grab Some Soup
Get a container of Red Bench soup to-go, grab a baguette, throw some fresh greens and oil and vinegar on the side—and you’re done.
A hunk of bread goes great with just about any entrée, but keep things simple with a salmon spread. Smoked, flaky salmon is a great option—maybe with a side of fresh grapes or a salad—but a creamy spread is also delicious. Try it with a growler of Bridge Jumper IPA from Excelsior Brewing Co., just around the corner on Third Street.
Fill a Board
Mooney swears by nearby Lakewinds Co-op for its cheeses. Once the kids are in bed, he’ll pile up a charcuterie board with a few sliced or crumbled varieties, olives, some meat, and hunks of bread—and he and wife and co-owner Kjirsten will settle in with a bottle of wine for a casual dinner. Because, in life—just like in cooking—sometimes simple is best.