In the smackdown: one of our previous champs, Bakery Nouveau. Entering the fray: Columbia City Bakery and the Essential Baking Company. Saltimbocca alla romana was served with the breads (to help test sauce-sopping abilities). Baguettes were secretively sliced in the kitchen and put on plates with numbers. Essential Baking Company was out of the running almost instantly; the bread was actually okay, but it just wasn’t on par with the other two. It did, however, demonstrate superior sauce-sopping abilities.
The showdown between Bakery Nouveau and Columbia City Bakery ended in a draw. The breads are both excellent, with an almost shatteringly crisp crust on the Comubia City loaf, but a near perfect marriage of flavor and texture in the loaf from Bakery Nouveau. Votes were split. I know, it’s very exciting. Actually, even though it wasn't exciting, it was fun. And I admit, my attempt to make a bakery taste test comparable to the gunfight at the OK Corral is a little ridiculous, but, meh. We'll all get over it.
The upshot: our current leaders in the Battle of the Baguettes are Bakery Nouveau, Grand Central Baking Company and Columbia City Bakery. On another note, although the cupcakes from the Columbia City bakery (pictured above) are adorable, and the cake is quite, quite good, the frosting could use a little tweaking. If they adjust the frosting, they'd be the perfect cupcake to ride off into the sunset with.