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Bread & Cie and a Valentine’s quiche

A well-fed marriage, with an assist from baked goods and hot sauce

Ham and gruyere quiche
Ham and gruyere quiche

This year marks the first I spend Valentine’s Day as a married man. Not to gloat too much, but I hit the jackpot. My gorgeous and successful bride happens to be an accomplished home chef. On just our second date, she found my heart through my stomach by making Baja fish tacos, including fresh pressed corn tortillas, from scratch. Since our wedding, I’ve enjoyed such home-cooked meals as baby back ribs with tamarind BBQ sauce, turkey broth pozole, and lamb Bolognese.

Place

Bread and Cie

350 University Avenue, San Diego

In return, I’ve had relatively little to offer on the culinary front. I’m competent enough in the kitchen, but don’t consider myself a great cook. However, like most long-term bachelors, I do have a small roster of go-to dishes I can throw together to some acclaim. And at the top of this list would be quiche.

My quiches have appeared at Mother’s Day brunches, family reunions, and boozy Sundays among friends, and have always gone over well. Sometimes I might fill them with roasted vegetables and goat cheese. Other times broccoli florets and cheddar. A personal favorite features chorizo, Oaxacan cheese, and serrano peppers.

Rosemary olive oil bread, salami sandwich, and pan au chocolate

For my wife, I decided to go with a classic: diced pancetta and gruyere cheese. I woke up early, preheated the oven, whipped up eggs and heavy cream, and baked my heart out. Her response? Meh. She didn’t finish her slice, and I wound up eating most of the pie myself, with a spoon, reconciling myself to the idea that, well, obviously my wife doesn’t enjoy baked egg dishes. I tried to put the episode behind me.

And then, I woke up to a pre-Valentine’s day surprise. My wife went out and ordered us breakfast from Hillcrest institution, Bread & Cie.

The bakery is best known for its breads, pastries, and sandwiches. And she had returned with evidence of all three. Here was an adorable, round loaf of rosemary olive oil bread. A ficelle (small, thin baguette) sandwich of salami, cheese, and honey. And a perfectly flaky pan au chocolate (chocolate croissant).

And there, in the middle of it all, was our main course: a ham and gruyere quiche.

“Mmm,” she told me, between bites, “That’s good quiche!”

A big, fat slice of house-baked quiche at Bread & Cie goes for $5.75 (you may also opt for spinach and feta). Smooth like custard, thick with ham, and topped by a thin layer of caramelized cheese, it’s better than anything I could accomplish at home, no matter how much love went into the dish.

Well played, Bread & Cie, well played indeed. You’ve once again proven your long tenure as one of the city’s go-to bakeries is well deserved. Anyone would be happy with a romantic, Parisian styled brunch out of your kitchen, special occasion or otherwise.

But know this: I can take some consolation in the fact that my wife doused her slice of quiche with plenty of hot sauce. So, apparently, your recipe doesn’t include enough Tapatío.

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Ham and gruyere quiche
Ham and gruyere quiche

This year marks the first I spend Valentine’s Day as a married man. Not to gloat too much, but I hit the jackpot. My gorgeous and successful bride happens to be an accomplished home chef. On just our second date, she found my heart through my stomach by making Baja fish tacos, including fresh pressed corn tortillas, from scratch. Since our wedding, I’ve enjoyed such home-cooked meals as baby back ribs with tamarind BBQ sauce, turkey broth pozole, and lamb Bolognese.

Place

Bread and Cie

350 University Avenue, San Diego

In return, I’ve had relatively little to offer on the culinary front. I’m competent enough in the kitchen, but don’t consider myself a great cook. However, like most long-term bachelors, I do have a small roster of go-to dishes I can throw together to some acclaim. And at the top of this list would be quiche.

My quiches have appeared at Mother’s Day brunches, family reunions, and boozy Sundays among friends, and have always gone over well. Sometimes I might fill them with roasted vegetables and goat cheese. Other times broccoli florets and cheddar. A personal favorite features chorizo, Oaxacan cheese, and serrano peppers.

Rosemary olive oil bread, salami sandwich, and pan au chocolate

For my wife, I decided to go with a classic: diced pancetta and gruyere cheese. I woke up early, preheated the oven, whipped up eggs and heavy cream, and baked my heart out. Her response? Meh. She didn’t finish her slice, and I wound up eating most of the pie myself, with a spoon, reconciling myself to the idea that, well, obviously my wife doesn’t enjoy baked egg dishes. I tried to put the episode behind me.

And then, I woke up to a pre-Valentine’s day surprise. My wife went out and ordered us breakfast from Hillcrest institution, Bread & Cie.

The bakery is best known for its breads, pastries, and sandwiches. And she had returned with evidence of all three. Here was an adorable, round loaf of rosemary olive oil bread. A ficelle (small, thin baguette) sandwich of salami, cheese, and honey. And a perfectly flaky pan au chocolate (chocolate croissant).

And there, in the middle of it all, was our main course: a ham and gruyere quiche.

“Mmm,” she told me, between bites, “That’s good quiche!”

A big, fat slice of house-baked quiche at Bread & Cie goes for $5.75 (you may also opt for spinach and feta). Smooth like custard, thick with ham, and topped by a thin layer of caramelized cheese, it’s better than anything I could accomplish at home, no matter how much love went into the dish.

Well played, Bread & Cie, well played indeed. You’ve once again proven your long tenure as one of the city’s go-to bakeries is well deserved. Anyone would be happy with a romantic, Parisian styled brunch out of your kitchen, special occasion or otherwise.

But know this: I can take some consolation in the fact that my wife doused her slice of quiche with plenty of hot sauce. So, apparently, your recipe doesn’t include enough Tapatío.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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