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In Search of Fan Favorites from Marvelous Market and BreadLine


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Hi Foodies, 

I'm looking for the community to sound off on their favorite recipes from Marvelous Market and from Bread Line, both of which were own by Mark Furstenberg. I'm helping put together a collection of recipes from his professional baking career, and would love to know what your favorites were, and what recipe you would like to see.

Apparently the brownie from Marvelous Market was to die for.... anything else?

Thanks!

-Kathy

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This is a nostalgic favorite food topic.  Unfortunately I can't add recipes.  What I'll add though is that at whatever date in the latter '80's (correction--it opened in 1990 source ) Mr. Furstenberg opened his first Marvelous Market on upper Connecticut Avenue I soon became a regular customer.  It was either a healthy walk or a drive and park to the location.

And then it was the uniquely and ironic experience of standing in a BREAD LINE.   Bread lines;  a term previously connected to starving impoverished people waiting on line to get a meager allotment of necessary food.  This was entirely different.  People of middle to upper means standing in line to obtain an artisan well crafted utterly unique and tasty crusted, savory, thicker quality bread in DC where none had been offered before.  

The lines were long, the wait was worth it, the experience was full of conversation with like minded customers marveling at both the quality of the breads and the utterly unique twisting of the term bread line.   It became quickly apparent.  Buy as much as you can within reason based on how much you could devour without too long a wait.  I believe quotas were established as the lines were so long and the demand was so great.  

Boy with that first Marvelous Market, Mark Furstenberg really hit the jackpot!!!!!!

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2 hours ago, krex said:

Hi Foodies, 

I'm looking for the community to sound off on their favorite recipes from Marvelous Market and from Bread Line, both of which were own by Mark Furstenberg. I'm helping put together a collection of recipes from his professional baking career, and would love to know what your favorites were, and what recipe you would like to see.

Apparently the brownie from Marvelous Market was to die for.... anything else?

Thanks!

-Kathy

Hi Kathy,

I just last week had a Canalé at (the now ubiquitous) Paul Bakery in France, and Mark's is way, *way* better than theirs is now. Paul Bakery does quite well for such an enormous operation, but there's no comparison between the two.

I believe Mark's Jambon Fromage is very good, but it's actually too big (or it used to be) - his is the only version that has ever *stuffed* me: I'd like to see it on a ficelle rather than a baguette.

Mark's English Muffins are the best I've ever eaten.

And, of course, *after* I wrote this, I now see that you're asking about Marvelous Market and Breadline; not Bread Furst. You should go to both the threads to see what people said (Marvelous Market, Breadline) - people's memories will be cloudy at this point.

I distinctly remember Marvelous Market's Jambon Beurre as being my go-to carryout sandwich - it was the best in town, and was *exactly* what you would expect at a decent boulangerie in France, right down to the number of cornichons on the sandwich.

Breadline was so good that you could throw a dart and hit a bulls-eye - I would just get whatever "soup and sandwich" special they had on a given day, and that's why nothing really stands out to me as being more exceptional than the rest.

Mark gave our members a tour of Breadline - here's the thread for that.

And here's the thread for "A Chat with Mark Furstenburg."

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12 hours ago, DaveO said:

This is a nostalgic favorite food topic.  Unfortunately I can't add recipes.  What I'll add though is that at whatever date in the latter '80's (correction--it opened in 1990 source ) Mr. Furstenberg opened his first Marvelous Market on upper Connecticut Avenue I soon became a regular customer.  It was either a healthy walk or a drive and park to the location.

And then it was the uniquely and ironic experience of standing in a BREAD LINE.   Bread lines;  a term previously connected to starving impoverished people waiting on line to get a meager allotment of necessary food.  This was entirely different.  People of middle to upper means standing in line to obtain an artisan well crafted utterly unique and tasty crusted, savory, thicker quality bread in DC where none had been offered before.  

The lines were long, the wait was worth it, the experience was full of conversation with like minded customers marveling at both the quality of the breads and the utterly unique twisting of the term bread line.   It became quickly apparent.  Buy as much as you can within reason based on how much you could devour without too long a wait.  I believe quotas were established as the lines were so long and the demand was so great.  

Boy with that first Marvelous Market, Mark Furstenberg really hit the jackpot!!!!!!

Any favorites? I don't need the recipe, I just want to know if anyone else might want to see them in a book, and what would they want to see in said book.

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11 hours ago, krex said:

Any favorites? I don't need the recipe, I just want to know if anyone else might want to see them in a book, and what would they want to see in said book.

Somewhat hard to recall.  The most powerful recollections coincide with the original opening of Marvelous Market, 1990.  It was an extraordinary phenomena in DC.  Unique artisan, crusty flavorful breads with the remarkable lines, and as history documents, rationing of loaves per purchase per day due to the level of demand and his efforts to serve as many customers as possible.  Through the news I was aware of Furstenberg's expansion, and also the business problems that followed, but as a consumer it didn't effect quality.  From my perspective trying to work my way back through time, my ex and I lived in upper NW so the Connecticut Avenue store was our focus.  I suspect we were there on line most weekends.  We moved to upper Bethesda during the period he operated the Connecticut Avenue store, and opened others, but that was the one we'd return to, albeit not as frequently.

I'm a bread lover from a long line of bread devotees.  Give me loaves and I'm happy, and not that aware of the other goodies.  I suppose the one that sticks out is the Olive Loaf.  I know there were other loaves that I thought were of similar or possibly better quality, and I suspect we worked our way through all the varieties but the olive loaves were new to my ex and I, absolutely scrumptious, wonderful with olive oil, other spreads, or from my perspective, devour it plain.   and so I've had many an olive loaf since then, some quite good.

Mark Furstenberg:   Thank you for introducing wondrous breads to DC and upping the baking game in this town and then returning with Bread Line and now Bread Furst.  We all owe you a debt of gratitude. 

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