Atmosphere: Bread Etc is a a bakery and café on the corner of Xiang Yang Lu and Jian Guo Lu. Over the last few years this part of Jian Guo feels like it has become the land of bakeries and cafes.
You literally can not go more than two or three storefronts in this area before hitting another coffeeshop or bakery. That makes it all the more impressive that Bread Etc is still drawing the crowds.
The atmosphere is fairly typical with a large bakery counter where you can see the goods and then a large seating area. There are a few large communal tables where people in large headphones type on laptops.
Food: There are a couple of surprises here. First, the prices are not that expensive for the quality. I think most of the foreign bakeries have either jacked up their prices so much that it makes you cry or reduced their portions so much that you can’t even see what you’re buying.
Second, there are some unique twists on the food that actually make it better. The salmon eggs benedict is served on one of their house made croissants which makes a rich dish even richer. And the burger is one of the best out there even though it veers from American burger orthodoxy. The homemade bun is buttery and light, the meat actually tastes like beef, and the shaved cucumbers give a nice crunch while offering a good balance to the meat and bread. There is a small French flag on the burger, but alas there are no French fries. Instead they have roasted potatoes that must be made in some magical meat dripping as they are super savory and delicious. The pizza, cakes and breads to take home were also done very well.
Service: The service overall is good, but this place gets packed on weekends during brunch so things sometimes seem a bit out of hand. There was a sizable line out front and the host could have done a better job of splitting the people who want to sit inside and outside as there was some jostling about.
SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.