|Challah A (Bon Fresco) & Challah B (Great Harvest)|
The Jewish bread is a regular treat for RDAdoc, who guest-posted last week about challah from Great Harvest bakery in Columbia off Rte 108. In the comments, Anonymous complimented the Great Harvest loaves, but said that even better were the challahs that were being sold on Fridays at Bon Fresco.
Bon Fresco? That Columbia shop right off Snowden River Boulevard is one of my favorite restaurants -- both for sandwiches and loaves of chiabatta and baguettes. But we had never heard about their challah.
That lead to a taste test and a geeky string of email humor as the scientists in my life proposed an experimental design, critiqued the statistical weaknesses, and joked about where to find a committee to approve the trial on human subjects. It ended with me picking up two half-loaves of challah from RDAdoc last Friday night, knowing nothing more than that they were Challah A and Challah B.
Now, the Swim Write Run blog has created a great series of posts testing two local foods against each other -- like flapjacks and kabobs. The Challah Trial followed SWR's pattern because both loaves were good, and the competition was tight.
In fact, I preferred Bon Fresco's challah while Mrs. HowChow picked Great Harvest. We had a good laugh calling RDAdoc so she could unblind the trial. (She voted Bon Fresco as well, but maybe not by enough to make a special trip.) I'll stand by my selection. Bon Fresco's loaf had a glossy, thick crust, and the interior has the ideal moist, eggy flavor. It was a little lighter, a little moister, and little less yeasty-smelling. We ate them fresh, then toasted the leftovers for breakfast.
In the end, these are both major finds. Two years ago, I knew that Bagel Bin in Clarksville made challah, but I hadn't realized that you could grab a loaf so easily. Consider stopping Friday for a loaf -- if only because they'd make glorious French toast on Saturday morning.
(Update: See the comments below that Bagin Bin in River Hill does still bake challah and that the Breadery on Rte 40 in Ellicott City does too. Conduct your own taste-off!)