Those of us who shop at Grand Central Market, the almost century-old food court downtown, have long been going for mole and spices, goat tacos and carnitas, and more recently bagels and lox and hunks of cheese. But the historic city marketplace hasn't had a bakery for a long time. This will change on Saturday, Oct. 4, when Clark Street Bread begins a month-long Saturday pop-up opposite from Valerie Gordon's retro dessert shop. (Your one-stop shopping alert.)
Clark Street Bread is the decidedly small-batch bakery operation from Zack Hall, who has been baking out of his tiny West Hollywood apartment for the last year or so, and whose stunning sourdough boules and dense miches you can find at Petit Trois and the Sunday Melrose Place farmers market, via Good Eggs and, until its recent closure, Lindy & Grundy. With the opening of this pop-up, we'll all finally have a regular place to get Hall's loaves, which are some of the very best currently being baked in this town.
Hall, who is 29 and who started baking professionally — at Proof and Kenter Canyon — after years as a musician, started Clark Street Bread early this year. He'll be bringing only sourdough breads to the GCM pop-up, including, probably, country, whole wheat, Danish rye, sesame, sunflower-flax and olive. The baker's fondness for and skill with Scandinavian baking techniques is due in no small part to frequent pilgrimages to Sweden, his wife's native country.
He says his plan is to “have fun with it and test out a bunch of different loaves.” Which is lucky for us, since Hall's idea of fun is downright remarkable bread.
If you want a sense of the baker's loaves, burnished to deep shades of gold and brown, with a glorious crumb and very pretty slashes and banneton markings, check out Hall's Instagram feed. Which is how Ludo Lefebvre found him in the first place. If you aren't craving a good loaf of whole grain bread already, you will be soon enough.
See also: Grand Central Market Restaurant Issue
Editor's note: This piece has been changed since initial publication to reflect different current places where you can find Clark Street's bread.