POSTED ON JANUARY 28, 2009:
Our Daily Bread
Artisan breads rise to the occasion at Great Harvest
Check Often. Many loaves are made fresh daily. In fact, a schedule is available for which breads are made on a particular day and it changes monthly.
The perfect sandwich begins with delicious, well-made bread. At Great Harvest Bread Co., the bread is handcrafted in the artisan tradition. One slice is filled with more nutrition than most people get in an entire meal. The whole wheat flour used in the bread is freshly milled each day.
I would have enjoyed speaking with the owner about the history of the Tulsa franchise; but from my few visits to Great Harvest, I was able to gather enough operational insight and sample some of the food.
Great Harvest Bread Co. is primarily a bakery. With that as the foundation, other related foods naturally follow: cookies, scones, trek bars, power brownies and muffins. Many loaves are made fresh daily. In fact, a schedule is available for which breads are made on a particular day and it changes monthly. The general categories include plain, grain, seed, nut, fruit, fruit and nut and sweet cinnamon.
For example, I was there on a Thursday and the breads for the day included: honey whole wheat, apple crunch, Dakota, cranberry-orange, cheddar-garlic, Ezekiel and whole grain sourdough.
Great Harvest Bread Co. is a good place to pick up a loaf of bread, a scone or a cookie and be out the door, but sandwiches, salads and soup are served daily from 11am-2pm; and while I was there, I ordered a sandwich and spent a few minutes checking out the operations. A few tables are available for those few customers who come with the intention to dine in.
I didn't experience the friendliest service on this visit-- some customers were standing around unaware of ordering protocol, and it was a number of minutes before they were helped. At check-out, the service was better; the staff was outgoing, friendly and very service-oriented (it's nice to be offered a free sample).
I quickly found that to order a sandwich, the customer fills out a form and circles what they want. I got the order sheet, filled out these items for my sandwich ($5.50) (Nine Grain-bread with roast beef, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions, sprouts and tomato) and placed my order. I also had a bowl of Cranberry Bean Soup.
The sandwich was very filling and stacked full of tender, tasty roast beef. The Nine-Grain bread was thinly sliced, but dense enough to hold it together. It was slightly sweet, but not too much to distract from the meat; the Dijon mustard cut through the sweet well. It was a decent, hearty sandwich.
The soup, on the other hand, was reasonably good, but the texture of the ingredients (from what I could detect- tiny diced carrots, corn, little red beans, red bell pepper) was mushy and unpleasant. It was piping hot when served, but the flavor and texture did not win me over.
On another day, I sampled a chewy peanut butter cookie. Overall, it was good; but it seemed a little too greasy for me. Also, an authentic, rich peanut flavor was absent. I also sampled an oatmeal raisin cookie-- very good!
I also sampled the Dakota bread, which is made with 100 percent wholegrain wheat flour, water, honey, yeast, salt, roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, millet and sesame seeds. It is slightly sweet and very wholesome, good for toast or sandwiches.
I also tried a few scones; I had a raspberry scone which was stately and firm, soft on the inside with a thin crust on the outside. The center was doughy from insufficient baking. I also tried the Butterscotch scone, which had a plentiful supply of butterscotch chips- too many for me. This scone was very dense, but at least done throughout.
For a quick, healthy lunch or to satisfy a sweet tooth, you'll find a treat at Great Harvest Bread Company.
Great Harvest Bread Co.
5203 S. Sheridan
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