We swung by a new bakery today located at 3279 Dutton Ave in Santa Rosa, formally home to Auntie B's Bakery... Red Bird Bakery owned by Linda and Issac Cermak of Della Fatoria fame.
It was about 11am when we arrived and thankfully we were able to grab the last remaining original croissant they had. Light, flaky, and extremely buttery in the best of ways. I later found out from Issac that he uses their own sourdough starter for these. While they baked the croissants at Della Fatoria for the last few years (?), he wanted me to know that he and Linda now have full creative control over their products. The use of a sourdough starter was one of the things he was quite proud of. And from how it tasted, I can understand why!
We also grabbed one of their sandwiches for share for a late breakfast/early lunch. Ham and cheese, with leaves of romaine lettuce, freshly sliced (and oh so juicy) tomatoes (possibly heirloom), cucumbers, and a combination of a balsamic aioli and dijon spread between their baguettes. From the first bite I realized I had encountered one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. The bread was soft and airy, yet had a sturdiness to it... matched with an almost perfect exterior crust. Not to mention the taste of the Zoe's Ham was immediately identifiable. I'd have to say that this was some of the best bread I've ever tasted... light years beyond the flavor and texture of the epis at Bouchon over in Yountville. Nicely browned, yet still soft and easy to bite through. A discussion with Issac afterwards revealed that something wasn't up to his standards today with this particular dough, though I didn't ask him to go into detail.
After the sandwich, we shared a seven to eight inch round loaf topped with housemade ricotta, black and green olives, roasted red and yellow peppers and garlic. It reminded me of an over-sized bialy or round foccaccia bread. Either way, it was extremely tasty. The old chef in me could have gone for a quick twist of fresh sea salt over the top, but other than that I couldn't have asked for anything more. Later I found out from Issac that they consider their their take on a traditional Italian pizza. Whatever they call it, it was fantastic.
After the filled bread, we tried one of their filled peanut butter cookie sandwiches. Two five inch peanut butter cookies were held together with a peanut butter buttercream frosting. Just the right amount of sweet without being too overpowering. Definitely something to share.
And that point, the only thing left for us to try today was an almond croissant, which we intended to bring home and drink with our macchiatos at the house. (There were a few carafes of brewed Bella Rosa coffees at the bakery, decided against it given the hour of the morning).
However, Mary kept looking at their carrot cake longingly in their display case... so I went back inside to ask how often they make it. Since they're still in their opening phases, they weren't sure when they'd have it next, so we decided to grab one while we were there.
It was quite tasty, reminding me of my own baked goods... meaning not too sweet and lots of pronounced spices in it. The cream cheese frosting was quite good and the texture of the cake was moist and firm.
It was at this point that we caught Issac running to their van and had a chance to talk to him about our experiences. He's a perfectionist and is still dialing in his doughs... and it showed in the best of ways. I let him know that if the sandwich loaf stays like it is today, he's already achieved perfection, but will look forward to what it evolves to.
They've been at the farmer's markets for the last two and a half months and are in their third week of retail operations.
Issac confirmed the use of Full Circle flours in addition to their housemade sourdough starters. Christine mentioned that while the ham was from Zoe's today, they usually source their meats from Thistle Meats in Petaluma.
Bottom line is... you should give them a try if you're in the area.
I'm pretty sure they're open M-F from early morning till 2pm or so and at the Farmer's Markets on the weekends. (Veteran's Hall in SR this Saturday and Rohnert Park on Sunday this weekend.)
It's tucked away on Dutton Ave north of Todd Road in the industrial park...
I forgot my camera today but did get a copy of their menu that I'll scan and attach soon.