This week Kristy Alpert manga’s some Italiano.
Overview: Tucked away in an ever-so-elusive location in the warehouse district of Addison is where you can [hope to] find Donato and Carolyn Milano’s tantalizing Italian bakery, La Spiga Bakery and Cafe. The scent is so powerful it can’t be contained by brick and glass walls, as patrons can catch their first whiff of warm, baked bread as soon as they step foot into the parking lot. Open since 1994, La Spiga is known for one product: artisanal bread. Boasting hotel, restaurant, and country club clients around Dallas and the ‘burbs, this bakery has made their passion known. But there’s a whole other side to this leavened location.
Boxes of Ruffino Chianti stack against the walls to hold displays of Italian memorabilia and antiqued photography, adding to the already overwhelming sense of comfort to this place (what’s more comforting than the smell of bread, fresh out of the oven?). All their breads are baked daily in brick ovens, and the café serves a varied menu for both breakfast and lunch. The best part of this place? The free samples. Walk through the tight tables to the back of the room to find a buffet of glass jars covering mounds of warm breads, muffins, pastries, homemade butters and jams, and more. From egg and wheat to sundried tomato and lahvosh, if you could sneak into the back unnoticed, you could feast on bread alone … worry about your conscience later. Unfortunately though, you’d be missing out on some amazing lunch dishes.
Menu: La Spiga is a definite bang-for-your-buck place. Their salads are huge and even their half of one of their sandwiches is enough to satisfy a fierce appetite. House (large $4.95), chicken (large $6.95) and Caesar (large $4.95) salads all come with homemade creamy Italian dressing and are themselves an entrée; although most people get a sandwich on the side. All of their soups are made in house and range from $3–6. Although their pastas are all over eight bucks, I’ve heard the penne pasta with vodka cream sauce is heavenly and worth the extra $.75 if you’re trying to stick to the eight-dollar-budget, as is their Bolognese lasagna. Their pizzas are made on the spot and come on homemade square pizza dough with fresh ingredients for only $8.75.
What we ate: Bread. Lots of bread. Like a rookie I ordered way too much food (it all looks so good and it’s so inexpensive!), and started with a cup of tomato basil soup ($3.25) which had a nice hearty consistency that was gently pureed, creamy and delightfully thick. Then we ate more bread. Blueberry muffin tops, cinnamon apple scones, egg bread, and more. My friend ordered the half roast beef sandwich with thinly sliced roast beef, sautéed onions, melted cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and a side of salty homemade chips ($4.25) with a fresh-brewed iced tea ($1.50). The sandwich alone was outstanding, but the homemade horseradish dip took it over the top. I ordered the half Italian ($3.95) with Italian dressing, vinegar and oil, onions, black olives, turkey, ham, pepperoni, and mustard. Both sandwiches were served with warm, doughy bread and lightly browned lunch meat served hot between melted cheese and decadent toppings.
Blurry photo of Italian sandwich at La Spiga in Addison.
Extras: Have I mentioned the bread? Good. Get some. But being an Italian bakery, it’d be a shame to leave without a cup of espresso ($1.50) and a slice of Italian cream cake ($3.25). They also have some mighty amazing muffins, brownies, and lemon bars, and if you catch them on a good day you can even try a Godfather-worthy cannoli … leave the gun.