The workday at Breadzilla starts before dawn, and it’s guided in part by the daily lunch menu. Regulars know to check online at 11 a.m. when it’s released, a scan of the owner’s detailed penmanship. The menu is a mind-boggling feat, presenting a dizzying diversity of offerings at the crossroads of co-owner Nancy Thompson’s New England background (lobster roll, clampie turnover) and Brad Thompson’s Pennsylvania Dutch roots (chicken corn soup and chicken potpie). The shop, which we first featured in 2006, revolves around a tireless devotion to from-scratch creations: Breadzilla smokes all its own meats, sources seafood direct from fishers (both were marine biologists before they were bakers), and bakes with a two-decades-old starter that each day becomes squishy rolls, whole wheat loaves, hand-rolled bagels, olive bread, two types of baguettes, eight grain sunflower loaves and much more.
Each sandwich is a stack of ingredients, painstakingly conceived and combined, that bears a unique name. Favorites include the Roast Beastie, TMP (tomato mozarella pesto), the Simple Tomato (available only during the local growing season), Codwich, Spicy Tuna Jack, and Simple Shrimp Salad, as well as an assorted salads, noodle dishes, and recent additions of tacos and banh mi. (Our photographer’s favorite is the blackened salmon served on a squishy roll with avocado.)
To help you navigate the lunch rush, here are at least 11 items explained. Lunch runs from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. every day except Monday. On Sundays, lunch runs until 1:30 p.m. and Breadzilla stops taking phone orders at 1 p.m. If you miss the window, you’ll have to settle for the soups, pizzas, fish salads and other groceries. We recommend freezing their soups and pizzas for days when you don’t have the time to cook. One more tip: Rules are posted all over the store; observe them and you’ll be very pleased.
1. Pan-seared fresh monkfish filet on grilled squishy bread with fresh cucumber, cilantro and zesty Vietnamese nuoc chan sauce.
2. The Hippy Dippy, toasted honey wheat with cheddar, avocado, tomato, carrots, alfalfa sprouts and mustard mayo.
3. Indian Curry Thigh Wrap, juicy pan seared curry rubbed chicken thighs, avocado, spicy carrots, greens and fresh mango-lime vinaigrette.
4. Blackened Salmon Filet on stir fried noodles.
5. Southern Fried Chicken Finger Po-boy on toasted squishy bread with lettuce, tomato, mustard-mayo and awesome sauce.
6. Grilled chicken breast on squishy bread with melted American cheese, pickles, onion, tomato and mayo.
7. Brad Thompson displays a tray of stir fried noodles.
8. Grilled Skirt Steak Salad with greens, tomato and spicy carrots.
9. Taking lunchtime orders over the phone as Nancy Thompson tosses pizza dough.
10. Lunchtime pizzas straight out of the the pizza oven.
11. Quinoa Salad with chick peas, avocado, tomato, spicy carrots, arugula and lemon vinaigrette.
12. Vietnamese Chicken Salad with marinated bean sprouts, shallots and green beans.
13. Crispy Duck Quesadilla with jack cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomato and green sauce.