By Cat Wurdack
Wed-Fri 7 am – 6 pm
Sat-Sun 8 am – 6 pm
Closed Mon, Tues
Bread is the passion that drives the rhythms of the day at Tabor Bread, a bright and welcoming retail bakery/cafe at SE 51st and Hawthorne Blvd.
From mix to bake, Tabor Bread is predicated on the principle that the best tasting, most nutritious, and easily digestible bread reaches its natural perfection in a wood-fired oven. To that end, Tabor Bread begins with a sourdough starter and flour which is milled in-house from organic or transitional heritage grains grown in Junction City, Oregon.
The brick wood-fired oven and chimney rise majestically up and out of the broad, airy space. This oven is as indispensable as a good-natured draft horse without which the farmer could not complete his work.
Wood is shoveled into the oven at 3 pm daily and left to dry. At 6 pm, the wood is lit and the fire burns slowly all night.
At 7 am, bakers Cory Mast and Aris Albiñana arrive to sweep out the embers and mop the oven. Then they load the bread — as many as thirty to fifty loaves — that has been rising overnight.
Fresh warm loaves are ready at 9 am.
Daily bread includes Red Wheat Boule, White Wheat Batard, Spelt, Kamut, Rye and others. Most loaves cost between three dollars and six dollars. The two-and-a-half-pound Red Wheat Boule made of distinctive Red Fife Wheat is eight dollars.
Menu highlights include morning toast with a choice of unique house-made jams; seasonal fruit galettes; savory bread pudding; kale sandwich with kalamata olives, basil, and goat fromage blanc; beer and wine, and Spella coffee.
In collaboration with Tabor Bread owner Tissa Stein, architect Kewan Mizani (eM/Zed) and builder Patricia Perkins (Pi Woodworking, Inc.) breathed new life into the former single-story medical building by lopping off the top of the existing structure and raising the ceiling to 21 feet, re-purposing the fir ceiling joists for table tops, and installing hickory wood floors. The cumulative effect of light woods and abundant natural light makes the space fairly glow.
Both counter and table seating are featured in the 2000-square-foot area. Outdoor seating includes tables and chairs with wooden benches planned along the building’s east perimeter. A graceful Universal Access path with handrail has been artfully worked into the front of the building.
In April, Tabor Bread will extend its hours to offer a wine bar and live music.