Rating: Buy, Hardcover, New
In 1994 I started working at the local hospital which was about a 10 minute walk from the Pan Chancho Bakery. A colleague introduced me to the restaurant/bakery a year or so later which was about a year after Pan Chancho opened, for the next four years I walked to Pan Chancho once or twice a week often to get a Smoked Turkey Sandwich and a Chickpea salad. At that time the Pan Chancho Bakery was located in a quaint brick building which it was rapidly outgrowing, I met the owner, the late Zal Yanovsky there a couple of times, he of the "...million dollar mind and the ten cent memory..." in Zal's own words. In 1999 I went to school in Thunder Bay and one of the first jobs I did a site review on when I started working as an engineer was at the new site of the Pan Chancho Bakery. Regretfully my office is a little too far to make the weekly pilgrimage to the bakery but I do occasionally wander in when I'm in the downtown.
Thankfully, a couple of years ago Zal's daughter published the Pan Chancho Cookbook, a companion to the Chez Piggy Cookbook. If you're a reasonably skilled cook that likes to occasionally put on a meal that tests and showcases your skills then I highly recommend both books. Both books are great, but the Pan Chancho Cookbook has the edge for nostalgia's sake because it has the recipe for the Smoked Turkey Sandwich and the Chick Pea Salad I once enjoyed regularly. I've derived a small number of recipes that my wife and I use regularly from eating at Pan Chancho including a tomato basil and feta salad. The cookbook verifies that I've correctly parsed the ingredient list from taste alone, in some cases I've even improved a bit on the original (it was hard but I managed). Pan Chancho is famous for its bread and adding to the legend are the sandwiches, but the cherries on top are the desserts. The cookbook is replete with a full repast of sweets for the sugar addict. I'm looking forward to making the chocolate pate in particular. If you're looking for a cookbook that add's a certain 'Je ne sais quoi!' to your recipe repertoire then the Pan Chancho Cookbook should be welcome addition.
I have to admit that I know what that Je ne sais quois is. C'est le sandwich à la dinde fumé!