For a few months, my sister has been bugging me to check out Bread 'n' Bowl Company, whose name reminded me of Louis Szathmary's Bowl and Roll. She brought home a menu with Georgian Khachapuri and various breads, Borscht and pelmeni. I inquired if they have a beehive oven built deep into the floor, which she affirmed.
From talking to Arkady, formerly of Kiev, Ukraine, this tandoor or beehive oven is about 3 months old. He said there are maybe six of these in the country with one in Detroit and another in St. Louis, though he believes this location closed. I have a feeling this may be limited to Georgian bakeries, though in Chicago we are now fortunate to have two to select from. The other is the venerable Argo Bakery on Devon Avenue, a former employee is now a partner of Bread 'n' Bowl.
When I arrived to Bread 'n' Bowl, I was greeted with, "Are you hungry?" "I might be, may I have a menu to check?" "This is not a typical restaurant, we don't have a menu but there is one posted at the door." I walked back to the entrance to read the menus tacked on the window.
Upon returning, I asked for (Left to right) beef pirozhki, Khachapuri and sweet farmer's cheese pirozhki.
I also bought their Georgian bread/puri. I was informed puri is the Georgian name for bread.
There were a number of refrigerated soups, I went with the most exotic: Georgian Beef, Tomato and Apricot Soup:
They also offer Pelmeni and Khinkali, which are Russian/Siberian and Georgian dumplings respectively. The pelmeni offered today was made entirely of pork. Arkady emphasized they do not buy ground meat for their products, they begin always with meat and grind it themselves. He believes the previously ground meat is already no good by the time they receive it. I asked Arkady how he likes to eat his pelmeni. He said he is a vinegar man with maybe a bit of ground pepper mixed in. He likes to just lightly dip his pelmeni and eat. I inquired how are Khinkali eaten, he said out of hand dipped either in pepper or in Georgian plum sauce called tkemali. He had at least two variations of tkemali to dress your food to eat in-house at the few tables available.
Bread 'n' Bowl Company is on the southwest corner of Harlem and Dempster
next to the Super Cuts and in the same strip mall as Big Lots. You may see the Big Lots long before you detect Bread 'n' Bowl at the opposite end.
Bread 'n' Bowl Company
7239 W. Dempster