Steps away from the Greenlawn train station, Lily’s Bread Box is as adorable and charming as a life-size bread box can be. We are drawn in by the rich and deep purple walls set off by an antique chandelier looming overhead. We are alone here only a few moments before the steady flow of the regulars meet with the newbies who all follow their noses towards the sweet smelling breads that sit neatly along the wall.
Daniel and John ogle the brownies that rest neatly in a pyramid at their eye level. The thickness of the dessert and the wafting aroma of chocolate are too much to handle as the woman at the counter hands it over. They grab for it, and it meets their high anticipation. I order a demi baguette to bring to dinner at my parents’ that night. We cut the brownie in two and sit at the happy little, basil adorned, table by the window. I wait for the boys to dive into the chocolatey goodness. Instead, John pulls the baguette out of its sleeve and rips off the end before diving mouth first into the crispy outside.
For a moment, I am transported back to Paris. Each evening I had the opportunity, I sat on my balcony-built-for-one and watch the passers-by heading home. After they stopped at one of the three boulangeries on my street, they walked with one or two long baguettes tucked neatly under their arm and would rip off the end. They chewed and walked and we could never tell if this was necessary to ensure freshness or a mandated and calculated maneuver or, perhaps, they were just hungry. Either way, my husband and I remain fascinated by this and rip off the ends of our own baguettes and hungrily devour this delicious reminder of our time in France together. I would like to think this has been born innately in my little John, but either way, I was happy to relive the memory in the quaint shop that values the same crackling crust and fluffy interior.
Daniel, too, dives into the center of the scored loaf. I sample the chocolate brownie. Its chocolate flavoring is rich and perfectly sweet. I could taste the cocoa within, and nibble away as the boys enjoy the bread.
The shop brings their products in daily from Arthur Avenue suppliers. A taste of the culinary haven in the Bronx, found in Greenlawn, is an incredible discovery for those unable to make the journey west. We take our bites as we watch the continual movement between the bread counter and the coffee bar. Another adventure, less our food gift for dinner, we head to the awaiting train down the street.