Mel on the Lower East Side focuses on artisanally-milled flours and heirloom grain varieties - a sentence that could reasonably induce eye-rolls or outdated Portlandia jokes you make even though they aren’t funny anymore. But bread head or not, it’s easy to love this bakery whose owner spent the spring diagnosing the ailments of strangers’ sourdough on Instagram. Any of the loaves you try at Mel will be springy to the touch, crusty on the outside, and essential for your at-home lunches. The catch is that they’re only open to the public on weekends, and usually run out of loaves within a few hours of its 8am opening.
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