If you’ve recently wandered by the space at 401 Main St. in Frisco, the former home of Pika Bagel Bakery & Café, you might have noticed that something’s different. The spot reopened as a new restaurant this week, an experiment in breakfast from the owners of Bagalis, chef Michael Ulehla and manager Joyce De La Torre.
Dubbed Bread & Salt, the restaurant focuses on made-from-scratch, European-style breakfast dishes. Ulehla said the goal is to create a space where people want to hang out, like the places in Europe where you wander by an open kitchen and the friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes you in.
“When we actually met, we were working together a long time ago in a breakfast place,” Ulehla said of himself and De La Torre, “and we always dreamed about it, I guess, to get a small place.”
On the menu
The menu at Bread & Salt will start with the classical things, such as eggs, hash browns, ham and house-made-pork, Ulehla said, but with the addition of made-to-order omelets with fresh herbs, goat cheese and truffle oil.
“Lots of people make a thousand eggs, and they oxidize and lose the flavor, just like you leave an apple with a bite and it gets brown,” he said. “We want to get back to the right ingredients, treating them correctly and serving them in the technically right way.”
At Bread & Salt, you might also find pancakes and French toast with fresh berries or duck confit with hash browns, eggs and a bit of roasted apples. Ulehla said a focus on good service and helping guests have a good start to the day will have people coming back — even the name of the restaurant is welcoming.
“In Central Europe, when they greet you, they bring you bread and salt, so its meaning is meant as a greeting,” he said. “It also means prosperity, and for example, when people get married, historically they bring you bread. There’s a couple of meanings, but the name is simple but it’s describing what we feel. To me, good bread is the key to everything. And salt is the spice to it.”
Because Bread & Salt will only serve breakfast, from 7 a.m. to noon every day, it provides a complement to what the couple has already been doing at Bagalis for the past 3 ½ years, with “a little more laid back atmosphere,” De La Torre said.
“I think it’s new and exciting, having the new place, and I think also people’s expectations, the anticipation to it,” she said about current Bagalis customers’ response to opening the new space. “We’re exited to start a new thing.”
Ulehla said that serving breakfast isn’t easier than dinner, it’s just different, and the customers tend to be more easy-going with their first meal of the day. De La Torre said the restaurateurs would be able to reach a broader customer base with Bread & Salt.
“Here at Bagalis, they walk in and they are afraid,” she said of the somewhat intimidating ambiance of fine dining. “They come in here and they think they want something more family-friendly.” She added that Bread & Salt would attract “all kinds of people, families with their kids, all kinds of the public, not just certain people for the wine.”