The Miller family wants you to come break bread with them, even if you’re gluten-free. At their Tree of Life Organic Deli & Bakery, they’ll make a believer out of you that healthy can still taste good. Fresh-baked bread, bagels and cookies, deli sandwiches, soups, salads and breakfast items have you covered from 8 am to 6 pm every day except Saturday, which is Shabbat, or Jewish Sabbath.
The lure for this Jersey girl was the promise of an authentic bagel: boiled first, then baked, for a crispy exterior and chewy-but-light interior. Varieties include sunflower seed and traditional poppy seed ($1.50 each, six for $5.25). Sliced, lightly toasted with cream cheese and butter, and I was all verklempt for the deli bagel of my East Coast youth.
All baking is done on-site with loaves available for order. White or honey wheat ($4.25), rye ($5.75) and Challah ($5.25) — a slightly sweet, eggy bread prominent in Jewish tradition — are all organic.
A drive-through and convenient location — just off I-90 near Tidyman’s in Post Falls — means breakfast of hot cinnamon rolls ($3.50), a breakfast wrap with eggs and corned beef ($5.25), or potato latkes ($4.77). Don’t worry about pronouncing sufganiyot ($1.25), just ask for the best donut you’ll ever eat (filled with lemon curd or raspberry) and don’t forget a cup of their trademark coffee ($1.95). Or drink your meal with fresh-squeezed juices like the tangy-sweet blend of carrot, apple, celery, ginger and lemon ($5.25/16 ounces).
Lunch means daily soup specials — look for Monday’s lentil or Sunday’s matzah ball — several cold salads and traditional deli sandwiches. On the day I visited, a steady crowd flowed through, including a skeptical Betsy Rosenberg, a Chicago native plenty familiar with what pastrami ($8.95/$12.75) should taste like. Her pronouncement: surprisingly spicy and very good.
Or, try the lamb burger on a Challah bun ($9.95), Reuben ($8.95/$11.75) or cold turkey or chicken salad ($7.77). All served with a kosher dill pickle, of course.
Tree of Life Organic Deli & Bakery • 565 Vest St., Post Falls • Open Sun-Fri, 8 am-6 pm • www.tolorganics.com • 208-773-2865