As I stood in line waiting for my order to be assembled, I couldn't help but wonder what the poor baguettes did to deserve such a treatment. A woman pulled the loaves from a toaster oven, lopped off the end and used a tongs in a twisting motion to liberate the bread of its innards. The line at Bread Zeppelin was stretching out the door, so she repeated to motion hundreds of times, before handing them off to another worker who used another set of tongs to stuff the cavity with salad.
Bread Zeppelin (6440 N MacArthur Blvd #140, Irving) serves the same litany of salad options that most modern salad operations are tossing for their customers. There are various lettuce options, scores of toppings and embellishments and more dressings than any salad bar you have ever seen. And like many other fast casual salad restaurants, they also chop the ingredients up with a mezzaluna so you get a little of every ingredient like every bite. The big differentiation for Bread Zeppelin is the baguette abuse they carry out at the end of the assembly line.
Somehow, it's delicious. The bread, sourced from Empire Bakery, gets a nice toasty crunch from its time in the oven which is a nice juxtaposition to the cool, crisp lettuce. I tried the Lone Star, which doesn't exactly classify as health food because it's filled with steak, onion rings and a creamy wasabi dressing, but it strikes me as healthier than a Big Mac, and a hell of a lot more interesting.
And I'm not the only one that's taken a shine to the place. That line to the door stayed that way during my entire meal, sometimes extending just outside of it. Bread Zeppelin is drawing a loyal following, such that a second location is in the works. Bread Zeppelin II, the Plano edition, is expected to open later this fall, to the fear and regret of baguettes everywhere.