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Pearl Bakery Restaurant Review: Pearl Bakery bread is found at many of Portland's finest restaurants and grocery stores. The secret is in the starter, specifically the levain, which is a flour and water mix where wild yeasts and flavor-producing bacteria provide the leavening. Baked loaves have a dense crumb, chewy crust, and slightly sour taste, moist yet pocked with airy holes. Olive ciabatta is studded with olives; we also suggest the multi-grain breads, including a dark German rye made only on Thursdays. The bakers turn out plenty of sweet stuff, too, from strawberry shortcake to almond croissants and Parisian-style macarons. Pick up a loaf to go, enjoy a snack, or stay for lunch in the cheerful storefront seating area. The bread is more interesting than the sandwich fillings, which tend towards the ordinary: roast beef, ham, even peanut butter and jelly. Steaming cups of coffee make a fine match for the baked goods.