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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until lightly and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Blend in the mashed bananas and buttermilk along with the orange zest or cinnamon, if using.
Switch to a wooden spoon and add the flour mixture in batches to the batter, mixing just until each addition is incorporated. At the end the batter should be barely blended (it will be thick). Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Sprinkle the chips on top, if desired. Bake until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan and finishing cooling the bread upright on the wire rack.