The bay area holds a special place in our hearts, after all we were engaged in Carmel and have had countless memorable weekend getaways to San Francisco. Yet despite the many times we’ve walked the hills of city, we’ve never had the pleasure to enjoy Tartine bakery, until now. We heard so much about it and finally made it a mission to find out what the excitement was all about.
We arrived 15 minutes after opening and already a line of about 30 patrons wrapped outside the door. We used this time wisely to poll our twitter friends on what to order. Within seconds our question was answered, sort of. The general concensus besides “everything!” were the croissants, bread pudding, and morning buns. Trusting our twitter friends, we ordered the recommended items. The croissants were easily the best we’ve ever had and the pain au jambon was even more heavenly with gooey cheese and ham inside. We could literally hear the buttery crisp and flaky crust cracking under the slightest pressure and our table quickly became a bed of flaky crumbs as we shared one between us. Note to self: next time order one for each of us.
Next came the bread pudding. Made from thick chunks of brioche, the pudding was fluffy and custardy, (if there is such a word) much more than what we’ve had elsewhere, and we loved it. The warm syrupy fruit on top was perfect compliment.
We also had the morning bun. Slightly dense and crumbly, the pastry was glazed with a sweet orange syrup, tinged with a touch a bitterness. We both thoroughly enjoyed it with coffee and ate it all before Hong even got a chance to shoot it. But here it is in all it’s glory hot out of the oven.
On the second visit, we had a slice of quiche with ham along with another croissant. The quiche was well seasoned, light and fluffy, but as with the croissant, the crust was outstanding. Flaky and buttery, just the way we like it.
Finally on our third visit, we decided to come in the evening thinking there could not possibly be a line at 5 pm on a Sunday could there? We were dead wrong. This time it was about 20 deep out the door, but as the customers were walking out with big brown bags, we realized why. Tartine’s rustic loaf in either plain country, olive, sesame seeds, or walnut comes hot out the oven at 5 pm, just in time for dinner. Luckily we got the last half of an olive loaf–hot, fresh, and intoxicating, the smell and texture let alone the taste was amazing. One of the best, if not the best loaf we’ve had. So good, that for dinner, we asked the chef at Commonwealth to cut some up for us, which he gladly obliged. Next time, we’ll phone in our order.
There’s so much more to Tartine that you can spend your entire day there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’ll just have to save that for another trip.
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