Ah, San Francisco. The fantastical hills, the beautiful colors, the dreamy fog; the setting of many classic movies and TV shows; the sweeping Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve wanted to visit this city for a long time, and even though we spent less than two days there on our road trip, the impressions I left with were many.
“What ever happened to predictability? The milk man, the paper boy…” Anyone, anyone…?!
One of the highlights of our time in San Francisco was, hands down, breakfast at Tartine Bakery. Even living on the east coast, I well know this bakery is a cult favorite, and was so curious to find out what the hype is about. Using organic flour and local eggs, Tartine churns out incredible breakfast pastries, breads, pies and cakes – and serves lunch sandwiches after 11:30am, too. The space is on the smaller side, with a large pastry counter on one side and communal seating on the other. But in spite of not having waiter service or enough room to comfortably seat everyone, people flock to Tartine like bees to honey; there is constantly a queue out the door.
Bottomless coffee #enoughsaid
Their breakfast buns – croissant dough rolls baked side to side (à la pull-apart bread), sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon and orange zest – appear to be the most popular offering, but since I usually go for savory in the morning, I chose the jambon-Gruyere croissant instead. Rene had a shiitake-asparagus tartine, and we shared a lemon square. Now, I have spent, relatively, a lot of time in Paris and have sampled many a croissant in NYC, and I can confidently say this was the best one I ever tasted.
Allow me to explain. The croissant is deceptively flaky-looking at first, but when you pick it up and pull off an edge, you realize it’s super dense in the center and quite heavy; there must be a quarter pound of ham in that thing. The dough itself is crisp, sweet and ridiculously buttery. The ham and cheese within really elevate it to satisfying breakfast-status, instead of a light morning treat. The best part is, Tartine Bakery recently merged with Blue Bottle Coffee, which means there will soon be a location in New York! You can bet I’ll be first in line on opening day, anxiously waiting to get my hands on one of these croissants again.
Until next time, heavenly croissant…
Another great meal we had was lunch at Marlowe, in the SoMa neighborhood. The restaurant is hip and chic, yet comfortable and not pretentious. The space itself is quite striking, with white tile floors, a white ceiling, brown leather booths and vintage-looking bistro chairs. Their focus is California cuisine. I had read good things about their burger and decided to go for it. Thick, juicy, and topped with caramelized onions, bacon and a creamy horseradish aioili, it did not disappoint.
Rene’s Grilled Calamari and Chorizo Tartine
Don Draper-ing it through lunch with the More Cowbell cocktail (gin, lemon, Aperol, Cardamaro).
Boats standing at attention in Sausalito
Have you ever visited San Francisco? What were your favorite places there?