Tartine Bakery is one of the most well known bakeries in San Francisco. This bakery focuses on using local, organic (if possible) ingredients, and made with love and care for great pastries.
The co-owners of Tartine, Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson won the James Beard Award back in 2008 for Best National Pastry Chef. They also printed two excellent books (my personal favorite is Tartine Bread).
When I visited this bakery during my visit to San Francisco on a Tuesday morning, the place was bustling with people. Tables were occupied. There was a line that snaked to the back of the shop. All I did was was ogle at the glorious pastries that were displayed in their display cases while waiting.
Since I’m here, I might as well order as much as my family and I can handle. Even though we do have other stops to eat throughout the day. The above is our glorious breakfast spread.
We had three different types of croissants: the pain au jambon ($3.75), double pain au chocolat ($4.50), and frangipane croissant ($4.50). They’re all large, spanning a little bit larger than a dessert plate. Flaky, crispy, crunchy and packed with flavor. The pain au jambon is a ham stuffed croissant of my dreams. I would eat this for breakfast everyday. The double pain au chocolat is what its stated. Instead of the traditional chocolate croissant that has one skinny stick of chocolate, this has two, one found on each end/side. The frangipane croissant is a decadent, sweet almond paste filled within and dusted with a thin blanket of powdered sugar.
The cappuccino (their beans were sourced from Four Barrel) was very well made. Smooth yet a strong cup.
My parents opted for glasses of fresh orange and grapefruit juices. Each glass tasted like the citrus was kissed with California sunshine and there were fine pulp floating within.
For the savory, non-laminated pastries we also had a warm quiche that’s custardy and filled with fine slices of ham, sweet onion and cheese. The cake aux olives ($4.95) was my other favorite savory baked good. It’s not a traditional, sweet cake loaf like you would think of. It’s a savory, almost bread-like pastry that’s heavily flavored in sharp gruyère, briny black olives, and thin slices of ham. If it were lightly heated, it would be heaven.
Moving to the dessert side of pastries, a serving of warm bread pudding topped with sweet strawberries ($3.75) was luscious, not too creamy and the hit of super sweet strawberries made it delicious.
The banana chocolate cream pie ($6.25) is my ideal cream pie. I usually don’t care for banana flavored desserts and cream pie because the former usually tastes odd to me and cream pies are fairly easy to make at home. But under the discretion of an employee, it was highly recommended so I listened and ordered one. This pie is amazing. It’s not cloyingly sweet, the banana flavor tastes fresh and a perfect balance between sweet cream and bittersweet chocolate. The crust, by the way, is buttery and thick that it’s difficult to cut with plastic cutlery. And that is a good thing.
To view more of my photos of this bakery and breakfast, please scroll through the slideshow below (or click through my Flickr set):
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