Monday, December 5, 2011

San Francisco: Tartine Bakery

For several years I've kept a mental list of SF "foodie favorites" I want to try, and it looks something like this: Delfina, Pizzeria Delfina, Zuni Cafe, Aziza, Campton Place, A16, SPQR, Flour + Water, Bi-Rite Creamery, Humphry Slocombe, Tartine Bakery, Miette, the Ferry Building, Acquerello, Boulevard, Jardiniere, Slow Club, Foreign Cinema, and probably a few others I can't remember right now.  This doesn't include, of course, the Greater Bay Area wish-list places like the French Laundry, Cyrus, and Manresa.

Fortunately, I'm still young.  I made it to Aziza, SPQR, the Slow Club and Jardiniere (for dessert) in 2008, and to Pizzeria Delfina and Tartine Bakery two Saturdays ago!  Pizzeria Delfina and Tartine are just steps from each other on 18th Street.  There was a line out the bakery door when Andrew and I arrived at the pizzeria for dinner, but when we walked past again after dinner, the line had miraculously disappeared.  Time was tight, so we marched right in, almost immediately decided on a 4-inch coconut cream tart, and brought it home to enjoy after the symphony concert.

It may seem like two people could easily finish the entire pastry in one sitting, but the coconut cream is deceptively rich, so we only ate half.  Fortunately, the sweetness is light, and complemented nicely by the toasted coconut shavings on top.  There is also a layer of bittersweet chocolate inside the pastry shell, which prevents the solid-yet-flaky crust from suffering any sogginess.

Even the next morning, when the remaining half was our conclusion to at-home brunch, the tart tasted just as good.  At some point we'll have to try Tartine's croissants, about which I've also read much hype...and maybe their passionfruit lime Bavarian cake, too.