Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tartine Bakery

I found heaven this past weekend at Tartine, a cute little neighborhood bakery and coffee shop in SF owned by a married baker couple (how romantic, I know). The shop is simple and small with a sort of French feel. There was also a really long line trailing out the door (reminded me of Golden Gate Bakery in SF Chinatown), so we had to wait a good half hour before ordering our food. But it was definitely well worth the wait!

According to their website, the French word "tartine" refers to a piece of bread, any size or style, with something spread on it. Thus I was expecting some excellent baked goodies and desserts...and luckily, everything was orgasmically good.

There were so many cakes and pastries and desserts that we had some trouble choosing our orders. And everything looked so pretty in the display case!

After much debate, I decided on a lemon cream tart - a sweet pastry shell filled with rich lemon cream and topped with unsweetened cream ($5.50 for 4"). The lemon filling was nice and tart, but not too sour. And the cream was so smooth! I also liked how they put tiny pink flower petals on top of the cream. Points for presentation!

Tartine is pretty famous for its bread pudding ($2.75/cup, $4.50/bowl). To be honest, this was the first time I had any kind of bread pudding, but it tasted great. A very generous bowl of homemade brioche, caramel, and fresh strawberries.

But my favorite by far was this:

Banana cream tart ($5.50 for 4") - a flaky pastry coated in dark chocolate and caramel and filled with pastry cream and bananas, topped with lightly sweetened cream, shaved chocolate, and powdered sugar. An absolutely perfect combination of textures, and the bananas and pastry offset some of the sweetness from the chocolate and cream. Mmmm.

[Note: These desserts were shared among four people. Just so you all don't get the impression that I'm some sort of glutton stuffing myself with several different desserts at one time. Haha!]

Of course, Tartine also has other great items besides pastries and desserts. All the sandwiches we tried were excellent. I ordered the croque monsieur (I was feeling very French that day) - an open faced sandwich with Tartine's great bread, topped with bechamel (some creamy white sauce), gruyere (a type of cheese), thyme, and pepper. I had mine with extra Cowgirl Creamery fromage blanc, but you can also get it with Niman Ranch ham or shiitake mushrooms on top. The resulting sandwich is very rich and filling, sort of pizza-like but with more bread.

Croque monsieur w/ fromage blanc ($7.75)

And finally, you can't really go to a coffee shop and not try the coffee.

My latte was pretty good, although it could've been creamier. I liked how they served it in a small bowl, though. Very cute.

Anyway, Tartine is definitely worth the drive and the wait if you're in the SF area! Freshly baked goods, gorgeous cakes and pastries, and fast, friendly service. Plus they use a lot of organic products in their baking. I want to try their croissants and pain au chocolat next time!

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 487-2600


Erica said...

Don't forget shiitake mushroom croque monsieur, mmm. All they're missing is mimosas and bellinis. (do they have wine? don't remember.)

Anonymous said...

I don't think they serve any alcohol. Although yeah, mimosas would've been good. Or Bailey's in my latte.

Douglas Cress said...

tummy rumbling

"P." said...

that pastrami sandwich is damn good too, and i think they do have some sorta wine list. or hell, bring your own. : )

pinknest said...

spectacular! i hope to get there one day soon. and that croque looks KILLER. mmmm.