Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tartine Bakery – Behold the Mighty Breakfast Bun

Tartine Bakery – 600 Guerrero Street, San Francisco, CA 415.
BART to 16th and Mission

When travelling to a new city, it’s best to seek food advice from locals, and they never usually steer me wrong. This was totally the case this week in San Fran, as my awesome co-workers Danny, Diane and Dina (the 3 D’s) told me about some pretty amazing eats in my Mission District neighborhood. One such not-to-be-missed place is Tartine Bakery, which turns out to be quite the popular spot, as folks from all over San Francisco go there to enjoy their freshly baked sweet and savory treats. However, there’s one item it’s most famous for, which I was dying to try – the almighty Breakfast Bun!

Even though they warned me I’d have to wait in line, I wasn’t expecting this to be the case on a weekday after morning rush hour. But they were spot on, as I walked up to Tartine, only to find a line snaking outside the building. Honestly, I was contemplating walking away, as I was in a hurry, but once I got a peek and a whiff of what lay inside, I just physically couldn’t walk way.

When I finally got inside, I understood the intense crowds. The display case literally said it all, as it was filled with the most immaculate sweets including chunky hazelnut tarts, fluffy meringues with perfectly browned shells, chunky and buttery chocolate chip cookies, humongous fluffy croissants, and of course the famous breakfast buns. I inched my way very slowly to the front of the line, which took about 18 long minutes to get through, but I can wholeheartedly say that the wait and effort were worth it.

Breakfast Bun – Though I expected the bun to be bigger, after I tasted it I was thankful for its size, since it was so stinkin’ rich. One bite and I was a total convert – loving the flaky, croissant-like dough, dotted with lots of butter and a lemon glaze that gives it a fresh, zingy bite. The outside is beautifully crunchy and sticky while the inside is soft, fluffy and contains a delicate filling of cinnamon that just warms every inch of your body. Not being able to resist eating the whole thing, I was worried it’d heavily settle into the bottom of my belly but not at all, and I was surprisingly feeling light (this was probably just in my head, as there was nothing light about it) :)

Service and Cost:
Although it took forever to get to the front of the line, and I do understand that it’s a part of the Tartine experience, when I did get approached by Tartine’s staff, they were nice and pretty quick with my order. However, I got the sense that they were incredibly swamped and not in the most relaxed spirits.

Costs are expensive but totally worth it for all you sweet tooth hounds. My bun was a whopping $3.95 for a pretty small portion. Cakes and tartes range from about $38-$64 for the whole thing and about $5-$7 per slice.

3 Sticky Mmmms

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