As I mentioned in the previous post I went on a Bakery Crawl for my birthday on Friday. I live in San Francisco with many a beautiful bakeries, so a one day crawl turned into a two day crawl therefor there will be a two post report on the yummy events mentioned above.
Before we begin a:
Disclaimer: If you are on the Atkin’s diet or some other low carb diet please refrain from reading any further since this post may result in binge eating carbs. I will not be held responsible!
Any bakery owners: you are welcome. Feel free to thank me in starchy, delicious goodness. I kid, I kid…unless you really do want to shower me with tasty treats.
I woke up early on my day off just to rush to the Ferry Building so I could start off my day with friends and empanadas at El Porteno. Thank you boyfriend John for pigging out with me and thank you Kristin for driving from Sacramento with a screaming child just to gorge yourself with me. Also much love to my coworkers who could take a little time away from the work day to join me for breakfast! Thank you, Jennifer, Anita, Maureen, Quiana, and Sandra. Much thanks to those of you who tried to make it but were unable too! To my team who had to be in a meeting: HA!, I mean I ate an empanada in your honor.
On to the FOOD!
El Porteno (Empanadas) – Ferry Plaza
I had a Pollo (chicken) empanada: Fulton Valley All Natural Chicken, Chicken Chorizo, Raisins, Olives. I knew there were going to be enough sweets that day and starting off with protein would be a good idea, so I will have to try the sweet empanadas next time. Boy did they look good!
Anyway, I digress.
The pastry was flaky, buttery, and perfect. The olives made it a little salty for my personal taste, but that is only because I hardly ever use salt myself, neither did my mother when I was growing up. The salt content did not stop me from scarfing down the empanada since it did enhance the other flavors as it was meant to do. Overall: Yum!
Acme Bread – Ferry Plaza
After empanadas we walked to the other end of the Ferry building to the Acme Bread Co. where I got a Rye Raisin Rabbit roll. This thing was packed! with raisins and that’s how I like it! So fresh and soft.
Trish’s Mini Doughnuts – Pier 39
I was surprised at how soft and airy these doughnuts were. I mean a tourist trap doughnut that you can buy by the bucket? Good? Awesome!
Cafe Boudin – Pier 39
Sourdough turtle loaf!
You think San Francisco, you think seafood and sourdough. I doubt this is the best sourdough in the city but it is still pretty tasty.
Mara’s – North Beach
You visit an Italian bakery in North Beach and what do you get, too many choices! I figured I would just go with something iconic, something not too sweet, something special like the Cannoli! I also bought some little butter cookies with the jam in the middle, forgot the name.
The cannoli pastry was crunchy, not at all soggy or soft. The surface was lightly “pot marked”, the kind of “pastry scaring” you only get with light batter fried by hand, with love. The filling was creamy, smooth, and not too sweet.
The buttery, jammy cookies were lovely, buttery, melt in your mouth and just a little fruity, just like San Francisco… wait a second… maybe SF isn’t so much melt in your mouth. 😀
I tried Stella’s cannoli just so I could draw up a comparison. The pastry on this one was not as remarkable, but still good. A little sweet and much larger than Mara’s. The filling had chocolate chips in it though. It was overall very good. It seemed like the American version of a cannoli, but since I have never been to Italy who am I to judge. Overall I would prefer Mara’s cannoli, but I could imagine Mara’s pastry with Stella’s filling would make for a great dessert cannoli.
Eastern Bakery – China Town
We planned on going to the Golden Gate Bakery, great reviews, but it was closed so we stopped in to the Eastern Bakery. I got some almond cookies and a steamed BBQ pork bun. Talk about buttery cookies! Muy Rico! (That’s right, I’m speaking spanish while talking about a Chinese bakery. That’s how I roll.) The pork bun was also really good, but not the best I ever had. It did hit the spot after all the sugar though.
Vital Tea Leaf – China Town
We decided to break up the carbs and aid digestion with a little tea, so we stopped into the Vital Tea Leaf Shop for a tasting. It made me wonder why it took me so long to hit up China Town to get some real tea! All the tea we tried were amazing and if you are ever in San Francisco I suggest you stop by this place. I have a feeling they could even find a tea for non tea drinkers. Maybe the buttery, popcorn like tea with a sweeter after taste (it really does taste better than it sounds).
If you like sweat cream fillings stop by Beard Papas. I had the classic cream puff. YUM! They must have used vanilla bean, or one hell of an extract, because it had the depth of flavor I have only experienced when fresh vanilla bean was used. And the pastry was SO soft and airy! If I had not consumed so many sweets I would have scarfed that thing down, but I could only eat about half.
My boyfriend John got a small Chocolate Lava cake. It was pretty good too.
Tartine Bakery – Mission
I was close to hitting the wall at this point, especially since I am more of a savory carb gal and we had been to so many places for sweets, but I managed to solider on. Tartine is VERY popular and the line was out the door even in late afternoon. Aren’t these desserts amazing looking!
I tried the bavarian cream, pound cake and berries. Om nom nom!
I also got a small side salad to break up the sugar. This is not the place to get a salad. I had a plate of lettuce with a lemon and oil dressing. I think there was some parm cheese on it too, but not enough to make a difference. That’s it people.
John got a sandwich, spicy turkey pesto, I think. The sandwich was really good, but the bread was amazing! So hardy and delicious!
Hot Cookie – Castro
By this time I had trouble even thinking about ingesting ANY more sugar so I bought two ginger cookies to go. They were good, but nothing life changing. I think this place is more for the “atmosphere” and underwear than mind blowing cookies. Yes, you can buy underwear that says Hot Cookie on it. You can even submit a picture wearing said underwear for the wall of the shop.
All in all the first day was exhausting but SO much fun. So worth the slight pink-n-ing. That’s right whitey Mcwhityson got a sunburn since she forgot her sunscreen in her big purse (changed to the small purse for the crawl) Opps.
Day two of the bakery crawl to come!