Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tartine Bakery and Line

Saturday morning I ventured down to Tartine (a place that had come highly recommended from both online (shopikon) and real life (friends) sources). I was super up for this place. When I got there at 11 the line was already two houses down the block of Guerro.

This is the line I was in:
 

But I decide to commit to the line. Which honestly it is moving. It moves. I find out 45 minutes later that it moves because actually we are not waiting for a table, but just to order at the till and then take it to go or sit down (We take it to go). The space is disappointing. Like deli style cafe/ no charm. But, the cakes do look amazing. I get a coconut cream pie. I am a croissant snob and they too look very good for an American bakery. My friends get two chocolate ones. I also get one of their rustic sandwiches (cheese and lemon and almonds and sage) and a very good coffee.

We take it to go and wander up to the top of mission dolores park to sit in the sun and eat (however there were actually tables available when we had ordered).

The cakes do look delicious: 
 

The sandwich was ok. Too much bread for my taste and not enough green. I don't recall much sage flavour nor almond. It mainly just tasted like melted cheese on bread with lemon (which sort of killed the cheese flavour, but gave it a greasy, chewy melted cheese topping sense as you bit into it; even as it tasted, as said, mainly like lemon.) It was also huge! And I actually was pretty full when I had finished and was about to start on the voluptuous coconut cream pie.

The coconut cream pie:
 

This really looked like an intensely lush, and creamy experience, with just the right amount of crusty, flacky pastry and a scrumptious yet subtle crunchy coconut flake toping. I was not disappointed. This pastry (though super hard to share because the cream was super creamy and kind of went everywhere! - which meant I basically just ate it on my own! Score!) was everything it looked like and more. The cream had just the right consistency, which is to say it was actually creamy (not watery, not spongy, not meringue-y, but heavy liquidly, filling cream: sitting firmly within the pastry yet running ever so slowly as I bit into it.) The pastry was firm, yet flacky as I broke the crust; not too soft and not too hard, but actually just right: having not suffered the slightest of sogginess from the cream filling. The flavour was rich, with hints of coconut, making it not a sugary mayhem but rather an extravagant coconut milk indulgence. It was really extremely good! (Worth, I think, standing in line for an hour for!!)

I was actually fairly disappointed with this San Francisco classic. The line was obviously ridiculous and given the quality of the general food and coffee (the coffee was actually fine; but I stood in line for an hour!! The sandwich was just blah, and I stood in line for an hour!!), It was really not worth it. But the pastry is really good. Rich, flavourful and just out of the oven! If I lived here I would buy my birthday cake here... But why half of San Francisco tries to buy celebratory cakes (i presume, cause why else stand in line for an hour) at Tartine on a Saturday morning is beyond me (I secretly hypothesise that Californians have more to celebrate than I do.) And with that I am off to explore the mission. 
 
Tartine Bakery on Urbanspoon

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