Tartine Bakery is one of those places that has been so talked about over the years of my coming to San Francisco that I always thought there was never much point in going unless I wanted to wait in line for an hour to get a croissant (there is a fair amount of line waiting for food in this city). Then a few days ago I was on my way to Dolores Park and I saw this funky corner bakery with no name out side and went in. I realized the minute I walked in and saw the impressive array of baked goods that I had stumbled upon the place.
The key, in my limited experience (I’ve been three times and hope to go again), to coming to Tartine is to do it during the week and later in the day – the line ups seem to be mostly a weekend phenomenon. The vibe is relaxed friendly and very welcoming. The surprising thing to me after creating an image of it in my head all these years was that it would somehow be more upscale, when in reality, it has a distinct patina and a fun, funky, unpretentious vibe.
In addition to sweets they also have a good selection of savory items, the ha Quiche I had was wonderful, they also do a bunch of open face sandwiches. The first day I stopped in they have Croque Monsieur that were so big you it would feed two or have it for two days. The slice of lemons poppy-seed loaf I had was sublime, in addition to the heavy sprinkling of icing sugar it taste like the loaf was soaked in sugar syrup. YUM. The coffee is good and the wine is well priced and tasty.
Well worth a visit if you are going to be visiting SF, just don’t do it on the weekend.