Tartine Bakery & Cafe: absolutely as good as they say

by ninameetscafe

A cashier-to-door line is what greeted us as we entered Tartine Bakery & Cafe, a highly-renowned San Francisco highlight, famous for… much of its menu. As soon as we got in line, another crowd behind us extended it to outdoor status. It was bright, crowded, loud, and Edie, Ashley, Helen and I couldn’t wait to get our Tartine breakfast started.

This is what Edie had been waiting for since Tartine plans were on the horizon: the seasonal brioche bread pudding. Soft bread, undeniably fresh strawberries and currants, and the crunch of crust are mashed together into the most unique bread pudding I have ever tasted. (Though it was agreed post-breakfast that more crunch throughout would be that last superb touch…)

And when Ashley saw the huge bowl floating around several times en route to other customers, there was no way in the world she could escape it either.

Helen downed a cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice and then had to wait a little longer before getting her chocolate croissant. But she waited for the best reason there is to wait at a bakery: the next batch, right out of the oven. It looked amazing – crisp enough, flaky enough… Helen, of course, basically devoured it in seconds.

For me, though, the unbelievable-looking muesli I saw on numerous tables spoke to my heart immediately. Wow. Only now am I realizing how little my decision-time was… and how completely satisfied I was after I had reached the end of the bowl.  (The same fantastically big one, by the way, that the bread pudding is served in.) The coconut, almonds, apples, hazelnuts, walnuts, oats and who-knows-what-else (…it was SO hearty…) were completely soaked in the deliciously smooth and milky yogurt, but nope! – not one bit too soggy! It was crunchy and heavenly packed. It was the best muesli I’ve ever had.

A lack of seating inside encouraged us sit outside, temporarily under the sun until it left us for the other side of the building. It got a bit chilly, a little difficult to study with the surrounding commotion, and harder to legitimately claim our table for too long with a line that stretched perpetually out the door. So we went to Dolores Park.

We were all in post-Tartine bliss.

And as I sat on that glorious green bench with three darling girls I somehow, impossibly, once didn’t know at all, I pondered. Spring quarter – sophomore year – is passing fast. Once upon a time, we were at the top of the alphabet; we are now on the other side of T. And once again, in just another of countless occasions, I found myself blown away by how much can happen, how much we can learn, and how much we can grow… in just half an alphabet’s time.

Mon 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Tue – Wed 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Thu – Fri 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sat 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sun 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.