A line is always a good thing - at least where bakeries are concerned.
Sure, they royally suck at the airline's ticketing counter and at the DMV, but when you saunter up to a door to get a croissant and discover a line of 15 people waiting - you know you're in the right place.
I had some solo time in San Francisco, so I grabbed an umbrella from the concierge and hopped on a bus headed for the Mission District.
The Mission is one of the more gritty neighborhoods in SF; it's home to a large Latino community and experienced gentrification in the 1990s and 2000s. People flock here to sample the San Francisco style burrito, and apparently also Tartine Bakery.
I strolled up to the corner of 18th and Guerrero St. and found a line of people out the door and standing beneath the scaffolding outside the building. I stood in queue, waiting to see what all the buzz was about.
The buzz is likely in part because of a glowing write up by former New York Times food writer Mark Bittman. He said it was his favorite bakery in the United States, which is a pretty amazing statement coming from a man surrounded by Magnolia, Bouchon and dozens of other Big Apple bakeries.
I stood behind a distinguished man in a tweed coat, waiting to inch closer to the doorway and a stack of laminated menus. Once there, it took me forever to decide. Pressed sandwich? A couple of the many breakfast pastries? Quiche? A Croque Monsieur?
Making decisions can be difficult, especially when your stomach's growling and you're just a few people away from carbohydrate heaven.
I went whole hog and ordered a Pecorino and Almond pressed sandwich - made with sheep milk cheese, with almonds crushed with olive oil, lemon and sage. I asked the gal at the counter to throw in a croissant, a double pain au chocolat and a morning bun.
Number in hand (actually, it was the letter "I"), I grabbed a cup of coffee from the self-serve station while waiting for my package. The half-and-half and skim milk were out, but the canister with soy milk was filled to the brim.
I am so not a soy person, but I've got to say, it didn't taste that bad.
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.