Tartine Bakery, San Francisco.

October 2013

This little place in the trendy/tourist part of the Mission neighborhood is one side of a restaurant-bakery collaboration. It was mobbed even on a Wednesday morning, for very good reason. It’s pretty San Francisco, everything  coarse and crunchy, inadequate salt (there was one shaker in the whole restaurant and one of the ladies had to dig around to find it) but refreshingly plenty of sugar.

The coffee was bitter like you get in Café Artigiano in Vancouver. A frangipane croissant was huge, crunchy, and chewy-soft in the center which was packed with heavy sweet almond paste. Then the croque monsieur for which there were four choices of predominant flavor — we chose the shiitake mushroom – and which needed salt was otherwise massive and flawless with tomato, cheese, and softening coarse Italian-style bread.

We left satisfied and with a little container of bread pudding which also turned out to be fabulous, heated up a little bit with some white sugar and heavy cream. Overall 8.3. The ambience is noisy and bustling, service nonexistent, food generally fabulous, value about at expectation.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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