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Four Bakeries in Three Hours/Long

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Four Bakeries in Three Hours/Long

ciaogina | Sep 2, 2003 11:14 PM

Spent some time in Sonoma early on this past weekend with a friend and thought I pass along my eatings. After hanging with me for 48 hours my friend is now fasting.

On the way back into SF from Bodega Bay we stopped for coffee and bread at Wildflour Bakery in Freestone. This is a co-op bakery that was started by a former stained glass artist who went on to learn artisan bread making in Paris and the Pyrenees. The Fougasse is a 3" wide 6" long log o' olives, garlic cloves with cheese--the king that has that after it cooks is savory and brittle. It's a dense rich bread. I also indulged in a chocolate hazelnut biscotti that was hand formed, nicely crisp with real hazelnuts and chocolate bits. My friend had a pistachio ginger that was also good.

Off we wandered to downtown Occidental where there's a new bakery in town called the West Pole Bakery & Cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. This place once was a bike shop and the owner converted it into a cafe. It's also now in partnership or something (I couldn't stop eating to ask to many details) with Taylor Maid farms so most items are made with organic goods including the flour.

This bakery is an excellent alternative to Harry's across the street (there's now a choice in Occidental!). We shared a generous serving of vegetable frittata, with roasted rosemary potatoes and a slice of artisan bread make in the wood-burning oven. The frittata was light and fresh tasting ($8.50). They have this house hot sauce that is mild on the caliente scale. The outer layer of this egg dish was so tender it was almost like eating pastry. The service was friendly, "just stopping by again to see how you two are doing."

The dinner menu features pizzas from the wood burning oven and also local seafood dished. Worth a stop in for any meal service.

Next, after my friend, said, "I can't do this. We have to stop eating." But since I was driving I just nodded and suggested we get back to the city via Tomales/Pt. Reyes. There's a bakery there. So off we went...

I stopped in the Tomales General Store where by luck I stumbled upon a jam tasting from a new local, Wild Pear. The Blood Orange marmalade was excellent but the Strawberry made with local organic strawberries "that grow right down the road" the gal said from behind the counter. I picked up a strawberry jam and a blood orange for $8. Okay, it's not as good as June Taylor--it's very very close. I think there needs to be a bit more pectin injected or somethin' as it get's a little soft/liquidy after it's opened. But the flavors are bright and taste like real fruit. Very promising.

I dashed across the street to the Tomales Bakery where I picked up a pesto twist log and a monkey/congo bar (cocunut, nuts, chocolate on a shortbread base) and another coffee. While there I ran into the jam maker. She's friendly, just starting out and thanked me three times for buying her goods. Sometimes I just like small towns.

Anyway, I stuffed myself back into the car while nibbling on the bar--a buttery chocolately ambrosia. Perfectly good.

Rolling into Pt. Reyes I was nibbling on the pesto twist--chewy, flakey and just the right amount of savory. We went to Bovine and had a corn jalapeño scone which I thought was a bit dry. Always a bad sign when you are thinking, now if I had some pico de gallo on this how good would that be? Bovine usually never misses so it could be I was near done!

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