I tried Tartine's brownie and didn't like it at all -
too intense, not sweet enough, unpleasant aftertaste, almost hard. Larded inside with even harder, even more intense, even more solid...matter. When chocolate is too intense it starts to taste chalky, bitter, and it's no longer fun. A brownie should be fun.
I'll tell you where I found what I think is a near perfect brownie. Excellent finesse of the fudgie/cakey/chewie dynamic. Lovely dark chocolate frosting. Inside, instead of dark mystery lumps - just the right amount of chopped walnuts (classic).
Classic - that's the word. A classic (huge) brownie that that in your perfect fantasy your mom would have served you with milk after school in the 1950's.
Plus they're cheep, cheep, cheep.
Where, you ask?
House of Bagels
North side of Geary near 14th. ave.
(Also: a dozen day old bagels @ $3.50 is the best deal in town)