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My first time here was in August and I was lucky to get a parking spot around the corner. Fascinating to observe the cheese production, especially when the cheesemaker put her ear to what I think was a pasteurizing tank a few times to take a listen. When one staffer came out of the clean room, I asked if REAL buttermilk was available for sale. Though the plan is to use it in food production, she took down my name and number and promised to call me the next time they make butter and have any extra! Turns out I was talking to Sasha, the bagel baker, and we had a nice chat about the wood-fired bagel and the influences on the house style. Part New York, part Montreal, rustic Marin, and more. No toasting available, as the bagels will always be warm and freshly baked, and that's been a hard thing for customers to accept. But my test of a good bagel is to enjoy warm from the oven without toasting, so I was happy to hear this.
Be prepared for sticker shock . . . the bagels are $3.50 apiece and to add cultured butter was a buck more. I took a seat and it seemed like it took forever for my bagel to be ready, so I went back to the counter to see what was going on. Glad I did, as I witnessed the application of the butter. Actually, that should be plural . . . applicationS. I saw the three swabs of the housemade butter go onto the warm bagel, each being absorbed into the rather porous crumb. That profile shot shows how much butter was soaked in, and the bagel kind of squirted butter with each bite. The texture of this one was a bit softer than I would like, but the flavor's wonderful. Now I'm convinced of the advantages of the sponge-y texture.
That said, I'm not willing to wait that long for a morning bagel on a routine basis, nor pay that much. Wrapping a plated, eat-in order in paper that soaks through with butter seems unnecessary. Daily Driver will be opening a branch in the Ferry Building soon.
2535 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
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