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Fed up with Tartine; good pastries?

Berkeley Sweet Tooth | Feb 6, 200301:38 AM

I like Tartine's product a lot; great quiche, pain au jambon and gougeres, the frangipane brioche are great, the croissants are pretty good. But I'm tired of going in and finding they just ran out of gougeres, the frangipane brioche isn't being made that day (again), the frangipane croissants are overcooked as always, etc. I like that they make things throughout the day, but it's just not a rewarding experience overall. Late opening hours on weekends, a slow-moving line, and people arriving after you staking out tables for their friends while you stand there with your just-ordered treats and nowhere to sit (my pet peeve). And they wanted $7 for a bag of corn bread cubes for stuffing at Thanksgiving that was maybe half a loaf pan.

So where can I get good pastries and coffee? Pastries are basically uniformly awful at the chain coffee stores and most bakeries. There's the store near Fillmore that serves nice French stuff, which I'm glad to know about, and am sometimes willing to travel for if I'm not far off, but I'm in Eureka Valley. (Also Berkeley much of the time; I like La Farine even more than Tartine, but it's on the opposite side of Berkeley from my house.)

I lived in Vienna, and ate at fine places almost daily. Where do I replicate that experience here? Doesn't have to be French or Austrian, just well-crafted.

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