My sister, who often liked to post on the Boston board as "Apple," was in town a couple of weeks ago, and in my effort to woo her from New York (her new home), I tried to take her to every one of my favorite bakeries in San Francisco. She is studying to be a pastry chef, and professionally and personally interested in all things involving butter, eggs, and flour. I failed miserably in my effort to hit every place, but I wanted to recount some of the highlights. I doubt any of these will be a surprise to the regulars, but since I moved here only a few months ago myself, I thought my little report might spur some new recommendations that I can save for her next visit.
Arizimendi--corn cherry scones. We both love anything with corn, and these are truly wonderful, grittier texture and more satisfying than your usual corn muffin. I wish I lived close enough to try each of their daily breads--is there one I should make a special trip out for?
Noe Valley Bread Co.--chocolate cherry bread. This holds up surprisingly well, so that even on the 3rd day, a slice toasted just enough to slightly melt the chocolate made the start of my day so rewarding.
Frog Hollow Farm at the Ferry Building--pear and gorgonzola cheese tart, probably our favorite of the entire visit. We shared one, swapping bites as we wandered around the farmer's market for 3(!) hours. The flavors were perfectly balanced--flaky pastry, not-too-sweet fresh tasting pear, and sharp cheese. FYI, if you're trying to get a chow-friend to move to the Bay Area, wow her with California's produce.
Bay Bread (on Fillmore)--an old favorite of hers, so nothing in particular, except that we had the luck to go there right before closing on Sunday afternoon, so for the price of a canelle, we were given a couple danishes, sandwiches, etc. etc. I don't want to tout this too much, since their goods are worth full price, but what a happy surprise!
Stella Pastry--another old favorite of hers, though she thinks their amaretti cookies are somewhat inconsistent. Anyone know where else we might try for good Italian amaretti?
Places I wanted to take her to, but didn't get a chance: Golden Gate Bakery, Tartine, Dianda for their almond cake. Thanks, Chowhound, for giving me a chance to reminisce about her visit!