Ginger cookie, Nutella brioche, and kouign-amann from Jane bakery.
On bustling Geary Street in San Francisco, a former KFC/Taco Bell hybrid has been transformed into something far sweeter.
Jane bakery opened its doors in December, producing glorious long, slow fermented loaves and fabulous flaky pastries in this former fast-food franchise spot.
This is the third outpost in the city for Jane, which is named for founder Amanda Michael’s now 18-year-old daughter.
A couple weeks ago, my friend Deborah and I were invited in as guests to sample some goodies on the menu.
You’ll find it hard to narrow down your choices here.
Michael, who grew up in San Francisco, once wrote reviews of computer hardware for a tech industry magazine. She hated it, and found solace in cooking. So much so that she went on to take classes at Tante Marie Cooking School in San Francisco. It wasn’t long before she turned her back on the tech writing to pursue pastry gigs working at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, and PlumpJack in Squaw Valley and San Francisco.
The smoked chicken sandwich at Roberta’s.
The iconic New York pizza may be a huge, greasy, foldable slice. But Roberta’s in Brooklyn is where true pizza connoisseurs flock.
At this funky place, you enter this cement fortress of a building through scuffed wooden doors to a alpine-lodge-like dining room crammed with long, wood communal tables.
A bird-eye view of the pizza making.
The dining room at lunch time.
The massive wood-fired pizza oven is to your right. You get a clue as to how much attention they pay to the pizzas here when you see a pie go into the oven. It’s never left alone for long. The cook is regularly rotating it, and lifting it, leaning the edge of the crust toward the flames to kiss it with char before turning it again and again.
Behold the Triple Black Donut at the new Supermoon Bakehouse.
Wacky. Weird. Wild.
At Supermoon Bakehouse, you’ll find some of the most mind-blowing baked goods you’ve ever laid eyes upon.
But then again, they are the the handiwork of baker extraordinaire Ry Stephen, the creator of the Cruffin and co-founder of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco.
What luck to have it open its doors in the Lower East Side the week we were in New York, too.
At this place, there’s a sense of fun in everything they do.
Pastries displayed on a long counter make photo-taking easy.
You’ll find Cruffins here, and a whole lot of other unique pastries that sport a strong foundation of crisp, buttery, airy layers — then go wild with imaginative fillings, colors and designs.
Impeccable pastries at La Fournee.
I have Deborah Kwan to thank for the added inches on my waist.
You see, the former pastry cook turned restaurant publicist, recently went on a bakery crawl around the East Bay, posting photos on Facebook along the way. When she got to La Fournee in Berkeley, I was so overcome with longing for the glorious pastries she showed, that I knew I had to make a beeline there the next time I was up that way. Thankfully, that came last Thursday.
La Fournee has been around since 2013. It was started by Pastry Chef Frank Sally, who used to teach at the San Francisco Baking Institute. It’s a little slip of a bakery, not far from the Claremont Club & Spa.
Like a little slice of France in Berkeley.
Walk inside and it’ll be as toasty as a fresh-baked loaf, owing to the fact that the ovens are only a few yards away from the entrance.
Top-selling Italian ricciarelli cookies at Market Hall Bakery.
More than three decades ago, this lot on College Avenue in Oakland sat empty except when it transformed into a pumpkin patch every Halloween.
But siblings Sara, Tony and Peter Wilson had a vision that it could be so much more.
The New Zealand natives set to work to turn it into the first European-style food court in the Bay Area.
This year, Rockridge Market Hall Foods celebrates its 30th anniversary, a remarkable achievement in this day and age when fewer and fewer family-owned markets seem able to survive yet alone thrive.
The bakery case.
A wide assortment of cured meats for sale at Market Hall Foods.
Just part of the cheese selection.
To celebrate, the marketplace is hosting monthly events all this year that feature fun free activities and treats. To see what’s upcoming, check out the calendar here.