Category Archives: Bakeries

Bread And All That At Tartine Manufactory

Almost too pretty to drink: the Speaker Box cocktail at Tartine Manufactory.

Almost too pretty to drink: the Speaker Box cocktail at Tartine Manufactory.

 

I should rename myself Carb Gal because when it comes to artisan bread, I have no will power.

So when I recently met a colleague for dinner at Tartine Manufactory in San Francisco, I was all set to indulge in some very fine bread — and to take a loaf home for later. But no such luck on the latter. More often than not, the bakery-restaurant runs out of retail to-go loaves long before dinner, and reserves the rest for the evening service.

I may have left with an empty hand, but in no way with an empty stomach.

We still managed to order some slices of oat porridge bread to enjoy at the table. The thick, substantial slices were made for spreading butter on. It really does have a cooked grain, porridge-like flavor. This is bread you could happily eat all on its own and be satisfied. But if you know Tartine, you know that already.

Loaves reserved for dinner service.

Loaves reserved for dinner service.

What you might not know is how inspired the cocktails are, and how beautiful the food is in a naturalistic, non-contrived way.

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Holiday Cranberry Crumble Pie

Wouldn't this be a beauty for your Thanksgiving table?

Wouldn’t this be a beauty for your Thanksgiving table?

 

What would Thanksgiving be without a perfect pie to end the meal?

Just lacking, plain and simple.

I know people who would gladly bypass the turkey and fixings, just to lunge for the finale of pie, pie and more pie.

Because I’m one of those people who actually doesn’t like pumpkin pie, I’m always on the hunt for an alternative that’s just as homey, festive, and — in my mind — far more delicious.

I found it in “Cranberry Crumble Pie.”

Sister Pie Book

It’s from the new “Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories of A Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit” (Lorena Jones Books), of which I received a review copy.

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Get To Know Spokane Part I: Sips, Doritos Ceviche, Original Crab Louis & More

The Skyride tram at Riverfront Park in downtown Seattle.

The Skyride tram at Riverfront Park in downtown Seattle.

SPOKANE, WA — Sure, Seattle may have the Mariners, Seahawks, Amazon headquarters, and James Beard Award-winning chefs and restaurants. But Spokane has a spectacular waterfall in the center of the city. Take that.

Seattle may get more attention, but Spokane definitely deserves its own fanfare for attractions and attributes all its own. That’s what I discovered when I was invited to visit the state’s second largest city recently by Visit Spokane.

It’s a most livable city — with home prices not surprisingly a fraction of those in Silicon Valley — a revitalized downtown that’s safe to walk around in at night, a renovated waterfront, a thriving convention scene, fabulous bakeries, and cool restaurants opening in repurposed old buildings.

What’s more, it gets less rain than Seattle.

And it’s the birth place of Father’s Day.

Get to know what else there is to love about Spokane.

It Takes Bread & Beer Seriously

Does it ever, especially at the newly opened The Grain Shed, a bakery and brewery all in one.

At The Grain Shed, they revere local, heirloom grains, but keep their sense of humor about it all.

At The Grain Shed, they revere local, heirloom grains, but keep their sense of humor about it all.

Yes, come for a pint and a loaf. And for Pizza Mondays.

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Baked Brie En Croute — For Your Holiday Entertaining

An elegant brie en croute fit for company -- or just spoiling yourself.

An elegant brie en croute fit for company — or just spoiling yourself.

 

Who doesn’t love warm, melty, gooey cheese?

Swaddle it in flaky, buttery pastry and it’s even more irresistible — if that’s possible.

That’s what you get with Marin French Cheese’s Baked Brie en Croute.

America’s longest continually operating cheese company that was founded in 1865, Marin French Cheese brings back this popular product for the holidays through the end of this year. I had a chance to try a sample recently.

Its brie, inspired by the luscious triple cremes of France, gets encased in pastry dough made by La Boulangerie of San Francisco. It’s a simple idea. But the execution is top-notch.

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The Quest For Triple Coconut Cream Pie

Follow the sign.

Follow the sign.

 

SEATTLE, WA — When my husband and I were planning our recent trip here, there was one thing first and foremost on my mind.

Coconut cream pie.

The Triple Coconut Cream Pie by Tom Douglas, to be exact.

It’s been Douglas’ best-selling dessert ever since he put it on the menu when he opened his flagship Dahlia Lounge in 1989. It’s the primary reason he later opened his Dahlia Bakery next-door. He sells more than 1,000 coconut cream pies a month. He’s donated them to charity auctions, where they fetch upwards of $5,000 each!

Even one of my best foodie friends told me she’s not usually a coconut cream pie fan, but fell hard for this one. A Lyft driver on my trip told me she loved it so much the first time she had it, that she went back the very next day for another slice. Friends on Facebook described the pie as “life-changing.”

Our first stop the morning after flying in was indeed Dahlia Bakery, where you can buy a whole 9-inch coconut cream pie ($42), a 6-inch one ($22), a slice ($7.75) or even a “bite” ($3), which is a two-bite-sized pastry with the same filling and topping as the regular-sized version.

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