Category Archives: Bakeries

Three Things to Enliven Shelter in Place, Part 4

New Crispy Tofo Sando at Gott’s Roadside

The new crispy tofu sandwich at Gott's. (Photo by Briana Marie Photography)
The new crispy tofu sandwich at Gott’s. (Photo by Briana Marie Photography)

Gott’s Roadside locations has joined forces with Oakland’s Hodo to create a new crispy tofu sandwich for a limited time only.

The $12.99 sando features 24-hour brined Hodo tofu that’s dipped in buttermilk, and dredged twice for an extra crisp coating. It’s fried to order, of course. It gets slide between a butter toasted egg bun with dill pickle slices, green cabbage, cilantro slaw, red onions, and house-made charred jalapeno mayo.

The artisan tofu is organic, non-GMO, and boasts as much protein, ounce for ounce, as chicken, pork, beef or the Impossible Burger.

Enjoy the new tofu sandwich at Gott’s locations in St. Helena, Napa, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek, and Marin through March 25.

Savion’s Sweets Opens in San Francisco

In this challenging time when so many businesses are shuttering, it’s a welcome sight to see a new one open, especially when it involves cupcakes.

Savion’s Sweets debuts today on the lower concourse level of the Westfield San Francisco Centre.

Strawberry shortcake cupcakes by Savion's Sweets. (Photo courtesy of Savion's Sweets)
Strawberry shortcake cupcakes by Savion’s Sweets. (Photo courtesy of Savion’s Sweets)

Le Cordon Bleu-trained Pastry Chef Athena Harven specializes in cupcakes ($4.25 each), offering up a slew of flavors, including some for an additional charge that are gluten-free, dairy-free, eggless or vegan.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 22

Soba noodle salad, pickled veggies, and seaweed-tofu miso soup -- the start of a Manresa Family Meal.
Soba noodle salad, pickled veggies, and seaweed-tofu miso soup — the start of a Manresa Family Meal.

Manresa, Los Gatos

If you’ve been thinking there’s no way I can afford to get takeout at a Michelin three-starred restaurant, think again.

While pre-pandemic, a dinner at Manresa would have dented your bank account, its Manresa Family Meal selections offered at this time are actually quite affordable, especially considering the quality of what you get. That’s what I found when I picked up dinner last week.

Manresa’s takeout is offered Wednesday through Sunday, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The family meal not only changes each week, but actually each day of the week, too.

A Japanese rolled egg omelet with nori for the vegetarian option.
A Japanese rolled egg omelet with nori for the vegetarian option.

When I spied last Saturday’s Japanese-influenced spread, I went for it. For each family meal, there is a vegetarian counterpart option offered, as well. I got one of each, with the soy-braised short ribs with beef jus option ($67) for my husband Meat Boy, of course. While I’m not necessarily a vegetarian, the Jidori hen egg omelette with toasted nori vegetarian substitution ($43) proved irresistible.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 21

A small, 6-inch chocolate silk pie from Manresa Bread.
A small, 6-inch chocolate silk pie from Manresa Bread.

Manresa Bread, Campbell, Los Altos, and Los Gatos

Manresa Bread is a must-stop any day of the week. But come holidays, it shines even more.

That’s what I discovered when I dropped by last week to pick up Valentine’s Day treats. It pays to heed the window for early pre-ordering, too, as popular items will sell out fast.

Pastry Chef-Founder Avery Ruzicka built a reputation for her outstanding breads, made with organic flour milled on site. Those are a must-purchase, especially the profoundly crusty baguette, which quite frankly is a steal for $4, and the oblong levain ($9) with such depth of flavor from a combination of organic whole wheat, organic white, and organic rye flours in concert with a sourdough starter.

Manresa Bread's version of a Basque cheesecake.
Manresa Bread’s Basque cheesecake.

Admittedly, I was there for two holiday items in particular: the 6-inch chocolate silk pie ($22), and the Basque cheesecake ($35).

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20th Century Cafe’s Sacher Torte

It's every bit as rich and wonderful as it looks -- Sacher Torte, a Viennese classic.
It’s every bit as rich and wonderful as it looks — Sacher Torte, a Viennese classic.

My introduction to this magnificent chocolate creation known as Sacher torte came not in Vienna, where it originated, but if memory serves me, in San Francisco — at Alice Medrich’s legendary Cocolat bakery.

Sitting down to a dark, dense, chocolately slice with a glass in which equally dark filtered coffee was slowly dripping into it was the epitome of elegant adulthood. I almost felt as if I had to hold my pinkies aloft to enjoy each and every bite.

One of the most famed European cakes around, it was first created in 1832 by 16-year-old Franz Sacher, then later gained an outsized following at the Hotel Sacher, established by his son Eduard.

It looks so fancy. And it tastes so fancy. But at its heart, it’s really just a double-layer chocolate cake that’s covered entirely in a dark chocolate glaze and hiding a filling of apricot preserves.

So, if you can make a chocolate cake, you can definitely make a Sacher Torte. Especially if using the recipe from Baking at the 20th Century Cafe: Iconic European Desserts from Linzer Torte to Honey Cake (Artisan Books) by pastry chef extraordinaire Michelle Polzine with food writer Jessica Battilana.

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Head Over Heels For Upside-Down Clementine Cake

Sliced clementines decorate the top of this upside-down cake so very prettily.
Sliced clementines decorate the top of this upside-down cake so very prettily.

No matter if winter has brought torrential rain, hail, sleet or snow to your doorstep, this simple little golden cake is pure sunshine sure to brighten any day or mood.

“Upside-Down Clementine Cake” is the quintessential one-pan cake — with the bonus of cheery, bright slices of clementines dotting it.

The recipe is from “Petite Patisserie: 180 Easy Recipes for Elegant French Treats” (Rizzoli). Inspired by the treats at neighborhood patisseries, this sweetly designed book is by Christophe Felder, who for 15 years was the pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Hôtel de Crillon in Paris before opening his eponymous pastry school in Alsace; and Camille Lesecq, a former pastry chef of Le Meurice in Paris. Together, the two also operate the patisserie, Les Pâtissiers, in Mutzig, Alsace.

The book starts out with a series of foundational recipes that others build upon. The rest of the book is divided into chapters not by specific dessert categories, as you might imagine, but by the days of the week. Only in the world of Felder and Lesecq, the week has not seven days but eight, with the addition of “Funday” — a concept that I can completely get behind.

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