If it's one thing I miss about living in Paris, it's the bread. Almost every morning I'd throw on some clothes and run downstairs to my neighborhood boulangerie for a demi baguette. I'd spread a napkin on the counter and break the warm bread with my hands. Add a little butter, fresh fig jam, yogurt and some coffee - it was a perfect morning.
For some reason, that kind of bread is just not available in the United States. The closest thing is probably at Tartine Bakery. It isn't by coincidence that I live exactly 3.5 blocks away. Even though Tartine's daily fresh baked bread is not available until 5pm, I'm still eternally grateful that at least one option exists.
This past Friday, I happened to find myself walking in the Mission right around 4:30pm. Perfect timing to acquire some fresh bread at Tartine. As I approached the bakery, the line was already outside the door (but then again, when is it not?).
4:47pm - I crossed my fingers and hoped that the olive bread would still be available
4:53pm - The goodies case tantalizes me with its temptations. Must resist! Focus on the mission to buy bread!
4:58pm - Mission accomplished. Half loaf of warm olive bread in hand and on the way home...
5:16pm - Sliced warm olive bread topped with cheese and a glass of wine, all on my patio with a view of downtown SF. There may not be boulangeries with perfect baguettes at every corner but taking everything else about San Francisco into account, I wouldn't live anywhere else.