Those close to me know that I love breakfast. I believe it stems from the emptiness that encompasses my belly whenever I wake up. Due to this genetic awesomeness, I can only be one of those people who eats breakfast at work when I'm hungover. And because of this love, I think...I may have to...it's only fair...that I am considering...moving to San Francisco. Blame it on bacon!!!
Specifically, blame it on really really really (breath) really really really good bacon. Not the flimsy, flopsy, greasy, fatty bacon. No! The meaty, filling, still greasy, hearty, bacon. Le sigh. My stomach is now sad from the memories. During my Saturday morning there, I made the foodie pilgrimage to the Saturday morning Farmers Market at the Ferry Building and holy hotness, it's a market and a half. California's climate meant that there were not only the usual autumn vegetables, but also grapes, strawberries, peaches, loads of summer fruits I haven't seen fresh for at least a month, and probably won't see again until spring. There's a stand on the bay side, Primavera, dishing out tamales, but I, of course, wanted breakfast. A few stalls towards the building, I came across Hayes Street Grill selling this delicious specimen of bacon and eggs. An offshoot of their restaurant, Hayes Street Grill was selling eggs at least three different ways plus some lunchtime meals. Could life really get any better than eating bacon and eggs while watching the sail boats on the bay, and cars go over the Bay Bridge on a sunny, mid-60s late morning? I think not, folks.
But that was not the reason I am highly considering over handing in my 3rd-generation New Yorker card and going West like my great-grandparents didn't do. No, it was the one, the only, the famous, Tartine Bakery and its offshoot restaurant, Bar Tartine. Oh good Jesus in heaven, and I'm not religious. My first morning there, with no one to eat breakfast with, I made a beeline for the Mission to try Tartine. One look at the Bar Tartine website let me know that they were now open for breakfast from Wednesday to Friday. Would I pass up that opportunity? Not for my life, not after hearing about Tartine for YEARS. Bar Tartine's breakfast is what I wish every brunch was like. Quiet, laid-back, make your order at the bar, get your fork and knife, wait for your delicious egg bacon on a biscuit sandwich, and be jealous of those who can do this regularly. No waiting, no hustling, no rushing, just relax-but not too long, they do have to get ready for lunch. I'm sure brunch is crazier, I'll know for sure next time, but I would never pass up having the best breakfast a girl could have again.
Every day since, I've thought about that breakfast as well as this beauty hiding in a paper bag. After savoring my brekkie, I headed over to the mothership, Tartine Bakery. A line out the door, a person in front of me stated it best: "It smells like butter in here." It did. Luckily, the line snakes by all your options, so you're not scanning a crowd trying to figure out what you want. And if you're luckier, you have companions able to hold you seats. I was full to the brim, and it was too early for cake, so I chose the morning bun. Buttery, fluffy, croissant dough wrapped around itself, coated in cinnamon and sugar, I waited until I had some sightseeing done: "I'll just eat a little," five seconds later: "Oh, oops, you're gone."
For more information on the Saturday Market at the Ferry Building, click here.
Hayes Street Grill 320 Hayes Street, between Gough and Franklin San Francisco, CA (415) 863-5545 www.hayesstreetgrill.com
Bar Tartine 561 Valencia Street, between 16th and 17th Streets San Francisco, CA (415) 487-1600 www.bartartine.com
Tartine Bakery 600 Guerrero Street, at 18th Street San Francisco, CA (415) 487-2600 www.tartinebakery.com