Friday, October 23, 2009

We looked, but we didn't touch.

If I learned one thing during my week in San Francisco, it's that San Franciscans are even more obsessed with their favorite haunts than New Yorkers are. The Saturday wait for Blue Bottle Coffee at the Ferry Building can top 40 minutes, and The Slanted Door books up weeks in advance. So I suppose it should have come as no surprise to me that the line at Tartine was out the door at 4:00 on a Sunday afternoon.

We'd already had pie, quiche and salad, so Faith and I just hung out in the line of clamoring customers, eliciting slightly dirty looks as we craned our decks to check out the display cases. The items on offer looked delicious, and ever-so-decadent.

Take, for example, those cream tarts. I thought they were the height of extravagance until I spied their mama, this insanely huge, over-the-top cream pie. Honestly - I wish I'd had something to show you the scale of this thing. It was immense.

Comfort through bounty is Tartine's guiding principle, something clearly reflected in their generous, casually sumptuous pastries. The heaping of cream in those tarts, the slightly overflowing lemon curd in the tartes au citron, and the just-a-bit-taller-than-technically-correct rochers: all of them create a feeling of off-handed luxury. They make me feel like I'm visiting the home of a most generous friend, luxuriating in her hospitality and talent.

So, yes, even though I tasted nothing, I do get what the fuss is about. Truly.

600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA

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