Tartine Bakery in San Francisco

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My parents spent last weekend in the Bay. They live in Arcata, California (about 4 hours north of San Francisco) and being retired people, they enjoy a little trip now and then. They’re a little obsessed with bakeries and cafes at the moment, and they sampled the wares Caffe Trieste (my all-time favorite), the original Peet’s coffee location, the Noe Valley Bakery and Tartine Bakery in the Mission District. Trieste is something of a family icon for us; we always stop in when we’re in town. But I suspect Tartine is the place to be right now if you want a nice cup and an amazing pastry.

Moms had this to say on our family photoblog, Today In…:

Durry started eating before I could get back to the table with the coffee. Brioche Bread Pudding, a savory croissant, and a morning bun. We hope that owners of the Brio Cafe [Ed. note: Brio is a new cafe in Arcata] and Tartine are very good friends, because Brio is almost an exact copy of this amazing bakery. We have NEVER had pastries that were as perfect as these.

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There is somewhat of a catch for those folks who don’t know exactly where they are going. There is NO sign on the building. NO SIGN. It’s painted dark green. Apparently a sign isn’t necessary. When we drove by on Sunday on our way to the Noe Valley Bakery there was a line out the door. On Monday morning there was a line, but we were able to get a table inside.

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We talked after they ate about the popularity of the spot, the fact that they had no sign, and the amazing quality of their goods. Seems as though the proof is in the Brioche Pudding. But in addition, they’ve got a nice website:

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And a nice presence on Google Maps, which is simply AMAZING me right now:

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I love places that manage to be successful without spending a boatload of cash. Dynamic Micro Brands, right? If you’re a small business and you’re not on Google Maps with a nice set of photos and descriptions, do your part and figure out how to get on there. Or just keep making nice pastries and pay someone else to do it for you.