Sometimes we plan meals and sometimes they just happen. Before heading to San Francisco I reached out to a few bloggers to get recommendations as well as doing some online research. Tartine Bakery kept coming up but I kind of figured that there were enough amazing bakeries in NYC to not need to scope out one in California. To my surprise, when our Sunday brunch plans fell through due to a very long wait, our San Francisco local took us around the corner…TO TARTINE BAKERY. Blind, dumb luck. And, the best part – I was with enough people to try 4 things. Everything was tasty, well made, and fattening. This is a splurge and the ingredients might be all natural, but low in fat, they are not. Good thing we walked about 12,000 steps after this meal (according to my pedometer).

Standing in line, I was confronted with beautiful desserts and pastries. Since these rich, specialty items are atypical for me, I wanted it all!

tartine collageHere’s what we went with:

Treat #1 (my choice): Tomato and Spinach Quiche made with Creme Fraiche

  • Perfection. The crust was perfect, the eggs were creamier than any I had ever eaten.


Treat #2: double pain au chocolat (Chocolate Croissant)

  • As good as a European pastry. There were many layers of dough, something that is hard to find in most American bakeries. Not too buttery or sweet.

choc croissant

Treat #3: gougère (savory pastry with  gruyere, thyme and pepper)

  • Don’t the ingredients just sound harmonious? Delicious.


Treat #4: Banana Cream Tart (Flaky pastry coated in dark chocolate with caramel, pastry cream, and lightly sweetened cream)

  • Took a very small but but could see the potential. Fresh chunks of banana, delicate cream, and somewhere in there some sweet caramel.

very sweet banana

To put things very simply:

too beautiful


After passing out at 9pm (12am on the east coast in my defense), I was up  by 6am on Friday. After enjoying a luxurious workout and not having to hurry for the first time in weeks, we got ourselves together to visit Muir Woods. Unfortunately for us, it was pouring, so we hiked under umbrellas. The Redwoods were still beautiful; monstrously sized trees that date back to 1100, pretty inspiring. Imagine living here and coming to hike any weekend you wanted…an annual pass is $20.


After the hike we were drenched and needed hot showers and food, and a bit of relaxation. Later in the day I was taken to a grocery store called Berkeley Bowl. This was Whole Foods on crack, but without the commercial feel; similar to a really large co-op. Here’s the things that impressed me most:


Mixed Green Selection


Loose mushroom varieties


Bulk Bins - this is just the granola

I love NYC and my grocery selection there, but this is just the definition of fresh and healthy. When the choices are this good, I just don’t see how someone could want fast food.