Pastries occupy a special place in our relationship and in our hearts. When Jason and I first met, he was working at The Wild Flour Bakery in Ogden. We ate a lot of pastries in those early years (and I gained a little weight), thanks to the bakery’s leftovers.
Needless to say, we expect a lot from pastries. Our usual haunts – Tartine, Knead Patisserie and B. Patisserie – never disappoint. When we try a new spot, these are the standards against which all others are judged. Croissants in Paris? Sure, they’re OK, but we’ve never eaten one that compares to the perfection that is a Tartine croissant. Kuin Amman at Dominique Ansel in NYC? Yeah, they’re pretty good. We admit it. But we’re a little judge-y when it comes to these things and that means we’re reluctant to spend those precious calories gambling on an unknown (to us) baker.
Knowing we were likely too late to get our hands on the “croissant muffin” or “cruffin” at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, we decided to check the bakery out anyway (cruffins come out at 9AM and sell out quickly). The bakery is a small, kitschy little spot in San Francisco’s Tenderloin that is wildly popular in spite of the crappy neighborhood that houses it. In this city, that means they offer something people want.
We tried the blueberry “Brioche Bomb” and a croissant. The brioche was soft and pillowy. Crunchy sugar crystals and a tasty crumb topping added nice texture. The blueberry filling was sweet, but not too sweet. Worth the visit.
We liked the croissant a lot. It had a nice dark crispy outer layer and lots of flavorful soft layers in a perfectly sized portion. It was far better than almost all of the croissants you’ll find in a grocery or a coffee shop. Worth returning for more.
If you’re going, be sure to line up early for the signature cruffin. When they’re gone, they’re gone.
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
1042 Larkin Street (at Sutter St.)
San Francisco, CA 94109
They’re open daily from 7AM weekdays / 8AM weekends and close when they run out of goodies!