The Fresh Loaf

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B. Patisserie in San Francisco

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

B. Patisserie in San Francisco

I just got back from San Francisco. We had the expected fabulously delicious dinner at Fringale Friday evening. Saturday, we went to the Giants game with a sizable family group and had a good Thai dinner. This morning, we met one of our sons and his family and brother Glenn and his spousal unit for breakfast.

I had thought we would have breakfast at Thorough Bread Bakery, an extension of the San Francisco Baking Institute, but Glenn suggested we try a new bakery which he highly recommended. The "B. Patisserie" is a joint venture of Belinda (thus the "B") Leong, an American and French trained pastry chef and Michel Suas, the well-known and highly esteemed founder of the SFBI and author of Advanced Bread and Baking. Like Thorough Bread Bakery, it is a pretty small place that aims to be a neighborhood "salon de thé." The neighborhood is California street just off Divisadero, a very foodie locus.

When one walks in, one is almost assaulted by the aroma of sweet butter. Three steps into the bakery and you see the most extraordinary display of gorgeous breakfast pastries, varying from a simple French-style almond cake and some scones to a variety of simple and elaborate viennoiserie. They also bake a pain au levain from which they make a variety of hot and cold tartines and rustique baguettes. 

The bakery work area is open to the ordering line and seating area, and there were Belinda and Michel, hard at work, baking, slicing cakes, plating and looking very focused and serious but in a happy way. I did manage to greet Michel who remembered me. As we were finishing, Michel looked at our table and asked "How was it?" I gave him an enthusiastic two thumbs up and got a big grin in return, then back to business.

I had a half rustique baguette with butter and jam and a .... are you ready for this? ... chocolate, banana, almond croissant. And a cappuccino. They were each spectacularly delicious. My wife had a chicken and arugula tartine. I was told that was delicious too, but, between my wife and son, it disappeared before I got a taste. 

You can see photos of some of B. Patisserie's creations on their web site: http://bpatisserie.com

I am home, unpacked, and I'm going for a long walk now.

David

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks for this post David.  Always good to get more ideas of where to go the next time I hit this amazing city.  I am sure the croissant was great.  I actually had my first chocolate croissant in San Fran, New Years day morning.  Still warm...chocolate gooey.  Good god.

You got me in the mood now David.

John

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Okay. Remember that pain au chocolat. Now, blend the chocolate batons with almond paste. Spread it on one side of a croissant cut in half the long way. Top the schmear with sliced bananas and put the top half of the croissant back on. Sprinkle the tope with a bit of almond paste with flour and slivered almonds. 

This might be my new favorite way of eating bananas.

David

isand66's picture
isand66

Very Jealous David!  What an amazing place that must have been.  I would want try everything.

Thanks for sharing.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I did want to try everything, but not all on the same visit. We will be back in the City next weekend and will try a few other goodies. 

David

BurntMyFingers's picture
BurntMyFingers

... and it was fantastic. Like a croissant but folded in on itself in a way that provides a little pocket for sugar and butter to coalesce into a sort of custard... they had a berry version but I could not imagine it being better than the "basic".

I also got a baguette which was a good example of a light modern loaf made with quality flour and yeast. While ordering I asked if a levain was used and the counter person did not know but the baker (I presume Michel, the guy in the photo) was on me immediately. He responded that "everything is fermented overnight!" Biga or poolish or just a preferment? The press of the line kept me from exploring, and now it gnaws at me.... Anyway, a great place and great dedication to quality baking.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I got to taste my brother's kouign amann. Pretty amazing.

From the taste, I am pretty sure there is levain in the baguette. I know the baguette at Thorough Bread has levain, because I heard it from the woman who makes them. I could imagine a lightly yeasted pre-ferment that is fermented in a cooler overnight producing something similar.

I like that style of baguette a lot, but I prefer my San Joaquin Sourdough baguettes as my personal go to baguette. 

I agree that it is wonderful to find a place that makes no compromises when it comes to quality. They are too rare.

David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Mmm...

Inspiring trip and meal!  Welcome back , David

Khalid

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

David:  I get up to San Francisco quite a bit from Southern CA, so I will have to stop by.  Looks wonderful.  Best,  Phyllis

ApplePie's picture
ApplePie

..last week for the first time.  Had the Kouign Amann (regular and pear/berry), croissant (almond and chocolate/banana) and bostock infused with passionfruit syrup.  Each one was scrumptious!  The bakery itself is very clean, open, and inviting.  The pastries are presented beautifully.  I also went to Thorough Bread and Pastry the same day to get an almond croissant for comparison purposes.  I noticed more buttery flavor in the TBaP croissant than in B.P., but that is not to criticize B. Patisserie's croissants - their filling flavors were pure and delicious.  I'll definitely be back.

Some pictures from my visit

Thanks for the writeup, David.

-Alison

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

For adding your experience and photos. I must say, you had the advantage of more open views. It was a mob scene most of the time we were there on a Sunday morning.

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

makes me want to put chocolate and almond something on this banana I'm eating for a snack.  Can almost tastes it - Very weird:-)

chouette22's picture
chouette22

I can understand you had to go on a long walk after these delicacies!:) How nice that you got to try a new-to-you bakery. Wonderful that Michel Suas recognized you - was that from your course at the institute then?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

When I was finishing the Artisan II workshop, Michel made it quite clear that he was following my blog on the experience. That may have fixed me in his memory .... or he was faking it, but I don't think so. In previous conversations with Michel, he has demonstrated a remarkable memory for people he meets.

David