All posts tagged “mr holmes

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vive la tarte

Viva la tarte has become one of my new favorite bakeries, with healthy competition from Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. Located on Howard St in Soma, vive la tarte gives off a warehouse/industrial kind of atmosphere, but its wide open interior and pristine set up creates a clean and airy environment.

The large bakery is only one room – with a section of tables, counter seating by the entrance, and stadium-like bench seating on the left, with complete visibility into the actual kitchen area where all the baking and prepping is done. A vintage stereo system sits on one side, and the coffee bar sits across from the food counter, where the pretty pastries wait to be eaten.

While Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has sweet, indulging pastries, vive la tarte is more in the style of Tartine Bakery, where there are sweet and savory options, some which are on the healthier side (and even gluten free options!), others on the exquisite French pastry-esque side.

The pastries and food options differ depending on the time of day – there is always a mixture of sweet and savory, but the morning offers more quiches, while in the afternoon they bring out pizzas and dessert pastries.

I enjoyed a latte (which was amazing) and the Tomatillo and Jalapeño quiche, which had just the right pinch of spice. The foods offered in the morning include Vanilla Donuts, Rum Raisin Donuts, Chocolate Gateau, Raspberry Lemon Tarts, other quiches like the Spinach & Goat Cheese or Lorraine Quiche, as well as the Baked Pancetta Pizza (for breakfast with an egg on it!). All of these items were flavorful and rich, fresh and baked to perfection.

After I was already in love with vive la tarte, at 11AM, they brought out more foods – the lunch menu round 1. This included the SF Cheesecake, Mixed Berry & Vanilla Tart, Apple Tart, Hazelnut Brittle Tart, Creme Brûlée, and a variety of Focaccia Pizzas, including the White Truffle Mushroom Ragout and the Tomato Basil Burrata.

I was already full, but I couldn’t resist splitting the Creme Brûlée with my friends – which I did not regret one bit. The crust was a perfect cup shape and thick enough to almost feel like a plate! The top layer was torched to perfection and the inside was very sweet, a soft pudding like consistency that melted in your mouth.

Vive la tarte may be the prettiest, most photogenic bakery I’ve found in San Francisco with their perfect geometric shapes and the vibrant colors used in their foods. The pastries are beautiful and delicious, classy and tasteful rather than overly sweet belly bombs. It’s definitely going to become a massive hit on Instagram and in the foodie world!

1164 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103   

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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse stands out amongst all other San Francisco based bakeries because of its Instagram fame and their one-of-a-kind CRUFFINS.

Located in the Tender-Nob, the bakery is small and can be hard to find, but the crowds and lines of people standing outside are a dead giveaway to its location.

Aside from the Cruffin, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse offers a variety of pastries, such as danishes, croissants, breads, cookies, scones, and muffins. Many of the pastries come in classic flavors, like pear danishes and chocolate croissants, but the bakery also introduces new flavors and pastries daily, such as the White Chocolate Blueberry Brioche bomb (my favorite!) and savory danishes.

Everyday, Mr. Holmes has a different flavor of donuts and Cruffins, which are announced on their Instagram account every week. Donut flavors range from fruity fillings like Passion Fruit and Strawberry, to more decadent flavors like Peppermint Mocha or Chai Tea.

The Cruffins, however, are the main reason anyone goes to Mr. Holmes. Released at 9AM daily, the Cruffin is one of the most sought-after foods by San Francisco foodies and tourists, and are guaranteed to run out within a short time. To obtain a Cruffin, one must line up outside the shop before 9AM, sometimes for up to an hour and a half.

While lining up this early for a Cruffin seems like an absurd waste of time, it’s totally worth it on the rare occasion! The Cruffin is essentially the product of a croissant mated with a muffin – the center is filled with the cream flavor of the day, and topped with a small garnish, such as a fruit slice or a tiny cookie.

I went last weekend for the Gingersnap Cruffin – a holiday flavor, and it was worth every minute in line (which was short that day, luckily). The Gingersnap cream made an incredible gooey center, and the Cruffin pulled apart like a softer kind of croissant, not as flaky and more flavorful. It’s like nothing I’ve ever had before, and I can understand why people wait for hours for this amazing, sweet pastry.

The shop itself is an Instagram celebrity, with foodies around the world posting Cruffins and photos of themselves in front of the “I Got Baked in San Francisco” sign, their clever slogan that can only be found here. Of course, it had to be done.

Tartine Bakery, named “Best Bakery in San Francisco,” has a lot of competition because of Mr. Holmes’ rich flavors and famous pastries. While Mr. Holmes is sweeter and has more dessert-like pastries, no one can deny that the Cruffin is one of the best baked goods they’ve ever had. Next time you’re up early on a Saturday morning, I would highly recommend sucking up waiting in the Cruffin line – you won’t regret it!

1042 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94109