While many profess a weakness for things like chocolates, salty potato chips and bacon, my greatest vulnerability would have to be bread. There just nothing like the flavor and texture of crusty baguettes or chewy ciabatta slathered in butter or layered with deli meat. When I lived in the Bay Area, my favorite midnight snack consisted of a thick hunk of sourdough bread with cold butter from the fridge and a tall, frosty glass of whole milk.
I can honestly say I have never met a bread I didn’t like from pumpernickel and bagels to injera and lavash. Even the popular (albeit flavorless) American white bread has it’s place with grilled cheese and peanut butter & banana sandwiches. Suffice it to say, any excuse to go out and gorge myself on freshly baked breads or sandwiches created from these heavenly loaves are welcome, like when my good friend Anne and I went to lunch at Tartine.
Though I’d been there several times before, I simply had to go again, if only to introduce this wonderful little restaurant to Anne who had never been. We went up to the counter, placed our order and grabbed a table outside to enjoy the spring air while we waited, anxiously, for our meal to arrive.
Anne and I both ordered the soup of the day along with our sandwiches and on that particular occasion, it happened to be a sweet and savory, creamy butternut squash. The flavor was rich and wonderful, the texture was perfectly smooth and we wiped up every last drop with a slice of French bread that was served alongside.
Before we could finish, our sandwiches arrived in all their crusty glory. Anne chose the house pate on a fresh baguette that was served with a fig jam, Dijon mustard and sliced cornichons on the side. I got the Croque Monsieur with thick slices of ham and heavenly, melted Gruyere on crunchy, toasted ciabatta. Both sandwiches were served with a delightful, cold black-eyed pea salad. Anne and I shared the sandwiches, so each of us got half and we couldn’t decide which was more delectable.
Ever since we went to lunch at Tartine, Anne has been following their posts on Facebook, urging me to go again and it’s been difficult to resist. After all, there are so many new restaurants popping up almost daily that I feel obligated to check out. But, I would love to introduce another newbie to the simple, yet enticing, bread-centered wonders of Tartine. Anyone want to join us for lunch?