It's spring and I love Paris in the springtime, but I'm here in San Francisco. I can walk down Pine Street to my neighborhood La Boulangerie and pretend I'm walking down rue Montorgueil or rue Bucci in Paris. The designer who designed the pale blue and gold exterior and the timeless interior really did a great job. Usually recreations of another time and place fall flat and you feel you are in a theme park like Disneyland. La Boulangerie, however, seems to effortlessly evoke France.
Here I find my beloved chausson aux pommes, the best in the City. The Pine Street bakery is the "mother ship" of all the La Boulangerie branches. I'm told that pastries from other branches come from a central bakery outside of San Francisco. The pastries at the "mother ship" on the other hand are baked on-site. Walk inside the store when they are baking and you can see the workers in the back shaping and preparing the dough for the ovens. I've tried several branches and I think the best pastries are here at the Pine Street "mother ship".
One item they have that I've never seen anywhere else is croissant bread pudding where they use left-over croissants. As I'm not a big fan of bread pudding, I would never have ordered it, but I tried a small sample piece once and was hooked. Rich from the buttery croissant, this is special. Order an end piece if they have it. The end pieces have a slight crust with a bit more flavorful caramelization. Worth the calories and carbs.
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