need info about dirty diners and best bakeries in san francisco
I will be visiting SF starting May 10 and would love to know where I can find a good, dirty authentic-type diner with lots of greasy food and ultra thick milkshakes as well as a bakery with pastries to die for. I'm going to Carmel also--any suggestions for local favorite restaurants? Thanks.
Depends on what type of pastry you're looking for...I would suggest Little Star bakery in Potrero for awesome tart lemon squares, great big soft and chewy cookies, and the best buttermilk biscuit I've ever had. In fact they serve this biscuit as part of the restaurant brunch upstairs at NOrth Star which you might want to check out as well. They have a fantastic and unusual vegetable hash and the more typical bacon and eggs-type of dishes are very good and very filling. Great brunch.
For French pastry...I would try La Nouvelle Patisserie for little fruit tarts, chocolate eclairs, religeuses, little marzipan animals, etc. There's one on Union Street in Cow Hollow and another in the SF Shopping Center. ANother place to try for French pastry may be Boulangere on Pine at Fillmore which has some pastry, but I think their efforts are more focused on bread. Nevertheless, last time I was in their they had decadent tarte Tatin and exquisite looking pate de fruits. If you like salty savory breads, I'd recommend their gruyere proscuitto bread. It was so good that I ate the whole thing in one day. Yet another French patisserie is Patisserie DeLanghe which is down the street from Boulangere on Fillmore. Both of these are in Pacific Heights. Patisserie DeLanghe has oh-so-flaky palmiers and a caramel brioche concoction that nearly made me cry. I got there at about 8:15 or so one Saturday morning after the Farmers Market. These little treats must have just come out of the oven as when I got it home, the caramel filling was still warm and oozy. To die for...
If you're into chocolate, check out Alfred Schilling on Market. They also have a cafe where you can have lunch before having some sweet treats.
One recommendation: if you see chocolate pot de creme on a menu that is made from Scharfenberger chocolate (absinthe and neo have one/absinthe's is better), order this. It's absolutely divine and nothing shows off the depth of this remarkable American chocolate like a nice rich little pot de creme. In my opinion, this chocolate is the best chocolate being made in America right now and more people ought to have the pleasure of tasting it.
Good luck. Happy hunting.