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Nov 22, 2009 03:46 PM

Brioche Bakery Breakfast Pastries (SF)

Yesterday I had a chance to try a selection of morning pastries from Brioche bakery in North Beach.

Blueberry Danish – Buttery pastry, just enough sugar to not overwhelm the fresh berries, good job.

Fruit fougasse – Pale in color with a satisfyingly chewy texture to the dough shaped in a small ladder shape, filled with dried figs and other dried fruit, my favorite of the bunch. Also made in an olive version.

Almond croissant – Good version, lots of almond paste filling, not quite as crunchy as I prefer

Sugar brioche – A big slice of almost layered waves of buttery, eggy brioche sprinkled with sugar. I liked this one very much too for a less sweet start to the day.

Brioche Bakery
210 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

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  1. I think this bakery also makes a weekly appearance at the Sunnyvale farmers' market on Saturdays. What you describe sounds like the sweet brioche slice, which we frequently get -- it's perfect for tea or dessert!

    10 Replies
    1. re: sairuh

      I think someone mentioned that the bakery sells at the Sunnyvale FM.

      I'll mention that another time headed here for some brioche to toast as an accompaniment to foie gras. I didn't need that much and sort of blanched at the price for a whole loaf. The counter guy offered to divide it and sell me half. I appreciated that.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        They used to sell at Old Oakland, too, under the name Crepe & Brioche Bakery.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          They're still at the San Mateo Wednesday and Saturday markets. My favorite things are the wonderful pain au levain and the epi, which though made from the same dough as the baguette, has a better texture. I find the croissant too fluffy for my taste.

          I used to like their cookies, but found that they left an odd, sour aftertaste in my mouth. I'm still wondering what could have caused that, though I suspect artificial vanilla flavoring

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Are they gone from Old Oakland now? That would be too bad, they were one of the highlights of that market for me.

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            How did the brioche compare to other locally available brioche? I am thinking of doing the broiche/foie combo (maybe with sour cherries) as a first course for a holiday dinner.

            1. re: farmersdaughter

              Oh my, sorry, I couldn't say as I'm not a frequent brioche buyer anywhere. What I did like is that I could buy it in sandwich loaf shape. It made it easy to cut off the crusts (popping them in the freezer for a future bread pudding). The half-loaf was the just right amount for the five of us who had the foie gras for lunch. I think I had one slice of toast left over.

              I liked the sugar brioche in my original post very much. I think it's moister than the regular product. Since this bakery specializes in brioche, it makes them in various sizes so it would be easy to buy a small sample. There's also some with chocolate chips, maybe other flavors too.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I haven't tried many brioches around town but I make a pretty good one, and La Boulange puts out a decent product. It's in sandwich loaf format. They can also slice it for you on their slicing machine, which does a nice job with the very tender bread. Otherwise, it's easy to tear and maul the loaf at home slicing it with a regular bread knife.

                La Boulange
                2043 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                1. re: SteveG

                  I didn't know this. I've bought those La Boulange (Bay Bread) loaves at Whole Foods and just sliced them myself. So if I buy one at a La Boulange location, I can ask them to slice it? Great!

              2. re: farmersdaughter

                The brioche at La Bedaine was as good as I've had in France.

                La Bedaine
                1585 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94706

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I tried La Bedaine's brioche and while I liked the richness of flavor, it was rather heavy rather than cake-like and delicate. Now, this was a day where the shop had trouble getting the croissants to rise, so the brioche might have been a bit off too.

          3. Ooh, olive fougasse, score. This is definitely on my list for next trip. Thanks, Melanie. Did you happen to notice if they had any other savoury items (I loves me some savoury pastries for brekky).

            3 Replies
            1. re: grayelf

              And it's smallish too, priced about $2.50, so an easy indulgence for one person or to tuck in your luggage to take home. The bakery has a couple of tables on the sidewalk and more inside. I'm thinking the sign in front says something about sandwiches, but not sure, can anyone else confirm?

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                They have a selection of pre-made (but very fresh) sandwiches. I had a turkey cheese panini on their baguette. It was excellent.

                Their pain au chocolate is huge and really good. And I their cinnamon pastry..also excellent.

                I really like this place, the owners (husband and wife team) are super friendly. If you don't see what you want on the self, it doesn't hurt to ask. I went in there looking for baguette, was disappointed the basket was empty, the owner got from the back for me. I think that's why he recognizes me.

                1. re: gnomatic

                  Cheeseboard/Arizmendi sells a good, if somewhat sticky and sweet "brioche knot." I was addicted for a while.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Adding a couple links.

                Storefront in SF:

                Wholesale bakery in SF, including a photo of the brioche slice :)

                1 Reply
                1. re: sairuh

                  I missed that Brioche Cafe and Crepe & Brioche were connected. Odd that they don't have a Web site listing the farmers markets they sell at.