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Macarons, Breakfast Panino, Etc. @ Tootsie’s at the Stanford Barn (Palo Alto)

Melanie Wong Jun 6, 2010 03:58 PM

For National Doughnut Day on Friday, I slid into Tootsie’s at 4:59pm, as they’re shutting down and ask if there are any zeppole left. Nope, sold out. But then the brightly colored display of macarons, $1.50 each, caught my eye. A Parisian friend of the owners who is also a research scientist at Stanford bakes them in-house. Apparently she’s a fan of Macaron Ladurée and is working on duplicating them with ingredients imported from France. I tried the salty caramel (left) and lemon (center). They’re very good with intense flavors and lower on the sweetness than the rest of our domestic field. I’ll emphasize that the lemon one was really sour, but I preferred that to overly sugary. The crust of the cookie was a bit too brittle, but I would definitely try these again to see how the baking trials evolve.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniewong/4672754255/

Chef Rocco told me that he’s been making bombolini, as well as the zeppole. He’s still tweaking the yeast-risen dough and is working on fillings next.

And then to describe some of the other things I’ve had here since my last posting on Tootsie’s.

The breakfast panino with crispy pancetta, fried egg with runny yolk, sharp cheese on ciabatta roll with some fresh mustard-y greens on the side packs a wallop of flavor onto a plate. Sitting outside on a sunny morning with a cappuccino, this might be one of the best morning meals anywhere.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniewong/4049517530/

The coffee source has upgraded to Danesi Caffe. The cappuccino is even better now.

On San Giuseppe’s Day in March, I stopped by to pick up an order of zeppole and got a sandwich as well. Here’s the aerial view of the panini, made with house-baked focaccia, from above the glass divider. I’ve found that I have a slight preference for the pressed sandwiches on the focaccia over the ciabatta, but both breads are good.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniewong/4445574461/

Sopressata panino, $8, was wonderful with warm fontina, truffle cream, and the rosemary-scented focaccia. I still adore the housemade potato chips here.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniewong/4445574463/

I’ve also tried the octopus and farro salad here. The octopus is tender but this is probably my least favorite item I’ve had at Tootsie’s, just doesn’t grab me.

What else do 'hounds recommend at Tootsie's at the Stanford Barn?

Tootsie’s on FB
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Palo-Alto-CA/Tootsies/189623691334

Tootsie’s on CBS 5, Eye on the Bay
http://cbs5.com/eyeonthebay/cheap.eat...

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Tootsie's at the Stanford Barn
700 Welch Rd Ste 118, Palo Alto, CA

  1. ssfire Jun 25, 2010 11:01 AM

    I tried the macarons today (Friday). I like how they are not too sweet. I tried the chocolate and caramel: both had excellent flavor. But, the cookie part is a bit too soft: it needs to have more structure to it. They might be better if they are aged for a few days to get slightly stale.

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    Tootsie's at the Stanford Barn
    700 Welch Rd Ste 118, Palo Alto, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: ssfire
      Melanie Wong Jun 29, 2010 10:05 PM

      Another friday taste test, cool. Well, at least yours wasn't too brittle. If they're still baked only one day a week, it might be hard to match up supply and demand in an appropriate aging schedule. It sound like you feel there's potential here too.

      On another topic, please turn your cannoli-discerning palate to Cafe Renzo, the new place on University Ave.

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      Cafe Renzo
      473 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301

    2. j
      jsaimd Jun 11, 2010 04:36 PM

      Tried the macaroons today. The texture is very light, not so chewy. It will be interesting to see how they evolve as Laduree is certainly more substantial in the center, although i think their shell is just as brittle.

      We tried all the flavors. I loved the strong lemon, one of my favorite lemon macarons since it wasn't too sweet. My son didn't like it. Caramel was very buttery - in fact butter was a predominant flavor - I prefer mine a bit darker. Very few caramel macarons meet that criterion though - even in France. Chocolate I didn't love - it was the filling. Just not ganachy enough, but it wasn't a straight up buttercream either. Pistachio I didn't get enough of to judge, tasted more of the pistachio extract variety than roasted pistachio. My son absolutely loved it.

      The ones I tried don't compete with Paulette's in the city, but were respectable macarons. Their breads looked amazing. My husband really enjoys the sandwiches at Tootsies.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jsaimd
        Melanie Wong Jun 11, 2010 05:36 PM

        I'm so glad you gave them a try, as you've much more developed tastes in macarons than I. I was impressed that the baker let the full zing of lemon shine through . . . I like it that way but not everyone will.

        Chef Rocco mentioned that the macaron baker comes in one day a week to make them but I don't know which day or if it's always the same day. Since you and I have both tried them on fridays, it might be interesting to hear how the macarons fare on other days of the week.

      2. s
        SanJoseHound Jun 10, 2010 11:53 AM

        I'm excited that there's a place closer to home for macarons. My husband would love that breakfast panino. We've never been to Tootsie's but may have to stop by when doing our next errand in PA. Thanks for the review.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SanJoseHound
          Melanie Wong Jun 10, 2010 01:24 PM

          Please look at the website for hours and note that seating is limited. I like this little place a lot, as you can tell from my four posts in the last 14 months.

        2. Cicely Jun 10, 2010 12:14 AM

          The house-made focaccia is amazing, as good as Liguria's. There's also a knockout Nutella tart.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cicely
            Melanie Wong Jun 10, 2010 01:25 PM

            Mmm, maybe we can request a nutella-filled bombolino.

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