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At last! Josey Baker Bread + Four Barrel open at The Mill on Divisadero [San Francisco]

pane Jul 18, 2012 02:39 PM

I've long been a fan of Josey Baker breads, which are among the finest in a city of very fine breads. Today was the first day of the soft opening of The Mill on Divisadero, where his toasted bread is served (and his grains will eventually be milled) alongside Four Barrel coffee.

They're operating in a temporary set-up inside the building while construction continues (completion: September-ish). Four Barrel serves their standard line-up of coffees, and you can order Josey Baker toast with your choice of fat--McClelland's butter or almond butter (or nothing).

I got almond butter + butter butter + sea salt, which was great on the heavily seeded wheat bread with a lively elasticity to the crumb. The nut butter was not sweet; paired with salt, it lent the bread a fullness able to do battle with a cool and foggy early morning. The handcrafted mill that will operate inside the shop now waits in a giant wooden crate hulking near the front; I tried to peek but was too short to see inside. Could have been a misdirected fossil, but I guess they'll find out.

While they prepare for the big opening and mill set-up they are open at 736 Divisadero, Wednesday through Sunday, starting at 7 on weekdays and 8 on weekends.

  1. Cynsa Feb 13, 2013 11:26 AM

    soft opening today: Buy a loaf of Josey Baker's bread. Eat toast. Drink Four Barrel coffee. Stand in long line. Be Happy.

    see photo at http://flic.kr/g/jVeSu

    My favorite bread today: the Seeded Loaf
    I'd rather eat this than cake.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Cynsa
      grayelf Feb 13, 2013 05:10 PM

      It does look a bit like Four Barrel but brighter. Is it weird that I miss the O'Johnny with the coffee sign out front?

      1. re: grayelf
        sugartoof Feb 15, 2013 11:03 AM

        Four Barrel's taking over the De La Paz coffee operation, so if you want to relive the coffee stand while they do the build out experience, they'll be turning that roasting facility into a cafe.

        1. re: sugartoof
          pane Feb 15, 2013 11:05 AM

          Good tip.

          I like the availability of more baked goods (three types of toast! cookies!) but miss the intimacy and community feeling of the tent.

          1. re: pane
            sugartoof Feb 15, 2013 12:23 PM

            It sounds funny, but I actually felt that way with Sightglass, before their cavernous space opened.

            Four Barrel brought back some hours for a back window at their original location to replicate the stand they had, so there must be something to it.

    2. Cynsa Feb 4, 2013 08:42 AM

      Waiting patiently for The Mill's February 12 Opening Day

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cynsa
        Cynsa Feb 11, 2013 07:36 AM

        Might open on February 15?

      2. Cynsa Nov 17, 2012 04:25 PM

        not just for 'toast'
        Pre-orders for Thanksgiving loaves, read this:
        Order by 6pm SUNDAY to get it Tuesday, 11/20


        for Bread Subscriptions:

        1. d
          DillMuncher Aug 29, 2012 07:25 AM

          You got me all excited...I thought you were talking about four barrels of beer.

          1. s
            sugartoof Jul 21, 2012 08:03 AM

            Thanks for the report.

            Not that anyone can entirely lay claim to toast and coffee but I feel bad for Trouble Coffee who clearly were some inspiration to this whole toast and coffee trend (Blue Bottle has a NY location with a siphon and toast bar).

            5 Replies
            1. re: sugartoof
              Cynsa Jul 21, 2012 12:27 PM

              Trouble's toast is so much more with its bread that is not cake and not English Muffin but both - and the butter that plumps the toast full of luscious richness and sugary cinnamon. I'll still find my way to 4033 Judah and 45th Avenue.

              1. re: Cynsa
                grayelf Jul 21, 2012 08:59 PM

                So will I, after that description! On the coffee (and toast) list for next visit, thanks.

                1. re: grayelf
                  sugartoof Jul 22, 2012 08:04 AM

                  I'm also fond of the coffee, and the house made bread a Outerlands a few doors over from Trouble. The owner was trained by the Tartine guy to make a rustic loaf with some grain. Most of their brunch/lunch menu is focused on uses of that bread.They do a good job with their Sightglass coffee, served by the Chemex. And not toast/coffee related, but their savory Dutch Pancake needs to get mentioned too.

                  1. re: sugartoof
                    grayelf Jul 22, 2012 08:40 AM

                    Domo, sugartoof, especially for the savoury pancake lead. I loves me some savoury quickbreads! Trouble and Outerlands sound like a good one-two punch for what is a bit of a farflung hood from our home base in Union Square. While we're out there, is Beachside worth a look or no? I have a note about their coffee selection being good, as well as their breakfast burrito and Irish breakfast sando...

                    1. re: grayelf
                      sugartoof Jul 22, 2012 07:57 PM

                      I only went when it first opened. The place was on the funky side, with the food being kind of odd at dinner. It reminded me of a mediocre Crepevine type place, trying to do chicken and waffles. Pastries and desserts were worth going back for though, with the fresh berry cheesecake as a standout.

                      I didn't try the coffee, because the prices seemed high (reminded me of Contraband pricing), and while the single source options were interesting with unique beans I've never seen elsewhere, something still reminded me of House of Coffee's selection, and I can't get over that they're owned by the Java Beach people. I should make a point of trying it since they're roasting.

            2. Cynsa Jul 18, 2012 03:07 PM

              thanks, pane, walking over now. :^) are loaves of bread for sale, also?

              13 Replies
              1. re: Cynsa
                Cynsa Jul 19, 2012 09:46 AM

                open until 2 pm for toast and coffees. Closed Monday-Tuesday. Welcome to the neighborhood.

                1. re: Cynsa
                  pane Jul 19, 2012 05:07 PM

                  Great pics, cynsa! I got one of the toast operation.

                2. re: Cynsa
                  oniontears Aug 28, 2012 01:03 AM

                  Josey is giving away 100 loaves today (Tues) at Four Barrel on Valencia. If you haven't tried his bread and can make the time, here's your chance! http://joseybakerbread.wordpress.com
                  You'll be hooked. Consider yourself warned.

                  1. re: oniontears
                    Cynsa Aug 28, 2012 07:19 AM

                    at 4 o'clock

                    1. re: oniontears
                      Cynsa Aug 28, 2012 06:59 PM

                      oh, yum - it's pumpkin and flax seed loaves for the 100 loaves give away. Absolutely delicious and also as beautiful as a work of art. Just gorgeous. Thank you for the gifts of bread, Josey Baker!

                      note: watch for October opening of The Mill on Divisadero, pending construction and permits.

                      1. re: Cynsa
                        oniontears Aug 28, 2012 08:24 PM

                        agree on the beauty and taste! i saw newbies tearing into the perfect loaves immediately and raving, so i'm certain he won some new fans today. he was passing out each loaf himself, and isn't he just a sweetheart?? :-)

                        1. re: oniontears
                          Cynsa Aug 28, 2012 08:44 PM

                          Josey is adorable. I think he has a fan or two, or more. Well-earned.
                          I'm very serious about the beauteous breads. Challenged with my own bread baking Sisyphus, I admire his baking acumen and I applaud these artful loaves.

                          1. re: Cynsa
                            grayelf Nov 15, 2012 11:47 AM

                            Count me in as another fan, both of Master Baker's personality and his products. I hope he makes it out to Tofino to try 600 Degrees as I think he will like it and there.

                            Fennel and raisin? Sage and apricot? Pure evil genius! This is destination toast for sure. And the almond butter is indeed delicious, not sweet at all. Perfect with the sprinkle of Maldon salt, and the gilding-the-lily spread of butter.

                            1. re: grayelf
                              sugartoof Nov 16, 2012 12:47 AM

                              Is this the toast you tried, or did you special order a loaf?

                              These posts were slightly misleading, as The Mill isn't exactly open yet. There is coffee service in a tented area, and from what I can tell, they are offering slices of bread for toast, and doing some sporadic promotions. Last I checked, you can't wander in and buy a loaf.

                              1. re: sugartoof
                                Cynsa Nov 16, 2012 06:10 AM

                                Sunday's offering of toast was a slice of apricot sage.

                                1. re: sugartoof
                                  pane Nov 16, 2012 10:20 AM

                                  The Mill is open, but not fully operational, and you're right in that you can't walk in every day and buy a loaf.

                                  Based on what it says here, it looks like loaves at the Mill are subscription-only on Wednesday, with walk-in, non-subscription purchases allowed on Saturday: http://joseybakerbread.wordpress.com/...

                                  1. re: sugartoof
                                    grayelf Nov 17, 2012 10:00 AM

                                    I'm not from the area and I was perfectly aware that only toast was on offer in a temporary tent, made clear in the OP, sugartoof.

                                    I tried the two toasts I described on two different days as I said in my post. No loaf buying mentioned by me!

                                    1. re: grayelf
                                      Cynsa Nov 17, 2012 04:35 PM

                                      loaves are offered on the Bread Subscription plan
                                      and also for Special Pre-Orders for Thanksgiving
                                      Order by 6pm SUNDAY to get it Tuesday, 11/20

                                      scroll down to post for links

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