The Mill on Divisadaro: First Looks [San Francisco]
I've been to the Mill a couple of times since it opened. The Bread is fanstastic - if somewhat expensive. I'm particularly fond of the "Mountain Loaf" which is a whole grain rye with linseeds and sunflower seeds (and probably some other seeds) done in a classic German style. I would say it unseats previous bay area champion Esther's for german style whole grain bread. The whole wheat sourdough was very sour but with an excellent chewy crumb. I hadn't had Josey's bread before going to the Mill but have to say it's clearly in the running for best bread in the area (of course, in the Bay Area we are luck to have _many_ places on that list).
The coffee (Four Barrel - my favorite locally) is excellent. In addition to selling bread they have a small pastry selection and a number of 'toast with toppings' options.
The bread is excellent which of course leads to great toast. That said, I don't think I'll ever buy toast there. At $3.50-$3.75 per slice it runs more then a fancy pastry in many places and just two slices buys you a whole loaf of bread. Seriously. The prices for toast are completely ridiculous. $1.50 or even $2 I could stomach.
Unless you're eating toast as part of an ironic performance art piece, skip the toast and just buy a loaf of bread.
Some of the breads that you can have toasted they do not sell by the loaf. I wanted the sour dough loaf but was told they only sell the boule even though they use the sourdough loaf for slices sold in store. (The square loaf size is a lot more convenient for people making lots of sandwiches for children. My request got blank stares from the people behind the counter and a bit of a surly response when i tried to explain why I wanted a loaf.) They do not have a bread slicing machine. The service was otherwise friendly.
Second that they're selling the sourdough square loaf.
I haven't been impressed with the coffee side of things yet, but it's fine, and it's a light airy room...and most of all, the bread's great (though a little heavy on the wheat offerings).
Only downside is the last couple times I've visited, the rack was pretty wiped out.
Hey boris, I feel your pain on the toast cost but here's another perspective. As a visitor, I often lament the reality that I can't try all the wonderful breads on offer in the Bay Area. It's just not practical to buy so many loaves as a tourist. So I loved that I could try a couple of Josey's bread in toasted form with gorgeous almond butter on top on our November trip (before the full shop opened, of course). It's also a great way to sample more unusual flavours that I might not normally go for: fennel and raisin plus apricot sage were right up my alley.
Sure. But this is a neighborhood place, not a tourist attraction. For the most part you should assume your customers know what you have and what they like (once you've been open for a while anyway).
It's disappointing that they price their toast so that many people in the neighborhood won't go in for a chat with some friends over toast. That said, for the time being there seem to be plenty of people who don't mind paying the ridiculous prices.
I'm always a little disappointed when, even if the quality is high, there is a complete lack of value. Especially for what should be a neighborhood bakery/cafe - a hub of community interaction. Sigh.