After the wedding of our friends John and Thera Ringhofer, we set out for a journey into as many chocolate/pastry shops we could within the couple of days we gave ourselves to explore Berkeley and San Francisco.
Here's Wendy next to the ironing board/tables on Bakesale Betty's sidewalk. Bakesale Betty's only had a parchment paper/sharpie marker sign letting everyone know that today they had fried chicken or egg salad sandwiches, strawberry shortcake, lemon drinks, and ginger molasses cookies. They were very busy.
Next, we drove to one of Chocolatier Blue's locations and happened to meet Chris Blue (the owner!) and found out that he also attended the French Pastry School in Chicago. He's about to open his fourth location.
Here's a shot of a box of each truffle offered. We got to try them all! Chris Blue uses Amedei chocolate and airbrushes his molded chocolates to give them that jewel-like appearance.
We were able to stop at the Muir Woods National Park before heading to San Francisco. Climbing inside of one of these huge redwoods really gives you a bit of perspective on their age. We saw a couple of deer and a Buddhist monk with a entourage carrying a speaker playing music through the woods.
Once we reached SF, we went right to the Mission District and found Tartine Bakery.
We had a chance to peer into the kitchen to see loaves of bread resting on a table, and then split a slice of their lemon meringue cake w/ some coffee. It had layers of lemon curd and an outer covering of toasted meringue. (See the image above of the pastry case with a full cake appearing on the bottom shelf).
We drove out to the Fisherman's Wharf area and grabbed an In-N-Out burger before walking past Boudin Bakery where you could watch the bakers pulling loaves of sourdough bread out of their ovens. They had a number of crazy shaped loaves in the window on display.
This is a shot inside Coco-luxe in The Haight. We had to sample their hot chocolate before heading to Amoeba Records near the end of the street.
We left The Haight and our GPS took us to Christopher Elbow's Chocolate Shop where we saw a jewelry store type layout with a lounging area.
Down the street and around the corner, we found Miette! It was an old world style shop w/ cakes, candies, and even ice cream sandwiches. I spotted some Mast Brothers Bars for sale. We bought a gingerbread cupcake and headed to Paulette. We were also informed that the original Blue Bottle Coffee Shop was just down the alleyway. (It was essentially an opened garage door with a line of people waiting for coffee drinks.)
Paulette is a very clean looking shop which sells a variety of brightly colored French macarons. A bit different from the standard coconut macaroons that Americans are used to; these French macarons are meringue based cookies with a sandwiched filling between.
The next day we visited the Fisherman's Wharf area again to check out shops in the Ferry Building and TCHO (where it's rumored that they make their own chocolate from bean to bar).
They have a small shop and (sadly) don't offer tours...
Recchiuti is a shop in the Ferry Building with an assortment of various truffles and packaged items. Very earthy looking shop among a series of tourist-y based shops. Another Miette location was among the shops as well.
As we ended our California visit, our friend, Kevin, guided us to the west coast where we witnessed the FOGGIEST day ever. It was COLD too. We walked just far enough out to have the water wash up and cover our feet. It's interesting to point in a direction and imagine that Japan is just over this body of water. I waved "Hi" to Japan.