I Left My Heart… in San Francisco

Go ahead – fall in love.  I know, its scary.  Dangerous.  Full of dark places you are not ready to explore….  That is why I am advocating for the long distance relationship here.  The kind of thing that can only get you into so much trouble.  I am going to confess.  I’m in!

It was kind of blind date, I guess.  A friend fixed me up.  Told me how great…blah, blah, blah…  So I thought how bad could it be?  Maybe I should just see what happens.  Off I went.  Here in San Francisco for just a few days.  The possibility of romance was too alluring to pass up.

I had to ask directions to the place, but I found it alright.  It was so classic on the outside that I had to take a photo.  Once inside I was instantly charmed by the sight of a glass covered bakery counter filled with piles of croissants… almond, hazelnut chocolate, plain and turnovers, apple and lemon… I don’t know what all was in there.  I zeroed in on the lemon turnover, wondering if there was lemon curd inside… um… lemon curd, yum….

Just then a small dark haired woman appeared behind the counter.  She was barely able to see over the top.  I asked about the lemon turnover, but I really did not get a straight answer about the the contents.  She directed my attention to the right of the lemon turnover, to the apple turnover.  It was lovely!  Shaped like a half moon with curved striations on top and the most beautiful toasty brown color.  The whole package.  So, I went for it.  Just add coffee (decaf please.)  I choose one of the small black lacquer tables near the window with the signature sign painted on the glass just above.  I could watch people going by on their way everywhere.  I removed the turnover from its traditional bakery bag and immediately tore it in half.  No waiting…  I could see the apples in the filling, tiny golden morsels.  I took a bite from the center.  The pastry was perfect.  Not too sweet and just the right combination of tender and crispy.  The apples were wonderfully seasoned and diced so small that it was easy to savor the combination of the pastry and the filling.  Um…  I took a minute…  I had a sip of coffee.  Fade to black.

After having my way with the apple turnover, I finished my coffee.  Content for the moment, but only for the moment.  Before leaving I went back to the coveted glass counter and ordered an almond croissant and, yes, the lemon turnover I was first so attracted to when I came in – to go, of course.  I noticed that they had adorable boxes of those cute little filled French almond macaroons in about a dozen flavors.  My sister and I had just been talking about those cookies.  I decided that I would come back before leaving the city to pick up a box for her.  Maybe it was just an excuse to visit my new love once more.  After all, it is possible that we may only have these 3 days together and then never see each other again; I wanted to make the most of it.

What is that?  You want to have a date with my new love the next time you are in San Francisco?   You think I will tell you how to find my treasure…  I have never heard of such a bold request.  It is very modern, I guess… maybe just this once, I could be persuaded to share.

I fell in love with La Boulange Bakery on Sutter Street a block and a half west of Stockton Street.  You have options they have several locations.

P.S.  I just broke down and had a bite, okay 3 bites, okay 5 bites, of the lemon turnover.  It is lemon curd inside!  With tiny sugar crystals on the top, and that same wonderful pastry…  Totally sublime.  Always go with your first instinct when it comes to love.  Then again, is it that much sweeter in comparison to the apple turnover?  Or perhaps because I have been thinking about it for a few hours?  Somethings we will never understand.

2 thoughts on “I Left My Heart… in San Francisco

  1. I do have a Lemon Curd recipe to share. It is one of my favorites. It would be great on biscuits or with a croissant…

    8 egg yolks
    1/2 cup lemon juice (juice of 3 to 4 small lemons)
    1/2 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of approximately 1 small lemon)
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/4 cup unsalted butter

    Whisk together egg yolks, juice, zest and sugar in the top of a double boiler or in a metal bowl over gently simmering water. Cook until thick, whisking frequently for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add butter and stir until completely melted.

    Remove from the top of the simmering water to cool. Place in a glass container for storage. Cool uncovered in the refrigerator until chilled, then cover. Keep refrigerated until used. Makes 2 cups.


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