I'm going to let you in on a "secret" about The Mill in San Francisco: get there as early as freaking possible! It's completely worth it to get up at the crack of dawn in order to be there when they open to avoid the crowds because within an hour of arriving the place was hopping and the chairs filled up so quickly it was like watching a movie on fast forward. Jose Baker's bread was absolutely worth the 6:30 a.m. alarm on Saturday morning, and a trip across the bay bridge just to get the first loaves out of the oven! After the non-stop week I had last week it was nice just to be able to kick back with a cup of coffee, a piece of toast, and to mentally make fun of all the hipsters coming into the store in their pajamas, flip flops, and beards. (I'll take entertainment where I can get it these days)
I read about The Mill in the March issue of Bon Appetit so I thought I would take a trip into San Francisco to try out their Country Bread and their Dark Mountain Rye, but what I didn't realize that there seems to be a bit of a craze about toast going on right now. Yes, I said "toast". The one thing that almost anyone can make at home.......and quite frankly should because spending $4 for a piece of toast with Nutella on it was absolutely ridiculous when an entire loaf of bread was $6. Not to mention that my order was disappointing enough to have another customer tell me that if I really wanted good toast that I needed to go out to the Outer Sunset to Trouble Coffee Company where the cinnamon toast is the item to order. I can't believe I had a serious discussion about toast of all things but I feel like it is a challenge that I can't resist making at home now so I did a search on it and came up with this. Over 1000 recipes for toast which cracks me up and makes me hungry at the same time.
So, I took my piece of toast and cup of coffee outside to enjoy watching the morning rush and to talk to some of the regulars who raved about the bread and touted the fact that the flour is milled right in the store! Hazel and Nooner enjoyed hanging out on the benches and stared longingly at the front door every time a customer went in or walked out with a big loaf under their arm. They aren't used to being in the city so all the noise and excitement had their senses in complete overdrive so trying to get a picture of them sitting still was more than challenging but the colors and the light in the parklet was so tempting I couldn't resist. Have you heard about parklets before? They are a fabulous way of getting more green space in cities by converting parking spaces into mini parks and areas to sit and relax. Plus, it's a fun way for architects and designers to flex their design skills and imagination.
Dogs of all breeds and sizes were hanging outside the door but I was so excited to meet this lovely Old English Sheepdog, mostly because it's one of the few that I've seen that isn't shaved down because of the intense grooming required. The owner was nice enough to let me get a few pictures of her girl and I laughed when she said that she was probably the only renter in San Francisco that has requested an air conditioner in her apartment! The city is infamous for being cold even in the summer but this past weekend the weather was amazing!
I spent the rest of the day roaming around the neighborhood so stay tuned for more pictures this week of our Saturday in San Francisco!