This week's review of the San Francisco Bakery & Café takes me back to my days in school. I have been frequenting this family-owned bakery since it opened in 1995 and have never been disappointed. The bakery is tucked in next to the Alamo Drafthouse Village and provides a great place to meet friends and enjoy some of the best danishes in Austin. The Bakery is also said to have been awarded "Best Clam Chowder" by Austin Monthly Magazine.
I ordered my favorite sandwich — the marinated grilled chicken. The chicken is moist and tender and served warm, padded nicely top and bottom with light and flavorful focaccia. I also decided to have them add their marinated carrots to my sandwich. I kid you not, these carrots will change the way you view marinated vegetables. I spent most of my time in culinary school trying to duplicate these carrots to no avail. So, now I order them with my sandwich and try to figure out what's in them.
Next up: the Santa Clara sandwich. It comes with turkey, avocado, bacon, sprouts, ranch dressing, and lettuce. Normally, it's served on wheat bread, but we subbed in sourdough, one of the better renditions in Austin. The ingredients were fresh and crisp, and the bread was moist and had a nice sour flavor that one would expect from a quality bakery.
We also got a soup and sandwich combo. The sandwich was roast beef cold cuts with provolone on sourdough. I have always loved a good deli sandwich, and this one was truly good. The sourdough is baked fresh and has just the right amount of tartness. The French onion soup that Matt had chosen as his sandwich's counterpart came served in a traditional brown crock with a beautifully toasted layer of browned cheese and a crouton on top.
Lastly, we sampled pastry. We ordered two danishes, plain cheese and apricot. The danish is flaky and tender with a nice buttery flavor. The cheese spread is smooth, sweet, and just a bit tart. It's a nice contrast of texture and flavor with the pastry. The apricot spread was fantastic, sweet but not so sweet you couldn't taste the wonderful apricot flavor, very well balanced.
The Austin Food Junkies are Alex Artibee, Matt Braley and Dave Braley, "Two guys who love food, and one chef, trained at the Texas Culinary Institute." Check out their reviews of other Austin area restaurants on their blog, Austin Food Junkies.