Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Sweet Afternoon in San Francisco

Miette Confiserie
After leaving Bar Jules, the first stop on our sweets tour was just down the street, at Miette Confiserie - on Octavia, just off of Hayes.
Miette Confiserie
It's like a 1950's Parisian fantasy of a candy shop, with the wrapped and unwrapped wares displayed in glass apothecary jars, baskets and bowls on tables - and a case filled with their meticulously decorated cupcakes and cakes in the back.
Miette Confiserie
I picked up some beautifully wrapped Italian candies, a few house made caramels (not so hot, actually) and some Poco Dolce tiles. I love the individually wrapped ones - they're not easy to find.
Poco Dolce tiles at Miette Confiserie
Next up was Paulette Macarons. I have been a sucker for these little things ever since I tried them for the first time at the Bay Bread La Boulange in the Fillmore a couple of years ago. Those first ones I tasted are still the best in my memory - but Paulette's come very close. They're sweet, chewy and flavorful, with a jam, buttercream or ganache filling - depending on the flavor. The caramel pecan was filled with a buttery, salty caramel.
Paulette Macarons
I ordered a six piece box with raspberry, lemon, violet cassis, pistachio, passionfruit and chocolate, as well as couple to try on the fly. I liked them all, but the lemon with lemon curd, the chocolate with ganache and the caramel pecan were my favorites. It might be heresy, but I like them best cold, straight out of the fridge, when they're a little chewy. It dulls their toothaching sweetness a bit.
Macarons at Paulette
Our next stop was just down the street at Christopher Elbow, a chocolatier with two locations, one here, and one in Kansas City, of all places. The chocolates are molded rather than cut, and include a lot of exotic caramel flavors. I also bought a can of the hot chocolate, since I'm such a fan of Recchiuti's - but haven't had a chance to try it yet. (I sense a future post...)
Chocolates at Christopher Elbow
After Christopher Elbow, we walked to Citizen Cake, not far away. I bought a couple of chocolate chip cookies to bring home to Tommy, but I wasn't tempted by anything else in the case, and as I looked at my watch, I realized this was probably my last chance on this trip to squeeze in a visit to Humphry Slocombe. We were close to the Civic Center Bart station, so we bid Amy adieu, and Caron and I boarded the train to go two stops, to the 24th Street in the Mission. A short walk down 24th Street to Harrison, and we were there.
Humphry Slocombe
Humphry Slocombe is famous for their exotic flavors with cute names - Jesus Juice sorbet (Coca Cola and red wine), Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with corn flakes), and Boccalone (tasty, salted pig parts like prosciutto, etc.) I thought it might be a little too precious, or even pretentious, but I was totally won over by their cleverness, not to mention the ice cream itself. The Secret Breakfast had me at hello, and Caron felt the same way about the Balsamic Caramel, which was a close second. (Yes, for those of you keeping track, this was our second frozen dessert in one day. What about it?) They also had some fabulous sounding sundaes, featuring the likes of Amarena cherries.
Humphry Slocombe
I really wanted to take Caron to Dynamo Donuts nearby, which has apparently opened their indoor seating area - but we just didn't have it in us that day. It is a great double-visit though if you're in the mood for some doughnuts and ice cream - it's just a little further down on 24th.

Just do me a favor, would you please? Don't double up on the maple bacon donut and the Boccalone ice cream in one day. If you do, I take no responsibility for what might result!

449 Octavia Street
San Francisco, CA 94101
(415) 626-6221

437 A Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 864-2400

401 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 355-1105

399 Grove St
San Francisco, CA 94102-4418
(415) 861-2228

2790 Harrison St.
San Francisco, CA 94080
(415) 550-6971


  1. My brother told me it's impossible to get a scoop of plain old strawberry ice cream in the City anymore. This must be what he meant. But I'm all for innovation, and your sweets day sounds like a dream.

  2. Oh, I would just die and go to heaven. I would love to run a shop like one of those.
    You could probably score a wonderful strawberry ice cream at Bi-Rite. Probably the best (American style) ice cream I've ever had.

  3. Alice - you need to go to Paris and try Pierre Hermes macarons!

  4. Heidi - that may be true, but Bi Rite's Balsamic Strawberry is pretty darned good! ;-)

    Tracey - Humphry Slocombe is definitely worth a try, and best of all - NO LINE.

    Sam - this Spring! Can't wait.

  5. A sweets tour is such a good idea! And San Fran is the perfect place to do it :) Ughh I so wish I was going to be visiting there for longer than 2 days!


  6. It looks like such a happy and bright place to visit - just.too.far.away. :(

  7. Got the sugar shakes just reading this. Yum!
    Hey, when you gonna report on Babycakes in Hillcrest for us? I want your opinion before I venture over!

  8. Yowza, I'm jealous. I LOVE San Francisco more than I anywhere, almost. How are you today? Just writing to tell you I've nominated you to win a Kreativ Blogger award. There's some participation involved so if you don't have time, don't worry about it. See details at 10/14 post. Aloha. Keri

  9. I was just in San Francisco, but will definitely have to do this tour next time--looks fantastic!