I love breakfast.

If I’m not working on a Saturday or Sunday, I’m brunching.
I’m a savory breakfast type of girl though – no thank you to pancakes and
French toast, no matter how inventive. At the top of my list: quiche. In fact,
I’ll take that a step further and officially declare it my death row meal: a
perfect quiche lorraine.
A weekend in the Bay Area led me to discover two incredible
versions, and more breakfast delights…
 
the girl and the fig
country food with a French passion
 
110 West Spain Street
Sonoma, CA  95476
thegirlandthefig.com

 

This is one of my very favorite restaurants so it’s no
surprise that I loved everything I was served. It really deserves a post all to
itself about the many wonders they create but for now, consider this snapshot
of a flawless breakfast your amuse-bouche…
Cheese Plate
Cow – St. Jorge (Santa Rosa)
Goat – Laura Chenel Chevre (Sonoma)
Sheep – Roquefort Gabriel Coulet (Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, France)
*Favorite!*
Also in attendance: fig cake, fig jam, spiced nuts, local
honey, apple

 

I paired this with their Fig Royale: French sparkling wine,
house-made fig liqueur. It basically ruined mimosas for me, no matter how good
the orange juice. I’m okay with that though.
Quiche Lorraine, summer salad and matchstick fries with tarragon
aioli
This to me feels like the closest I’ve come to tasting a
quiche prepared the way it was intended. They don’t fuss with it. It’s just a
perfect egg custard filling with a small amount of diced ham set inside a
buttery, flaky crust with a golden brown, crisp top. Classic.

 

I know I mentioned I’m not the sweets-for-breakfast type but for those of you who are, this looked pretty fantastic too!
Stuffed brioche French Toast with sweetened Bellweather
Farms fromage blanc, lemon & huckleberry compote

 

 Tartine Bakery & Café
600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
tartinebakery.com
I should start off by saying this is actually the third time
I’ve been to Tartine, but it’s the first time I’ve actually gone inside. The
first two times I’ve driven by to see hungry locals literally lined up down the
block and just didn’t have time to wait. It’s perpetually packed. I couldn’t even snap a picture without seeing people walk in or out. Luckily, I
wandered in during a slight break in the crowd and found a
little room at the counter to stand and enjoy the favorites that keep the crowds coming…

 

Quiche with crème fraiche, Niman smoked ham and heirloom tomatoes

This quiche is more like the kind you find most places,
stuffed with seasonal produce. I chose the ham and heirloom tomato, though the
squash version was tempting. It was fantastic. Perfect filling, perfect crust,
and it’s pretty hard to find fault in adding heirloom tomatoes to any breakfast
in my book.

 

More impressive to me at the time though, probably because I love these and never find them in bakeries, were the Gougères!

Gougère
These are made from choux pastry (pâte à choux), which is what they make profiteroles, éclairs and beignets from, but it’s mixed with gruyere cheese. It’s a rich, hollow, flaky cheese bun. Warmed up they’re pretty hard to beat by themselves or, my preference, with tomato soup!Since this is the first place I’ve found them I wanted to give you a recipe link so you can make your own if they don’t carry them at your favorite bakery:
This isn’t the recipe I’ve used before but it’s the one I want to try next. I’ve made the traditional variety with just the gruyere, at Tartine they add black pepper, and in this recipe they add dry mustard and cayenne. Baker’s choice!

 

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