The voice of Gene Wilder has been inhabiting my head for the past several days. There is no good reason behind it, really. Just an endless, mildly obsessive audio loop, but it got me thinking…
Yes, where exactly is fancy bread? In the heart or in the head? After much thought on the subject, I have decided that, if one manages to find it, purchase it, and ingest it, fancy bread will wind up in both places upon digestion. Problem solved.
One of my favorite places for fancy bread is Arizmendi Bakery on 9th Avenue. Born in the Autumn of 2000, Arizmendi is natural-born offspring of the Cheeseboard Collective of Berkeley. Like The Cheeseboard, Arizmendi is a worker-owned-and-operated collective, a fact which gives me hope that the idealism of 1960’s San Francisco is not totally extinct, even if it had to be imported from the East Bay.
I had not been there for years, but the desire to exorcise the Wilder-demon combined with the fact that I’ve been missing their Corn-Cherry scones (one of which I am eating as I type) caused me to take the hour’s round trip out to the Avenues and pay them another visit.
I’m very happy I did.
The place was filled with the local hungry at the noon hour, all waiting, it seemed, for the fresh, unique-to-the-day pizze that make their way out of Arizmendi’s ovens some time after 11:30. There were so many people packed into the small public area, both in line and at the tiny tables, that I wondered what would happen if there was some call for mass-panic. It was difficult to move, but that, I suppose, is the price one must pay for getting one’s hands on some fantastic baked goods.
If you live in the neighborhood, then you’re already familiar with their award-winning breads, scones, muffins, brioches, pizze. etc. But if you live elsewhere, I recommend you expand your horizons and your comfortable eating radius, like I need to remind myself to do from time to time, and pay them a visit.
And try the scones. Just save one or two for me.
1331 9th Avenue
Between Irving and Judah
Tuesday: Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 7 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 4 pm