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San Francisco Home > Food > Tale of the Tape

Published February 13, 2013

Tale of the Tape
B. Patisserie vs. The Mill

Valentine’s Day. It’s coming tomorrow, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Except prepare. Herewith, two new bakeries that have opened up 12 blocks away, one day apart. They’re called B. Patisserie (left) and The Mill (right), and we’ve broken them down for you, tale-of-the-tape-style.

The Vibe
B. Patisserie: Parisian: massive gilt-edged mirrors and tons of marble.
The Mill: Coffeehouse-y: white, herringbone-tiled walls, salvaged Douglas-fir honeycomb shelves and an outdoor patio in back.
The Edge: The Mill. Patio trumps marble.

The Talent
B. Patisserie: A vet from Manresa, and Gary Danko, who’s also made pastries in Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen. Oh, and tartines from the founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute. (It’s the Stanford of baking.)
The Mill: A self-taught bread maker who used to be an elementary school science teacher.
The Edge: The Mill. Because that bread maker’s name: Josey Baker.

The Goods
B. Patisserie: Macarons inspired by such American delicacies as... Whatchamacallits and Lemonheads. Try the kouign-amann, which is like an extra-sugary/buttery croissant. Oh, and it’s all served from a special case designed to keep everything at the right temperature.
The Mill: Classic bakery stuff. Cookies. Coffee cake. Brownies made with Four Barrel espresso. Plus the toast. You haven’t had toast until you’ve had this toast.
The Edge: No real losers here, but... seriously, Lemonhead macarons. B. Patisserie. With authority.
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