Sunday, May 30, 2010

Restaurant Review: Mariposa Bakery - San Francisco Ferry Building

The smell of freshly baked bread. The allure of wafting cinnamon rolls calling to you. And, oh, yes...the delight of a fresh cookie or brownie or muffin. What more can one ask for when walking through the Ferry Building open marketplace in downtown San Francisco?

I know.


Yes. For those of us in need of something delicious, sort of nutritious, and really, happy, healthy, body-friendly food...Mariposa Baking Company has come to our rescue.

I had heard about Mariposa on several websites and how great their products are. A friend and I headed to San Francisco for a little R&R and found ourselves walking around the Ferry Building - after a mind-blowing three-hour chocolate tour, if that is even imaginable! - and I had to find this little store. It's more of a kiosk, really, because in that building, they can only cram so much. And luckily for me and so many others, they had room for some gluten-less goodies.

When I found the kiosk (which is down towards Sur La Table - also a fav), I had to control myself. They had so many options and they all looked so good. Everything is pre-packaged, which is great for those of us traveling, and they even had a freezer case full of tempting treats. Everything from frozen pizza crusts, bagels, cinnamon rolls and even pasta! I really wanted to grab a bag of their homemade ravioli to take home, but I wasn't sure how well it would travel. I kind of figured that the other stuff I would buy would either not make it all the way home to Seattle (having been devoured before we even hit the road) or it would make it home in a bag with or without ice.

I poured over my options on the counter and in the stand, drooling over the muffins and cookies, brownies and tea cakes. I settled on a sour cream coffeecake, which was excitedly squishy, a peace cake with unsulphured apples, two chocolate chip bagels (out of the freezer), and one bag of crostini with a hint of garlic. I could even smell the garlic through the bag. It was all I could do to not tear it open right there.

I decided not to.

I know. Sad.

I was hopped up on three hours of chocolate samples, so I really didn't need anything else. But I wanted to.

But I didn't.

I bought my goodies and the checker gave me a free cookie telling me it was to celebrate their anniversary. That was exciting. Free is always nice.

I took my stuff and found my group and finished the rest of my vacation. Finally, at the end of it all and days of thinking about the sour cream coffeecake, I had to have some. See picture above. I cut into it and found that it was so soft and moist and delicious, I didn't want to stop.


I did. I do have some self-control. :)

I shared a little and saved the rest for breakfast and took rest home to Seattle to be devoured here.

The peace cake was a nice change of pace. Not what I was expecting. It was firm and drier than expected after eating the exceptionally moist sour cream coffeecake. That's when I read the package. The cake was meant to be reminiscent of war times when eggs, dairy, and sugar were rationed. The cake was gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan and really quite good. A little crumbly, but I liked the concept.

Soon after, I tried one of the bagels. Now, I have made gluten-free bagels once or twice before and it is so nice to have a pre-made option as bagel-making is a bit intensive with all the rising and water boiling involved. These bagels were soft and slightly chewy, but not as chewy as I had hoped. Not sure if it was the freezing or just the type of bagel they were, but I have to admit, I was slightly disappointed. They tasted good, but they fell apart more than I anticipated and it made them more challenging to eat. Nothing a little (or a lot) of Neufchatel cheese won't fix! I did enjoy them though. Very much.

Now, onto the crostini. Hands-down my favorite thing in my purchase in a close race to the sour cream coffeecake. The crostini were crisp and firm, crunchy and garlicky in all the right ways. They didn't fall apart more than expected and I do believe any gluten-eaters out there would have no idea these were anything but gluteny goodness. But they are so not! They were amazing. And if I hadn't eaten them all with some turkey slices and cheese, I would have loved to save some and make something Giada De Laurentiis would be proud of.

But, alas, they are gone.

Lucky for me, Mariposa ships.

Their price is pretty good for a gluten-free goodie, considering they are in San Francisco and everything is elevated there except the altitude. To find more on what they offer, you can visit them in Oakland at their main bakery, at the Ferry Building in downtown San Francisco or go to for more information.

Oh. The free anniversary celebration cookie! I almost forgot. It was delicious. Chocolate chip, I believe. Not sure. I have to say I ate it during the chocolate fever, so all I remember are the few crumbs left behind. It must have been good.

Happy eating everybody!

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