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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: Cruffins, Croissants, and Pink Neon in the TL

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 11:08 AM

click to enlarge A banana donut and a twice-baked caramel croissant. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • A banana donut and a twice-baked caramel croissant.

As well as being home to Little Saigon, the area around Geary and Larkin is suddenly home to a few excellent bakery-cafes. Although Flour & Co., Libby Jane Café, and Jane on Larkin are all within a few blocks, there’s a new contender: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse.

click to enlarge Hmmm, would this look better in Sutro or Lo-Fi? - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • Hmmm, would this look better in Sutro or Lo-Fi?
Inside the windows lined with boxes and the tiled entrance that reads “Holmes Sweet Holmes,” everything is made on-site. This really isn’t all that extraordinary, except that the wholesale clients’ product goes out first, so everything in the pastry case was baked well after the bakers rolled up at three in the morning (which means a late morning carb craving won’t result in stale leftovers).

And that pastry case has some real gems in it, including a strawberry and crea “cruffin” made with strawberry jelly and crème pâtissière.

A twice-baked caramel croissant was magnificently rich and buttery; heavy, yes, but just so. The banana donut is really something else. First, the sugared donut itself is nice and airy. But banana is both a rarity in pastry world (possibly because it’s kind of a nightmare to puree through a chinois) and also just about the least outré ingredient there is. That combination of ordinary-yet-so-uncommon (along with Sightglass Coffee) is what would seem to characterize Mr. Holmes, which, oh yeah, just so happens to sell jars of donut filling, Ferrero Rocher, and salted caramel among them.

Right now the only seating is a couple of upside-down milk crates, although you can lean into the window while noshing on one of the croissants that has salmon rolled in nori. And in perhaps the best use of white subway tile in 2014, the side wall says, in pink neon, “I Got Baked in San Francisco.” If that doesn’t solicit giddy pics with lots of hashtags, then the cruffins will.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, 1042 Larkin, 829-7700.

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Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


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