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Friday, December 19, 2008

Pastry and Cloth

  I don't have a sweet tooth, but I was excited when I was invited to Tartine ( for breakfast. The way people talk about it, especially other foodies, you'd think they'd lost their minds.

I was wise enough to go with my favorite cousin, who invited me to meet him there at a precise time, a time at which he had observed that, for mysterious reasons, the line out the door suddenly becomes a "normal" queue of reasonable length. He nailed it, dead on.

I sampled three things.

The double soy latte was large and delicious. I am a coffee snob, so this was pleasant, though I had expected it to be good anyway. My cousin noted that the omnivorous bakery is run by purists: they refuse to make soy mochas on the grounds that the cocoa contains dairy, and thus isn't vegan anyway, so it offends them to make it nearly vegan. Which is silly, but there you go.

I had half of a "morning roll," which is a cinnamon roll, but good. No no no, you aren't taking this seriously. I mean, REALLY good. Cinnamon rolls are often undercooked rolls of dough drowned in sugar frosting, indistinguishable from doughnuts. Tartine's morning roll is GOOD: it has a firm texture, just enough frosting, great cinnamon flavor... It goes well with coffee, of course. It was the best cinnamon roll I have yet had.

I also ordered the bread pudding. It was covered with stewed fruit in a light syrup, and the fruit drew me in. However, it wasn't the right dish for me, because it had an eggy-pancake sort of texture, and I'm not keen on that. I should have known better, I suppose, but... really, the fruit on top was just too lovely.


Added bonus: just down the block from Tartine is The Language of Cloth (, a small, wholesale shop for gorgeous imported textiles. Those of us with scarf fetishes could easily blow all of our future income there, but luckily it is a cash operation, and so you can't throw yourself into debt there.

This is a seasonal shop: this weekend is the last for the month, so be sure to go now, before I make you jealous over my purchases and you are frustrated that you didn't go yourself.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)12:10 AM

Sunday, September 23, 2007

  Dumb Arguments Against Vegetarianism. I'm currently reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Pollan, which is a great book aside from his complete inability to understand vegetarianism on any substantive level. I think it's a cultural thing - he admits right from the start that he is just doing this temporarily as an experiment, and immediately becomes self-conscious because he only knows omnivores, and doesn't wish to inconvenience them with this dietary need that he is looking for excuses not to stick with...

Although his generally thoughtful book is nowhere near as frivolous on the subject, it reminded me of the poorly reasoned anti-veg article I read earlier this year in my favorite news magazine, and of how I never got around to posting some of its defects, or the defects of many foolish arguments against eating a healthy, plant-based diet. Without picking apart that article point by point (which would bore me), I posted my all-time favorite list of Dumb Arguments Against Vegetarianism on a new webpage. There are plenty of other arguments, but they don't make me roll my eyes the way these do, so they're not my 'favorites.'

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posted by Arlene (Beth)1:51 PM

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