Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arizmendi Bakery

Arizmendi is a different sort of a bakery, a co-op, owned by the bakers.  They have several locations in San Francisco, along with their sister operation, the Cheeseboard Collective, in Berkeley.

I attended a number of event with treats provided by Arizmendi Bakery.  They are a common source of pastries with my friends living in the Mission, not only because of the location, but also, because htey offer decent vegan and gluten-free items, so they are a good option for serving groups with dietary constraints.

I didn't find the cookies very remarkable, but their muffins and scones are some of the better ones I've had.

Cookies / Shortbreads

I'm not generally a cookie person, but my friends love these.  I didn't find them remarkable.
Spicy Chocolate Shortbread.
Wow, this packed some heat!  I know it said spicy chocolate, but I didn't expect it to have SOOO much intensity.

Anyway, it was a classic shortbread, with crunchy chocolate bits, and uh, something spicy.  Like Mexican chocolate, but in a shortbread.  I really enjoyed it paired with my coffee.
Cinnamon Anise Shortbread.
This is the one I expected to have the more intense flavor, as it featured both cinnamon and anise.  The top was brushed with cinnamon, and there were little bites of anise in it.  The flavors were subtle though, which was fine, just not what I expected.  Or maybe my taste buds were just blown from the spicy chocolate!  I appreciated the crunch from the anise bits.
Lemon Rosemary / Espresso Shortbreads.
I'm guessing the flavors here, as a friend brought these to a party.

The darker colored one most certainly had espresso in it, super strong coffee flavor, bit of texture from the grounds.  Once I realized it was caffeinated however I didn't have more, as I was avoiding caffeine late in the day.

The other was perhaps lemon rosemary?  It certainly had herbs and a strong citrus flavor.  A decent enough basic shortbread.
Chocolate Chocolate Cookie.  $2.
A hard style cookie, fudgy chocolate base, with chocolate chips.  Pretty intense chocolate flavor.  Not really my style of cookie, as I prefer soft ones.  A bit small for a $2 cookie, but I didn't actually want it to be any bigger.
Ginger Cookie.  $2.
Again, hard style which I don't care for, but good ginger flavor.  Not particularly complex.  Fairly small for $2.  Unremarkable.

Rolls / Breads

Double Chocolate Tea Cake.  $5.50 per loaf.
This was probably my least favorite item. It was dry, and somehow didn't have any flavor.   Even though it had chocolate chips in it, and it was chocolate bread, it wasn't chocolatey.  I had a single slice out of a small loaf, normally $5.50, which seems pricy for the size.
Gingerbread Tea Loaf.
Tea loafs are not ever that exciting to me, but I still tried a slice.  For what it was, it was good.  Very moist, amazing ginger flavor.  But still, just a slice of gingerbread, and not particularly interesting to me.
Chocolate Thing. $3.25.
"Sweet broiche with chocolate chunks".
"Our popular brioche dough studded with dark chocolate chunks."

Yes, "chocolate thing" is its real name.

It was a moist, good sweet bread, with dark chocolate chunks.  Yum!!!  (Note: It did not freeze and reheat well at all.)

Update review: Good quality dark chocolate, in large chunks, but it was otherwise dry and uninteresting.  We speculated that it would be better warm.

Update 2019: I again really did sorta like this.  The dark chocolate is such high quality, and the chunks large.  I like the sweet brioche base, but it always trends a bit dry for me.  I really need to take the time to warm it sometime ...
Pecan Roll. $3.
"A roll topped with pecans and gooey brown sugar."

This was very lackluster.  Not moist, not gooey.  Very disappointing.
Cinnamon Roll.
"Another classic swirled with cinnamon sugar, raisins, with a sweet icing."

Some friends brought these to a party, and dubbed them cinnamon rolls.  This doesn't really match what I thought Arizmendi's cinnamon rolls are like though, so I'm not really sure what these were.  They also sorta sound like the brioche knots, just, not shaped as knots.

I tried a chunk of one, but didn't really care for it. It was very dry, more like a scone than a roll.  It wasn't very cinnamon-y, but I'm not sure if it was supposed to be?  It had tons of raisins, both golden and regular (meh!).  It had no glaze or icing on top, but did have a little bit of sticky something.  I liked the sticky bits, but there wasn't much of that.

I'm really not sure what this was trying to be, but, it wasn't for me.
Cinnamon Roll (2019).
And then, another party, another box of treats, and I failed to read my notes.  Of course I grabbed the cinnamon roll looking thing, although my joy depleted a little as I saw the raisins, but I already had my hand on it.

It was better than my notes above imply, but still not great, a fairly dry item, the dough was like a brioche sorta, and there wasn't much cinnamon flavor, and only a slight glaze.  And of course, meh to those raisins.

It was ok for a lighter item, likely best warm, but not really my thing at all.
Brioche Knot.
"A classic sweet brioche dough twisted with cinnamon sugar and raisins."

Ok, *this* was the brioche knot, so my earlier guess about the other item is clearly incorrect.  I still don't entirely know what that one was, then.
Blueberry Snail (2019).
"Blueberries and butter cream rolled up and dusted with powdered sugar."
I finally got my hands on a blueberry snail, a limited Fri and Sat only item.

I liked it a lot more than the cinnamon roll, although it looked fairly similar.  The bread was again brioche like, the more dense style, and it was loaded with blueberry filling between the rolls.  Slightly glazed.

It was really a nice item for something not very decadent, but I bet would be even better warmed and topped with whipped cream.  A nice alternative to a blueberry muffin.

[ Not Pictured ]
  • Wolverine: "Sourdough roll loaded with pecans, cherries, raisins, apricots."  $2.50.  Tasting notes:  This was ok, but I don't love sourdough.   Best toasted with butter.
  • Cheese Roll: "Asiago and swiss cheese rolled up in our classic whole wheat sourdough."  $3.25. Tasting notes: Very cheesy! But sourdough, which I don't like.
  • Sweet Brioche, filled with cinnamon and raisins.  $2.50. Tasting notes: Very moist, nice cinnamon flavor, juicy and plump raisins added a nice moisture.  But it dried out pretty fast, better once re-warmed. [ Really delicious, even when frozen and re-heated.  Moist, cinnamon flavor, juicy raisins, sweet, nice dough. ]


Over the years, I've tried several different scones from Arizmendi.  The Corn Cherry Scone remains one of the best scones I've ever had.  
Daily Fruit Scone. $3.50
Some friends brought these to my house for a party, and they didn't know what kind they were, just, the daily fruit scone.  They seemed to be ... blueberry pear perhaps?

I didn't care for them.  The scones were very dry and crumbly, with no interesting flavor in the base.  No tang at all.  The fruit was there, but, overall, these were just dry and flavorless.
Scone of the Day: Blackberry. $3.50.
Another day, a co-worker brought some scones in to the office.

I didn't manage to get a photo before people cut them into chunks.  This was the scone of the day, featuring one of my least favorite fruits: blackberry (well, most of the time.  If blackberries have little seeds, I can love them, but most blackberries drive me crazy, I just can't stand the seeds).

The scone itself was great, soft, doughy, nice flavor in the base.  I liked how it was slightly crumbly, and the sugar coating on top.  It was moist, and the fruit added even more moistness.  So, all good.  Except, well, except for that whole blackberry thing.  The seeds were gritty and awful, in the way blackberry seeds are to me.

I wanted to love this scone, and if it had any other fruit, I would have.  It also would make a nice biscuit base for shortcake, with some whipped cream.

Update (2019): This time the scone of the day featured mango, and I enjoyed it much more.  Decent crumbly base, and the dried/cooked mango was certainly a fruit I prefer.
Currant Scone. $3.25.
"A traditional and mildly sweet buttery scone."

I also tried the currant scone, again, I failed to get a photo before it was broken into.  I don't normally go for currant scones, but, since I liked the base of the other, I figured it was worth the gamble.  I broke off just a small chunk, and immediately returned for the rest.

I really liked this scone.  It was soft, moist, and crumbly in all the right ways.  I loved the buttermilk tang to it.  It had lots of little currants, which, granted, aren't the most interesting dried fruit, but, they weren't bad.

On top was cinnamon sugar rather than just sugar like the fruit scone.  Currant and cinnamon aren't a natural pairing to me, but, I liked the sweet top, so, I went with it.

I liked this, and would gladly have another.
Corn Cherry Scone.  $2.75. 
"Our popular cornmeal scone with sweet, tart cherries."

This was really freaking good.  Bursting with flavor from the dried cherries. I love corn muffins/corn bread, and this took the wonderful flavors of corn and put them into a scone … genius!

Seriously, tasty.  One of the best scones I've ever had.
Update (2019): I had another, and I again loved it.  The gritty nature of the cornmeal, the pleasant tang to the base, and the large chunks of dried cherry made it a total winner.  Hands down favorite item.


Arizmendi makes a variety of muffins, including gluten-free and vegan varieties.
Gluten-Free Carrot Walnut. $3.
"A hearty muffin stuffed with shredded carrot, raisins, and walnuts based in brown rice flour."

This was a decent muffin.  Certainly a hearty, healthy tasting style though, absolutely loaded up with shredded carrots, plentiful plump juicy raisins, and bits of walnut for crunch.  It was well spiced.

Not really the type of muffin I like (unless I added lots of cream cheese frosting!)

I didn't know this was gluten-free when I tried it, and I wouldn't have known.

Update 2019: I had this again, and again enjoyed it, really loaded up with goodies, an excellent loaded carrot muffin.
Blueberry Millet Muffin.  $2.
Tasting notes: More flavorful than the cranberry since it has millet to add a nice earthiness.   Again, moist inside and out.  I really liked this, it reminded me a corn muffin and a blueberry muffin crossed into one.  Good quantity of blueberries and nice crunch from the millet.  A great price for a large muffin too.

[ Not Pictured ]
  • Cranberry & Apricot Muffin. $2. Tasting notes: Very moist on the inside and outside. All flavor comes from the cranberries and apricots as the batter itself pretty boring and plain. This froze and reheated fine too. 
  • GF Blackberry Muffin. Tasting Notes: really quite moist, tons of flavor and moisture from the big juicy berries.
Arizmendi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails