Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
It’s been well over two years now since the hungry writers at Bay Area Bites mentioned Big Sur Bakery. I figured it was time. Now, I can’t quite pin down the exact moment I became obsessed with Big Sur Bakery. It was well before the recent Bon Appetit mention and even before the stunning My Nepenthe cookbook came out. I feel like it’s always been this legend-like place that I’ve been trying to get past relationships, friends, and family to tag along and try. But most folks always have the same reaction:
You want to drive 5 hours round-trip to go to a bakery? In one day?
One bread I love to make at home is focaccia. In addition to thinking it’s one of the easier breads to bake, I also love that it can accommodate a variety of toppings. Although it is most often baked with sea salt and rosemary, you can easily add thyme or sage instead, not to mention goat cheese, caramelized onions, olives, garlic, nuts, anchovies, and fresh tomatoes.