Sunday, January 24, 2010
Places I'm Visiting: Bi-Rite market, San Francisco
I imagine this place is well known to the cognoscenti, but I happened upon it yesterday for the first time after a tasty breakfast at Tartine, on Guerrero St.
Bi-Rite Market is at 3639 18th St., between Guerrero and Dolores. It has a very New York feel to it--staffed by quickly moving, rather efficient-looking people. It's clearly run by foodies. I like the store slogan: "Creating community through food." In one of those odd coincidences, the night before I had been reading about cheddars and Stilton in Steven Jenkins's Cheese Primer (slightly outdated now, but still an excellent cheese reference book). I had picked it up off the shelf in the kitchen for no particular reason. It was handy in one of those unfilled moments that seemed to require reading material. Inevitably, though, it piqued my appetite and rekindled my interest in cheese (not that that interest had been in any special danger of petering out).
Following day, there I am in San Francisco, walking in the rain by Bi-Rite Market. I stopped in and was very pleased to find an excellent selection of cheeses--including several I had just been reading about. There is also a good selection of wines (and a fair number of more unusual bottles that are a refreshing change from the same old things you see in so many small grocery shops), fresh produce, and meats. Great little store. I picked up some Sonoma Dry Jack, some authentic cheddar, and a great four-year old Gouda. (Sorry about the hazy flare in the photos. These are just quick iPhone snaps.)