I was pre-ice cream post-burrito wandering the streets of the Mission District in San Francisco when I realized we had still not been to Tartine. I had visited a few years previous and indulged in their dreamy bread pudding, seasonally peach at the time, and had since been craving more pastries from what has been called one of the best bakeries in America.
The line spilling out into the sidewalk did not deter me from my flakey-buttery mission of claiming one slightly-burnt-in-a-good-way croissant to be my own. They say the longer you are in a grocery store - the more likely you are to purchase food you don't need. The exact opposite happened to me as I stared through glass cases filled with pastries, tarts, and loaf cakes - the longer I waited, the more treats most definitely needed.
When asked what I wanted, I ordered my croissant and then became overwhelmed and spit out the first thing I saw - "Almond-Lemon Tea Cake, please!" It came in a thick slice, dotted with poppyseeds, and dusted with powdered sugar. The texture was so incredibly moist with exceedingly bright flavor from the fresh squeezed lemon juice and grated zest. I was in citrus love instantly.
I pulled up the Tartine Cookbook on my phone and ordered it on the spot. This lemon loaf was certainly not something I could eat just once. The recipe was patiently waiting for me when I arrived back in Boston and I was ready to see the world once again through lemon-colored glasses.