Church Door and Croissants

Had to drive into San Francisco today for an early morning appointment and on my way back I passed by the St. John’s Presbyterian Church that I didn’t pay much attention to in the past but the red doors caught my eye and I hadn’t prepared a Thursday Door post yet so the wheels started turning.  Normally, when I’m in this neighborhood I always notice the Synagogue across the street from this church because of it’s really huge size.

I drove past the church debating whether I should stop and go back for the door photos and then noticed a bakery that was recently in the news so the decision was cast; park the car, walk to the church to take some door photos and stop at the bakery (what a plan).

Apparently, St. John’s had an interesting past and eventually relocated to this side of town opening its doors for service at this location 3 days before the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.  You can read more about its history at this link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._John%27s_Presbyterian_Church_(San_Francisco,_California)

The doors were quite nice and there was a huge stained glass window to complement it.

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St. John’s is in the foreground and the Synagogue across  the street in the background.

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I noticed that St. John’s had a plaque attached noting that it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Well, the first part of the plan was executed so on to the bakery.  The bakery, Arsicault, located in the Richmond District of San Francisco, made the news recently because its owner finally perfected his croissants recipe and unknowingly served someone affiliated with the Bon Appetite magazine.  The magazine gave its seal of approval and overnight (literally) a food star was born.  Long lines were reported to be the new norm but today the lines looked manageable so I decided to try to get a taste.  They bake their pastries in batches because they have a small kitchen and they now limit their sales because they sell out by 1:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. and they don’t want to disappoint all the people who stand in line for almost an hour or more.  This is the link of the newspaper story:  http://www.sfgate.com/food/eatup/article/Arsicault-Bakery-adjusts-to-life-as-nation-s-9179897.php

The door to this bakery is a regular glass storefront door but its what’s inside that makes the door important (you have to pass through it to get the good stuff).

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You can tell that this is a bakery, the sign at the door is written on bakery parchment paper.

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Waiting in line your senses get the aroma of butter, when you enter the door your visual senses align with the olfactory senses and you see the prized pastries that you were waiting in line for.

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Finally got to the clerk, ordered 4 pricey croissants and got my taste.  Was it worth the price and wait?  I’ll say it was good but if the line is as long as they report it to be on weekends, I would probably not wait an hour or longer.  I got mine in over 40 minutes and it was the back story adventure that made it worth it.

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Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks to Norm 2.0 for his Thursday Doors blog.  For more blogs and photos of doors by others please go to: Thursday Doors.

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29 thoughts on “Church Door and Croissants

  1. What a great Red door and Stained Glass window!

    The side trip to the Bakery was just as interesting. I the story about that bakery and wondered how the croissants stacked up really.

    Some of the croissants look a bit over done en mon avis, but it’s nice to know what you bought was good…just not worth the long line on the week-ends.

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  2. Nice post…seems worth the stop to me. I know the church (at least the outside) and the area. That is the neighborhood where my husband was raised, where his mother lived until she passed and Temple Emanuel was his temple!

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  3. The stained glass window is amazing … And I love the detail above both the door and the window.

    Your bakery story reminded me of a visit I had this summer at a very popular bakery. I have a *thing* for Mille-Feuille – or Napoleon Slices – or Custard Slices … Whatever you want to call them.
    The lineup was very long and as I inched closer and closer to the front of the line, the number of Mille-Feuille were rapidly depleting. The guy in front of me took the last 2 pastries. After waiting over 30 minutes in line, I left without anything I had wanted. A HUGE disappointment.

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  4. You must like pastries a lot, to want to wait almost 45 min.! This is the side of big cities I don’t miss at all:):) But the stained glass window is awesome as well as the angle you took! And the door is beautiful.

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  5. great back story and super fun post – mix of the old with St Johns and the new with the modern bakery – and whoa – limit to 4 ? business is so good for them – and some things are worth the wait – and like you said – especially when you get a story (and a post) out of the deal) – I don;t eat parties anymore – but like you – this would be a time we would all indulge for the experience and all….

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  6. Just looking at this post and the most recent one (about Cannes), I feel like there could be a theme starting – doors and food 😉
    Red doors certainly stand out a lot more to me these days after getting into Thursday Doors, but I reckon a lot of things stand out more too!
    I love good pastry, but not sure if I could wait over 40 minutes for one…

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    1. Yup, had the same thoughts that my posts are starting to include food but what the heck, it got your attention 🙂 Thank you for visiting my posts and maybe I’ll surprise you in the next post. BTW, the croissants were really good, especially the almond one but like you, I would have second thoughts waiting in a long line for pastries (in Honolulu, Hawaii there is an old bakery named Leonard’s that sells a fried Portuguese doughnut rolled in sugar called malasadas and they are now in the tourist magazines resulting in long lines (from the tourists) to get you fix (and the old bakery is the same as when I grew up there) so sometimes you have to go with the flow.

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      1. Mmm I do like a good almond croissant…
        It’s a bit of a dilemma sometimes – if I find a great bakery/cafe/restaurant etc, I reckon it’d be great if they got due recognition/promotion; but I’d also like to keep it a bit of a secret, so that the lines/wait times don’t become ridiculously long

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  7. You had me at “croissant”. I am a baker and knowing how time consuming and delicate process this entails, I am happy to pay for a really one. Those look pretty amazing. I LOVE the doors but that stained glass is breathtaking. What an historic corner. I had the p,easure of visitng SF once and wanted to park myself there forever. But $$$$$$! Yikes. Thanks for visiting my blog. 😀

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    1. Thank you; since you are a baker I would be please to sample your baked goods too 🙂 Regarding “parking” in SF; yes, it is a very expensive place to live and the literal parking (it is very expensive to park there because of the limited meter spaces and parking tickets are appalling). Hope you do go back to SF to try that bakery but look for parking spaces in the abutting neighborhood.

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  8. Thanks for the tip. Not that I will get back there any time soon. It was a great trip. Such food….that oldest Italian restaurant, Wolfgang Puck’s, China town, Haite Ashbury! OMG. And the comapny paid for it all…like I said, no time soon. Lol

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