I went to Acme Bread Senior last weekend (that's the flagship store on San Pablo in Berkeley) which is about the size of a shoebox, but it's a very pleasant shoebox, with lots of good smells and things to eat. We were actually staking out a table at Cafe Fanny, right next door, but I figured that I might need an appetizer to tide me over through the long line and subsequent long wait.
What I really wanted were these sublime onion tarts that they make at Acme Bread Junior (ferry building) but it turns out they don't make them at Senior. I don't know why. The guy at the counter didn't know why, either, but he seemed really bummed that he had never tried one, and even humored me as I went into painstaking detail, describing the caramelized onions, the fresh thyme, the slivers of black olive and the nice sprinkling of coarse salt and pepper, all on Acme's really exceptional puff pastry. I have tried lots of puff pastry, both homemade and in the bakeries of the world and Acme's has few equals.
I didn't want to go empty handed, of course (I told you! It really was a long wait!) so I got a ham and cheese turnover. That same puff pastry, filled with good cheese and cubed ham. I think they are on to something with cubing the ham. It keeps the turnover from being all flopppy, gives it a little texture.
Cafe Fanny was pretty good, but they don't have anything on Acme. Oh, and did I mention there is a rose wine sale on at Kermit Lynch, in the same little San Pablo plaza? I kid you not.