Shattuck Avenue was hardly foreign territory. After all, for the past 40 years, it’s been home to Chez Panisse – one of the most famous restaurants in the U.S. – plus places like Cesar and The Cheese Board. However, sometimes, it takes a local to delve deeper. Tess Minsky attended college in Berkeley and prior to my trip, she e-mailed me an eating guide to her former base of operations. One of Sunday’s stars turned out to be Masse’s Pastries, which has been within shouting distance of Chez Panisse for over a decade, run by Paul and Marcia Masse.
For whatever reason, the Bay Area has become a Mecca for morning buns, with bakeries like Tartine and La Farine producing interesting versions. Clearly, the Bay has room for more buns.
Berkeley is home to so many culinary hallmarks that Masse’s could easily get overshadowed, but considering the care they put in their pastries, that shouldn’t be the case.