Sneaky New Things

Everyone should have their favorite corner cafe. I mean, if Europeans are right about anything, it’s about the cafe. I’m talking about the kind where you can linger and make it your go-to spot. The one that makes pre-caffeinated thinking (which I hate) obsolete. Who wants to debate the best place to go when in need of a hot, caffeinated bevvie? Nobody has time for that.

When it comes to a good cup of coffee, I usually get Naked, but I have loved Tin Roof for their macarons (when they get them right), the fair-trade coffee roaster they use, their increasing commitment to local farms, and the fact that they offer a great space for business meetings. This very column has been written many times from a chair situated in front of the window, watching cars go by while I sip my Americano and eat dairy-laden things I shouldn’t.

One day while I was working at Tin Roof on various business such-and-such, the head baker, Jordan Vogal, came out from the back. He was bedecked in flour and wore a question on his face. I knew he was up to something.

He took me to his drawing board—which, for Jordan, happened to be a table in the back room. Various flour sacks lay about; some pans, too. He looked like a chemist struggling for answers, obviously tired of tests gone awry. I answered as many questions as I could. I gave suggestions for flour blends and rise times and densities and moisture content. I talked about my experience with ingredients, and what to use as a binding agent.

And then, magically, it appeared. The Jordan Vogal creation hit the shelf. I took one home thinking I’d try it out, critique it, and come back with suggestions. But, that wasn’t my experience at all. He nailed it. He fucking nailed it.

Tin Roof now carries gluten-free bread.

Now, here’s a little disclaimer: for people with celiac disease, this bread is not gluten-free in the truest sense of the word. I mean, duh, it’s made at Tin Roof where they make lots of other bread with wheat flour. There’s going to be a certain amount of cross-contamination that is unavoidable under the circumstances. But, if you’re not overly worried about that, then this gluten-free bread is going to make it completely okay for people like me who don’t (snivel, snivel) ever get baguettes, or croissants, or any of Terry’s fancy-ass cakes.

No. Actually, it won’t make any of that okay. Those things are just not okay. But it will make you want to eat bread again. So, there’s that.

Atta kid, Jordan. And way to go Tinny.

Jen Cartier misses Chico! However, she has taken to the great beyond (er...The Bay Area) to be some kind of chocolate maven while simultaneously figuring out how the hell to navigate her long-ass work commute, and still kick ass at raising three munchkins, loving one soon-to-be husband, and keeping one rascally Brittany Spaniel in the damned yard. She loves Nutella, red wine, and American Spirits. She takes her dog along on runs to wear him out (sometimes he shits in someone else's yard - bonus!) and also to balance her own general consumption of all the fine tasty things life offers, ciggys included. Follow her blog at