Home of the $7 Toasts.
Just around the corner from Alamo Square, NoPa is home to the most glorious bakery and café known as The Mill. I can't believe it took me an entire 3 months of living in San Francisco before I discovered this gem. Walking through the industrial brick and windowed facade, I entered into a lofty haven with exposed wood beamed ceilings, concrete floors, and white walls. Shelves to my left framed café seating and were lined with brown bagged coffee beans, jams, nut butters, and ceramic mugs and jugs. To the right is an enormous black metal shelving unit housing loaves and loaves of bread. Beautiful, fresh, made-in-house breads. Next to the loaves were more jars of nut butters, bags of Four Barrel coffee beans, rye bitters, sea salts, and teas. The tall ceiling and wall of windows let in such beautiful afternoon light, and I could have stayed there forever.
The loaves of bread are more than I could ever hoped for. They span from Adventure Bread and Red, White & Rye, to Seed Feast and my personal favorite: Dark Mountain Rye. Dark Mountain Rye is a heavy, hard, ridiculously hearty loaf made of whole rye flour, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, corneal, sourdough culture, and sea salt. This combination is extremely beneficial to digestion. The fermentation that occurs in the sourdough culture contains a higher amount of lactobacillus (the GOOD bacteria in our gut). Because of this, the bread is more easily digested and the body is able to absorb a higher amount of the vitamins and minerals. It's really all about the balance of acids in the gut, and good and bad bacteria have a lot to do with this. This is why someone who consumes more red meat might have gut problems (the acid used by our gut to digest red meat is harmful to the good bacteria in our intestines, and causes inflammation and poor absorption of nutrients).
The menu offers a variety of these toasts with various toppings such as riverview orchard almond butter, housemade "nutella", Inna jam, egg salad, hummus, smoked salmon cream cheese, black bean spread. I love that the community at The Mill encourages substitutions and accommodates any food allergies or preferences. I also love that the food is locally made from scratch. All of the breads and pastries come from Josey Baker Bread, which started out in Josey's Mission apartment in 2010. The team now bakes about 350 loaves per day, 7 days per week. The flour is ground by their mill every day, and they use the same sourdough starter that Josey got from his friend George's grandmother.
If you visit The Mill, which I surely suggest, be sure to try out Pizza Night every Monday, or Grilled Cheese + Soup night every Wednesday.