Bran New Day


The Grove: home of one really good bran muffin.
photography by Stefanie Michejda

I happened to find myself in on Fillmore yesterday and stopped in to The Grove (2016 Fillmore St., 415-474-1419) with a mission in mind: I wanted to see if their bran muffins were still as good as I remember.

I’ve repeated to several friends my belief that The Grove serves the best bran muffin in SF. The response is usually disbelief—a popular hangout for freelancers and first-time dates makes the city’s best bran muffin? The answer is actually no—because it turns out the Grove gets all its baked goods from the small, virtually unknown Nibs Bakery in the Outer Richmond (3717 Balboa St., 415-379-6468).

Well, hat’s off to Nibs, because I’d argue that a bran muffin is one of the hardest little buggers to perfect. It should have the teeniest bit of crunch around its baked edges, followed immediately by a soft, but not overly moist, center. It should be slightly sweet but not as sweet as cake, and it should look and taste like bran—which is fairly dense—without being much denser than a blueberry muffin. Lastly, it should be simple, sans walnuts, raisins or other chunky bits that only load the heavy interior down even more.

These muffins satisfy all the above requirements and boast a delicious butteriness to boot. As a bonus, they’re actually muffin-size, not the size of a grapefruit. Consider this an early “best of SF” tip (the annual issues comes out in June) and check this space next week for more details on Nibs: I plan on heading out there to find out if everything they bake tastes as good as this.
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