King's Bakery: Make It All Better


Sometimes, when the world is too much with you—say, when the magazine you work for is in the throws of closing the July (fun-in-the-sun!) issue and you haven’t left your desk for what seems like days (what is that thing you call the sun?) and your mind draws a blank when faced with yet another blog to post—you need the comfort food equivalent of your grandmother’s bosom (and let me tell you, my grandma had a great one), something you can really rest your weary head on. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

The only thing that will do in a crisis situation.

This cannot be some hoity-toity French croissant from Tartine or a slice of some rustic, Alice Watery, organic Acme levain with June Taylor jam that would lecture you on sustainability if it could. It has to be simple-minded, pillowy, yielding and love you unconditionally. It has to say, “There, there. The sun will come out tomorrow—even though it’s foggy enough to be raining right now. And it’s a Monday morning. In June.”

For this moment—especially when you’re on your way to the BART to get to work at said magazine—there is nothing kinder than a Mexican pastry from King’s Bakery (2864 Mission St., 415-282-4550), located steps away from the 24th Street station.

Until recently, my favorite bun there was the one filled with coconut and sugar and glazed with a little egg wash and sprinkled with sesame seeds. But coconut whore that I am, I noticed one filled with a nice dollop of light, coconuty pastry cream, all sprinkled with coconut. I picked it up with the provided tongs and put it on a beat-up aluminum tray (this is what you do at Mexican bakeries), paid the $1 something and sat down and ate it right then and there, enjoying its not-too-sweetness and its unabashed softness, listening to a group of elderly regulars discuss the Giant’s game over cups of thin coffee in Styrofoam.

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