Eat this Now: Arizmendi Bakery's Vegan Foccacia

By no stretch of the imagination would I ever be considered anything close to a vegan. A more apt self-description would be a meat-eating, estranged sister of a vegan. But every once in a while, I stumble upon something animal-less that can satisfy my inner carnivore – something that reminds me that I do like those vegetable things and that vegan isn’t necessarily synonymous with kale-and-quinoa-eater. The seasonal vegetable focaccia at Arizmendi Bakery ($4.25) is one such thing.

[jump] As many know, the worker-owned cooperative serves a wonderful rotating pizza, but I can never seem to order it. Instead, I bypass the lengthy pizza line and hastily make my way to the bread case where rows of focaccia stare back at me from behind their transparent cover – beautiful slabs of sourdough busting at their glutenous seams. I grab a pasty bag and carefully nestle the thick slice of tomato and basil focaccia in it. The generous piece is wonderfully chewy with just the perfect about of exterior crunch and ever-so-slight char. Sweet, ripe, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil are piled on top and then drizzled with a healthy amount of olive oil. Top it with a few red pepper flakes, and all is good with the world.

No meat; no cheese, just simplicity at its finest.

Arizmendi has six cooperatives – the one patronized for this piece was their Inner Sunset location at 1331 9th Avenue. 415-566-3117.

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