8/27/2012 03:00:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate Today: Sour Flour's Free Bagels at La Victoria Panderia

Bagels are on a roll these days and they can cost you a pretty penny, but over in the Mission, local sourdough breadmaker Sour Flour proves that the best things in life are still free, at least on Monday mornings. Sour Flour is an educational- and community-oriented bread venture that aims to "build community through bread." To that end, it brings flour to the people by way of regular sour-starter and twice-monthly bagel-making workshops which they run out of rented kitchen space from the Mission's iconic Mexican bakery La Victoria Panderia. You can also buy their freshly baked sour-dough loaves (only $4) in the afternoons at various shops around town, including La Victoria, Bi-Rite Market and Faletti Foods, or sign up for weekly home delivery (no minimum size order, free in the Mission, $1 in outlying neighborhoods).

But the company reveals its true flower-power nature every Monday morning at La Victoria, when it gives away its perfectly crusty-on-the-outside, tender-but-not-overly-fluffy-on-the-inside hand-rolled bagels which get their nutty-brown exterior from being boiled in a mixture of water and lye. The bagels, a melange of plain, salt, sesame, poppy and everything-about 80 in all, emerge hot out of the oven at 9 AM and are typically gone in about an hour. The great bagel giveaway (one per customer) happens every Monday morning at La Victoria Panderia at 2937 24th Street in the Mission. While you're there, be sure to pay it forward by picking up a cup of locally roasted De La Paz coffee and one of the bakery's fresh Mexican pastries.

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