Craftsman & Wolves
Review by Alex Terwilliger
Contact InfoAddress: Mission District: 746 Valencia St. (Map) Nob Hill: 1643 Pacific Ave. (Map) Cuisine: Bakery, Cafe Website: craftsman-wolves.com Price: $$
So here's what we think...
Although you can’t have the item that made this place insta-famous (the “rebel within,” a soft boiled egg within a muffin), there is still reason enough to make your way into this adorbs little cafe, with locations in the Mission and in Nob Hill. It’s got that hipster-chic vibe going on, and even if it's just for a coffee or chai latte, wander in next time you’re passing by, and you’ll be bound to leave with much more than you came for ...
The smaller bakery items housed within the expansive glass case, each of which were so beautifully crafted that they practically looked like art, were largely off limits. So look away! What is available to NOBREADers, however, are a few lovely items on the lunch/brunch menu, as well as a wide array of confections such as the pate de fruit, coming in amazingly curious flavors (celery lime pimm’s, carrot coconut passion fruit, pineapple mezcal, blood orange old fashion). They’re so pretty you’ll want to give them away as a gift, and they’re perfect for that, or for just eating by yourself while you contemplate how the heck they got the flavor of celery into a candy the size of your thumb nail. Other confections include yuzu almond caramels, smoked butter caramels, smoked pistachio & cherry fudge, and marshmallow cubes in either coconut blood orange, or chocolate spearmint. Seasonal jam flavors (to bring home and spread on your GF toast!) include winter citrus marmalade, cafe au lait confiture, and matcha milk jam, which also make excellent gifts. Back to the lunch bit though. This might not be what you thought you were coming here for, but the few items I tried were totally spot on, and as gorgeous as everything else in the store. The kale salad is garnished with carrots, radishes, kumquat, a curry dressing, and something that gives it an almost floral taste that I couldn’t quite identify. The market fruit with organic yogurt (sans granola), is topped with some finely chopped dates. The best of all though, was the potato leek and celery soup, topped with a few charred pieces of broccoli and drizzled with something green and herby. It’s thick, warm, rich, flavorful as heck, and will take your mind right off that biscuit that you can’t have (and won't even want anymore). Don’t be afraid to walk into this super popular bakery-- I promise you there’s plenty here that you can eat, even if it might not seem so at first. They told me they’re thinking of adding some GF pastries to their menu in the near future too, so check back soon for more on that!