Hello, folks! Slowly but surely, I’m branching out a bit on my food reviews. There’s just so much of it out there and I’m so often and easily tempted. Case in point: over dinner, someone scrolled through their iPhone to show me picture after beautiful picture of baked goods at Craftsman & Wolves, and few things call to me louder than gorgeously crafted pastries.
Craftsman & Wolves is my kind of place in so many ways. It’s in the Mission, decor is simple and clean, and the food is creatively done. They serve sandwiches, plus afternoon tea from 1-5, but the main event when I went was the case of baked goodies. It all looks glorious, which was why we ordered 5 items for 3 people. Most of it was things I had read about on Yelp and knew I had to try. If you go, you gotta go for the famous eats, right?
Savory Items: Parmesan Gougere and The Rebel Within. The gougere was everything I’d read about: simple in appearance but packing plenty of flavor. (Peppery!) Tasty, but would be slightly better warm. And the real reason everyone goes to Craftsman: The Rebel Within – a cheesy, bacon-y, dense muffin filled with a whole egg! Now, I hate eggs. I apologize, but you will not ever convince me to like them. So I went with two people who wouldn’t refuse to eat an egg so they could try this amazing concoction. HOW do you bake a full, round, perfect EGG into a muffin, and still have it be runny when you cut into it? I’d like to be privvy to this information even if I’ll never have a need to do this myself. I sampled the outside of the muffin, sans egg, and it was quite tasty. I could see how this one’s a winner. It’s also $7, but the word is that it’s quite filling, and awesome enough that if this is your kinda thing I think you should go for it.
Sweet Treats: Coconut, Keffir Lime, and Mango Scone and a Chocolate Croissant Stack. The croissant stack just looked so awesome, how could I not? Sadly the chocolate layer was spread a little thin, so thin as to barely taste chocolate-y. I need my sweet croissants a little sweeter. The scone – chock full of amazing, strong flavors! I’ve never tasted anything quite like this and would go back for it. It’s a little dry for a scone, though; beyond the usual amount of crumbly-ness. The little flakes of coconut and bursts of dried mango just about make up for that, but it’s worth noting.
Overall: We spent $28 on pastries and coffee at C&W, and felt like we got our money’s worth. (The coffee is goood!) If you love baked goods, it’s just fun to walk into a place like this and try to resist the urge to order one of everything. This is a great option if, up the street, Tartine has a mile-long wait. Here, I was more impressed with the savory items than the sweet (which is soooooo unlike me!), but I’d definitely go back to try a regular croissant (passionfruit!) or a chocolate muffin. Even though a lot of the pastries we tried did seem just a hint dry, I’d go back to sample the rest. It’s all that beautiful. And it doesn’t hurt that the salted caramel brownie we bought for the road was an addictive, perfect blend of not-too-sweet chocolate with mildly salty caramel. What the heck? I’m a fan.
Craftsman & Wolves 746 Valencia St. (between 18th and 19th) 415.913.7713