Posted by Lauren

**New Page Alert!!** Two weeks ago I created a page under the Dining Out tab called San Francisco Restaurant Wish List. Check it out and comment if you’ve been to any places on my list that are worth it/not worth it, or if you think something needs to be added. Link away to your own reviews too!

2 Things:

1. Over the past few years, my mom + Nicole + myself developed a little tradition. Right before Christmas we drive up to San Francisco and stay overnight to indulge in a day or two of shopping. Like, professional shopping. My mom might work in HR, but her true calling is shopping. We all look forward to this “girls’ trip” for many reasons, and this year’s trip is only a few weeks away!

2. Before Sugar Coated Sisters, I lugged my camera around to restaurants, snapping pictures of food + drinks (I’m so considerate, I turn off the flash most times). Convinced I would transition from 32above to a restaurant review blog, I saved all the photos. Then, one day, Nicole was like “why don’t WE start a blog” and I was like “girl, you are SO FRICKIN SMART!” …. so, one day all my photos will end up on here

2010*(1+2) = This post!

christmas san francisco 2010 collage Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

During our girls’ Xmas trip to SF last year, my mom let me pick a restaurant to have a “special dinner.” I immediately knew where to go…

img 0241 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Tyler Florence, the sexy lil’ Food Network chef that he is, reinvented the shuttered Rubicon about 2 years ago into Wayfare Tavern, a dashing restaurant in the Financial District.

img 0237 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Ty Flo’s classic American dishes are inspired by San Francisco at the turn of the century, with both French/bohemian and Wild West influences.

img 0239 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Ooh look at those fancy ladies across the street!

img 0243 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Wayfare Tavern

558 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA

img 0248 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Like most restaurant outings, I read 587 yelp reviews (you think I’m joking?) and had a pro/con list going on in my head.

These two looked over the menu and helped finalize our selection…

img 0251 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

My mom is kind of looking at me with crazy eyes, right?

img 0268 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Remember the red hair?

Moving on…

img 0269 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

We ordered coffee for the table – our 9:15 reservation was a wee bit late.

img 0264 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Then, the basket of popovers came around.

Crispy outside, hollow inside, eggy; the flaky layers melt away in your mouth.

img 0274 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Before the food arrived, I walked around to snap a few pictures of the masculine interior.

img 0254 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Is that a marble fireplace? I’m not sure, but let me paint you an appropriate picture:

  • wood panels
  • exposed, distressed brick (< < saved from the great quake of 1906!)
  • oversized fresh flour bouquets
  • dim lighting + wide creme-colored candles
  • reclaimed wooden floors
  • open kitchen
  • animal head mounts
  • rustic fixtures, portraits, etc
  • dark, well-stocked bar

img 0253 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

You get the idea…

But how was the food?

img 0275 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Seared Sonoma Foie Gras ($18) – French toast, Oregon huckleberry, duck cracklings

My all-time favorite dish. The combination of huckleberry and foie is a match made in heaven. This is no longer on the menu, and all foie is disappearing in a couple months. I’m so happy my tastebuds were able to try this!

img 0279 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Poutine ($12) - braised short rib, French fried potato, truffle Jack cheese, veal jus

Nicole’s favorite of the night (she picked around the short rib and veal jus). I have a fascination with all things Canadian, so I was totally jazzed to see poutine on the menu. A little off from the classic poutine dish, the subtle truffle influence really kicked this dish up a notch.

img 0283 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Seared Wild Alaskan Salmon ($27) – mustard braised brussels sprouts, chanterelle, ham hock, smoked honey

While the three of us enjoyed the salmon entrée, we were underwhelmed. The mustard braised brussels sprouts were brilliant, though.

img 0286 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese ($8) – Jack cheese, garlic breadcrumbs, chive & smoked olive oil

We picked two side dishes and when they landed on our table, Nicole came up with one brilliant idea…

img 0287 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Local Foraged Mushrooms ($8) – with olive oil & garlic

Fork full of 1/2 mac, 1/2 ‘shrooms. One heavenly, complex bite. I’m not sure how many mushroom varieties are included in the side, but they were delicious, rich, and earthy.

img 0297 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

asldkfja;sdflkjawoienvwkjnv SISTERSSSSS <3

img 0301 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Can’t forget about dessert!

What would we pick?

  • the carrot cake, named after his Baby Momma/wife Tolan
  • the fried apple pie
  • the deconstructed rocky road
  • the pumpkin pudding cake, with Ty Flo’s backyard honeycomb
  • the sticky toffee pudding, with black pepper ice cream

img 0304 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Who looks more like her? Everyone says it’s Nicole…..

We chose the ROCKY ROAD!!

img 0307 Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

Rocky Road ($9) – Sharffenberger mousse, caramel popcorn, cashews, toasted marshmallows, chocolate covered raisins, cocoa nibs

Even though we ate at Wayfare Tavern almost a year ago, I remember selecting this dessert because it was unusual and unlike anything we had ever seen. The homemade marshmallows and full-flavored mousse were quite a pair!

The big question is where will we eat THIS year?!!

Like I mentioned above, the new San Francisco Restaurant Wish List page has quite a few hopefuls. Bay AREA people I’m looking to you for recommendations! If you see something on that page you absolutely adore or think is overrated, please leave a comment! Nicole’s a vegetarian so this year’s pick has to have plenty of veg-head friendly foods. And hopefully we won’t be stuck with a 9:15 reservation. We usually stay in Union Square, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay in that area!

Question: What dessert would YOU pick?

Question: Have you ever tried foie gras? Are you crying on the inside because of the foie ban hitting California streets July 2012?

Question: What sort of holiday traditions do you and your mom/dad/sister/brother share?



9 Responses to Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco XMAS 2010

  1. Tara says:

    I fell in love with SF when I went there in the spring!! It’s such a cool city. It’s like a east coast city on the west coast, or at least that’s how it felt to me. All the desserts sound so good.. I want them all!! I’d probably go with the sticky toffee pudding because I’ve never tried it before.

  2. Kimberley says:

    I lovee your hair dair it looks great!

    What an awesome tradition… food and shopping is my type of weekend :)

  3. Sticky toffee pudding all the way! I’ve never been to SF, but I’d love to. It looks lovely!

  4. Ah, homemade marshmallows are apparently the up and coming food trend for 2012, you ladies are SUCH trendsetters!!

    This meal looks lovely. And I’m desperate for some poutine.

  5. Such a fun tradition! I actually really like your red hair :)

    I think I would have picked either the sticky toffee pudding or the pumpkin pudding cake.

  6. Love your new restaurant wish list page!! I too, have a restaurant wish list on my phone and am constantly adding to it! I feel like SF has so many fab restaurants, I want to try them all! Wayfare sounds AMAZING, I have been dying to go there!!! And that rocky road? Um it looks incredible! I pretty much agree with all of your picks on your page and am sure any of those would be amazing! Some restaurants I’m dying to try out are: Park Tavern (, Cafe Des Amis (, RN74 ( and a few others if you need more suggestions!

  7. [...] To spend a couple of days in San Francisco.  Extreme Shopping + Dining Out = Best Tradition [...]

  8. [...] Last year, Nicole, my mom, and I enjoyed the poutine, foie, and popovers at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern, but on this December 23rd (aka my half birthday!) we dined [...]

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