Slips of white paper on which was written the names of menu items filled a glass fishbowl. Upon entering, each patron had the opportunity to reach inside, pull out a card, and claim his or her prize.
It was akin to that crane game at the arcade where you could play until you won at least a little bit of candy - but classier. And much more delicious.
Excitedly, I reached my hand into the depths of the vessel, wondering which pastry would feel the wrath of my tastes buds...
Only a little disheartened, I gladly accepted my treat with open arms and went on my merry way. This wasn't what I was after, however. There was something else calling to me. Screaming my name. Beckoning from the case of goodies locked so seemingly far, far away and speaking to something within the very depths of my soul. Or my stomach. Whichever.
So the following week, I arrived bright and early to quench my insatiable cravings.
Or, just stick a straw down the center.
As for the flavor - lights out. The buttery, cheese tough dough had significant substance without being overly dense. Pork pieces salted the batter and threw in a nice contrasting crunch to the otherwise fluffy muffin. The cheese and scallions held down the fort to keep it on the savory side, but it was clearly the egg that took this recipe from good to great. The whites were set and bouncy while the oozing yolk dripped liquid gold onto the plate below. All of this paired with an expertly pulled Sightglass cappuccino and I was practically in heaven.
The Devil Inside was devilish indeed! Layers of chocolate cake were filled with toffee-chocolate ganache and, wait for it...
Some may ask, "Why would you put fat liver inside of chocolate cake?" To which I respond:
Why the hell not!
For me, it comes down to decadence. The liver wasn't overly present, but there is no doubt that it gave that dessert an extra layer of creamy richness. As for the cake itself, I can only say that I'm not generally a fan of chocolate and this was fantastic. The outside was a bit dry and had a rough texture, which I think worked in its favor. It almost created a shell that housed the otherwise moist interior. The ganache, which had more of a mousse consistency, made me want to spread it with a knife over the rest of the cake as a frosting. The smoked almond brittle atop the cylinder tasted burnt, though, so I left that alone.
Just then I heard the tiniest whisper of a voice. At first, I thought it was merely a figment of my imagination: a audible mirage.
"Ooh, we should have gotten that!"
It happened! It finally happened! For the first time since I began my culinary expedition around San Francisco, someone else ogled at ME!
Well, my food.
Regardless, Chris and Jess were the instigators of our conversation - not me. Elated beyond my wildest dreams, we chatted for a while and described our process of finding Craftsman and Wolves, other pastry passions of the city, and an analysis of our respective choices that morning. They shared the passion sesame croissant, which had mixed reviews. On the one hand, they gushed over the passion sesame paste that filled the layers of dough inside, yet they compared the icing on top to that of a Pop-Tart or Toaster Strudel. Flavor-wise, they loved it, but said they could have done without the topping.
More food recommendations, discussion of where to celebrate 'foiemageddon,' and general San Francisco chatter later, they exited stage right. Enter stage left another couple: this time, Alisha and her partner, Sharon Ardiana - owner of both Ragazza and Gialina. Having both been out here for a while, our discussion focused primarily on earthquakes and how much the city has changed over the past two decades. I was learning a tremendous amount until they had to flee, though not before eying my Devil and taking one to go.
After pictures for posterity, I took a nice long cycle about town until I found myself in the park with a hankering for muffin. Lo and behold, I had one waiting for me.
The only disappointment in my C&W pig-out was the croissant stack:
There is no doubt I'll be back. In fact, I believe my pictures have convinced a few of my friends so much so that we are going for breakfast this Saturday. I'm excited to venture into the realm of Werner's cube cakes, financiers, and eclairs as well as his more savory items such as his pain au cochon and market fresh sandwiches (he serves lunch as well!).
But it is hard to ignore that which is in all of us: be it a Rebel or a Devil.