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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wayfare Tavern in SF: Great Burger By Celeb Chef Tyler Florence

I've always been a big fan of Tyler Florence's recipes and cookbooks but had never tried his restaurants so it was a treat trying Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco. It delivered. Since his horseradish burger is one of my faves to make at home when I'm not going to Houston's, I figured I'd try the burger. It was solid, as were the fries. Don't let his fame deter you from trying his very good food. I myself am allergic to celeb chefs but he defies the stereotype.

The brioche bun was perfectly soft and fresh while dense enough to hold the hearty patty, which was cooked a solid medium rare with a nice meaty flavor and just the right consistency. I thought the brie would be too overpowering for the patty but it was on the mild side and nicely melted. The caramelized red onions were sweet and I asked for the bacon on the side as I find bacon to be a distraction in good burgers. Don't get me wrong. I love a nice, crispy bacon as much as the next person but when it comes to burgers, you gotta leave the patty alone. You can also add a fried egg on top but as much as love a fried egg on anything, I resisted to stay true to my rather purist tendencies when it comes to a burger.

I also liked the pickles that tasted home-made for their low sodium content. They were refreshing without being like the overly pickled, sadly shriveled, super salty and vinegary commercial pickles.

Let's talk fries. They were crispy and not over-salted. Approved!

We also shared a nice fig and pork belly salad with some greens as a starter. I realize the choice of pork belly as a starter for a full-on, meaty burger may not have been the wisest one and I did regret it momentarily but thankfully the salad ended up not being as heavy and the figs were super sweet -- a great complement to the salty pork belly chunks.

Another bonus was the complimentary brioche bread served before our meal arrived. It was fluffy and I chowed it down slathered in creamy butter even though I had a whole bun waiting for me. I didn't mind the carb overload because it seemed light and not too dense. Oh, and I walked it off.

I'd definitely like to return in the evening and try its extensive wine and beer selection.

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