Wing Lee Bakery: Treasures for the Adventurous…
There are few brave enough to venture out into the Richmond district, even if it’s the Inner Richmond which is like four blocks from Upper Haight. If you’ve lived here long enough, you can hear the gasps of neighborhood-elitists when you say, “I live out in the Richmond/Sunset.” I honestly don’t understand the whole fucking concept of which neighborhood is cooler than others to live in, it’s still in San Francisco, why does it matter? It doesn’t. But, I hope people continue to gasp because there’s a whole delicious world of cheap eating in the Inner Richmond.
Clement street is mostly filled with Chinese markets, dim sum joints, herbal remedies and maybe a Walgreen’s. There’s also bakeries. Wing Lee Bakery is a nondescript, nonfrilly, nonexpensive Chinese bakery with wonderful, fresh (because they’re consumed so fast), and cheap common bites. How about three steamed pot stickers pockets filled with shrimp, chives and cabbage for $1.60? Or, BBQ pork baos for $0.90 a piece?
I’ve never cared for the Hong Kong egg custard tarts everyone seems to love. But, for a few shillings a piece, I bought several and got out of there before I did more damage. I tried one and found the egg flavor was delicate and subtle, something people would never consider egg flavor to be. I had consumed almost the entire bag before I reached Arguello. The crust was flaky without crumbling to pieces in my hand. The aftertaste was sweet and not rancid.
It only takes one great experience and properly prepared foods to make you forget all those horrible previous encounters. And it only takes a little adventurous wandering through this beautiful city to find treasures. I’m definitely an au courant fan of egg custard tarts.
503 Clement St
(between 6th Ave & 7th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94118 [ Inner Richmond]
storefront photo credit: Snake, Rattle, Roll