Craftsman and Wolves…
I remember living on Valencia St. when KFC was still on the block, junkies constantly shouted above the bell of the nearby church and Lost Weekend had half-off Wednesday and VHS tapes. Then, the gallery attendants below me started to leave traces of hispterdom: cans of PBR. They were everywhere. I knew the Mission was changing.
I don’t remember even seeing a sign outside, but I managed to find the door that led into a half-modern slate (Wolf) and half-warming exposed brick and beam (Craftsman) Craftsman and Wolves. It had only been open for two weeks, but they managed to put themselves on the map with their brilliant conceptual idea of a miniature deeply chocolate chocolate cake with a hidden piece of foie gras. That’s right, the sacred ingredient belonging to the long-time tradition of gavaged Geese (goodbye tradition and consumption in California, hello contraband from Nevada) that meets wonderfully satisfying chocolate. My dining companions and I managed to segue from the interesting jewelry-like display cold case, harboring many delights floating perfectly and freely lined up on a roll-out piece of slate, and seize the last one. Suck it, person behind me.
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We wasted no time tucking into this cylindrical sphere that reminded me of a flourless cake slash brownie. One of my dining companions did not like the fact that it was cold and I disagree. I loved it. It’s just like coming straight out of the fridge at 2am, when no one is judging a gorda with a look of disagreement. I love the idea of a ganache filling playing against the salty-fat of the foie, the slightly crunchy cake exterior where convection meets batter with the extra crunch of toffee on top. One complaint, the photos lied. It was no chunk of foie, more like a few specks. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to taste the foie.
Nonetheless, just as Michel Bras gave us his coulant in the 80s, this vortex of delicious evil will have many imitators following in the near future, “bringing to you The Devil Within! Microwaved in 60-seconds and with foie substitute.” And on those days when I’m reminded that a 30-year-old gorda has limited options in the wading pool that is dating, and living in a state that bowed down to herbivores denying our primordial primate instincts to consume a product that occurs in nature, at least I know I have the comforting memory of The Devil Inside.
746 Valencia St. (between 18th and 19th)
San Francisco, Ca 94103 [The Mission]
Store interior photo: Craftsman and Wolves