Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Sunday of food in The Mission: Wise Sons Deli and Three Babes Bakeshop

I find it epic and hilarious that my blog post about weight loss seems to be trending on some random hipster site right now (?!) and so here's some love back for the hipsters: I went to the Mission District for some epic food in San Francisco today - some might say the center of the hipster universe - and man was it was fantastic.

Wise Sons Deli

The main reason to go was the newly opened Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, a place I blogged about way back almost a year ago on April 10, 2011. I have literally been wanting to go here for almost 12 months. Crazy. Anyway they've been doing some pop-up restaurants for a bit, in the lower Mission and then more recently at the Ferry Building. But they've just opened up their new location and man was it amazing. (Great older article from SF Foodie:

I think it's a brilliant spot for them to put their restaurant, we all know some parts of the Mission appear a little grungy at first look but it really is the trend-setting neighbourhood to be for up-and-coming restaurants and they chose a great location right near the fantastic Humphrey Slowcombe ice cream and the famed Philz Coffee. Well done guys. A friend asked me if there were 200 hipsters waiting in line, and well, truly there were less hipsters than I would have expected - just a solid, diverse crowd and everyone there psyched for some quality food and company. As far as my J-dar was telling me, a good portion of the crowd (including me, my group of 3 and all the owners and servers I chatted with) were Jewish, so I think it has some mad street cred as an awesome (and long-missing) representation of the Jewish Deli Culture here in SF. Many non-tribesmen/women were there too enjoying the great food, awesome sunny Mission location, and homey welcoming atmosphere. Hey, and if the hippest of Hipsters are keen for some damn excellent Deli food, I say everyone should enjoy food this good together :)

I gotta say: the pastrami really holds up and the portion is more reasonable/less over-the-top than the usual Katz or Carnegie "whole-cow" style. The rye bread is excellent, crispy on the outer shell and soft and chewy in the middle, without that usual pushy rye taste. Truly excellent. I am kicking myself that I didn't buy a loaf... I'll have to go back another week. The key question is, so... how are the pickles? The answer: garlicy enough to kill 1000 vampires and crunchy like the wolf. Just as years of Kosher pickle recipe perfecting intended. I'm DEFINITELY going back, and bringing another 200 people for the line :)

The line was busy at 10:45 on a Sunday (we waited about 15 min, plus another 10 or 15 to be seated), but they say they are organizing for eventual outdoor seating. When we left at 12:30ish the line was easily 3 times longer. But it was worth every second of wait time. Their Chocolate Babka kicks Millers' in the ass.

Thankfully I had some friends with me who were keen to share, so I got to try a bunch of different stuff without totally crushing my healthy eating plans. It was awesome. Next time I would totally buy the pastrami again. Also the Matzo Ball Soup looked really excellent, complete with a Matzo Ball that looked like a softball. Impressive.

Three Babes Bakeshop

After a lot of eating we hiked around the Mission for a while to work down all the tastiness and then headed over to the Three Babes Bakeshop. My friends are friends with one of the owners and it was a really awesome experience there too. The pies were life-changingly awesome. I think my favourite was the gluten-free Key Lime Pie in the jar - so tangy and smooth and truly excellent. And I'm not the only one who thinks so, check out this glowing review at SF Foodie (

Yet again the Mission has proved to be the place for excellent food in this city of excellent food. The high bar is set even higher by places as awesome as these. Good luck to the owners and I certainly will keep coming back.

Man, Wise Sons makes a mean rye bread. This rye was excellent. Crispy edges, soft and chewy middle. Dammmn.
A smallish but comfy seating area, with a really homey atmosphere. They say they aim to open outdoor seating later which would be great. Complete with family and Bar-Mitzvah photos on the wall, wicked. In true Mission district style, long wooden bench tables where you can share a meal with strangers and new friends. Really cool.
"Say Mazel Tov to the Wise Sons"
A chocolate babka of which dreams are made of
Onion Bialy (REALLY GOOD) and egg/smoked salmon combo
The classic: pastrami on rye with cole slaw, and sauerkraut on the side. Daaamn that's good.
Challah back for some challah french toast. The orange-infused maple syrup was a great addition.
Then off to Three Babes Bakeshop, set up in a shipping container down on Folsom and 17th. My friends went to kindergarten with one of the owners.
We got a few different kinds to try. Chocolate Pumpkin, Apple Caramel, Lemon Merangue, and a Gluten-Free Key Lime pie (in the jar) - it was my favourite.

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