I was up in San Francisco last week and had a bit of time to explore so I headed to the Mission District. My first stop was Tartine Bakery. I order one thing religiously, the lemon cream tart. It is by far the best lemon tart I have ever had. The filling is not your typical lemon curd but light, lemony, aptly described as ethereal. So good I don’t mind circling endlessly looking for parking. Ok, I do mind but it is THAT good. When the Tartine Bakery book came out I rushed to get it just for the lemon cream tart recipe.
A double-edged sword mind you as I quickly understood why it is so yummy. Literally, a POUND OF BUTTER goes into that luscious lemon filling. But some things are calorie worthy so I ordered a small lemon tart, an open faced croque monsier (fancy name for a grilled ham and cheese) and a NON-FAT latte. Bam! I am 24.95 poorer than when I walked in. Welcome to Hipsterville. Here is the recipe for the tart found on Food 52.
After Tartine I decided I might as well explore the Mission. I headed for Wise Sons Deli on 24th. Rave reviews for their pastrami alone would have gotten me there but they recently began making their own bagels and the Bay Area has been in need of a good bagel for a long long time. I ordered take out of quite a few items including the bagels, chopped liver, pastrami, smoked fish salad and their challah.
It ran the gamut from really good bagels to “meh” pastrami. The bagels were chewy and firm textured like any self respecting bagel should be. Finally a worthy bagel in the City.
The pastrami while tender was salty and as a whole the sandwich was not that memorable. Now a pastrami sandwich worth remembering is at Langer’s in Los Angeles. If you are ever in Downtown LA stop at Langer’s you won’t regret it, have the number 19. The chopped liver had nice flavor, needed a sprinkle of salt but texturally it was loose best described as gloppy (yuk), the smoked fish salad was good. Once again the gold standard for me is Russ & Daughters in New York, hmmmm. But I’ll be back to Wise Sons, the bagels are definitely worth the trip. I now have a bagel source, guess I’ll have to make my own chopped liver. Luckily I have a recipe from my friend Randi’s Grandmother and it is delish!
- Chicken Livers - 1 pint, (approximately 1 pound)
- 2 hard boiled eggs - squished with a fork until fine
- Chicken fat enough to saute in - a few tablespoons
- 1 large sweet onion-diced or two medium onions (e.g.. vidalia)
- Ritzcrackers - 1/3 sleeve - crushed
- Over medium high heat saute' onions in chicken fat until soft, add chicken livers (whole) until liver is brown on the outside and onions are caramelized about 10-15 minutes
- Put liver and onion mixture through a meat grinder and place in a bowl.
- Add chopped eggs, crushed ritz crackers and salt & pepper to taste. Blend thoroughly.
- Place chopped liver in ramekins and chill.
- Serve with Challah, or crackers and cornichons