Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Boudin Bakery : San Francisco

Boudin Bakery in Fisherman's Wharf is the touristy of touristy places to go, having honed its speciality in sourdough bread down to an extremely consumer-friendly science. In addition to their breads, which can come in various shapes (see below), you can also buy random Boudin branded chotckees at their store, as well as sandwiches and clam chowder sourdough bread bowls at their cafe.

Visitors can also do a self-guided tour of their bakery for a nominal fee or just stand by the large window outside for free. Guess which option we chose?

We also ordered a few sandwiches from their cafe. Like others, I'm not a big fan of sourdough bread to begin with, but all of these sandwiches and chowder bowls seemed particularly souless:

Clam chowder bread bowl - The clam chowder is stuff from a can. I can't believe they get away using this junk.

Crab cake sandwich - This is kind of what you'd expect at a touristy joint, inoffensive enough to satisfy the average joe, but just energy sucking if you're used to half-decent food.

Egg salad sandwich - yup, still not a fan of sourdough bread.

Oatmeal Raisin cookie Actually surprisingly, it was my dad who ordered this, not me. As for my thoughts on this, well, if they can't even make something unique out of their bread-and-butter product, sourdough bread, they sure as heck are not baking a good cookie.

I do find it intriguing that San Francisco is so strongly associated with sourdough bread, which is where Wikipedia comes to the rescue.

All in all, I might take a friend to stop by just to take a look, as watching the bakers at work in the bakery window and seeing the bread loaves being transported in the moving baskets are both kind of neat to see. But I'm sure there are other places for a good version of sourdough and clam chowda. (Monterrey [the city] in particular comes to mind for decent clam chowder bowls.)
($Bakery, $cookies, $Sandwiches, $SF)

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