Anyone else been? It's a new Financial District Place, corner of Montgomery and Sacramento. My take is that the food is well-prepared and the ingredients seem high quality, but it's all seriously lacking in zip. No salt on the table only makes it worse. The "pulled lamb" is hardly pulled, it's more like sliced, but the fried fish is excellent except for the missing flavor in the crust.
If it's going to be a "soul food" type place, they are going to have to really "kick it up a notch." I'm no fan of Emeril, but they could use him to throw some salt, garlic, and red pepper into the mix.
Still, very nice atmosphere and a full bar.
568 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
I went last Thursday night for dinner after drinks at Cantina (which were awesome, as usual.) My bottom line opinion was that the food was good, but portions stingy, and the concept seemed off. See below for full report.
Very nice server, but glasses of wine came out *after* apps, and mains were lukewarm.
* little gem salad with buttermilk dressing (GREAT- fresh and tart dressing.)
* oyster stew with liquid hush puppies (this came out as a creamy oyster bisque in a shallow bowl, with four oysters folded in. Stew seemed like a major misnomer. The huspuppies, which were made with moist creamed corn in the center, were the best thing we were served that night.
* Scotch egg, recommended by server. Wasn't anything special. (soft boiled egg wrapped in pancetta, breaded and deep fried, served with chili sauce.
* Smoked pork chop (good, decent sized, with collard greens and candied yams. This was, in my opinion, probably the best dish because it had the right size and mix of items as well as being the hottest of all the food and most satifying.)
* Brisket (tasty, but not a big enough portion.)
* Sturgeon w/ chive blossoms. Well cooked, but lukewarm.
* pear pie. Stingy portion, great pie, interesting in that the inside was sort of cold and crisp, and the crust was warm. Creme fraiche on the side, which was nice.
My main problem with Wexler's, is that I think they have not nailed their concept. They're doing this southern soul food thing, but the mains are $25-28 a portion. When I'm paying those prices,I'm expecting a loung-y, kind of romantic, fancy experience. Yet, the ambience of Wexler's is very casual. It's bright inside, small, with metal chairs that scape across the floor, there are no dark nooks or leather banquets to melt into with your lover while eating, (my example of perfect restaurant design for this in SF is Range) etc.
I found myself wolfing down my food in - i kid you not - 5 minutes. And part of this was because it just wasn't a relaxed atmo. It doesn't surprise me that it's becoming more of a lunch destination, because it would work much better in that context.
They're serving the type of food that - when i eat it - i want to eat big big portions. Like, if I'm eating bbq, I want to eat a LOT of bbq. I don't want to eat a few meager strips of brisket and pay $28. I don't want a tiny slice of pie, I want a BIG slice of pie. I want generosity. It's just programmed into my DNA, I guess.
580 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108
This sounds interesting. I'd just point out that an oyster stew is not like the heartier meat-based stew: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/290945. I ordered an oyster pan stew, or maybe pan roast, at NY's Grand Central Oyster Bar once and was startled to get a dish of, essentially, cream with a few oysters in it.
Hmm, I have been for lunch and dinner and had two amazing meals, but I didn't get the feeling that they were going for a "soul food" kind of feel, so it may have been somewhat a case of expectations. I found the food creative and flavorful, and certainly never felt like reaching for a salt shaker. I went with big groups both times so I tried a lot of the menu, although I understand that there is still some tinkering going on.
At lunch my top recs are the Chili, the wings, the pea soup and the bacon/jalepeno hot dog. At dinner my favorites were the scotch eggs, chicken liver mousse, scallops and short ribs. We had beers at lunch and cocktails and wine with dinner and were very impressed with the beverage program. Great new place.