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Tag Archives: San Francisco

Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern San Francisco


After our recent cruise to Alaska, we spent  a few more days with the family in the East Bay area.  @WineGuyTO and I try to spend at least one day each visit in San Francisco  doing things we (mainly I) have not done before.  This time I needed a dress for an upcoming event, so the majority of our day was spent shopping (I LOVE Nordstrom). We started at the Ferry Building, which though we had been here before, this time was open and overflowing with vendors.  I loved the fresh produce but was amazed at the variety of the food stands/stalls.  Each one had a long line up (we were there around 11 am).  I think this shirt sums it up best: After shopping, we had used Open Table to make reservations at Tyler Florence‘s Wayfare Tavern.  I was excited to eat there as I really enjoyed his Food Network Show ‘Tyler’s Ultimate‘ because he made 1) food that I would eat and 2) they were usually classic favourites, done simply and easily. Tucked away in the financial district, the Tavern is unassuming.  There is a small patio out in front, taking advantage of the late afternoon sun.  Inside we stayed on the main floor, but were told that there were 3 floors total.  Very tavern like decor (dark wood, mounted animal heads, leather) combined to make for a cozy atmosphere.  It appeared to be a favourite spot for after work drinks as the bar was filled with ‘suits’.  As we were early, we had a drink at the bar (friendly patrons made room for us).  For the Gastropost that week, it was mint vs. basil and that influenced my choice.  I had a Poolside cocktail.  We had to look up the alcohol, pisco,  as we had never heard of it! The flavours were mild and I liked that it was not overly sweet like some cocktails tend to be.  For ‘bar’ snacks, homemade potato chips were set out along the bar, light and crispy. Dinner is served on big enough plates as to be family style. Instead of bread, we were served Yorkshire pudding with cold but creamy salted butter.  I went with a starter salad of heirloom tomato and cucumber with quinoa, then the Sonoma duck (my standard) and @WineGuyTO had the fried chicken with a side of mac n’ cheese.  Both were delicious and large portions, we ended up taking most of the mac ‘n cheese home with us.  I could not not have dessert, especially when it was chocolate cream pie!  Our wine for the evening was a Bonny DoonLe Cigare Volant 2007 Definitie Syrah.  Lovely notes of cherry, and opened up nicely as the meal went on.

Best thing? Tyler Florence retweeted both mine and @WineGuyTo’s tweets!

The Poolside

Yorkshire pudding


Sonoma duck with chanterelles, mission figs, potato purée, marjoram, duck jus








Chocolate Cream Pie: chocolate pudding, salty caramel ganache, devil’s food cake.


Mac and cheese, sharp and smoky flavours

Fried chicken










Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern
558 Sacramento St, San Francisco 94111
415-772-9060 or use Open Table



Redwoods, Wine and Convicts

I am fortunate that because @WineGuyTO’s brother lives in from San Francisco, California, we visit at least once a year.  This year we went out in March.  While everyone in Toronto was enjoying unseasonably warm temps, we had rain 😦  But there were a few days of sun and we enjoyed them.

This visit we did some touristy things.  The first was seeing the famous redwood trees.  In my quest we ended up visiting 3 parks: Redwood State Park outside Moraga, Armstrong Woods outside Guerneville and the famous Muir Woods north of San Francisco.

These trees are big! The trees in Redwood are re-growth as they were a logged forest previously.  Currently they are about 150-200 years old.  Still formidable.

Redwood State Park

Please excuse the pictures from Armstrong as this was the first day of the heavy rain.  This forest I believe is older.  It is located in Sonoma wine country outside Guerneville and is more isolated.

Me in the rain at Armstrong Woods

Lastly Muir Woods.  Thankfully the sun was shining this day, though the creeks were at times overflowing the banks.  A very popular spot, there were lots of people both hiking for pleasure and sight-seeing.

A must for this trip was going to wine country!  Our location was chosen when scouting through Groupon I found a hotel stay at a decent price in Guerneville.  We had no real plan in mind other than going to Benziger Winery.  The Groupon included a tasting passport, so that influenced our day 2 choices.  I was surprised at how close to the East Bay Sonoma was.  We were at the outskirts within an hour!  Our first day (and the last with sunshine) we sampled wines from: Viansa, Valley of the Moon, Keating, Meadowcroft, Benziger and Sonoma-Enoteca. On our second day we visited: Imagery Estate, Ledson, Red Car, Dutton Estates and Russian River Vineyards. I am hoping that (one day) @WineGuyTO might write a blog post.  Regardless our favourites were Benziger, Imagery, Keating and Red Car.

The series "The Fight"; great labels at Red Car!

Our other bit of being a tourist was visiting Alcatraz.  I remembered the line-ups on Pier 39  from my first trip to San Fran so I pre-booked the tickets online.  Thankfully, though it was dreary out, it did not rain on us.  I enjoyed exploring the island by ourselves.  We did not think that we would be there for the two hours they suggested, but that is about how long it takes!  In the actual prison section they handed out free audio guides which was nice, they had some actual prisoners and guards narrating famous events.  Other than the movies, my knowledge of Alcatraz was limited to it being a prison.  I did not know that it had been an army base as well, and had been the site of an 19 month Occupation by Native Americans (American Indian Movement). The room of all the movie posters and tv shows that had Alcatraz in them was interesting because there were many more than I thought.

The restored original Victorian gardens.

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