The salad.

In pursuit of the perfect croissant, I took a reader’s advice and went to Craftsman and Wolves. The name, I’d read on CAW’s site, “is a nod to the craftsman and the numerous challenges that one faces when pursuing their craft.” How true, I murmured, my taste buds tingling in sympathy. Even if CAW’s grammar was imperfect, its (or should I say, their?) pastries would be sublime.

The problem is, it was lunchtime and so my guest and I ordered lunch first. That was a mistake.

We ordered quiche with sides of pickled beets and green beans; a savory tart of fromage blanc, bok choy and corn; and a Little Gem salad with shaved pecorino or parmesan and a white dressing. (For any non-foodies who’ve accidentally stumbled onto this column, Little Gem is a miniature Romaine.)

Salad, corn, green beans—the words evoke a summer freshness. But everything tasted like . . . what’s the dreariest month of the year? February?

Swamped in a white cheese dressing, the lettuce leaves became leaden boats. The green beans, also smothered in a white cheese, lost all snap.

The green beans.

A sharp goat cheese might have added flavor, although green beans may be best with a vinaigrette or lemon and salt.

“Maybe someone’s on a salt-free diet,” Lola suggested, offering a bite of her quiche. It tasted oddly like nothing.

The pickled beets, which I highly recommend, proved to be the only thing with any zing.

Having labored through lunch, my companion and I had no appetite for dessert. And that’s a shame, because I have tasted some Craftsman and Wolves pastries and they are superb. Those purportedly perfect croissants will have to wait for another day. Unless the wolves get there first.

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I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

I provide editing support for Mission Local from New York, about 2500 miles away from SFO. (I just looked it up.) This allows me to retain my journalistic objectivity and fussy adherence to East Coast standards of punctuation. I got involved with Mission Local a few years ago through Lydia, whom I met in the early 1980s at The New York Times, where I was a business reporter. Since then I've been in and out of journalism and nonprofits, and have also tried my hand at fiction. A couple of years ago I contributed Mission Local's first fiction series, a comic novel called Love in the Middle Ages.

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