Poppin' Fresh: Wayfare Tavern's Airy Alternative to Bread

Saucers crowned with puffy, slightly pear-shaped popovers seemingly trumpeted the breakfast-y side of Wayfare Tavern's all-day menu ― the huge, disc-shaped Hangtown fry, the steak and eggs ― but we can't see how those airy pastries would be better paired with coffee than with a tall, cool cocktail. Popovers show up in lieu of bread at Wayfare. We had ours with The Leidesdorff, a heady muddle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Bénédictine, Royal Combier, orange Muscat, lemon juice, egg white, and cinnamon tincture. Initially, we used the popover's buttery husk to sop up the cranberry bean ragout from our plate of roast lamb leg. This made sense considering the popover's stateside origins: a mid-19th century riff on Yorkshire pudding. After a few bites though, we realized the popover was better without the syrupy, one-dimensional sauce ― and proceeded to ask for another to nibble unadorned.

Wayfare Tavern: 558 Sacramento (at Leidesdorff), 772-9060.

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