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SF’s Boudin Clam Chowder Bread Bowl Isn’t That Good

For some reason, the food perhaps most synonymous with San Francisco is the clam chowder bread bowl. It’s not something most locals eat … effectively, really ever. But when you’ve ever visited San Francisco as a tourist, I guarantee you’ve chowed down on one of those unhealthy boys while dodging dive-bombing seagulls.

I, too, was once a San Francisco vacationer shivering within the fog while slurping down spoonfuls of the recent beige stuff. However it’s been years since then. Even though it hasn’t felt like enough time has passed since I final faced Fisherman’s Wharf, I decided the time was proper for a bread bowl reevaluation. Into the clammy stomach of the beast I went: the Boudin Bakery Cafe.

On a buzzing Friday afternoon, Boudin’s flagship location, decked out with sourdough loaves twisted into impressive animal shapes, instantly overwhelmed my senses. The Wharf vacationers had been out in full drive, coaxed inside from their eventful days of zipping around in tiny yellow GoCars and gawking on the sea lions at Pier 39 by the engaging smell of freshly baked bread.

Freshly-baked loaves of bread inside the Boudin Bakery Cafe, at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

Bread loaves formed favored animals inside the Boudin Bakery Cafe, at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

The Boudin Bakery Cafe, on Jefferson Road at Fisherman’s Wharf, on Friday, April 22, 2022.

I ordered my bread bowl ($10.99) at the counter, and it arrived virtually instantly. I adopted the march of tourists to the tables outside, sat down and took inventory of the carbacious orb earlier than me. It was somewhat blustery out, so the steam rising from the bowl regarded inviting sufficient. I dug in.

The bread was the highlight, with that tangy San Francisco sourdough adding a pleasant little zing to the one-note creaminess of the chowder. As for 筑後 ランチ 人気 the chowder — I can’t really say it was a lot better than a can of Campbell’s.

Boudin’s famous clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.

I imply, it was effective. It acquired the job executed. It was salty and creamy and warmed me up. However it didn’t really style like clams. It tasted like cream and potatoes, and never a lot else. Maybe I’m a snob, but it’s exhausting to wax poetic on this very run-of-the-mill chowder when you’ve had the extremely contemporary, impeccably seasoned clam chowders at the likes of the Marshall Retailer and the William Inform House in West Marin (for the same price, too, albeit minus the bread bowl).

However my real quibble here just isn’t with Boudin’s chowder recipe. No, the combat I’d like to choose right here is a unique one altogether. Are you prepared?

Okay, here it is: Bread bowls are silly.

It’s simply too much bread. The soup-to-bread ratio is all flawed, especially at Boudin. I believe I had about five good spoonfuls earlier than my soup was completely gone.

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Meanwhile, by the time I’d finished my soup, the only dent I’d been capable of make within the bread was the bread bowl lid. Leaving me with, yep, you guessed it: a complete loaf of soggy leftover bread.

SFGATE meals reporter Madeline Wells struggles with the bread-to-chowder ratio at the Boudin Bakery Cafe on Friday, April 22.

I don’t know about you, but the sourdough gets rather a lot less attractive when there’s no soup left to dip it in. And it’s not like it would be that appetizing to avoid wasting and take house. It was soggier than a wet dog, even after my feeble makes an attempt to scrape up the chowder-soaked innards with my spoon.

My colleague, who’s a better person than I’m, took his leftover bread bowl residence with plans to toast it within the oven and feed it to his teenage children. Mine went within the compost (as most Boudin bread bowls probably do — show me one one who can finish all that bread), leaving me with lingering food waste guilt.

I can’t help however surprise how much happier San Francisco vacationers can be if we didn’t chain them to the tyranny of the bread bowl. Is it not so much more pleasurable to eat a generous portion of chowder in a regular ceramic bowl, accompanied by a few slices of sourdough for dipping? Why have we, the town of San Francisco, made ruining the pure joy of consuming soup our trademark?

The Boudin Bakery Cafe on Jefferson Road at Fisherman’s Wharf on Friday, April 22.

I’d like to offer all you SF tourists permission to say no to the clam chowder bread bowl. Go forth and place your regular orders of clam chowder with a aspect of bread in peace, free from the obligation of getting the «true San Francisco expertise.» It’s not like you were going to search out the true San Francisco experience at Pier 39, anyway.

Boudin Bakery Cafe, 160 Jefferson St., Baker’s Corridor, San Francisco. Open Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m.

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