Drink of the Week: The Carrot Margarita at Wayfare Tavern
I was lured into Wayfare Tavern not so much by the celebrity chef, Tyler Florence, nor for the cocktails either. I was there pushing my way through the throng of tall suits and pink shirts for the Wayfare Burger "Le Grand" ($19, grass-fed proprietary grind, Marin brie, roasted onion, smoked bacon, brîoche bun). And yes it's a great burger -- certainly too far out of my price range to make it a regular stop, but definitely a consideration for those working their way through the San Francisco burger trail.
While sitting at the bar (where else would I eat?) watching the bartender maneuver around the beer taps and a column in the corner that seemed to require so much contortionism that I half expected him to do a Sun Salutation, I became intrigued by the cocktails he was making. The list, divided into classics and originals, spans eight drinks including the fantastic Carrot Margarita ($11, blanco tequila, Damiana Liqueur, lime, carrot juice).
The drink was dramatically garnished with a tiny carrot with the stem trimmed and towering above the glass, which seemed to echo the horns of the stuffed heads that decorate the restaurant's walls. The cocktail isn't as earthy as you would expect, but the carrot plays beautifully with the lowlands tequila, well-known for having a more vegetal agave quality.
Lou Bustamante A grand burger indeed
The herbal Damiana Liqueur, sometimes used in place of triple sec in margaritas in Mexico, adds an interesting emphasis on the root flavor, like an accent mark over the carrot. Beware, the damiana herb is known for its, um, effects on the libido, so either come with someone you like or would like to know better.
Wayfare Tavern, 558 Sacramento (at Montgomery), 772-9060