On my last day in the Bay Area, I hung out with my aunties, and finally got to try the famous Hog's Breath Cafe in the Ferry Building. We weren't all that hungry, and I don't like eating too much before a long flight, so between us, we had one order of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (12), Chowder (14), and the Tomales Bay Sweetwater (Pacific) Oysters.
As recommended by a friend, I ordered the grilled cheese sandwich and chowder to eat together. The verdict? The grilled cheese sandwich ended up being the star of our lunch, as it was the favorite amongst me and all my aunties. The mezzo secco, gruyere and fromage blanc melded perfectly, and the generous portion of cheese gave the sandwich a great mouthfeel against their choice of bread.
The chowder wasn't what we had expected, as me and my mum were expecting something a bit more like the traditional thick chowder made with big clams. I'd give the chowder a 3 out of 5, as it was just average and a bit salty, and quite pricey for what it was. The Tomales Bay sweetwater oysters were sweet, just as their name describes. I like my oysters straight up without any sauces (maybe lemon), and these were indeed fresh! No sandy texture, clean, and fresh - just the way oysters should be. We also had the mussels, which I liked, but no more the oysters, as they were a bit more fishy, but my aunt loved them!
Having to wait half an hour for seats was a bit of a bummer, but the line was extremely long. The service was very attentive, and they even have bar tables for those in line, but I did feel a bit of pressure to 'rush' and not just take my time eating. Otherwise, the ambience is very fitting, especially if you sit at their bar tables!
Tip: Expect to wait 30 minutes if you don't arrive at opening.
Hog Island Oysters (Website)
1 Ferry Building Shop 11
San Francisco 94111
#: (415) 391-7117