The city is abuzz with a muffin named after a Hank Williams song. The Rebel Within is an asiago-cheese, green onion, and Easton sausage-flecked muffin with a wet poached egg in the center. I’m infatuated with this thing.
Chef William Werner debuted the Rebel during his Tell Tale Preserve Company days – a roaming patisserie that he started on his own after years as Quince’s executive pastry chef. But we don’t have to track him down now, and the Rebel Within is at his new brick-and-mortar every morning. William and his team (Outfit Generic) opened Craftsman and Wolves exactly nine days ago and it’s staying put on Valencia, mid-block between 18th and 19th. From the street, it looks like one of those places too cool for signage, but their sign should be in by next week so we’ll be able to spot our new addiction from down the block.
I was salivating on BART on Tuesday around 9:30 a.m., anticipating ravaging the Rebel. It was mid-week, kinda early. People aren’t fully up on this yet, I thought. People were. They were sold out. Mouth agog I’m sure, I peeked around the cheery counterperson (that’s not sarcasm – everyone there is nice) into the kitchen as if she were lying to me and a rack of Rebels was just chillin back there. She added that they get only one batch a day, and that they’re usually gone by 10 a.m. Game over, day one.
Day two, I set my alarm for 7:30 a.m. and by 9, I had the Rebel Within in my hand. The photos of it came very close to not happening. I sliced the muffin in half with a knife and shiny, yellow goodness oozed out. I could barely snap three shots; I needed to devour it. At the same time, I kinda just wanted to stare at its sexy craftsmanship. There’s something about this little muffin that feels wrong in the most right way. Food porn, at its best.
The Rebel Within’s decadent twin is the foie gras and caramel stuffed chocolate muffin, The Devil Inside. Come Sunday, July 1 (when foie gras becomes a no-no in California), William will likely replace the foie gras with a cheese. He’s really into salt, sugar, and texture for his pastries.
It did hurt my feelings that my new favorite food costs $7, yet I can finish it in six bites (don’t worry, I counted). Right now I’m looking at my planner rearranging appointments so I can get over to Craftsman and Wolves at least twice a week for as long as I can afford it.
Craftsman and Wolves opens at 7 a.m. during the week and 8 a.m. weekends. Be early.
All photos by Summer Sewell