When everything goes right, it’s easy to overlook the preparation and care that went into making a great meal a great dining experience.  But when I left Wexler’s Friday night, it was all I could think about.

It was my friend’s birthday, and he wanted us to choose the restaurant. Good food and a good wine list were a given, but he did have one request, “Pick a place where we can have a good time.” 

Really? That’s a lot of pressure. Good food, good wine, not a problem in San Francisco. But a good time too, can you order that?

Actually, my friends and I generally have a good time wherever we eat, but sometimes it’s in spite of the restaurant. But Friday we didn’t just have a good time, we had a great time, and that had as much to do with the quality of the food as the enthusiasm and passion of Wexler’s staff.

Wexler’s southern-inspired style isn’t limited to the food. From the minute we arrived until we left, everyone from the hostess to owner Matt Wexler, seemed genuinely happy we were there.  Restaurant 101? Maybe, but how often do you walk away from a restaurant and feel like that?

Wexler’s style is professional, but casual. No one was rushed, including the customers, and everyone, even the other tables, all seemed to be having a good time.

And why wouldn’t they? Chef Charlie Kleinman’s barbecue inspired dishes didn’t disappoint. Table favorites—BBQ Scotch Eggs, poached, rolled in a breadcrumb batter with smoky bits of pork, and deep fried so the yolk stays runny; Lamb Meatballs with a smoked rouille; Smoked Short Rib, Wexler’s Plate of Pork, and the Inside-Out Rootbeer Float with Humphry Slocombe rootbeer ice cream.

Plate of Pork, Short Rib, and Trout

Plate of Pork, Short Rib, and Trout

Wexler and Kleinman’s light touch for southern comfort, both front of house and in the kitchen, are an invitation to a good time.

Birthdays are fun!

Birthdays are fun!

Wexler’s is located at 568 Sacramento Street in San Francisco and is open for lunch Monday – Friday, and dinner Tuesday – Saturday, www.wexlerssf.com.

Rootbeer Float!

Rootbeer Float!