Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Good Food with Bay Views

When we first arrived in San Francisco 33+ years ago, we brunched at the Mission Rock Resort, a funky restaurant near San Francisco's dry docks.  It had good food, nice water views, and a very rustic atmosphere.  Calling it a "resort" was a real stretch.  Then the restaurant changed hands, lost its identity, and was eventually shut down after being a dance club.

This past Saturday, we lunched at the new Mission Rock Resort on its first full day of operations.  We'll definitely be returning.  The bay views are still good, but the food is the best it's ever been.  We had barbecued oysters, tuna tartar, an heirloom tomato salad, and matchstick fries.  All were very good.  The staff were friendly, and the service remarkably good for a restaurant that had only opened to the public the night before.

We had a chance to chat with one of the owners who pointed out to us that the wood siding was made from old seats from University of California's Memorial Stadium.  You can see the seat numbers when you look up close.

It's nice to have the Mission Rock back.  If you want a casual breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a nice bay view, give it a try.  Being located in the Mission Bay area at 817 Terry Francois Blvd., the restaurant is not the easiest to find if you are a visitor to San Francisco.  However, the T-line light rail stop at Mariposa and 3rd Streets is just 2 blocks away.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Southern Food in San Francisco

Few visitors come to San Francisco to taste Southern-style cooking.  If you want this type of food, most folks head to New Orleans or Charleston.  Yet locals do crave a break from California cuisine, and in recent years a few top-notch restaurants have opened serving Southern inspired food.  Here are a few that I've had a chance to sample.

1300 on Fillmore is the most upscale of the Southern-inspired restaurants I've visited.  Located in the heart of the Fillmore jazz district, this restaurant features upscale dining and a lively bar scene.  While the food is influenced by the South, chef David Lawrence adds a touch of California to his cooking.

Boxing Room in Civic Center is the newest of the Southern restaurants in San Francisco.  Situated just a few blocks from Davies Symphony Hall and the Opera House, Boxing Room is a great place to eat before going to the symphony, ballet, or opera.  The food here definitely takes its cue from New Orleans and Louisiana.  The Boudin Balls are a great way to start your meal.  There's a wide array of Nawlins' favorites such as Jambalaya, Po' Boys, fried chicken, gumbo, and red beans and rice.

Brenda's French Soul Food is the real deal for fans of New Orleans cooking. Not all visitors will feel comfortable journeying to the Tenderloin to experience a touch of Louisiana in San Francisco.  However,if you are hankering for shrimp and grits, Po' Boys, red beans and rice, fried chicken and catfish - all at very reasonable price - then head on down to Brenda's.

Farmer Brown is located where the Tenderloin meets Union Square.  I haven't had a chance to dine here, but the reviews are good.  So, if you are staying in Union Square and want some southern cooking, check it out and let me know what you think.

There are a few other Cajun, Creole, and Soul Food restaurants in San Francisco but these seem to be the cream of the crop.  You don't want to eat Southern food every day as you are arteries will soon start screaming for their lives, but once in a while it sure tastes good.