Saturday, December 13, 2014

Guest Blogger: Manny Gonzalez Reviews San Francisco Restaurants - #SanFranciscoCalifornia

The City of San Francisco, California, is one of my favorite cities. This was the second city of the United States that I visited (after Honolulu), The minute I caught sight of its steep hills and Victorian houses, I fell in love with it straightaway. I lived there for a while and have many pleasant memories of this beautiful city.

I am delighted to share some reviews of restaurants in San Francisco written by my cousin Manny Gonzalez. These are reprinted with this permission.  A resident of Whistler, Canada, Manny Gonzalez is a Director/shareholder at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Mactan, Philippines. He travels extensively and enjoys reviewing the hotels and restaurants he's visited.

These reviews first appeared in TripAdvisor.Thanks to Manny Gonzalez for sharing these reviews in my blog.

Scomas - 3 Stars
Pier 47

 Scoma's looks like it hasn't been remodeled since 1960, and that may be part of the appeal. The dining areas are crowded, and the furnishings and decor fairly basic.

It is undeniably popular. There was a 45-minute wait outside (by the time I left, which was still early in the evening). During my meal, two Rolls-Royce Phantoms pulled up, and as far as I could tell the occupants waited in line like everyone else.

Service was brisk but friendly enough, and competent.

HOWEVER, my Dungeness crab was not freshly-steamed, but had evidently been pre-cooked (maybe the day before), and was just re-heated. This was clear from the dull taste and rather soft shells, which except for the main claws wouldn't crack, but just crumpled. Possibly the fish dishes are better.

I am glad I went, just to experience this San Francisco institution, but if it's crab you want, you may be better off in the row of restaurants leading up to Fisherman's Grotto, where it seems the crab is cooked fresh (or they do a good job of making passers-by think so).

Swiss Louis Italian Restaurant - 4 Stars
39 Pier Ste 204

Located in the Pier 39 complex, Swiss Louis actually has one of the best views of all the establishments there, facing Fisherman's Wharf (rather than the bay, which is mostly dark at night). It was extremely busy on a Saturday, but apparently people come and go throughout the day, so there was no waiting time, and even though I was alone, the receptionist gave me a nice table. A crabmeat cocktail consisted of a large goblet that was filled to overflowing with crab claws (and a some loose meat, hardly any lettuce filler). For $16, I thought it was a steal. An order of fried calamari yielded a heaping plate of lightly- battered, tender calamari with a very nice tartar sauce. That cost about the same. My only quibble was with the list of wines by the glass, which was Spartan at only about 7 wines (all types combined). This being California, after all, and considering the continuous stream of patrons, they should have at least 3 times more choices.


Boudin Bakery & Cafe - 5 Stars
Pier 39, Space 5-Q

They bake sourdough bread in unusual shapes like turtles and crocodiles, serve a very good coffee, and offer a simple range of sandwiches, salads, and the like.
There is no table service, but for a cafeteria-style arrangement, it was nicely-done. The whole complex is bright and sophisticated, yet warm and inviting.

All in all, a fine place for a quick snack or light meal.


Buena Vista Cafe- 5 Stars
 2765 Hyde Street (at the Beach)

For a quick meal, weekend brunch, or their signature Irish coffee, Buena Vista delivers. Of course its strategic location beside Ghirardelli Square contributes to the appeal, as does the brisk but friendly service.

Don't wait to be approached by a receptionist. Just charge in and find yourself a free table or enough seats at the counter.

Considering its popularity and name-recognition, the prices are really quite reasonable, about $12 for a typical sandwich or entree.

Pompei's Grotto - 4 Stars
340 Jefferson St.

This could be the most touristy neighborhood in the US, so what do these other reviewers expect? Pompeii's is well-situated right along the main thoroughfare of Fisherman's Wharf. From the outdoor tables you can get some sun and do a lot of people-watching. My seafood cobbler salad was not terribly exciting, but it was okay. The sourdough bread on the other hand was excellent, with a contrasting hint of sweetness and a crispy crust. With a glass of wine, my bill for one person came to $25 (not including tip). For the ambience and location, I thought that was quite acceptable.

 Norman's Ice Cream and Freezes - 4 Stars
2801 Leavenworth St.

 Norman's has a small selection of mainstream and exotic flavors. The friendly staff let me sample several before I settled on banana and chocolate, both of which were quite good.

 Read also
Manny Gonzalez Reviews Paris Restaurants
 Travel: Eiffel Tower Madness!
Tags: food, drink, restaurants, San Francisco, California, USA, Manny Gonzalez, travel, reviews, gourmet, #SanFrancisco
This is all for now,

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