Sunday, April 5, 2015

Restaurant Reviews: Manny Gonzalez Reviews San Francisco Restaurants

Happy Easter!

The following reviews of some restaurants in San Francisco, California are reprinted by permission of the author, Manny Gonzalez.  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.

Eagle Cafe
39 Pier Ste. 201 - 4 Stars
Good BreakfaSt, Pleasant Ambience

My corned beef hash with eggs was very good. Moreover, a lot of effort went into the presentation. And, of course, there was an appealing view over the harbor, and appealing interior decor. The service was prompt and respectful. For about $20 all-in, I thought this was a very satisfactory breakfast experience.

Buena Vista Cafe
2765 Hyde Street (at the beach) - 5 Stars
Cheerful, Competent

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.


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

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.


Pompei's Grotto
340 Jefferson St. - 4 Stars
Lighten Up!

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.

Franciscan Crab Restaurant
Pier 43 1/2 Fisherman's Wharf - 2 Stars
Not for Every Taste

This restaurant no doubt has some good dishes, but the Dungeness crab, a San Francisco mainstay, disappointed. They serve it only one way - their way. It was roasted in some kind of garlicky paste. As it happens, this wasn't to my personal taste. Hoping to salvage my dish with simple drawn butter, I was told flatly that they had no such thing. You'd think that someone could have made an effort to microwave a few pats of butter with a crushed garlic clove, but neither of two waiters I asked was willing to make such an imposition on the kitchen. And for $40, I expect a crab restaurant to have finger bowls. When I asked, once again I was simply told that they don't do that, even though they had bowls of appropriate size and all they had to do was heat a little water and throw a wedge of lemon into it. Instead, I was given moist towelettes, which as any serious crab eater knows just smear the gunk into your skin. In any other location but this highly touristy area with easily-awed Midwesterners for customers, this restaurant would have folded long ago.


Pier 47 - 3 Stars
Coasting on its Reputation

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)

Read also
Manny Gonzalez Reviews Barcelona Restaurants
 Travel: Eiffel Tower Madness!

Tags: food, drink, restaurants, San Francisco, California, Manny Gonzalez, travel, reviews, gourmet

This is all for now,

No comments: