Food Porn: The Giant Pretzel At Monk's Kettle

Categories: Food Porn

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The Mission's newest nod to upscale gastro-pubbiness, Monk's Kettle (3141 16th St) has provided a welcomed (to some) dash of sophistication to that crazy stretch of 16th Street between Guerrero and South Van Ness often referred to as the heart of the Mission. They certainly know their beer at Monk's Kettle. Pictured above is my personal favorite of the five or so draft brews I tried: Honey Bunny Blonde Ale out of Iron Springs Brewey. But do the hoity-toity munchies hold up as well as the beer?

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Giant pretzel with stone-ground mustard and cheddar ale sauce ($6.50). Suggested pairing: Amber or pale ale. This is a great eye-opener if, like me, you grew up going to ballgames and county fairs with your hopes pinned on squeezing a few bucks out of your parents for a giant pretzel, only to have those hopes ruthlessly smashed after actually tasting the stale, over-salted so-called pretzel. This is how they're supposed to be: very large, very hot, and very chewy. Highly recommended.

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Pan seared goat cheese, wilted Knoll Farms spinach with garlic confit and a Quetzel Farms organic tomato relish ($9.25). Suggested pairing: Hefe-weizen or Vienna lager. This was one of those strange dishes where the description was really more of a mouthful than the actual food on the plate. The cheese was wonderful, the spinach was indeed wilted. They should have gone a much heavier on the tomato relish though, to help cut some of that creamy cheesiness. And the garlic confit: what garlic confit? Oh, there it is: hidden underneath the cheese.

-- Brian Bernbaum

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