San Francisco Fried Chicken Company: Even More Hot Thighs in North Beach

Pete Kane

In some circles, there's probably no more damning thing you can say about a restaurant than "it's kinda for tourists," but besides being a shrewd business move more often than not, sometimes it's just a fact. The San Francisco Fried Chicken Company on Columbus Avenue in North Beach fries a mean chicken thigh but is otherwise out of step with the artisanal fussiness wave, and that's OK. Add in the location and it's clear they're not aiming for people who tweet every meal.

See Also: Proposition Chicken Falls Just Shy of Passage

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Il Casaro in North Beach is Wonderful in Every Way

Pete Kane
The Norma: mozzarella, tomato, ricotta salata and eggplant 

Il Casaro Pizzeria and Mozzarella Bar is a new Neapolitan addition to the occasionally lackluster strip of touristy, overpriced Italian restaurants in San Francisco's vestigial Little Italy. It is also superb in nearly every way, my only regret being a stomach capacity too limited to sample the mozzarellas.

See Also: Stripped-Down Excellence at Long Bridge Pizza in the Dogpatch
Pizza Hacker Has a Permanent Home in Bernal Heights

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Liquor Moratorium Proposed for Broadway

Categories: North Beach

Broadway Street in San Francisco
When you think of Broadway, the first thing you think of is probably bars and strip clubs. However, the street may be about to undergo a huge change.

David Chiu, the President of the Board of Supervisors, has proposed a liquor moratorium for the Barbary Coast neighborhood, which would ban any new bars from opening on the stretch of Broadway between Columbus and Montgomery. This area is currently home to nine strip clubs, four of which sell liquor, and several bars.

Basically, the ban would prohibit any businesses from obtaining any new liquor licenses, called type 48s. Restaurants with a type 47 liquor license, which authorizes the sale of alcohol where food is also sold, would still be allowed to sell liquor for consumption on the

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Drink of the Week: Drinking Inside the Twelve-Mile Limit at Revamped Comstock Saloon

Lou Bustamante
The Twelve-Mile Limit cocktail at the new bar
There is a particular agelessness to Comstock Saloon, perhaps because when it came into this world back in May of 2010 it already had an "old soul." Like people who proudly sported grey hair all their lives, Comstock Saloon doesn't never seems to get older. This doesn't mean it can escape change, though: the addition of the bar in the back of what used to be the dining room came with the departure of opening chef Carlo Espinas (to Assembly in Santa Cruz). With chef Ronnie New settled at the helm, a new bar, and a new lunchtime counter service in the new room, I had myself a perfect storm of excuses reasons to go revisit.

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- Science of Cocktails 2014: Thinking While You're Drinking
- Drink of the Week: Picking an Orchard Cane at Cotogna

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Drink of the Week: Picking an Orchard Cane at Cotogna

Lou Bustamante
Even in this unusually dry and warm winter, a tiki drink may not have the immediate appeal that may feel combing the beaches in a tropical part of the world. But I'd argue that the citrus, spices, and aged rums common to many Polynesian-inspired tiki drinks are seasonally more appropriately in a California winter than summer.

At Cotogna, lead bartender Kenny Dill makes damn good argument with his Orchard Cane ($12, blend of rums, apple cider, saffron liqueur, cinnamon tincture). Although not tiki outright, the blend of a dark and white rums and cinnamon tincture flavors share enough common DNA that you almost feel like there should be a paper umbrella in the drink.

See also: Drink of the Week: Mary Poppins and Lockin' at Novela
S.F. Drinks of 2013: The Best Things We Drank This Year
Drink of the Week: Whiskey Shot and Whiskey Burger at Bender's Bar

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Mama's Set to Expand With Second North Beach Location

Yelp/Danster L.
The popular North Beach brunch spot that's always got a line stretching down the block for a chance at their famous Monte Cristo is set to open up a second location in the former Piazza Market on Columbus and Vallejo.

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Sam's Burger Still Going Strong after 47 Years

Rhys Alvarado
His name's Mike, not Sam.
Usually when I'm looking for late-night eats in North Beach I make my way to My Canh, where I satisfy the rice-mongering Filipino in me at a table alone, inhaling a fried pork chop plate topped with a runny egg. But on nights I feel like some conversation at the counter, I head to Sam's for a burger.

If you've been here before, you'd know that the guy commanding the grill in a black cap isn't Sam. He's Mike.

Since 1970, Mike Shawa has been called Sam, after his uncle who first opened the burger counter in 1966. Sam was the first Palestinian transplant that brought Shawa and eventually 50 other family members to San Francisco.

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Hand-Rolled Noodles Make House of Xian Dumpling Worth It

Pete Kane
Sometimes, a "soft opening" means "please don't bad-mouth us on Yelp while we figure out what's not working here," and sometimes it means, "we don't have half the menu yet." For House of Xian Dumpling, just across Kearny Street from Café Zoetrope where Chinatown meets North Beach, it's the latter.

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Drink of the Week: Joe's Manhattan at Original Joe's

Lou Bustamante
It seems fitting that Original Joe's opened in the same year as the Golden Gate Bridge -- both have welcomed many, emotionally transcend their function, and are landmarks in their own way. Born in the post-Depression era, barely four years after the repeal of prohibition, Original Joe's old-school manners and charms are palpable in the portions, value at the bar, and service.

See also: Original Joe's Brings Its Vaunted Burger To The Ballpark
Original Joe's: Take a Nostalgic Tour of S.F. Culinary History
Interview With Original Joe's John Duggan: How to Build a Phoenix

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Drink of the Week: Before and After Cocktail at Quince

Lou Bustamante
I hesitated as I stood in front of the door, like a nervous, awkward kid gathering enough courage to ask out someone clearly out of his league. I was wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and four days worth of facial hair, the point at which the wild mix of thin and thick patches of stubble give me an appearance that betray my illusions of "rugged cool" with suggestions of mange. I was noticeably under-dressed as I stepped into Quince's lounge, a space so dark and sexy I wanted to run out and buy a suit, not because I felt uncomfortable, but because I knew I'd look awesome in there with one.

The bar has a precise and confident elegance oozing from the gleaming antique glassware and the dark stone bar, to the heavy and plush bar stools you literally sink into. "Stay here for a while and have some drinks," their cushions seem to say in their comforting embrace. Who am I to argue with a chair?

See also: Drink of the Week: Conjuring Up Summer with SPF 2020 at Comal
Drink of the Week: The Manhattan Project at Prospect
Drink of the Week: Getting Stone Fruit Happy at BUILD Pizzeria

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