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Tadich Grill on a Wed Eve w/ Mom

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  • nosh Sep 22, 2006 08:52 PM
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Zuni on Thursday. Ferry Building that day.

Mom flies in on Wednesday about 1 and then we need to get to our hotel on Union Square. I've been thinking about Tadich Grill for our Wednesday dinner. I know they don't take reservations. Do they serve continuously through lunch into dinner? What kind of wait would we expect around 6 on a Wed eve? An hour later at 7? At 5?

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  1. I would guess at 5, probably no wait for dinner. It's possible that might even last until six although I doubt it. By 7 you could have up to an hour wait. They serve the same menu all day, no changes between lunch and dinner.

    1. I would say the earlier the better. Try to beat the after work crowd which would be in full swing by 6. When I was still young enough to go there as the frequent guest of visiting relatives, I recall waiting for an hour along the wall across from the bar. You can eat at the counter. Tadich is worth the wait, if you don't mind standing.

      1. Yes, they are open and serve continuously from when they open (at 11 am I think) to closing at 9 or 9:30 pm. Like the above say, 5:00 or 5:30 would be your best bet to avoid a long wait.

        1. Any recommendations on what to order?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Problem Child

            Any of their fresh fish--sand dabs are good, if in season--pan-fried or grilled. Crab or shrimp salad or cocktail. My husband loves their pot roast--it is very good, I admit. The branch fries (thick-cut) and homemade tartar sauce that accompany most fish plates are justifiably celebrated. Ask the waiters what's good or fresh--some people find them rude or abrupt, but I've never had a problem with them myself.

            1. re: Problem Child

              Sand dabs, petrale, clam chowder. I lot of people don't seem to like the longbranch fries because they tend to be on the limp side. I do because they are perfect for dipping into the wonderful tartar sauce. The waiters are old school professional waiters. You respect them, they respect you.

              1. re: Problem Child

                I have to recommend the mesquite-grilled halibut steak. Probably the best I have ever had. And the gin & tonic wasn’t too bad either!

              2. Haven't been there to the Tadish in years. Used to be my favorite SF restaurant. They had the best sourdough and sand dabs. I guess they're still up there, right?

                8 Replies
                1. re: EclecticEater

                  Good question about the bread. Their supplier recently went out of business and they had to switch.

                  If it weren't for the unique atmosphere, I don't think Tadich could get away with charging what it does for the good but not great food.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I'm pretty sure they used to have Parisian, and now it's Boudin, but a different recipe than what you get elsewhere. Not 100% sure on this, but I remember hearing that before.

                    1. re: Ozumo

                      I believe they "dictate" what they want "breadwise" to whomever is currently making their bread. I've eaten there several times since they've change and can hardly detect a difference.

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Actually, the prices are good at Tadich compared to other places. For one of the top cioppino's in town (that I've tried to date) it is the least expensive. that is true of the other fish dishes.

                      As to the bread, from my understanding these restaurants not only have their own versions the bakeries make for them, but also their own reserved starter. Tadich, from reports, has been able to get their new bread supplier to keep the bread exactly as it was.

                      For some reason, the last time I was at Scomas, the bread changed ... for the worse ... don't know a recent update on that. The waiter said lots of people were complaining.

                      1. re: rworange

                        Tadich's prices are slightly lower than those at Hayes Street Grill, which has better food of a similar style.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I love Hayes Street, which I finally got to after years of enjoying the Ferry Plaza stand, but IMO the only thing Tadich and Hayes street have in common is they sell fish. Not similar at all to me, which isn't to say that I personally wouldn't rather go to Hayes Street ... but they are so ... different ... in terms of style. Its not that one or the other might not have better fish, it's saying the style is similar.

                          1. re: rworange

                            Hayes Street's food is a modern take on the Tadich model. They threw out of a lot of old-fashioned gloppy appetizers and fried entrees, but outside of that there's a lot of common ground between the two menus.

                            http://www.hayesstreetgrill.com/hsg-m...
                            http://sanfrancisco.menupages.com/res...

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Yeah, been to both places, know both menus, just personaly don't see it myself. Might as well compare any place that sells fish to Tadich. But thanks for the info.

                  2. here's my post on Tadich Grill w/ pics:
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                    Boston Clam Chowder
                    Free sourdough bread
                    oh, hope someone tries that rice pudding custard dessert-it looked good, but I didn't order it.

                    and don't forget the matchbox!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hhc

                      I tried the rice pudding, but wasn't that impressed. I think I prefer the Mexican cinnamonny style like at Picante or Cancun.

                    2. Tadich's cioppino should also be considered a must-have. Scrumptious!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Eugene Park

                        My girlfriend and I went there for the first time recently, I got the cioppino (based off of reputation), she got the lobster and crab in cream sauce dish (thermidor?). Also got a louis salad and white clam chowder. We both loved both appetizers (especially the salad, actually). My cioppino was great, almost too much seafood (no such thing, though). But, I must admit, her dish with the lobster and crab in all that way too rich cream sauce was literally beyond decadent. I was jealous. And begging for, "one more bite." Free sourdough is excellent, also.

                        Also, the dry martini I had during the wait was the best I've had (limited experience, I'll admit). Does anyone know what gin they use there? I usually pay attention to that sort of thing while watching the bartender, but somehow I forgot to this time. I have a feeling it;s probably a cheap brand, but the end product was great. It was stirred, not shaken, which is a very good thing. When going to Tadich, stick to old-school classics, and you'll have a great time. Service was very proffesional, yet with a lot of very dry humor.

                        1. re: Ozumo

                          Excellent summing up!

                          I'm not surprised the martinis are good -- in fact, since as you said, Tadich is a very "old school" bar, it's almost a given that they do classic cocktails like that well.

                          Sand dabs are in season -- I just saw them at my fishmonger's this week.

                      2. The hangtown fry is the best in town and a huge portion.