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Delfine Report - 24th and Folsom

c
China Nov 22, 2006 12:01 AM

Five of us had a lovely dinner at Dolfin last night in the Mission, I don't see any other posts about it so I thought I'd write a little report. It was around 7:30 when we got there, only a few other patrons on a Monday before thanksgiving. Very pleasant room with a very friendly waitress who brought us a comped plate of cerviche with avocado for the table to share, little bowls to share the cerviche, little bowls to taste the soup a friend had ordered (at her request), an extra salad for a friend who was sharing a dish with another friend, and a friendly professionalism which made us feel attended to while avoiding the awkwardness that can come with a quiet night.

The dishes:
Salsa - average cooked tomato salsa, great house made chips
Cerviche - Very tasty and fresh
Salads - came with all of our dinners, mixed greens with tomatoes and several dressing choices served separately, served before the mains.
Caldo de pollo - incredible! Rich broth chock full of veggies and stewed chicken, served with cilantro and mint, the mint was a particularly nice touch.
Camarones con chile de arbol - Good portion of large prawns partially butterflied and cooked in a great creamy sauce with parsley, garlic, and dried chiles, served with fluffy spanish rice and partially mashed refried beans (much more like the refried beans I ate in Michoacan than what is usually served in the US), good corn tortillas heated over a flame to get those nice charred spots
Camarones con chipotle - didn't get to try it
2 orders of enchiladas con mole - Great mole, very complex! They also have green mole which we didn't try.

All of this plus 6 beers only set us back 75$ after tax and tip. We had such a great time, we'll be back.

  1. moto Nov 22, 2006 12:15 AM

    hello, thanks for giving us another good Mexican place to try. Since you mentioned it, is the basis of the food Michoaqueno, or another discernible region? Was that a black or red mole you tried with the enchiladas? thanks again

    1. c
      China Nov 22, 2006 12:23 AM

      They described the mole as red mole, but was more similar to what is usually called mole in lesser mexican places than to a red enchilada sauce if that makes sense. I wouldn't necessarily call it Michoaqueno, at least it wasn't highland Michoaqueno, it is certainly coastal and I would say southern mexican. My regional mexican culinary knowledge is failing me here, the beans mostly reminded me of the beans my Michoaqueno host mother served each morning for breakfast particularly when I ate them with the lightly charrred tortillas. Aluding more to their authenticity than to any particular regional style. Give a try and let me know what you think.

      1. Dave MP Nov 23, 2006 05:16 AM

        Thanks for the report, I pass by there all the time (I think it's Delfin, not Dolfin?). The caldo de pollo sounds great, I'm definitely going to check it out soon.

        Dave MP

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dave MP
          Atomica Nov 23, 2006 12:19 PM

          Yes, it's El Delfin.

        2. m
          Maya Dec 4, 2006 06:49 PM

          Thank you so much for this tip! We checked this place out over the weekend. El Delfin is AWESOME. This is definitely my new go-to spot for authentic sit-down Mexican, especially for out-of-towners. Great, friendly service and cool murals on all the walls.

          Here's what we had:
          - Great housemade chips and guacamole among the best I've had (free chips, guac was $3)
          - small cocktel de camarones, with saltines ($4)
          - Tostada de ceviche ($3)
          - Large Caldo de Pollo ($6.50)
          - Snapper a la Veracruzana ($9)
          - 1 Carta Blanca, 1 Bohemia ($3 each)

          Total: $37 before tip.

          ALL the seafood was fresh and very well prepared. The snapper was pronounced "the best $9 fish entree I've ever had." Guac was delicious, filled with fresh chopped cilantro. Cocktel de camarones was also great, and we were glad we only got a small, because it was served in a sundae glass and was more than enough. Ceviche was also perfect - not too acidic, fresh fish, very tasty.Caldo de pollo was delicious too, included fresh veggies, chayote, and rich housemade stock.

          We tried to get the mole but it wasn't ready yet (they were still laboriously working on it in the kitchen). Beans and rice that came with entrees were also very good versions. This place clearly takes care to make their offerings particularly good, not forgettable like most other sit-down mexican in the bay area (I'll probably never recover from Tia Margarita).

          This place is a real gem!

          8 Replies
          1. re: Maya
            Dave MP Dec 4, 2006 07:08 PM

            Thanks for the great report. I was on my way to El Delfin on Saturday, but I got sidetracked by Mr. Pollo. I am definitely going to try it soon! What time of day did you go? Do you know if they are open 7 days a week?

            Dave MP

            1. re: Maya
              susancinsf Dec 4, 2006 07:22 PM

              ok, I am convinced and will try it soon. can someone tell me though: is it that much of a seafood emphasis, or is that just what you all happened to order? I am guessing given the name that much of it is seafood, which means a lot of it may be on my avoid list...so I'd particularly appreciate any hints for good stuff that isn't fish! (will check out the Caldo de Pollo and the mole, though unlike every other CH in the universe, I am not a huge mole fan....)

              thanks for the great reports!

              1. re: susancinsf
                c
                China Dec 4, 2006 07:28 PM

                There is a strong seafood emphasis, but there are non-seafood dishes as well. My husband's chicken mole enchiladas were great. I seem to remember some other meat dishes as well, but didn't get a chance to try them all.

                1. re: susancinsf
                  m
                  Maya Dec 4, 2006 09:05 PM

                  No, there's a ton of other stuff on the menu (steak, chicken, some of the other usual suspects). But once I found out the seafood was fresh I was all over it!

                  I was there at 6 on Sat. night.

                  1. re: Maya
                    Dave MP Dec 5, 2006 03:38 AM

                    I was thinking about eating there tomorrow, but luckily before I got too busy planning I had the chance to walk by there today. El Delfin is closed on Tuesdays.

                    Dave MP

                  2. re: susancinsf
                    Melanie Wong Dec 4, 2006 10:04 PM

                    If you're an atole fan, would love to hear about the atole de nuez. Not available the night I was there.
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                  3. re: Maya
                    Sarah Dec 4, 2006 07:23 PM

                    What happened at TM?

                    1. re: Sarah
                      m
                      Maya Dec 4, 2006 09:03 PM

                      The food is just depressing. Microwaved enchiladas swimming in cheese. Cool bar though.

                  4. chaddict Jan 27, 2007 05:08 PM

                    Thanks, China, for giving me a reason to finally try this place. Passed by it so many times but having struck out with a lot of the restaurants on 24th, I started playing it safe and going to the tried and true. I LOVE this place! The portions are big, the food has soul, and the waitress was genuinely kind and warm.

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