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Cafe Jacqueline

MarkC Jul 27, 2011 09:41 PM

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm coming to SF with two kids (ages 12 and 13) and will be there for four nights (mon-thurs). Since we have kids in tow, I'm looking more for good food with a kind of experience, rather than temples of gastronomy.

Based on the inexhaustible info on this site, I figure we'll do Z&Y, Tony's Pizza, and Off the Grid for three of the nights. For the fourth night I wanted something with a little French flair, but not over the top.

Hence my question. I read about Jacqueline in, of all places, a cookbook by Shirley Corriher. It has only souffles, which sounds kind of fun. There is relatively little about this place on chowhound. Does anyone have any experience with it?

Brenda's also sounds fun (French soul food?), so if not Cafe Jacqueline, maybe there.

Finally, if anyone has a "the best place in the universe for fill-in-the-blank" recommendation, that kids would get a kick out of, I'll be happy to hear.

  1. v
    vulber Jul 27, 2011 10:14 PM

    not sure where you're coming from, but shabu shabu could be a fun experience for kids (dip the raw meat in the broth, cook it yourself0

    1 Reply
    1. re: vulber
      MarkC Jul 27, 2011 11:39 PM

      Thanks, Vulber. We're coming from Israel, where Japanese cuisine is relatively well developed (unlike Chinese, which is in the stone age). We have shabu shabu here, where you cook the meat on a hot stone (even some non-Japanese restaurants do this for a gimmick). My daughter is a vegetarian, though, and I can't imagine cooking vegetables like this.

    2. wolfe Jul 27, 2011 11:56 PM

      Cafe Jacqueline frequently mentioned as a romantic spot is infrequently mentioned as a place to go to with kids. Perhaps going with kids kills the mood. ;-):

      Cafe Jacqueline
      1454 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

      1 Reply
      1. re: wolfe
        wolfe Jul 28, 2011 12:10 AM

        When my daughter was a vegetarian she enjoyed the sandwiches at Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store.

        Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store and Cafe
        566 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

      2. Windy Jul 28, 2011 12:41 AM

        Cafe Jacqueline is wonderful, but they really only serve savory souffles, dessert souffles, and maybe a salad. As noted, it's romantic and unhurried. If you're going to Tony's Pizza, you could walk over to Cafe Jacqueline for dessert.

        Brenda's is New Orleans style food made by a chef of Filipino heritage. It's excellent, but doesn't need to be dinner since they also serve breakfast and lunch. It isn't French despite the name.

        If you want real French, perhaps Chapeau! They have a prix fixe and an early bird, including a vegetarian menu.

        Good for vegetarians and kids:
        You might enjoy the scene at Cafe Gratitude which is vegan and raw. It's a bit over the top (the dishes are named "I am bountiful" etc.) but unique and quite good. They have a Mexican vegan spinoff called Gracias Madre that I didn't like quite as much but which is fun and popular and probably not something you have in Israel.

        Udupi Palace is South Indian vegetarian. Inexpensive, on a great stretch of Valencia for cafe hopping; you could get dessert and coffee/tea/hot chocolate at any of a number of places nearby.

        Thai or Vietnamese maybe? What other foods are hard to get where you live?

        Helmand Palace is one other idea; it's Afghan.

        Cafe Jacqueline
        1454 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

        Gracias Madre
        2211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        7 Replies
        1. re: Windy
          MarkC Jul 28, 2011 12:56 AM

          Thanks for recs. The Cigar Store sounds like a great place for lunch. I'll check Chapeau also. Not too many afghan restaurants where we live, either.

          What appeals to me about Cafe Jacqueline is that I think it will be memorable. This may be the only time in their lives the kids will have an honest to God French souffle (God knows they ain't getting it at home!).
          My kids are patient and mature, so hopefully they at least won't spoil the atmosphere. Anyway, family intimacy can come a close second to romantic. Especially after you've reached a certain age :(.

          As for my daughter's vegetarianism, we try to make allowances for her (no bbq places), but she doesn't control our culinary life, and has been known on occasion to make due with french fries and a side order of rice.

          Cafe Jacqueline
          1454 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

          1. re: MarkC
            wolfe Jul 28, 2011 01:54 AM

            Cafe Gratitude dish naming is too cutesy for me "I am Nauseous."

            1. re: wolfe
              Tripeler Jul 28, 2011 03:33 AM

              Have you had their "I have hypochondria" seaweed carob brownies?

              1. re: wolfe
                artychokeasana Jul 28, 2011 09:18 AM

                aw :-( It's so pretentious or over the top earnest (I can't figure out which) that I get a kick out of it.

              2. re: MarkC
                saffrongold Jul 28, 2011 10:49 AM

                I don't know when you were last at Jacqueline but it has seriously gone downhill. The food, previously rapturous was just meh and we were there for 3.5 hours because the service was so glacial. Memorable in a bad way, and not inexpensive.
                For something interactive and vegetarian-friendly you may want to try Matterhorn, an old-school fondue-ery.

                1. re: MarkC
                  Windy Jul 28, 2011 01:32 PM

                  I doubt your kids would spoil anything, but they'd probably be bored for two hours. I prefer the berry souffles to chocolate personally.

                  SF is a great place for vegetarians, or anyone who loves fresh produce. No need to limit herself to fries and rice.

                  But if she's the manga lover, you may have to search a little harder to find vegetarian ramen stock. (Minako makes it. Not sure about any of the places at Japantown.)

                2. re: Windy
                  chocolatetartguy Jul 28, 2011 01:21 PM

                  Have not been in years, but they used to have French Onion Soup too. Kids might enjoy the chocolate souffle. And yes it is very romantic there.

                3. ssfire Jul 28, 2011 09:10 AM

                  For a souffle experience with kids, I recommend the souffle pancakes for breakfast at Aurea, the restaurant in the Stanford Court Hotel. They are phenomenally good. And expensive. I think they are $17. Located next to a cable car stop.

                  905 California, San Francisco, CA 94108

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