Great First Visit to the new Southern Pacific Brewing in the Mission [San Francisco]
- lessleyellen Jan 31, 2012 11:13 AM
This is a new brewpub that makes great beer and serves a full lunch and dinner in a modern indoor beer garden environment. It's located in the Mission not too far from Flour + Water, right behind Homestead bar on a weird part of Treat Street that dead ends into the PG&E yard.
My Excitement Level has been very high about this place, because 1. I love beer, and 2. This is my old neighborhood, and 3. I felt SF was in sore need of another big beer garden environment, particularly one that's indoors. I went last night, the fourth day it's been opened, and was way more impressed than I thought I'd be considering how new they are.
Housed in a beautiful vintage warehouse with giant windows, it's got a kind of industrial feel. There are two grown trees planted on the inside (nice touch!), high cafe tables that can seat multiple parties, and bits of corrugated tin roof over the bar area and over the ceiling. It's got two levels, too. I think they could use a few more bathroom stalls, once they really get rolling, but points for the fact they have that cool co-ed vintage sink thing going on that Magnolia has.
OK most importantly, the food and the beer. The menu features pizzas and burgers for dinner, along with some salads, calamari, etc. Pretty tame, which is imho the way to go with pub food. I had a blue cheese burger, it came with fries (THANK GOD - what's with burgers not coming with fries anymore? So many places are doing that now.) You could have the fries with sage if you wanted. The burger and fries came quickly, despite the fact that the place was crowded (I was there at 8:15pm on a Tues), and although said food was on the lukewarm side, I forgive them for this kink. Just means the kitchen is kickin' it out fast!
The burger was great, and so were the fries. Burger came w/ nice pickled red onion for crunch and sweetness. The beers I tried: a Pale Ale, an IPA, and a Belgian style Wit, were all great. Nice balanced spice on the wit, the IPA was floral without being overwhelmingly syrupy, and the Pale Ale was satisfying with a nice malt finish.
There was one weird thing: we ordered the pickles as an app, which the menu said were going to be assorted and housemade. We were both expecting something rad like at Bar Tartine. But they just gave us a little glass tumbler with a bunch of the same pickles that were on our burger! They were good, but it was a little bit of a let down.
Mainly the takeaway though, is that this is the awesome indoor beer garden, with solid food (takes credit cards!) that I've been waiting for. And it's enough off the beaten path to hopefully keep masses of people away. It's a cold and somewhat lonely walk at night.
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 11am-Midnight
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11am-2am
Credit Cards: yes
Great report! Although by the time I arrived there, the masses had as well.
We visited last night, and liked the place but found a huge crowd and long wait time. The crowd seemed about four times the size of what they allow into the Hayes Valley biergarten, but they have the same number of bartenders (that being two) so to order we had to press ourselves into the bar for half an hour. Because of the high tin ceiling, it's also super loud.
Part of the problem is that they're serving cocktails--and why, I don't know. This is clearly a beer place, and having cocktails on the menu means that the bartenders are tied up with shaking and measuring. I hope they either increase the number of bartenders or ditch the cocktail menu...or both.
I tried a porter, which I didn't like very much--the background was too thin and light, it seemed more like a pale ale with dark caramel coloring. I tasted a pleasantly hoppy IPA as well. I agree that the burger and fries were both good, and came out surprisingly fast. The ketchup had some kind of spice added--cumin and coriander? Also I saw brussel sprouts on another table that looked great.
I went for lunch on this beautiful past Saturday. The picnic tables outside were all occupied so we sat inside. My burger was really great, and in a word, substantial. Couldn't finish the sage fries though I tried. Loved the specially made ketchup pane mentions -- and truly appreciated that it came in a squeeze bottle, and not in a little tin cup like so many upscale burger presentations offer.
It was just getting crowded at 2:15 pm but was not packed, and I liked the mix of clientele (hipsters + young families). Hard to find, but worth it.
I was here for the second time last night, and really enjoyed the food I tried.
On my last visit, I had some of the sandwiches (which I thought were decent, but not too special) but this time I tried more of the appetizers.
French fries are thin and crispy, topped w/ fried, salty sage. They were served with a spicy mayo (chipotle?), and I didn't even end up looking for the ketchup.
Pickled watermelon rind was also a nice alongside the beer. It had a nice crunch, and the brine wasn't overly strong.
My favorite was the fried chicken, which I thought was a real winner. It's "coconut battered with ginger, kaffir lime leaf, and cardamom, tossed with sweet and spicy sauce"
When it first came to the table, it was nice and hot and the skin was still crispy beneath the sweet/spicy Indonesian-style sauce. As it cooled, the skin began to be less crispy, but the flavors still held up.
Pitchers of beer are cheap and house-brewed, and there's tons of space. It was cold out yesterday (Wednesday), and the inside space was pretty chilly as well, but it wasn't overly crowded and made for a nice happy-hour/dinner meeting place
After three visits, I don't have anything good to say about the beers here, but one standout food item is their brussels sprouts. They're served whole but are evenly cooked with nicely charred edges. The bacon, orange, and apricot sauce gives them a flavor that's just like, if not actually, Chinese "duck sauce."
In one visit, I would recommend the atmosphere and the root beer floats, and disrecommend the food and beer. In the mission there are many better choices - hard to know where to start with this place. Just kind of average in general, nothing bad, nothing great.