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Presidio Social Club? [San Francisco]

Malcolm Ruthven Mar 4, 2013 06:36 PM

I'm having dinner tomorrow night with two friends from the past. They appreciate good food but aren't adventurous eaters. One of them uses a wheelchair so good parking is desired. What's the Presidio Social Club like? I've never been and don't see much here about it.

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  1. h
    hungree Mar 4, 2013 06:42 PM

    Enjoyed lunch there once. Unfortunately, they no longer serve foie gras.

    1. d
      DavidT Mar 4, 2013 07:44 PM

      It sounds like the PSC should fit the bill nicely. The menu there is not especially adventurous and parking is about as easy as you will find anywhere in San Francisco. The interior of the restaurant is rather spacious and you will not find yourself jammed in among the tables around you.

      Best of all, the food is pretty good!

      1 Reply
      1. re: DavidT
        Malcolm Ruthven Mar 4, 2013 07:59 PM

        Thanks, I was pretty sure about the rest, but am glad to hear that you find the food to be good.

      2. k
        katnat Mar 4, 2013 08:27 PM

        Almost always been pleased with the food there. As others have said, not adventurous but generally high quality. Do not miss the smashed peas with mint side. But definitely pass on the liver and onions. Worst rendition of this classic I have ever had - gristly, bitter, gray, absolutely awful.

        1. smatbrat Mar 5, 2013 11:07 AM

          I really like PSC. I like the space and the food, service, decor.

          1. l
            lakemerritter Mar 5, 2013 11:07 AM

            I am a huge fan of PSC. It's a relaxing space even when a bit crowded and the food is usually good and sometimes terrific. I take lots of visitors there and when my mother-in-law is in town she usually makes sure that a visit is worked into her schedule. Such a nice bit of local San Francisco that is not overly touristy--everyone is always curious about the history of it, you can walk off some of the calories while taking in a view of the GG Bridge, and when time allows I like to suggest bowling afterward!

            Specific food: my wife always orders their cheese sandwich/tomato soup dish (which kind of bugs me because I think my version of this is just as good) and I usually go for fish because they tend to have interesting selections and/or preparation. I also had the steak frite one time and it was delicious. Also, beignets!

            The wine list is also good, not much of a beer selection but there's usually something good that's local. I think they had Magnolia on tap last time I was there.

            And finally, I will second the caution regarding the liver and onions. My own mother, bless her heart, ordered this--one of her favorite dishes--and did not want to "cause a scene" by sending it back. It was pretty bad (but I still think Saul's has the worst).

            4 Replies
            1. re: lakemerritter
              bbulkow Mar 6, 2013 09:51 AM

              Magnolia? Good? Surprising! In my "brewed in SF beer crawl", Magnolia was consensus-last, tied with Southern Pacific. Weak body, strong hops, poor balance, some beers with off tastes. I can see how having an in-town beer is good, especially on the same side of town, but ... ew.

              1. re: bbulkow
                lakemerritter Mar 6, 2013 10:13 AM

                I had a couple of pilsners if I recall correctly (it was some time ago) and found it light and refreshing on a hot day. It's the only Magnolia beer I have ever had, to be honest, and obviously a pils isn't known for being hoppy (I am very much over hoppy beers). Maybe I just got lucky with that one.

                When it comes to local brews, I'm a Linden Street man! That black lager is my favorite beer, period. Local or otherwise. However, last time I was at the brewery they had tapped some Hop Candy, which (of course) I found waaaay too hoppy. One sip was plenty.

                There is a bay area beer thread here somewhere, right? Will look for it and meet you there.

                1. re: lakemerritter
                  bbulkow Mar 6, 2013 12:32 PM

                  Thread in question:

                  1. re: bbulkow
                    lakemerritter Mar 6, 2013 03:08 PM

                    Great thread and a correction is warranted from me after reading your tasting notes--it was the kolsch I had at PSC, not a pils. All this imbibing has obviously taken a toll on my already feeble memory.

            2. m
              Malcolm Ruthven Mar 5, 2013 11:13 AM

              Thanks so much for all the great replies. We're going tonight and I'll report back.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Malcolm Ruthven
                Malcolm Ruthven Mar 5, 2013 10:08 PM

                I'm now a fan of PSC. It's a great environment, the staff couldn't have been better, the food was good to stunning, and the prices were reasonable considering the location and the quality of the food. My east-west dumpling soup was quite good and got better as I neared the bottom of the bowl. I also had the smashed peas & mint oil and that was stunning, one of those creative-genius ideas that worked. I tried my friend's meat loaf and it was wonderful, not tomato-based as I'm used to, but just excellent, the best meat loaf I've ever had. I don't know why it took me so long to get here.

                1. re: Malcolm Ruthven
                  chefj Mar 6, 2013 12:22 PM

                  The Chef Owner Ray Tang is a really good Chef and Restauranteur.

              2. Amishchow Mar 11, 2013 10:05 AM

                In my opinion the PSC is way over priced for what the deliver. The staff is less then friendly or welcoming. Especially the bar keeps. You can do much better not far on Union or Chestnut Streets. Too bad as the setting of this place and the ambience is pretty nice. More of a snotty PacHeights Social Club.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Amishchow
                  Malcolm Ruthven Mar 11, 2013 09:43 PM

                  I couldn't disagree more with Amishchow from my one experience there. The wait staff was uniformly helpful, friendly, and eager. I also thought the prices were very fair. Note that we didn't order the $34 pork chops :-)

                2. a
                  andy deridge Mar 11, 2013 03:54 PM

                  We have always loved this place - great atmosphere, easy to get to, easy parking, good food; however the service is fairly awful. We were there last week with friends from the East Coast and we only ordered appetizers and drinks and it took well over a half an hour to even give our order to the waiter who seemed to have trouble understanding what we wanted. Good good, prices good, parking and convenience good, wait staff almost always awful. We live in Sonoma and it is a hike to get there but usually worth it. Hope the service gets better.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: andy deridge
                    Malcolm Ruthven Mar 11, 2013 09:45 PM

                    I wonder if the service varies with the phase of the moon. We couldn't have been more pleased with the service from multiple servers.

                  2. o
                    OliverB Apr 13, 2014 07:20 PM

                    Visited two Sundays ago and had an inedible brunch... service was awful as has been noted in this thread. It took forever to receive menus, water, no bread despite asking multiple times, etc. I ordered the tuna tartare and oysters. Apparently they had kumamoto and Pacific oysters on offer but I wasn't given the option and received an overpriced ($40/dozen) platter of poorly shucked, tiny, tasteless oysters without specification or description by our server. The tuna itself was of high quality, fresh, and fatty but came swimming in a bowl of Kikoman sesame oil and soy sauce; they didn't even attempt to dress it up or present it as something else. Tuna in soy sauce. My wife ordered the huevos rancheros and if she weren't hypoglycemic and didn't have low blood sugar from lack of food all morning, she would have certainly sent this dish back to the kitchen. It was hands down the worst plate of food we've ever been served in a restaurant. It was completely incompetent, mushy, soggy... she had 4 bites of it and left the rest. I'll usually eat anything and couldn't even down more than a single fork of this stuff. It was simply awful. We each ordered dessert hoping it would make up for the lackluster mains. I had the cookie plate and found it a waste of calories. We could've found better in any corner store in the city. My wife went for the scones or biscuits (I forget as they were equally unmemorable). The total came to $120 with tax and tip. The waitress originally charged me for a burger which I had changed my mind about before she left the table with our orders. We called her over to point this out and it was another 15 minute wait before we were able to pay and leave. She returned with the corrected bill but then disappeared again for an extended period without taking my card. I usually don't complain or post negative reviews on CH but for the price we paid, we could have had a truly excellent brunch at just about any other restaurant in the city. Walking through The Presidio afterward, we were kicking ourselves for not just heading over to the Off The Grid station and having a better meal for $15. We won't be back. On a more positive note, I did enjoy the atmosphere and would consider testing the waters of their cocktail menu with a window seat some afternoon... but I'm in no hurry and don't have high expectations.

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