Saturday, September 17, 2011

Full-on Monet

As Cher, the star of the 1995 hit comedy, Clueless, accurately quipped, "No, she's a full-on Monet. It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess."  A full-on Monet would be an appropriate definition for all things related to "The Grove".  

Of all the available options in Hayes Valley, it's a head scratching mystery why I'm often found dining at this establishment. Uninspiring subpar fare, disinterested cashiers and unnecessary lengthy wait times.  Seriously, why bother?

I keep secretly wishing their food will improve but after 8 tries, it is time I finally bid adieu. 

 Chicken Caesar Salad with Croutons

Turkey Club with House Made Chips

The Grove's Signature French Onion Soup

After a 20 minute wait on a lazy Saturday afternoon, our three entrees finally came, delivered by a very rushed server.  Upon digging in, I surveyed all three dishes.  Looks amazing, could this time be any different than the last?

My salad was drowning in overly tart Caesar dressing while the abundance of the creamy dressing stole the show from my excessively wilted romaine.  

The intensely grilled bread encapsulating the Turkey club a.k.a the giant crouton, made it a difficult feat to stomach while the house made chips were lacking in flavor.  

The most unforgivable abomination were the salt levels in their "Signature French Onion Soup". Having just came back from Europe, I had very fond memories of said soup, while dining casually at many sidewalk cafe's littered all over Paris.  The Grove's version was teeming with inexplicable saltiness, rendering it inedible.  

In a city like San Francisco, deemed "America's Culinary Mecca", the options are seemingly endless. With only 3 meals a day, approximately 90 meals a month, why waste valuable stomach real estate on chains such as "The Grove"?  With every experience comes a lesson learned and after 8 tries, I finally got it.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brunching in the Sun

Life is about simple pleasures.  

Brunching in the bright sunshine with great company, it just doesn't get any better than that.


Foreign Cinema's Strawberry Pop Tart

Perfectly Seasoned Crab Cakes & Greens

Pilsner & Apple Omelet: Fontina, Black Truffle, Creme Fraiche, Crispy Yukon Gold Potatoes

Hog Island Clam Bake with Romesco Sauce, Jalopeno & Pasillas

Baguette French Toast, Peaches, Orange-Cardamom Butter & Syrup

Foreign Cinema is a gorgeous backdrop for those rare occasions when the stunning San Francisco sunshine decides to make its much coveted appearance.  Beautiful bright rays puncturing every imaginable surface, the sun-filled courtyard radiated with warmth, infectious laughter and beautiful people. 

Situated on a bustling Mission street, Foreign Cinema is most known for their nightly showings of their well-chosen Foreign and Independent films, projected onto the vast blank wall surrounding their huge outdoor patio.

With signature California/Mediterranean dishes in conjunction with their spacious, streamlined decor, this is a great location for a romantic date or a fun meal with a close few.

Quick tip: Their ample seating fills quickly, avoid the crowds by reserving your seat at!