Potrero Hill -- anything interesting?


#1

My son’s living there now and though the neighborhood seems very nice, the food I’ve tried so far has been a tad bland and overpriced. I hope I’m wrong. From Hazel’s kitchen, I had a rare roast beef with Swiss and horseradish mayo sandwich. Good quality ingredients, but not really worth 8.95. They were out of dutch crunch and the sliced sourdough didn’t seem very fresh. My burrito from Papito was big and expensive and nothing special. Maybe there are hidden gems on these menus?

What about other places? The Vietnamese restaurant? The pizza at Goat Hill doesn’t look great (or at least not to my taste), though my son and his roommates have had takeout a couple times. What about the Peruvian place? Any tips at all?

(Mod note: adjusted spelling in title so it shows up in search)


#2

Good topic— I don’t hear much about Portero Hill (I’m more likely to walk through there on the way to Dogpatch)

Plow is very good for a traditional brunch, but the wait is too long. Instead, hit Pera for their Harem Style brunch-- diverse nibbles and good jams. They have various Turkish breakfast items that I’ve been wanting to try too.

I don’t care for Goat Hill either— very doughy.

The sandwiches and brunch items at Market & Rye on De Haro are giant. The food is fresh but it sounds and looks better than the execution. They stopped making their version of Momofuku’s compost cookie.


(Brian Bulkowski) #3

You’ll want to check out Chez Maman in terms of the little strip right there. Lots of the other places don’t impress me.
Sunflower, I always liked their Crepe down on 16th and Valencia, don’t know how the move treated them.
Aperto is a neighborhood favorite, I always found it overpriced. I remember a roast they did that I liked.
There’s more action down on 3rd St these days. I like Serpentine, but it is also, arguably overpriced and a little average. It’s the same owners as the slow club (was). The burger and a cocktail is a good choice.
I’m a fan of smokestack, part of the new BBQ renaisance. And with good beer. It’s counter service so don’t expect anything serious.

Also remember it’s not just a short Uber over to the mission, the 22 bus cuts through that area and drops you at 16th and valencia.

I haven’t tried a few of the places - Plough, Poquito - but have tried just about everything else.


#4

Had two meals this Sunday. One thing I noticed is that the higher end places all had 25-30 minute waits, while the more modest places had tables available. Maybe because the food isn’t all that good? Anyway, looked at Plow’s brunch menu (4.50 biscuit!), but didn’t want to wait, so we had lunch at Sunflower. I had the Vietnamese crepe, because it was new to me. It was fine, not greasy, a bit bland. Once was enough. The chicken curry I tasted was just okay, though the vegetables seemed fresh and well-cooked. Dinner (after fun with Ikea furniture), at Goat Hill Pizza: I had low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. (Had the Portuguese: linguica, green onions, black olives and lots of garlic.) The crust was less doughy than I feared and the tomato sauce nicely flavored. The place was full of families. Who says there are no kids in SF? And, again, no wait.


(Kathy Ramsey) #5

There are 4 schools and 2 SF Rec & Park community centers (meaning kids’ after-school programs as well as nonstop soccer and baseball practice) within walking distance of Goat Hill. So yeah, there are always going to be tons of kids and teams having dinner there.

Give Plow a chance. Go right when it opens, or on a weekday or something. It’s worth it. Those expensive biscuits are probably the best in SF.


#6

Six of us had dinner at Aperto on Sunday. To start we shared the arancini, mozzarella and pesto, smoked salsa rossa, and an order of the handcrafted burrata, sweet onions, broccoli rabe with grilled bread. The food didn’t seem dumbed-down, just fairly mild, with high-quality ingredients.

I had the seared tuna with chanterelles and fresh shelling beans, dabbed with pesto. It was simple, maybe under-spiced, but fine. The tuna was almost dry, but the beans were great. My son’s pasta special – cider-glazed pork and roasted tomatoes – was more interesting, and my husband’s red wine braised beef short ribs, cipollini and chicories on creamy polenta was delicious, leading me to think that they do long-cooked meat well here. (Unlike at the Rendez-Vous cafe on Solano. The daube I had there recently didn’t seem to have cooked long enough to develop flavor.) Didn’t try the other dishes, but my mom’s mussels looked good.

Olive oil cake was sort of bland, but that’s the style, I suppose. Didn’t taste the other desserts.

Service was excellent. The place was about 2/3 full and not too noisy. (No kids – not that I mind. Just noting.)

Wasn’t a bit like the overly cheesy, salty, creamy food at Cugini on Solano. Talk about Upscale Demographic Syndrome!


#7

Dat Spot: this is a tiny place, mostly a counter, with a couple of tables near the door. It was cozy on a cold night. The owner was very friendly, almost to the point of being manic.

We had the rotisserie chicken ($26). It was a pretty small bird, but nicely flavored. It came with two sauces and two sides. The potato wedges were nothing special, but the “carnival corn” was tasty: two pieces of corn on the cob rolled in mayo, cheese and chile. For the sauces we chose the mustard (basically a thick vinaigrette) and the chimichurri (great). Again, the prices in this neighborhood are bit high for my West Berkeley sensibility. I doubt I’ll get the chicken again, but I’ll probably try more of the menu.

One last note: it feels a bit weird to eat this not-terribly-healthful food under a mural of a bloated Uncle Sam clutching a chicken leg, especially since all the guys working there are so skinny.