Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Public House

Public House
24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco

This past weekend I was at AT&T Park (home of the San Francisco Giants) for the annual Giant Race Expo and 10k.  It was my third year running the race and I always get a little excited for the expo as well.  Afterwards, I grabbed a quick bite at Public House.  I couldn't believe I had never been there before.

I was excited to see that they had a Baked Mac and Cheese on the menu.  Cheeses included Provolone, Cheddar and Gouda.

The size was pretty perfect for lunch, but probably not enough to share with another person.  It wasn't too big and just perfect for carb loading for my race the following day.

The flavor was okay.  Nothing really stood out, but you could tell there was a nice mixture of flavors.  For the most part the sauce was creamy, however, there was a significant amount of oil that had separated from the cheese in the cooking process.  That's probably one of the least appetizing things to see in any dish: an immense amount of oil or grease.

Leftover oil from the cheese... ew.
All in all, though, it wasn't too bad.  I probably wouldn't order it again.  There were several other items on the menu that looked delicious, like the fried chicken or burger.  There were even mini corn dogs if you are feeling like something fun.

For a baseball lover, however, you can't beat the location.  Public House is located within the AT&T Park's Willie Mays Plaza, just adjacent to the ballpark and dugout store.  For any Giants fan, this place is a real treat.  I enjoyed sitting outside with my Hunter Pence bobble head.  All the runners received an official race bobble head at the expo.

So next time you're at a game and want to pick up a drink or bite before a game, check out Public House.  Make your own determination on their Baked Mac and Cheese, and let me know what you think!

Go Giants! :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Absinthe

398 Hayes Street, San Francisco

Yum! Look at that cheesy crust! Photo courtesy of Vincent Serritella
This past Saturday, I had the pleasure to try Absinthe, a chic little restaurant and bar located in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco.

While they had many appetizing menu items (I had the steak entree), there was of course one side I definitely had to try:  the Baked Mac & Cheese!

Absinthe has a baked version with Vermont White Cheddar and some really amazing herbs.  There's even a slight kick of spice, which reminded me of my dish at Fat Angel, but it's not quite so powerful.

The sauce texture was interesting, but it was redeemed by the cripsy cheese crust that's formed around the outside of the bowl.  That was definitely something I hadn't seen in most mac and cheeses I've ordered and reviewed.  The portion size felt like a large side, but would make a great small meal or lunch should you ever hope to order just that.

I can't finish this review without mentioning the highlight of the evening's dishes, however.  The most amazing treat we had at our table were the homemade pretzel appetizers.  That's right: Pretzels.

These bite sized pretzels came five to an order and were paired with the most amazing garlic, cheese sauce.  The sauce wasn't too thick, in fact it drizzled onto the tops of the pretzels quite nicely.  I could have eaten so many more of those, but alas... I had to share them... Next time, I'm ordering some just for myself!  They were so, so, so delicious.

All in all, I highly recommend a stop at this Hayes Valley treat.  My only regret is not ordering the Galapagos cocktail, which has been featured on 7x7's The Big Drink app for some time now.  Oh well, next time!  So go, my friends, and pick up some pretzels, some mac and cheese, and maybe some other bites and have a little small plate party.  Enjoy!