We usually don’t write blogs on a single restaurant. You’ll see why I am writing this in a minute.
We take every opportunity that we can to try restaurants. Yes, I like cooking, but San Francisco has so many great restaurants, that you could go out every day and still not hit them all. When we had an afternoon appointment in San Francisco’s financial district, the first question was where do we go for lunch. We decided to go to Georges on Samsone Street. This seafood restaurant was recently taken over by new management and just happened to have a review in the newspaper that very day.
To be honest, the review sounded very unfair. The reviewer (not the normal food reviewer, Michael Bauer) complained that the portions were too large. That’s an interesting complaint, but the reviewer was upset that before they could finish the fried calamari (which they liked when it was served), it got cold and the breading fell off (BTW, the manager felt that this was a good point and has since reduced the portion size). The reviewer also found the neighboring business (a nail salon) troublesome. And let’s not forget that the person working the front desk was wearing a Giants cap, which was inappropriate according to the reviewer, as the restaurant is not by the stadium. Sacre bleu. Let’s not take into consideration that the entire city had Giant’s fever when the reviewer was in the restaurant and that the city was filled with Giants hats, shirts and anything orange. And what about the food in general? Mostly favorable.
We decided to ignore the pettiness and eat at Georges. After all, there’s nothing wrong with a baseball cap even when the Giants aren’t in season. It’s not like this was Michael Mina where everyone is dressed to the hilt.
When we arrived, the place was was filled. The manager sincerely apologized and told us that people were lingering over their food and that our reserved table was not yet ready. As it was the week before Christmas, people are enjoying food and company. As we had an appointment and only had 90 minutes, we contemplated leaving or waiting. The manager was offering everyone who waited more than 10 minutes for their reservation a glass of wine. This same guy (who had worn the Giants hat when the reviewer was at the restaurant, but was wearing a normal hat that day) tried hard to diffuse potential frustration. He went out of his way to apologize and to thank people who did wait.
We waited and were glad we did. We explained our time constraint and the manager and staff made sure we were able to order and get our food quickly. We only had time for 2 dishes. The delicious Dungeness crab cakes with remoulade sauce were filled with fresh-tasting crab and the right amount of breading. Delicious. And then there was the Spiced Albacore Tuna on a crispy garbanzo pancake and a carrot-harissa sauce. It was wonderful. The pancake was so unusual and really made the dish. I need the recipe!
Yes, the place is noisy. Sound bounces all around the high ceilings and walls. But the food was so good that we can’t wait to return to taste more dishes. In fact, we did return after our meeting as we discovered that their happy hour included $1 oysters…one of our favorite happy hour treats.
Now back to why the review? Because the review in the newspaper seemed so….ridiculous.