Tuesday, October 13, 2009
URBAN TAVERN: MY NEW FAVORITE DOWNTOWN SF
I met Janet & Harriet for lunch in San Francisco the other day when Janet was at a two-day conference at the SF Hilton.
Since Janet was the one with the tightest schedule, I decided that we should try the relatively-new (one year) Urban Tavern which is right in the Hilton, with its entrance at 333 O'Farrell Street.
Not only was Urban Tavern the perfect location, it turned out to be a beautiful restaurant with delicious food. And, many very reasonable choices for a budget-priced lunch. The dining room is attractive and quiet, even when it is full, as it was the day we dined. There is art throughout, including this lovely horse.
The menu offers a mix of pub and comfort food...I am sure to many of you these two categories are synonymous and I agree.
Janet and I ordered the Express Lunch, priced at $10. It includes a cup of soup (it was Cream of Celeri Root that day) and half a sandwich..sandwich choice of Pulled Pork, Pastrami, or French Dip.
Janet chose the Pulled Pork.
My choice was the Pastrami, a grilled sandwich with melted Swiss Cheese and Sauerkraut.
Harriet ordered from the Small Bites portion of the menu. Small Bites are $5 each or 3 for $13. Her choices, which were more than she could eat, were Deviled Eggs, prepared three ways; Hobb's Bacon "Tato Tots", and Warm Cheese Puffs.
Another tempting budget offering is the daily lunch special, priced at $7. On Monday it is a Vegetarian Specialty, Tuesday is Spaghetti & Meatballs, Wednesday is Irish Stew, Thursday is Mac & Cheese with Ham, Friday is Rice & Beans with Grilled Chicken, Saturday is a Beer Sausage Sandwich with a mug of draft beer, and Sunday it is Pork Posole.
I love Urban Tavern's attention to detail in every aspect of the restaurant. My tea cup rested in a special saucer where the indentation for the cup was off centered, allowing room for my spoon, tea bag, and lemon. All that was missing was a cookie.
We were content in this lovely dining room.
During the lunch hour, the service was quick and efficient, but, at the same time, we were not rushed by anything other than our own schedules.
The dinner menu offers a selection of Small Bites at the same price as at lunch, a three-course Prix Fixe Menu for $34.95 as well as a full menu of tempting Starters and Entrées, most priced well under $20.
For the month of October, 2009, Urban Tavern is participating in Perfect Pairings, a collaboration between the restaurant and Meals-on-Wheels. The day we dined, for each order of one specific soup and one wine, the restaurant donated a $1 to Meals-on-Wheels.
I plan to return often to Urban Tavern whenever I am downtown San Francisco. Just a block or so from Union Square, it is perfect for a relaxing meal while shopping downtown. It is a great choice for before or after theatre. And, it is ideal for a business meeting.