Tuesday, November 15, 2011
BOXING ROOM IS A WONDERFUL ADDITION TO CIVIC CENTER DINING
We don't have a subscription to the San Francisco Symphony any longer but we still treat ourselves to a few concerts every season.
Attending fewer symphonies has meant that we are not dining as regularly in the Civic Center/Performing Arts district as we used to. It also means that I am not as up to date of what's changing in this neighborhood.
So, before a symphony a few weeks ago, we decided that rather than having dinner at one of our two "regular" favorites, Paul K and Hayes Street Grill, we'd try Boxing Room, the relative newcomer that is where Citizen Cake used to be at the corner of Gough and Grove Streets.
Boxing Room is the newest restaurant in the Absinthe restaurant Group. Five of the six Absinthe Group restaurants are here in Hayes Valley; the one loner is not far away in North Beach (Comstock Saloon).
Boxing Room features traditional the Cajun and Creole dishes of New Orleans and coastal Louisiana. The dining room is casual. The menu is moderately priced. The staff is efficient and friendly.
I was tempted by just about everything on Boxing Room's menu.
While we tried to decide what to order,
we munched on the complimentary flatbread crackers and pimento cheese spread that is served to all instead of bread and butter...so yummy!
I'm a pushover for a Po' Boy sandwich and Boxing Room's gives you a choice of Fried Shrimp, Oyster, or Catfish Po' Boys. I chose the Catfish. The Po' Boy is served on a toasted roll dressed with tartar sauce. Hushpuppies come with the Po' Boy.
In the dim light, my Po' Boy and Hush Puppies don't look very colorful, but they sure were tasty.
Just to try one of the Side dishes, I ordered a Side of Braised Greens, which was big enough to share with Jim.
Jim chose the Fall Vegetable & Mushroom Gratin, a large casserole of roasted vegetables in a delicious mushroom sauce, topped with cheese and breadcrumbs.
For the sake of "research" we did share the Apple & Hazelnut Cobbler for dessert, but truly had more than enough to eat with our main courses. Sorry, I didn't photograph the Cobbler, but just immediately dug in; is was served with Burnt Cinnamon Ice Cream.
We are already planning our next dinner at Boxing Room. I'm anxious to have the Deep-Fried Alligator appetizer and then one of the gumbos and stews...current choices are Smoked Chicken and Andouille Gumbo, Crawfish Etoufee, and Gulf Shrimp Creole. I'd get a side of their tiny corn bread muffins to go with this meal. Next time for dessert, I'll either have the Beignets or Pecan Pie.
I am seeing a trend toward lower meal prices in some of this area's newer dining spots. At Boxing Room, just about all main courses are priced under $20. Other newish moderately prices places include The Grove and the very new Dobbs Ferry. And, these newer restaurants are open to diners all day every day.