The Brit and I had the opportunity to visit the Park Tavern in San Francisco’s historic North Beach neighborhood with a special guest blogger SanityFound during her recent visit. SanityFound has been our friend for many years and she has worked tirelessly in the background on this blog helping us to set up all of the details you don’t see. We finally dragged her out into the light, and hope that we can talk her into becoming a regular contributor. Her easy-going South African charm, hilarious sense of humor, stunning photography and beautiful soul make her a wonderful addition.

This was my first time eating at Park Tavern. The Brit had been before for a work event and he thought it might be a place us ladies would enjoy for the food and “San Francisco Vibe” during our visit into the city.  It was a good choice considering our Double Decker Tour bus practically dropped us off right outside their front door!

Walking up to the restaurant, I could hardly believe that this was the place that The Brit wanted to meet us at. Lets just say that my face did not show that I was very impressed nor amused.  The outside looks a bit, lets just say, unimpressive. There are a few cafe tables placed outside, though it isn’t a particularly pleasant place to be seated.

SanityFound Comments: I’m with California Girl; when we first got there I was hmm.. ok this is not their normal style. Then walking inside I felt like I was a princess dining with the queen.

That said, once inside, the perception I had on the outside looking in drastically changed. Beautiful mosaic tile floors and beautiful old-fashioned classic decor gleamed throughout the lovely interior of the restaurant. I loved it.

Our wait staff were both pleasant and kind. We were there quite early for dinner in San Francisco standards, most people were just getting off work, so it was mostly people coming in for cocktails and appetizers. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. Our drinks and appetizers were brought quickly.

To start we ordered a goats cheese and stone fruit salad to share and I have to say that it was fantastic. We were hungry after a long day sightseeing and this was just the lovely palate cleanser we needed to start off our dinner.

We then moved on to our main courses: The Bar Steak with tallow cut fries, The Wood Fired Pork Chop with seared masa, chard and poblano, and The Adobo Spiced Tombo Tuna with roasted green beans.

My dish was the Bar Steak and it was cooked a perfect medium rare, with a side of fries that were cooked in beef “tallow fat”. It was very nicely done. Tasty without being life changing.

SanityFound’s dish was the PorkChop. Holy Moly, wow. The chef really knocked this one out of the park. I loved the rich flavor on this dish. Mmm. Perfect cook of the meat – it melted in the mouth. The seared mesa was interesting, kinda like a polenta, and the au jus was the perfect finish.

SanityFound Comments: I Don’t know about pork, I never had it semi alive before. But the presentation and taste was out of this world.

What SanityFound means is, she has never had pork that was cooked pink in the center before. Where she is from in South Africa, it wouldn’t be wise to have pork cooked this way. She was a little taken aback to see it done here. She was very brave and ate it, although I did selflessly offer to swap dishes – because thats just the kind of friend I am (Not because her dish was amazing or anything).

The Brit ordered The Spiced Tombo Tuna. I can always count on him to order the raw meat or fish if it is offered. He seemed happy enough with his choice, but he didn’t offer us any to taste. See how mean he is? Not very polite of him at all!

We finished our meals with a bit of Birthday cake as we were celebrating my birthday. Park Tavern serves a moist chocolate cake with a rich cream cheese frosting and a candle. From someone who bakes, this was pretty darn good. I actually ate a couple of bites!

SanityFound Comments: Oh man, that chocolate cake! I swear sharing it was absolute torture but regardless my thighs were oh so happy.

Of course The Brit doesn’t really enjoy Birthday Cake so he ordered a piece of cheese cake. So, being the kind people we are, SanityFound and I helped him with that too. It was good, rich and satisfying but I only gave it one bite, it just didn’t do it for me, so no second bite.

SanityFound Comments: Me and my thighs were too busy happily eating the chocolate cake to take too much notice of The Brit’s cheesecake. He seemed a bit territorial over it anyway. That’s ok, more chocolate cake for me!

All and all we had a wonderful time. I would highly recommend The Park Tavern to anyone who visits San Francisco, bus tour or no bus tour. Good food, good service, and not bad price for what you get.  Overall a wonderful experience.

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