Dogpatch, an out lying neighborhood in San Francisco that seems to have been on the cusp of being the new up and coming hood for what seems like 10 years now. With the addition of the the 3rd Street light rail it was expected to really take off, but things have seemed slow to open down this particular corridor. There is a small patch at 22nd and 3rd that has a handful of places that have garnered followings, but make no mistake they've become destination places and in order to survive here you have to wow and stand out from the few others so that folks will make that special trip to this part of town. So it was that I made my way out there to try a new place called Gilberth's Rotisserie & Grill. (the link is to their menu page as they seem to not have a website just yet) Do I have to tell you they have an industrial feel? But there is a big chicken painted on copper at the back of the space so that is different.
Run by a husband and wife team (she runs front of house he does the cooking) the menu has a definite Latin/Spanish slant to the dishes that are offered. I decided to try a starter and went with the chicharones.
Not the traditional deep fried crispy skin people are used to that comes in the bag at the grocery store. It's pork belly deep fried on a bed of pureed yucca with cabbage/carrot slaw, pickled red onion and what I think was a chimichurri sauce. It looked pretty but sadly it did not pass the taste test. The pork belly was fried to long and was a bit on the chewy side which is sad, it should have a slight crunch on the outside and then just melt in your mouth. The yucca puree was over pureed to the point where it was gummy and bordering on poi-like--glue with not much taste. The pickled onion was nice but the slaw and aioli didn't add much to this dish outside of texture and as a whole this was a miss from top to bottom.
For my entree I picked the lamb and chorizo burger with gruyere, sweet potato fries, pickled celery and carrot and a remoulade sauce for dipping. I liked the fries. They were hot, fresh and generously salted and the sweetness of the potato mixed well with the spicy dipping sauce. The pickled celery and carrots were purple and crunchy and not exactly my thing, a little too vinegary and not much else. As for the burger it was juicy but I will credit the chorizo for keeping it that way as it's a very greasy meat. It's also a spicy meat and the flavor pretty much overwhelmed everything else from the lamb to the gruyere. All I could taste was the chorizo and not much else. In the grand scheme of things I guess that is fine if what I was having was just a spicy sausage sandwich but it wasn't. Something else needed to be done to balance out the flavors--a different meat, different cheese, less chorizo? I don't know, I'm not the chef, but this needs to be re-thought out.
Overall I wasn't wowed quite enough by the place in order to make a special trip to dine there. Which is too bad as I really wanted to like the place but just couldn't. Granted they have only been open a couple months and hopefully they will be able to work out any kinks in the food to become a place people will want to make an effort to get to. Until then I can only wish them the best of luck.