***What's the new trend in food? Restaurant closures! Citizen's Band and its accompanying bakery Pinkie's has called it quits citing the usual high rents, hourly wages, etc.***
Another Saturday night and, well, I got somebody, but we ain't got reservations anywhere. Saturday night dinner out can be just like brunch on Sunday in this town--you either have your name in somewhere or you better be prepared to wait because it seems everyone is out eating at the place you probably want to go. As it was for me and the SO when we just decided at the last minute to go out and grab a bite. I'm running through some places in my head that are in SOMA and remember Citizen's Band. It's been kicking around for a few years and I vaguely remembering going there some time ago but didn't remember much, besides the "decor".
It's a tiny place, sort of like a diner with a whole wall of postcards as decoration. And one interesting note, it shares a bathroom with the club next door which opened while we were there and the steady thump, thump, thump came through the door every time someone went to the toilet. The place was full when we arrived but we didn't have to really wait as the hostess offered us two little seats in the window by the front door if we didn't mind. Seeing as how we just showed up here we went with it. The menu is like upscale home-style food with the chef's twist on them. California diner comfort food you could say. I see a lot of tasty sounding things to try but it's the poutine that gets me to order it.
House cut kennebec french fries, mushroom gravy, slow cooked pork belly, cheese curds and grana padano shredded over the top. Poutine seems to be a new hot dish in San Francisco, or at least getting plenty of notice lately as this article suggests. And I have to say this is now one of my favorite dishes in town. Fries, gravy, cheese and bacon??!! How could this not be good? Okay, so you can f-up any dish but here they have done this spectacularly. I loved everything about this dish. The fries were thick, hot and crisp. The hearty mushroom gravy had a nice earthy flavor and they put just enough for the fries without making them soggy. I really enjoyed the pork belly--slow-cooked and tender with just a bit of crisp on the outside--it melted in your mouth--mmmm. The cheese curd and parmesan had just enough bite to offset and mix well with the other ingredients. Individually these bits were delicious and together even better. If nothing else--go here and get this dish. There was still the entree to go.
Keeping the pig theme, I got the pork chop served with yukon gold potatoes, butternut squash, white turnip, smoked bacon and shaved brussels sprouts. As you can see this is a pretty big dish. You get a boneless pork chop plus a slow smoked baby back rib with South Carolina barbecue sauce. The pork was nicely cooked and tender as was the rib. They had a slight mustardy minimally sweet glaze on them that honestly didn't add much. Maybe if there was more of it it would have had an impact but here it didn't. Still the meat was decent, the rib slightly on the overcooked side. Maybe the sauce could have helped flavor it up? Not sure, I just felt they needed something more. I liked the rustic root vegetable array. They were on the right side of doneness and still had a little crunch and not mushy. The natural au jus made from the pork drippings added some good smoky salty flavor to the veggies also. Maybe I was still taste-blinded by the poutine. Who knows. I thought this was just okay and like one of the 6 basic dishes you can get at any restaurant like this in San Francisco. (You know, a chicken dish, pork chop, fish, burger, a steak and some vegetarian thing). All good but, not distinguishable from the same dish at another place in town.
By this point, and a couple glasses of wine and the thump, thump of dance music from next door me and the SO were full so we decided to skip dessert. Which is how I'm trying to remember it, because looking back at the menu now, I should have gotten one of them. The mousse cake and butterscotch/chocolate pudding thing sound scrumptious. But that just makes me want to go back to get the poutine again as my entree and then have dessert. Yes, that's my plan and I'm sticking to it.