The Curse of San Francisco

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Living in San Francisco ruins a girl.

Dinner last night at Maverick was fine. Nice. Swell. But not much more.

Now, had Maverick been ripped from the corner of 17th St. and magically transported to another city, or if I’d spent my entire life living in Iowa or something, last night’s dinner might have been resplendent. Instead, it was “enjoyable.”

There’s a whole slew of restaurants here in the city that are like that– all at an equal level. With their beet and chevre something-or-other salads, and their solidly prepared Alaskan wild salmon and their truly respectable wine lists. I go. I eat. I enjoy. But I’m rarely floored. Which is really kind of sad. The average is set so high, your star has to go supernova to actually shine.

A nice problem to have, I guess. But on to the food.

I started with the grilled radicchio salad with fried sunchokes, shaved dry jack cheese, a poached egg, and mustard vinaigrette. It was actually a pretty good choice for a cold night, and I’m a sucker for dry jack. (So under-appreciated, that cheese.) Then I had the only vegetarian entree, with was risotto cakes with some sort of too-sweet butternut squash mush slathered in between. It was the perfect example of the old “Well, we should probably stick *something* on the menu for those pesky vegetarians, but fuck if we’ll actually try too hard to make it good.” Snoresville. Just like the last vegetarian entree I had there. They’re just phoning it in. (At this point, you may well be asking, why does she keep going back? For all its faults, I like Maverick. It’s cozy. They’ve got a nice wine list. And there are pictures of James Garner in the bathroom.)

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to sound like an ingrate. I’m glad there was at least a nod to us non-meat-eaters. I just fantasize about a day when it’s not an afterthought. And when I get to choose between, oh, I dunno, TWO entrees.

Yeah. I’m a dreamer.

(Original post: Thursday, January 11, 2007)

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2 Comments

Filed under Mid-range Meals, Reviews

2 responses to “The Curse of San Francisco

  1. Well, take it from this fallen-from-grace vegetarian, Maverick’s meat entrees were on the same level as the veggies. I had a fish dish there–can’t remember exactly what it was, which isn’t a good sign. It was good, but as you said, in a city where good isn’t good enough, it didn’t make me want to go back. Nice to see James Garner looking young and western in the loo, though.

  2. JenP

    Just wanted to say that I’m glad someone is doing the veggie spin on an SF dining blog. I myself am also a veggie loving, occasional seafood eating gal. Although it is rare in this city to have no selections for the veggie inclined, they are often uninspired and not worth the price. Sadly, this trend is often most pronounced in higher scale establishments. I look forward to trying out your recommendations!

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