What’s Up Dog Express

I’m not going to subject you to any cutesy beating around the bush today; What’s Up Dog Express was a depressing lunch experience. 

First off, the menu outside offered a dream-like concoction called chili cheese tots.  Why yes, that would be tater tots topped with chili and melted cheese.  I walked in to the tiny cafe salivating at the very thought.  Then I was dealt the devastating blow; tater tots in any capacity were not available at this location of What’s Up Dog, their lease prohibited the use of a deep fryer. 

I’m strong enough that this alone didn’t drop me into despair, it was the combination of my poor observation skills causing me to order the wrong thing , like I almost always do.   I would have been so happy to order a regular old hot dog and add onions, relish and sauerkraut to it.  Sauerkraut, for me, is really key.  However.  On their list of extra toppings, do you know what wasn’t there?  Sauerkraut.  I also read the description of all their special dogs, and none included kraut, so I came to the conclusion that, bizarrely, kraut was unavailable.  Later, while waiting for my lunch to be prepared, I overheard another customer order a reuben, and I realized that you can’t have a reuben without sauerkraut, looked up at the menu on the wall and saw that I had tragically neglected to check the sandwich descriptions, and that the reuben description shouted “sauerkraut!” loud and clear.  What a sad, sad day.

I couldn’t get chili cheese tots, but two out of three ain’t bad.  The chili was fine, very smooth and salty like it came from a can.  Whatever.  The guy gave me way to much cheese, I was worried it wouldn’t all melt.  It did, but still, it was too much. 

I decided to order a Chicago dog.  I’ve had them in the past and enjoyed them, they have a lot of stuff on them (peppers, relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes and celery salt) and I like a lot of stuff on my hot dogs.  Also, I really appreciate the double hit of pickles.  They really get it in Chicago.  Here at What’s Up Dog Express, not so much.  Bun – cold, all the topping stuff – cold cold cold, actual dog – warmish.  This is so not cool.  Cold toppings I get I suppose, you’re trying to keep things fresh/stay good with the health inspector…but a cold bun?  There is no excuse for that.  My goodness.  Also, I don’t know who’s lying to me, What’s Up Dog Express or every other Chicago dog I’ve ever had, but are the peppers supposed to be crazy spicy?  I know they are supposed to be “sport” peppers, but I have no idea what that means. All I know is that in the past I’ve had peppers that were at an edible level of heat, and that these peppers were not.  I’m not saying this is a negative, I’m just looking for answers. 

So the food kind of blew it at What’s Up Dog Express; and really, the thing is that I could be much happier with a hot dog from 7-11, and those are only like 2 for a dollar or something, and the buns are never cold.  What WUDE has going for it is it is actually a fairly pleasant place to sit and eat lunch, the cafe is very clean and bright and cheerfully decorated, and, on my visit at least, the one dude working there was really nice and gave me a free bottle of water (I think he felt bad about the tater tots thing).  7-11 is definitely not a pleasant place to have lunch (they generally don’t provide seating) and the people who work there are usually jerks and/or gross (just in my limited experience, I’m pretty sure there are a lot of really nice people working at 7-11s that I haven’t been to).  Still, I’d rather go to 7-11 and get salsa and nacho cheese on my hot dog and eat it on the curb like a punk.

What’s Up Dog Express

http://www.whatsupdog.com/

528 Larkin

Jimmie Bar Ristorante

Usually we don’t go to restaurants as pricey as Jimmie here at Goldentooth.  We generally keep it in the $10 and under per entrée range.  However, Steve acquired a restaurant.com coupon for the place, we were taking a friend along to share the cost, plus it was right before Christmas, so I guess we were feeling a bit festive. 

It’s a bit odd at Jimmie.  The room is not especially large, but it feels rather vast because they don’t have tables crammed into every available space as they do at most other restaurants.  The stone tile floor makes the room feel very cold, and, combined with the openness, rather like a convention center or hotel conference room.  Which I suppose makes some sense, since Jimmie is in the Cova Hotel.  Also strange is the staff.  They are extremely attentive and polite, adding to the fine dining experience that the menu items and their prices create, however, at least while I was there, they were dressed extremely casually in jeans and untucked polo shirts.   I don’t know why, but it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. 

Well, on to the food.

We decided to order several items from the street cuisine and entrée sections of the menu to share.  First though, we had to start with some oysters.

Ugh, apologies in advance for how terrible the photos are going to be for the rest of this entry.  Anyhow, we had a dozen oysters, an assortment of whichever varieties they were offering that night.  I love oysters and am treated to them rarely, so I relished these and to me they seemed particularly delicious.  Spoiler alert, they were the best thing I ate at Jimmie. 

Next up, the green papaya salad.  (See?  Terrible photo, and they only get worse.)  Slippery threads of green papaya with dried beef and peanuts in a spicy and sweet brothy dressing.  Also a pretty legit dish.  I know I already said the oysters were my fave, but there weren’t nothing wrong with this salad neither y’all. 

Things got more pedestrian from there.  Crab cakes were quite mayonnaise-y and sweet.  I have to say though, they contained a good amount of real crab meat, and the surfaces were well crisped. 

Lamb chops were so delicious and juicy in some spots that they had us gnawing on the bones.  Unfortunately there were also some dry bits on the meat pops, and the accompanying veggies were buttery but bland. 

Lastly we had the Frutti di Mare, a melange of seafood sans pasta (which distinguished it from the Seafood Pasta that was also on the menu).  I had no photo of this dish that was not so blurry that you couldn’t make out what was happening.  I don’t think I was drunk, so it must have been the first symptom of a food coma.  Because I just realized I didn’t even mention the wonderful bread and butter that I ate before anything else.  Man I love me some bread and butter.  Dang.  Anyhow, yes, the Frutti di Mare.  Eh.  It was not so great.  In fact, it was about as good as the photos I took of it.  Well…that’s probably unfair.  It wasn’t bad, just unnecessary.  It probably suffered from being the dish we ate at the very end of this long meal. 

I think Jimmie is an interesting addition to a neighborhood that doesn’t have a lot of fine dining options.  It seems though that it is doomed to cater mostly to patrons of the Cova hotel.  If the opportunity arose I might be interested in trying Jimmie out again, but it won’t be at the top of my list of places to revisit.

Jimmie Bar Ristorante

Their Yelp page

655 Ellis

Ngoc Mai

Ngoc Mai is the sweetest little Vietnamese hole in the wall in the Tenderloin.  I was delighted by its cheerful exterior before I ever ate there. 

When I did finally sit down for a meal there I was equally delighted by the interior and the homey food.  It is such a tiny place, here’s a shot from the back corner table;

but they pack a lot of personality into the square footage.  Steve and I were there for lunch right before Christmas and there was tinsel everywhere in addition to their everyday decorations, like these guys.

Too cute.  Ngoc Mai is run by a family; mom cooks in a cubbyhole kitchen, the daughter waits on customers and dad runs the cash register and helps out with everything else.  We got tea

and a bowl of noodle soup and an iced coffee each.

Steve had some sort of combo noodle soup with pork and fish balls. 

After I took this photo he added enough rooster sauce to turn the soup a murky red.  Still, the deep flavor of the broth would not be overpowered by the spicy chiles.  Thin ribbons of slightly chewy rice noodles mingled with torn bits of herbs instead of clumping together at the bottom of the bowl.  It’s unfortunate for Steve that his soup was so good because I couldn’t stop stealing spoonfuls. 

My curry chicken noodle soup was a disappointment.  Doesn’t that bowl up there look like it should contain a flavor explosion?  Oddly enough, this soup was totally bland.  Even the onions weren’t providing any taste enhancement.  The broth was oddly thin and the thread-like rice noodles slipped down my throat nearly undetected.  With enough of the provided condiments I was able to make the soup a bit more enjoyable to eat, but this is definitely one of the few stinkers on the ngoc mai menu. 

So, though the curry soup was a flop, I count myself as one of ngoc mai’s biggest fans.  It’s one of my favorite places to recommend and one of my favorite comfy lunch spots.  So if you’re looking for an affordable homestyle place to eat some great pho or try some Vietnamese street food or very fresh stirfries, I’d say, bump Ngoc Mai to the top of your list. 

Ngoc Mai

Their Yelp page

547 Hyde St

Off the Grid: Civic Center

Here’s a protip: don’t go to eat at a food truck when it’s raining.  It’s tough to stand and balance an umbrella, trays of food and drinks all at once.

It was a few days before Christmas.  I braved the drizzle to meet Erin for some fusion tacos, etc.  The vendor list that day included Seoul on Wheels, Liba Falafel, Japacurry, Senor Sigsig and CupKates.  Erin and I wanted to try something from every truck, and we started at Seoul on Wheels.

I’d had their Korean tacos previously, and like the last time I ate them I was unimpressed.  I love tacos and I love Korean barbecue, but there’s something about the combination that just doesn’t work for me.  Also, the chicken was awfully dry.  The potstickers though were something else.  They were not doughy and soft like you might think of potstickers, but more like a deep fried gyoza.  The wrapping was flakey and greaseless and the pork filling was mellow and a bit sweet.  They were perfect dipped in some chile oil sauce.

Next we tried a bite from Liba Falafel.

Liba was the most crowded truck, and the least user friendly.  There was a very enticing looking spread of condiments, but there was no counter space available to rest drinks or plates on while helping yourself to those condiments.  Quite a bummer.

Luckily, the sweet potato fries were delicious as served.  They were sprinkled with chile powder and a touch of salt, and served with a wedge of flavor brightening lime.  Cooked to the edge of crunchy and no further, there was nary a soggy fry in our little bag.  We ate them along with tall cans of cold coconut juice floating with little niblets of pulp.

Next was CupKates

Erin had the salted caramel.  She liked it, but said the frosting was a little hard.  I had the special of the day, the chocolate peppermint.  I took it back to the office and ate it there.  My frosting was light and not at all sticky, and had a subtle sweet peppermint flavor.  The cake itself was as cake should be, moist with an airy crumb.  It was perhaps the most successful commercially made cupcake I’ve had, excepting a vegan cupcake I ate at Herbivore in Berkeley nearly 4 years ago that I just can’t forget.  Man, that was a good cupcake.  I’ll call CupKates second best though.

We were running short on time and tummy space, so we made Senor Sigsig our last stop.

It was there that I ate my favorite morsel of the afternoon, the sigsig taco.  The green salsa on top worried me at first glance, but it was more tangy than spicy.  A squirt of some creamy sauce was just right with a sprinkle of cold lettuce shreds and sweet charry nuggets of pork.  Unlike the Korean taco, the tortilla that served as the platform of this taco was warm and flexible.  I found myself wishing that we’d come to Senor Sigsig’s first and I’d ordered ten sigsig tacos.  I suppose that gorge-fest will have to wait for another Off the Grid visit.  Hopefully it will be on a sunny day.

Off the Grid Civic Center

Civic Center Plaza

http://www.facebook.com/OffTheGridSF

Borodubur

It was sunny and gorgeous out when Steve and I met Jessie and Justin for lunch at Borobudur.  That’s why all these photos turned out so nicely.

I guess Borobudur can get a little fancy at night, but we were there for lunch so things felt pretty casual.  There were only a few other occupied tables.

Our server was brisk but nice, though also a bit distracted.  It was a warm day so cold drinks were in order.  Thai iced teas, iced coffees and beers were ordered.

Steve ordered a snack for us to share as a starter, this fish cracker thing called Kerupuk Palembang.  It’s not the first thing I would have chosen, but I was interested to try it.

It was rather like a cross between a shrimp chip (in flavor and texture) and a funnel cake (in appearance).  As it was quite insubstantial, it wasn’t especially satisfying, but the spicy peanut dipping sauce was nice.  I suppose since it wasn’t at all filling it was a reasonable appetizer.

Our lunches arrived and everybody’s food looked lovely, especially Jessie and Justin’s rice plates.

I don’t remember which plates they had, I think maybe the Nasi Uduk Lengkap?  And something else?  Whichever they had, all the rice plates are about 10 bucks, which is not a terrible price for a good amount of food, especially when some of it is white rice sculpted into a precious tower.

Steve had the barbecue chicken (ayam bakar cabe) which he said was just fine.

I had soto ayam, a slightly sweet soup that managed to be smooth and creamy without being heavy in the least.

I love those crispy wafers they topped the soup with, I’m still not sure if they’re shrimp chips or what, but they’re so good when they soak up some of the broth.

Borobudur runs a little rich for my blood, so chances are I won’t be back anytime soon.  If you’re poor like me, or a bit miserly, I think it’s a good option if you’ve got guests; for lunch if you’re looking for something a little cleaner and prettier than your average Southeast Asian spot, or if you want to splurge a bit on dinner.  I’d say, a nice place to take your parents.

Borobudur

700 Post Street

http://www.borobudursf.com/

Dona Marta

I don’t want to bore you or get too whiney complain-ey, but I guess I should give some explanation as to why I haven’t been around for the last few months.  Part of it was a bit of insecurity;  I was feeling uninspired by my photography and writing and felt like, who I am to be doing this?  Why should I think anyone would care to read my natterings and look at my crappy digicam pics?  Then I got my first (and only) mean comment.  It was short and succinct, but very nasty.  And that really put me off the rails.  But!  I have gotten some really nice comments lately and I’ve licked my wounds and I’m ready to get back in the ring, to mix a few metaphors.  So, here we go.

Another reason that I took my extended break was the restaurant I’m going to talk about in this post, Dona Marta.  It was for sure my most exciting dining experience of last year (yes, last year, sorry, but we are going way back for the next few posts folks) and I couldn’t wait to write about it.  Then, the longer I waited to write this post and the more I thought about how great Dona Marta is, the more weird emotional wall I built up.  It got to where I was panicky about not being able to competently express myself and so I made the most logical decision (obviously) and just didn’t write the thing.  I still don’t feel quite ready, but I’m going to try.  Just for you.

Dona Marta is at the rather sketch south easterly corner of Ellis and Leavenworth (just down the street from Bamboo Pizza!).  Not so bad on this sunny fall day, lucky for me.  Steve and I wandered inside and the place was empty except for the guy behind the counter.  Throughout our meal dudes passed in and out the doors, sometimes eating something, sometimes just chatting with the counter guy in Spanish.  As we sat down the music was switched from Latin hip-hop to romantic Spanish language songs.  It was very considerate, though either choice of tuneage would be acceptable, and was our first sign of what a hospitable place we had chosen for lunch.

I loved the look of Dona Marta.  The leftover diner stools and checked lineoleum with the bright colors of the walls, the absence of artificial light and the homey touches of knick-knacks and houseplants made me feel like I was somewhere closer to the equator.

We went up to get menus and counter-guy ended up describing every. single. item. on the menu to us.  It was great, especially because I am not at all familiar with Yucatan food.  Counter-guy began every description with “this is very good also.”  After our education we ordered and waited with sodas for our food.

Steve ordered carnitas and we were surprised by what came out.  These are not the big hunks of crispy edged pork we’re used to.

Though they were new to us, we found the slightly chewy bits of pork and soft onion to be quite tasty, especially with the soupy black beans and roasted tomato salsa that were served alongside.

I ordered panuchos because they sounded amazing, and they definitely did not disappoint.  They are griddle fried tortillas stuffed with black beans, then topped with whatever you desire.

I loved the poc chuc; with pickled onions and grilled pork it was my kind of taco type thing.  The turkey mole didn’t hit the sweet spot quite as directly, but it was solid.  I’m still not sure exactly what the black slice atop it was, though my best guess is a (blood?) sausage with an egg yolk in the center.  Whatever it was, it tasted real good.  If I were smarter I’d be eating nothing but panuchos, pupusas and tacos for the rest of my life.  One day I’ll let myself be happy…

I really want people to go to Dona Marta because I’m a little worried about it closing.  Also, I am occasionally seeing things that say “there’s a dearth of Yucatan food in San Francisco!” and when good Yucatan places are discussed Dona Marta is never brought up, which is really too bad.  The sweet people running this place should be busier than they are, especially if San Franciscans are clamoring for more food like theirs.

To wrap it up, I leave you with perhaps the best part of the whole Dona Marta experience, their amazing business card.

Ok, I think I got it.

Dona Marta

499 Ellis

Their Yelp page

Lahore Karahi

A Note:  I know it’s been a long time.  We can talk about it later.  I am planning on writing some more bits about restaurants for you, but for now I found this blog post I wrote last year that for some reason was never published…I think I was arguing with my editor (Steve) over some wording in the first paragraph.  Anyway, enjoy! 

-Mel

I hate waiting to eat, which is why it took me so long to make it to Lahore Karahi. This place is lousy with Academy of Art junior hipsters; they pack the joint, spilling out into the sidewalk in a smoky cluster as they wait to get in.  This night we lingered in the tiny vestibule up front for just a short while before we were seated.  The unavoidable wait here can be attributed to a combination of it’s celebrated status

and it’s tiny cramped dining space.

We had the good fortune of getting a table in a remote corner of the room where we weren’t bumping anyone’s chair, and vice versa.  We were seated next to a mail slot, in case we happened to receive any correspondence during our meal.

Everything I read and heard about Lahore Karahi before my visit said that one MUST order the tandoori fish.  So we did, along with another of the “Tandoori Delicacies” (as they’re classified on the menu); the lamb boti.  They were served together on a hot iron platter with a scattering of bright green lettuce and sliced onions.  Both meaty morsels in our improvised surf and turf were succulent and subtly spiced.  The crunchy lettuce and onions provided a nice contrast in texture, temperature and flavor.  It was pretty well everything I’d hoped for.

We also ordered our favorite compromise veggie dish, saag paneer.  This saag paneer was lovely; it was creamy without having a prominent dairy flavor, the grassiness of the spinach was upfront.  Firm chunks of slightly salty paneer hit the “just right” texture between crumbly and silky.  And of course, the best part of blogging about saag paneer is the always appetizing photo I get to post of it.

Yum.  If anyone knows how to photograph saag paneer in a way that makes it look palatable, let me know please.

To go alongside our main attractions we had two types of naan; onion and Afghani.  They were both massive sheets of bread.  The onion was very good, much better than our last attempt at it.  The Afghani we ordered as a lark, and it was good, but a bit much.  It’s described as naan stuffed with cheese, raisins and cherries, and what you get is a naan stuffed with a very bland cheese and the bright red and green candied fruits you see in fruitcakes and the like.  It is intensely sweet.  I couldn’t come close to finishing my half of this one.  It would be more appropriate to split between, say, six or so people instead of two.

Surprisingly, Lahore Karahi lived up to my expectations.  I’ve been hearing about how great it is for years, first from a couple on the bus who mistook me for a tourist as I was wondering with my companion where to have lunch.  They told me I HAD to go to Lahore Karahi, it was the best restaurant in the city.  Since then I’ve heard it referred to as one of the best places for Pakistani food more than a few times.  So of course I was expecting it to stink.  I was proven wrong by the friendly people running this surprisingly cozy restaurant.  I will definitely be back…as soon as I figure out when their off time is…

Lahore Karahi

612 O’Farrell

http://www.lahorekarahisanfrancisco.com/

Lori’s Diner

It had been a long time before this since I had been to Lori’s Diner.  The Powell Street location was one of the first restaurants I went to as a San Francisco resident, and such, although I lived in Park Merced, it was my go-to breakfast spot for a while.  I didn’t know any better.  Muni was a mystery to me, and the Sunset seemed unbelievably daunting, so one train and one street were about what I could handle.  Eventually, as I grew more comfortable with getting around the city, I found cheaper, tastier and closer places to get my grub on and Lori’s slipped out of my restaurant rotation.  Then I got kind of snobby about it, like, why would I go eat that over-priced tourist food?  I did go back a couple times, mostly with friends, most notably (in my memory anyway) for a pretty dang good ice cream sundae.  These visits were few and far between though.  So it had probably been a good two years since my last Lori’s experience when I headed to the Mason St location with Jessie and Justin after a movie.

The atmosphere was a bit sterile, all white walls, bright lights and shiny stainless steel.   The fact that it was a smallish space with most of its tables (and indeed, its barstools) occupied helped take the edge off. 

The menu is fairly straightforward Americana.  Lots of burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, fish and chips, you know the drill.  There are a few salads and dinners and even pasta to round things out.  I ordered a Cadillac burger, which is just a plain old cheeseburger.  I got mine with Swiss cheese.  The burgers come with fries, but you can substitute something else for an extra dollar or so.  I was tempted by onion rings, but ended up with garlic fries.

This was awfully tasty.  The burger was well cooked, everything stayed in the bun, the cheese was melted perfectly and the garnishes were fresh.  The fries were some of the best garlic fries I’ve had, and I’ve tried my hand at quite a few. 

Justin had a Cadillac burger as well, with cheddar cheese and a salad on the side.

 

Jessie got the chicken strips, which I’m always always tempted by on a menu but rarely indulge in.  These looked pretty delicious, what with the golden brown of the batter and all. 

So I surprised myself and really enjoyed my dinner at Lori’s.  And for about 30 bucks for three people, it was fairly affordable.  If you stick to the stuff between two pieces of bread section of the menu, I think you can get out of there without breaking the bank.  I reckon that in the future I won’t be so quick to take Lori’s off my list of acceptable restaurants in the Union Square area, which is good because that list is pretty short.  It’s always nice to add another entry. 

Lori’s Diner

336 Mason St

http://www.lorisdiner.com/

Hooker’s Sweet Treats

It was a lovely Saturday morning in the Tenderloin when I walked down the hill to meet Jessie and Justin at Hooker’s. 

Before this place opened the space belonged to another little coffee place, Chez Momo I think?  I only went once, and Steve got coffee but I didn’t. 

Hooker’s was making caramels before they opened this cafe, and they’d become pretty popular locally.  When word got out that they were opening a coffee spot, people got pretty excited.  Pretty, pretty excited (that’s my Larry David impression.  Get it?).  So excited that they tried to convince themselves that Hyde and Ellis is in a much nicer neighborhood than it actually is.  Many referred to it as a “Tendernob cafe” and some even attempted to claim it was Nob Hill.  I don’t generally like to quibble about this kind of stuff (ha ha, jk, of course I do) but I think once you’re below O’Farrell it’s extremely difficult to deny that you. are. in. the. loin.  period.  But being in the Tenderloin proper takes nothing away from how nice a cafe the Hooker’s peeps opened up!

It’s a pretty fucking adorable spot.  I have to begrudgingly admit that I like it, because I like cutesy shit, and this place really appeals to my asthetic.  It’s fancy coffee, so it could easily go hipster sneery, but they keep it pretty low key.  Instead the vibe is warm and inviting. 

The whole store is similar in size to farm:table, and there is the same communal table situation.  However, I could handle it this time, since I wasn’t there by my lonesome, but with a couple friends.  Probably I would be uncomfortable if I were alone.  In fact, that’s the title of my autobiography; Mel Roska, Uncomfortable at Any Speed.  Yeah, I don’t like it either.

You order the french press coffee and you get your french press and this little timer so you know when it’s ready.  You also get this cute little enamel pitcher of cream. 

The coffee is good.  I’m suspicious of all these roasters that have been popping up, I find the coffee to be very hit and miss.  At Hooker’s they serve Sightglass, which I hadn’t tried before, but I’ll add them to the list of acceptable brews. 

Here’s what you get if you order the bread pudding (ugh please excuse the horrible and unappetizing picture.  just awful.)

This is not something I ever need to eat by myself again.  Certainly not for breakfast.  But holy moly, that’s some good stuff.  Sweet to be sure,  though I enjoyed and I’ve been having issues with things being “too sweet” recently, so unless you absolutely have no sweet tooth you should be good with this. 

Justin and Jessie split a savory biscuit. 

There were mixed feelings about it.  I didn’t try it, but as I recall it sounded appealing, I just had too much bread pudding happening to even attempt any other food. 

Look!  It’s adorable, I told you.  It’s almost a little much…like, I can see that it’s a little much.  I can understand that.  I just love it; I can’t help it!  I haven’t been back to Hooker’s since this first visit, but in writing this post I’ve certainly convinced myself the time for second visit is now.

Hooker’s Sweet Treats

442 Hyde St

hookerssweettreats.com

Cafe Mason

Cafe Mason, you are really weird.  You were not at all what I expected based on what I knew about you.  Which was mostly just that you were a 24 hour restaurant called Cafe Mason that presumably catered to people staying in the nearby hostels.  I expected a cross between Lori’s and Original Perfect Hamburger.  Instead I found this

Surprisingly swank.  I also found this

A charmingly (?) hand illustrated menu.  A menu that was much more extensive and eclectic than I could have anticipated. 

The service provided at Cafe Mason was busy and overfriendly but well-meaning.  The variety of accents made me suspect that it was staffed by foreign visitors perhaps from the aforementioned hostels.  Most notably there seemed to be some romantic tension between our female server and the male water guy.  Ooh la la.

So the menu was what one might call “continental.”  The standard soups, salads and sandwiches, but also pasta, French and Italian inspired entrees, and burritos and fajitas.  It was a bit overwhelming.

Jessie had a caesar salad (sorry for the godawful picture)

Justin had some sort of stuffed chicken thing

I had what I think they called a Croque Vegetal.  Basically a veggie and cheese sandwich but egg battered and pan fried like french toast.  Kind of weird, but basically good.  They stuffed a good amount of different types of vegetables and cheeses into one sandwich.  And I remember the little salad being nice. 

Cafe Mason would be a good place to take your grandparents, because it’s clean and that whole continental cuisine thing seems to belong to their era.  It would be a bad place to take your grandparents because the service is a little iffy and it’s a bit pricey for what it is.  In terms of me taking myself there again; probably not a happening thing.  I’m definitely not going there for Mexican.  Pasta and chicken are not things I go out for, I’d make that stuff at home if I wanted it.  And if I wanted to go somewhere with a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and burgers, I’d probably hit up Honey Honey instead, because it’s closer to my house, they have larger portions, and they also have crepes.   Also, I find their more casual ambience more appealing.  So thanks for one pleasant meal, Cafe Mason; presumably our last in the foreseeable future.  Farewell.

Cafe Mason

320 Mason

Their Yelp Page