Chevys Fresh Mex

Ugh.  Chevys.  Steve and I made a grave error related to this dinner.  We used to go to Chevys for happy hour at the Embarcadero Center location, back when the happy hour was a really good deal.  It’d been a while since we’d done that though, and I guess Steve had forgotten that Chevys kind of sucks and he was really excited to go to the Chevys on Van Ness for happy hour.  So excited in fact, that he couldn’t wait and we ended up at the Embarcadero Center spot before a movie (it actually ended up being the last day that location was open).  And we were disappointed.  Because Chevys food and service are both not very good.  But we had already planned to go to the Van Ness location before going to a City Arts and Lectures show, and plans cannot be broken. 

We sat in the bar so we could take advantage of the happy hour deals.  It was pretty packed; there was a large group of white-collar types who were, by evidence of their matching t-shirts, on a softball team together.  It’s loud in the bar, but not terribly so, and it’s nice and sunny, so at least there’s that.  The service was terrible, as expected, but we eventually got chips and salsa and put in drink orders.

Chips and salsa are pretty solid at Chevys.  The chips are made there so they’re fresh and the salsa has nice roasty toasty bits.  There can be an odd bitter/sour flavor to the chips sometimes, but mostly I don’t mind it.  These are the high point of a meal at this dump. 

If I remember correctly, the happy hour deal for food is half off most of their appetizers.  Not the fancy ones.  Not the guacamole.  So we ordered two un-fancy appetizers and a salad (you gotta splurge a little bit).  Our drinks came.  Steve had an Original margarita on the rocks.  I had a mango margarita.

I was surprised that it was pretty tasty.  In the past I’ve found Chevys’ margaritas to be either too sweet or too sour or just too weird tasting.  This one had a well-rounded flavor and tasted like real mango, instead of bizarro chemical mango.  Later I had a michelada, which was awful, so the balance of things was put back to rights.

Our salad, the Santa Fe chopped.  Eh.  It was bland, in spite of the bacon and roasted corn and peppers, the grilled chicken was dry and the dressing was sweet and watery.  Yuck.

These red chile pork taquitos?  These were actually really good.  Crispy pork bits on the ends, soft innards, nicely chewy wrappers, deep chile flavor; it all came together like wow oh wow.  I don’t why, but in the past I’ve been kind of anti-taquito, I’ve avoided them because I think of them as all crunchy taco outside with no filling.  I’ve changed my tune after having awesome rolled tacos in San Diego and the new daily special taquitos at Olivo’s.  And now even Chevys has proven me wrong.  I’m pro-taquito all the way now.

These fajita nachos changed my mind too, unfortunately (or fortunately you could say) they were changing my mind about me loving fajita nachos.   Fajita nachos had been my standby at Chevys, they’re hard to mess up, pile some beans, meat and cheese on individual chips, how could it be bad?   We got a mix of steak and chicken, and all the meat was dry as dust.  For whatever reason, the cheese was flavorless, excepting the flavor of grease, which is a flavor I’d like to except from my life.  The guacamole, which could have saved these, was pretty lackluster. 

So a big “meh” for Chevys.  No surprises there.  It’s not a terrible place for happy hour if you stick with the taquitos and the less adventurous margarita flavors, but otherwise it’s overpriced and shitty.  Plus, you’re in San Francisco!  Go somewhere else for Mexican food or you’re a tool.

Chevys Fresh Mex

www.chevys.com

590 Van Ness

Advertisements

Quickly

Quickly is a Taiwanese tapioca drink and snack shop that is heavily represented in the SF Bay area.  You might remember the name from the whole Ed Jew controversy.  No?  You forgot about old Ed Jew already, huh?  I wonder what that guy’s up to…anyway, I know what I was up to a few months ago, and that was hitting up the Quickly on Larkin with my pals Erin and Austin.

Quickly has an absolutely massive menu.  There are milk teas, smoothies, snows, juices and a plethora of mostly fried snacks.  It’s pretty overwhelming to be honest.  But everything is awfully cheap, so we decided to get anything and everything on the menu that sounded good. 

First off our drinks.  I’ve been to Quickly with Erin before, so I know that we each ordered our regular thing.  I got a taro milk tea with tapioca.  I’ve been drinking taro milk tea since I first heard of tapioca drinks, totally by random choice.  I had never heard of taro the first time I ordered it, I don’t know what made me pick that above all the other delicious sounding flavors usually on offer at Boba shops, but it was a lucky happenstance.  I’ve kept with it because it has a delightful lavender color and a lovely rich and creamy flavor.  As for the tapioca, I don’t know.  I don’t love tapioca, but it gives you something to chew on, which is a luxury you don’t normally have when ingesting liquids through a straw. 

Erin had a cantaloupe snow.  What they call snow here is some sort of shaved ice product.  What’s so mystifying about it is its incredible smoothness.  There is nary an ice crystal to rough up your tongue.  Just a thick slush with the refreshing taste of real cantaloupe.  I don’t know how they do it. 

I’m not sure if Austin had his regular drink because I think this was the first time I’d been to Quickly with him, but he had an avocado snow.  If you’ve never tried avocado in a sweet concoction, I highly recommend it.  The bland richness of avocado works well with sugar. 

Now, what we ate.

Fried calamari rings. These were all right.  They were a little chewy because they were overcooked by a bit, but the flavor was fine.

Fried Pop Dog.  Basically, mini corn dogs.  These were probably the most delicious things we ate, even though some of them weren’t quite cooked all the way so the dough was a little wet.  They were still yummy, and I don’t even like corn dogs.

Crispy popcorn chicken rice bowl.  The popcorn chicken was pretty tasty, it had an interesting peppery spice blend in the batter that I liked.  The rice was gross though, most of that went in the trash.  My theory is that it must have been microwave cooked in that plastic bowl because it had a weird plasticky chemical aroma to it.

Tater tots!  Eh, they were ok.  I’ve had better, these were a little dried out from, again, overcooking.  It was nothing a little ketchup couldn’t fix.

Curry fish balls came in this cute box.

And they looked like this

I was thinking they would be more like a little fried fish meatball, but they were fish cake fish balls.  I’ve mentioned before that weird smooth fish sausage is not my favorite, but I actually liked these pretty well.  Still, I’m not planning on eating them again any time soon. 

And that’s that.  Another meal where  I felt a little sickly after I ate it.  I know, not a big surprise considering all the deep fried foods.  Still, I enjoyed most of it, even though Quickly needs to work on their fryer times.  In the future I’ll stick to the drinks, which they’ve never messed up for me, though I wouldn’t be averse to having a snack there from time to time.

Quickly

709 Larkin

www.quicklyusa.com