Saturday, September 1, 2012

SF Dining & Drinking: Thee Parkside

The fork is there to stab anyone who tries to steal my bacon tater tots.
Since changing owners 5 or 6 years back, the kitchen at Thee Parkside (17th and Carolina, bordering SOMA and Potrero Hill, next to Jackson Playground) has lurched in fits and starts. It has been several years since I had gone back, and I'm delighted to report that they seem to have found their groove.

Located near Zynga's SF "campus" on Townsend, the bar has become a popular brunch and happy hour spot for Zynglets Zynging the Zyngthings all the Zyngzong day! (I suspect someone from Zynga is responsible for their Flash-heavy web page featuring busy endless page-load and side-scrolls, probably in exchange for a hefty bar tab.)

While I don't think Zynga is going anywhere they have had a rough couple of quarters... and you know what that means? Disgruntled day drinking workers, which should be a boon for Thee Parkside.

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The menu consists of San Francisco's spin on the typical bar menu: a couple of burgers, chili, tater tots instead of French fries, Sriracha chicken wings, a Cubano, a fried chicken sandwich and a vegan bahn-mi.

We ordered chili cheese tots, the Cubano and the fried chicken sandwich. Unfortunately the chili was 86'd, so our food runner, a comely East Bay punk rocker, bless her heart, suggested we top the tater tots with bacon.

The chicken was crisp on the outside and moist on the inside, came dressed with a spicy aioli and mesclun on a crunchy French roll.

The Cubano: gooey and melty cheese, plenty of pickles but could have used more mustard (and I was splitting sandwiches with just the man to do that, the Kombucha man). The roast pork loin had plenty of cumin, which I liked.

My sandwich came with a side-salad, which was sadly just slightly over dressed with an overpowering vinaigrette that made it hard to eat (cutting the acidity with our largess of fried spuds made the greens more appetizing - a revelation that can only come after a few shots of Powers).

Our friends ordered chicken wings and yet more tater tots (so many tots!). The wings were plump and dressed in a Sriracha-based Buffalo sauce, also excellent.

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Order food out on the back patio, which is covered. Seating is limited inside the bar itself, however there are many picnic tables out back that can accommodate a good sized crowd.

Bike parking is available outside the bar on Carolina or if you would rather roll your ride inside, there are about a dozen bike hooks.
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Thee Parkside
1600 17th Street
San Francisco, CA