Category Archives: Knife: Recommended Eating

Outerlands: In the Outerlands

Here I go again… ohh-ing and ahh-ing over luxurious bread products, salads and coffee. Well, Outerlands is fine place for such things. And yes, it’s in the Sunset. I promise I’m just about done with posting up everything-the-Sunset district. For some reason, I found myself there quite a bit during my City exploration days.

The Outerlands lives on Judah St. conveniently along the N Muni line. Like other things great in the Sunset and Richmond neighborhoods, Outerlands feels like one of the only public spaces for miles. I like that. It’s a bustling little nugget of warm, nice, chill people amongst the peaceful residential districts.

And what’s up with the food and drink? Really, why go there – and please go there. It’s owned by an adorable couple, Lana Porcello and David Muller, who both learned the art of bread baking from none other than the Tartine family. I’ve only been for brunch, which is basically a smorgasbord of bread – grilled cheese with farm-fresh vegetables – thick, rich, bacon – fried eggs – it’s all pure heaven. They make damn-good-looking Dutch baby pancakes too, but honestly, how could you possibly say no to a six-inch thick egg sandwich on house-made organic levain? My gluten-intolerant ways sure cannot. Oh, and they have Sightglass coffee too no less. Espresso included.

Just go – but like all good things in life, be prepared to wait for it.

The Oyster Company: The Best Kind

It’s seriously a dream scape: you pull up on the side of a windy country road – lush, rolling green hills to your right, a sparkling bay to your left, then you see the sign: Tomales Bay Oyster Company. You park on the gravel lot, dogs run loose, the speakers play reggae and picnic tables are filled with lively parties. Asian families stew oysters in large pots over propane burners; young preppy twenty-somethings bbq oysters paired with beers and toasted buns; older couples hover over their grills and eat ’em straight or with a squirt of their homemade sauce – my girlfriend and I were in heaven; nevermind the obvious part of never eating the shellfish. We were there to enjoy the party.

Tomales Bay Oyster Co. is – you guessed it – alongside the Tomales Bay, about 50 miles north of San Francisco. It’s been around since the early 1900’s; needless to say, it has a cult following, Hog Island Oyster Co. of course being the other strong oyster purveyor in the area.

I’ve eaten a total of five oysters in my life; four of them being consumed within the past four months. It’s safe to assume I’m no oyster connoisseur but I’m well aware of the enthusiasm they elicit. Oyster ‘Happy Hours’ dot the SF scene, along with lively discussions of who has the best stock. So how were these little slimy sea salty creatures from Tomales Bay? Good? I think? They tasted fresh and bright with a mild hint of sea blended in the mush. I think I’ll be okay to barbecue the hell outta ’em next time or even fry ’em up into a po’boy .

Asian Noodles to Love: Saiwaii Ramen

Another bowl of deliciousness from Saiwaii

Well, well, lookie here. Another post going on and on again about some kind of Asian noodle. And such a fine noodle at that – yes, I’m writing about ramen soon after writing about pho. This town, my friends, are full of ’em, and in such lovely numbers. How can I possibly deny their spotlight.

Ramen, turns out, is my girlfriend’s obsession. We often joke about what life would look like if we were to be single and there’s not a doubt in my mind her ramen consumption would rise exponentially. Because of this love, if there’s a ramen place in arm’s reach, we’ll try it. That’s taken us to the beloved Hapa Ramen, Katana-ya, Asuka, Suzu Noodle House, Namu, Ajisen, and Saiwaii. All of them have their pros – Hapa Ramen perhaps reigning above all else – but they’re a cart and tough to get to. So what’s the deal with Saiwaii? It’s delicious and open all the time.

Saiwaii Ramen sits in the thick of the Sunset – a neighborhood stewing in ramen locales. The ramen comes with standard broth choices, of which we always try the miso. Oh, and it’s so savory, dimensional, and rich. The chewy noodles arrive in a lovely mountainous pile underneath the plethora of toppings (bamboo, seaweed, green onions, spinach, corn, egg, pork belly). Often ramen places will leave almost all toppings off and require you add them as requested, which can substantially jack the price up.

The space is above average. It’s fairly clean, has more than three tables (something I’ve realized is sometimes rare), and has a TV. Side rant: WTF is it with TVs being in e v e r y kind of public-facing eating/drinking establishment? Geez.

Anyway – is Saiwaii the best ramen in the City? Gosh, that’s a tough statement to make. I don’t think so. Is it consistent, satisfying, savory and worth it to put on your list and try? Very much so. Will we be back? Without a doubt.

Here I Pho: Vietnam II

Easy, Classic, Pho with all the Goods

It wouldn’t be right of me to live in the Tenderloin, and not talk about Vietnamese food in some capacity. Tenderloin is a stone-throw away from San Francisco’s official ‘Little Siagon’ neighborhood, meaning the blocks are packed with various options of pho, bahn mi, bubble tea, and a million other Southeast Asian yummy things. I’m going to stick to going on and on about the one part of Vietnamese cuisine I feel confident talking about – pho – Cue Vietnam II (two).

Vietnam II has a perplexing presence. Is it a total dive? Is it an upscale dining room? It’s both and neither. It’s been a staple on Larkin Street for a long, long time – I can’t recall the source, but I think I read it started here in the 1980s. Well… they haven’t updated it much; however, it’s still retains a lot of the original class. There’s a lovely fountain in the middle of the place! Honestly, how often does THAT happen? It’s also huge – made for accommodating major family-style dining. The employees are also so nice.

And the pho? Of all the places in the neighborhood, I’m declaring it my favorite. It’s hot, huge, savory and fresh. The noodles are chewy; the brisket isn’t too fatty; the broth is rich but balanced; and the garnishes are crisp.

It’s difficult to talk about these things – pho and the neighborhood – without mentioning the beloved Turtle Tower. Turtle Tower is two doors down and has an obsessed, cult following (1161 Yelp! reviews, compared to Vietnam II’s 169). What’s up with Turtle Tower and why do I stray from the masses on this? Turtle Tower boasts Northern-style pho, compared with Vietnam II’s classic Southern style. The differences are key. Southern style has all the lovely garnishes – fresh basil, bean sprouts, lime, jalapenos, plum sauce; and the noodles are a bit thinner. Turtle Tower is pretty good, but the space is tiny, jammed, and for whatever reason, seems a little dirtier to me. Die-hard Vietnamese-food enthusiasts will likely not agree with me, claiming I prefer a more ‘Americanized’ version and that ‘real’ food people wouldn’t let things like bad-lighting, grease stains, open bus tubs full of leftover broth, and uninviting servers keep me away from such a place of authenticity – but – well – it does. And for the record, Pho 200 and Pho Vietnam near by are also super good.

 

 

Sam’s ChowderMobile: Worth Finding it For

Perhaps not surprisingly, I’m a sucker for hype. Put a place on a “best of” list, and count it noted. That’s how I often hear about spots to check out, and Sam’s ChowderMobile is no exception. I first heard about them via their huge coverage on TLC’s Top Ten Fab Food Trucks and remember seeing the sunny footage of their truck along the Marina and just dreaming how I’d hope to try them someday. Many months and Twitter updates later, I found myself sinking into their incredible Lobster Rolls. I’ll never forget it.

The day was dismal to say the least. Miraculously, I convinced my lovely girlfriend to w a l k f o u r miles in the RAIN to Golden Gate Park with the goal of tracking down this famous truck. “It’s perfect chowder weather!” I pleaded. I checked Sam’s Twitter updates, praying they weren’t going to bail due to the weather – something many carts are rightfully guilty for. Absolutely soaked to the core, we saw the brightly decorated mobile parked in Golden Gate Park and lonely without a line. I almost started to run, I was so thrilled, yet my soggy jeans kept my slug pace.

My relationship to seafood isn’t extensive. I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had lobster and clam chowder isn’t much more common. That made me all the more curious, but nervous to try the menu. Of course we got a cup of chowder and a Lobster Roll – two things the truck is widely known for, but next time I’d save my entire appetite for that sandwich. The lobster is so rich and buttery with a spongy, savory roll that envelopes the delicate flavors perfectly. The seafood-saltiness is pronounced just enough but not offensive in the slightest. I could have had ten of them; each bite was equally as pleasure-filled as the first.

The chowder? Meh. Lots of salt was all I can remember. I don’t really enjoy potatoes that are skinless and just mush, which nearly all chowder contains. There’s no doubt I’d love to try the shrimp po’boy, but perhaps I could again persuade that lovely girlfriend to get it so I could rest assured I could re-live the ecstasy found in that lobster.

To You Tartine: You’re God

Tartine Tartine Tartine. How you’ve captivated us all… Ninety minute lines; book deals; James-Beard awards; had-been sorority girls hungover in workout-inspired weekend wear… these things all surround, what truly, might just be the best baked item I’ve had in my life. The Morning Bun. Put that orange-laced cinnamon pull-apart delicacy in the oven for two minutes, and game over. I’m done. The caramelized sugars with the buttery pastry have lead me to develop something I like to refer to as “church.” When I’m lucky, I get to go and it’s nothing short of the following sequence of events.

  • walk to Tartine
  • stand in a 30 minute line while hearing out-of-towners freak out about how long the wait is
  • order a Morning Bun toasted to go
  • get a 12 oz. Four Barrel coffee with cream to go
  • shove my way through the insanity to pay, get napkins, and water
  • take breakfast to Delores Park where I sit in my chair, pretending to read something and blissing out on how such sweetness can exist in this life

So that’s happened maybe once or twice. It’s more or less, what I live for, what I work for, and, oh, yeah; I forgot to mention I’m pseudo gluten-free now, so that goes right out the window in order for this beautiful experience to be complete.

Alright, so let’s step out of my epic falling-over-myself monologue for how great Tartine is, just to cover the simple-speak facts for anyone who a) doesn’t live in San Francisco or b) has been living here in a cave. Tartine is a bakery in the Mission. They make croissants, tarts, cookies, bread, sandwiches, salads and serve Four Barrel coffee and espresso. There. I did it. I covered the nuts of this heavenly location without an absurd amount of adjectives (and it was hard).

For the love of humanity, go there when you have some time on your hands and patience to accept the reality that it’s as crowded as the cable-car line on Powell and Market. On a Saturday. In the summer.

 

Star Stream: Best of So Much

Star Stream is a part of a club that is growing quite rapidly. The unofficial name of such club is: Heaven-Sent Places I Almost Never Go To.

Star Stream has everything going for it to be the president of this club. I want to eat everything there. I want to drink everything there. And it’s only open business hours (Monday – Friday). Sadness.

Let’s start with the eat-everything. The backbone of Star Stream’s kitchen goods are from the mastermind of the lovely Remi Hayashi-Girouard. Remi is co-founder of Goody Goodie, an incredible sugar-sweet window over on Folsom Street. The girlfriend and I have fond memories of Goody Goodie since we stopped there after getting coffee next door at Vega, the Blue Bottle coffee window. It was a time that seems years ago, when it was really just last summer. We had yet to move here and every food and drink experience possessed this majestic cloud. Goody Goodie was no exception. Remi was working the window that day and was so nice. Plus she has the coolest contact lenses of anyone I’ve seen; they’re striped like a pop-star would wear. She talked us into her signature Olive Cocoa Nib Wafer – a cracker-like chocolate wafer the size of a sheet of notebook paper flecked with cocoa nibs and laced with olive oil. Miraculously it made it back to Portland, Oregon without turning to dust. Once I heard she was opening up a proper cafe, with an expanded menu, I knew it was going to blow my socks off.

The first time I visited, I had longings of breakfast treats with eggs and salad. That meant I ordered the Toad-in-the-Hole, a piece of house-made brioche with a hole punched in it then filled with a soft-cooked egg. This beauty is topped with shaved prosciutto. Next comes me freaking out about their cookies. They’ve gotten wide-media acclaim for a reason: they’re huge, they’re perfect, they feature classic and crazy varieties. The Old School is the chocolate chip cookie of your dreams – it’s classic, no nuts, just milk chocolate wafers wrapped in thick vanilla cookie, slightly chewy but no doughyness. Then there’s the Circus, made with caramel corn and semisweet chocolate. Yep; huge popcorn pieces are amidst this soft beauty – a perfect marriage of sweet and savory. I also tried a salad special around Thanksgiving, which was an appropriate blend of greens, squashes and pomegranate seeds. Delightful. I should mention there’s a substantial menu of sandwiches and pizza (!) that I haven’t even touched. Again. Read rant above – can’t say I likely will anytime soon.

Now that coffee business. They use Blue Bottle and Clover milk on a La Marzocco and do coffee via pour-over. The two times I’ve had coffee there (cappuccino and coffee), it’s been spot on. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Nook: Coffee, Computers and a Party of One

I’ll say it; my employment has been slim. I moved here at the end of August without a full-time job and I’ve been actively trying to get one since. Yes, I’ve been freelancing – which has had its great benefits – and it’s also led me on a mission to find the best coffee-shop-wifi locales. I’m far from alone. This City is chock full of lap-toppers needing a place to login, get caffeinated, while eating snacks. This has been both a blessing and a curse on cafe owners across the country, but this dichotomy is  exceptionally poignant here. You want to draw customers in – but where’s the line? How long do they stay? Are there spending minimums? How the hell do you enforce those? I’ve seen this problem dealt with in a variety of ways:

  1. Don’t offer wifi (Ma Velous)
  2. Cover up all outlets (Ritual)
  3. Install an elaborate login system where a new password is generated with every purchase and printed on your receipt (Quetzal Cafe)
  4. Have wifi hours and assigned seating (Nook, Coffee Bar)

Nook is an adorable cafe in Nob Hill with a great menu of salads, sandwiches, eggs, bagels, sweet things and better-than-average coffee (Equator Coffee Co.). Basically, everything you could essentially desire out of a cafe. It’s also tiny, so they opted for highly regulated wifi. The middle tables are computer free then everyone saddles up to their machines along the perimeter. The wifi shuts off at 5pm, and isn’t offered at all on weekends. I think this is so reasonable and since going there, I haven’t journeyed out with the computer much. I’ve crossed over – the guilt has won, along with the desire to avoid annoyance. The appeal of being in public, eating and drinking things, while trying to get work done has faded. Call me high-maintenance but trying to eat a salad or messy sandwich while typing on my keyboard at a cramped table ain’t as hot as it used to be. Thank you, Nook, for allowing me to realize that.

Point Reyes: Where the Cream Flows En Masse and Coffee Comes in Barns

The day my girlfriend and I took our first Point Reyes adventure, it was pouring, much like it is right now, actually. The day was abysmal, but our determination (and Zipcar reservation) wasn’t showing any sign of flexibility. We were going to soak up the infamous land of creameries, even if that meant getting drenched.

We stopped first in Petaluma – the town just east of Point Reyes Station. It was the weekend prior to Halloween, so we found a “farm” and got our first apartment pumpkins. Then we winded through the hillsides until we landed in Point Reyes. The sky wasn’t showing any forgiveness. We layered up and wandered around the town of 350, which, as you can imagine, doesn’t take long. Point Reyes and the larger Marin county are widely known for its artisan food companies, mainly Straus Creamery and Cowgirl Creamery. The latter has one of their production kitchens in Point Reyes, which is where we started.

Cowgirl Creamery at Tomales Bay Foods, I hate to say it, was a bit disappointing. Did that experience sour me on their products? Oh, hell no. I loved ’em before I got there, and actually, have bought a lot more of their awesome cheese since. I was really looking forward to visiting one of their “factories” and I’m afraid I hyped it up in my head, which led to the disappointment. They have a small deli counter with roast chicken, cheese plates and two or three pre-made salads. Everything comes on paper plates and I guess I kind of wanted a little bit more of a dining experience. The seating is more or less in the hallway, which amounts to three picnic tables. It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and we were hardly the only visitors – which led to definite pressure to hurry up and finish our cheese so the other groups could take our table. There is the cheese-making kitchen right there, which is super cool to look into.  The other positives are that they serve wine (in a real glass) and there’s a nice local-foods market too.

Next up was afternoon coffee. For a town of a few hundred people, we actually had some choices and ended up at Toby’s Coffee Bar on Main Street. This place was adorable! AND IN A BARN! No kidding. Everything was organic – the baked things (Osteria Stellina), coffee (Taylor Maid Coffee), and milk (Straus). Again, it being in a barn and all meant it was freezing, since it was pouring but I’d definitely go back.

Which brings me to my conclusion: I really want to go back. Now that I know what to expect, I could easily see myself spending a lot of time in this little place. It’s gorgeous.

Miller’s: And Then There Was Pastrami

Pastrami Perfection

Oh dear Jewish deli. How I adore you and all your iconic ways. Miller’s East Coast Deli bravely wears the Jewish deli patch and does it with savory success. Running a Jewish deli comes with a non-negotiable check list of must-have menu items including (but not limited to):

Typical dining style

  • Pastrami
  • Bad coffee
  • Pickles
  • Black and white cookies
  • Mazto ball soup
  • Rye bread
  • latkes
  • egg cream soda

I’ve also come to realize that the above items come with a ream of opinions from nearly all Jewish deli patrons – especially the pastrami. Perhaps a common comparison to all delis across the land is, How does it compare to the historic Katz’s Delicatessen in New York? I can’t speak of that in comparison to Miller’s pastrami, but I can say with confidence it’s damn amazing.

Unlike the other deli meats on the menu, they make their pastrami in-house and it’s seasoned and sliced just right. Not too much chewy fat, not too lean, with just the right amount of crusted pepper and salt around the edge… heaven. My other Miller’s favorite are their black-and-white cookies. Ugh. Perfect lemon hinted icing next to thick chocolate on a pillow-cake cookie; it’s just right.

I’ve also tried their house-smoked turkey sandwich, tomato soup, Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup, and the egg-and-cheese bagel. Nothing else compares to the classic Ruben on rye.

Something else I need to freak out about in regards to Miller’s, is the size of the menu. There’s easily close to 200 items on that bad boy. Fish, burgers, pizza, salads, soups, scrambles, hot dogs – the options are seemingly endless. Perhaps I’ll find something else that’ll keep me from the pastrami, but man, it’ll be tough.

Ma Velous: Very

Yep, perfect. Again, please.

The coffee bar, my friends, has been raised. When this happens, as I’ve seen before, I get one part ecstatic, one part nervous.

Let’s just quickly recap what’s happened to coffee in the past, oh, few centuries or so. First, there was Folgers (founded here in SF, no less) – then there was Starbucks – now there’s everyone else amazing like Blue Bottle, Stumptown, Ritual etc. But then there are the people, like Phillip Ma, who go and get their hands on the best of the best coffees and throw diamonds at it. The result ends up like Ma Velous, one of SF’s brightest new coffee bars.

Allow me to explain a little more about them diamonds, but first the coffee. Ma, the owner of Ma Velous, recruited the top dogs for his coffee menu. He has Intelligentsia, he has Ecco, but then he goes and get’s a world renowned micro-roaster from Norway, Tim Wendelboe. Whoa; never heard of that guy until now, but apparently he’s quite the coffee sh*t. While I was in there recently, a coffee geek from Blue Bottle stopped in to check the place out. He was quite impressed with this particular coffee, not to mention the jaw-dropping machinery. To really achieve the fancy status these days, you got to roll out some serious Benjamins on the behind-the-counter equipment. For Ma Velous, that means a custom La Marzocco espresso machine, two kinds of pour-over methods, French presses, a Siphon and a Chemex. That’s six ways to get your beloved brewed Joe. I opted for the classic latte, considering I was also having a muffin and, of course it was perfect. I’d shudder to expect anything less with a package this impressive. They were using classic Black Cat Intelligentsia espresso – one I’ve had many times and one I adore. Put that underneath of cloud of pure, creamy, bliss foam and I’m done. I hadn’t seen Intelligentsia in SF until then and although Ma tells me you can find their French Roast at Specialty’s, multiple people dog on it and says it tastes horrible.

So there I was, floating on my latte cloud, enjoying my muffin (from Sandbox Bakery) and loving hearing my neighbor from Blue Bottle go off about all the stuff he knows about the industry. This is what’s so great about these kinds of coffee bars; they take the when-in-Rome attitude and show it off. If this world can produce exquisite coffee and machinery, then let there be the cafes to showcase it all. Plus, it gives the top-tier coffee geeks somewhere to go and celebrate.

Hearts of palm could be local - we've palm trees

And as if the coffee details didn’t sell you, they have wine and a tightly localized food menu. I’ve been in there twice and they’ve only been open a few days so it’s tough to come to any official conclusions with the food, since it’s still being worked out. They had a limited menu of cheeses, a soup and two salads from which to choose, in addition to the pastry case. I went with a Romaine salad with hearts of palm and apples. Simple, but nice. I really appreciate the coffee, salad, baked-good combo if you haven’t noticed. I had a glass of wine the second night they were open too and of the list I remember, there were some good by-the-glass options that weren’t in the double digits.

Wow

And lastly, the design. Remember the diamonds? Sitting in this place is as if you’re living amongst the pages of contemporary art magazine, (which I look at all the time, considering that’s my partner’s line of work). The chairs, the fabric covered bench seating, the tables, the mural, the sconces – don’t even get me going on the bathroom – it’s all so meticulously thought out.  Again, I’m all for the opulence, but it can be a bit much for some. Consider the few other customers who stopped in while I was briefly there. A total of four women came in (one pair, two singles) looked around, then left. The reasons for them leaving can be easily explained – they could have just wanted to check it out, for example – but I knew a few of them worked near by. One in particular was casually dressed, and once inside, her body language seemed to indicate she was uncomfortable, she smiled sheepishly to the owner, whom she seemed to recognize, then she mentioned she worked in the building next door, but then left.

Then there was the couple who came in determined for coffee. A middle-aged man approached the counter. “Uhh… a cup of coffee for me and whatever she’s having,” he says while motioning to his female partner. They were obviously in a slight hurry and didn’t come to talk about the latest single origin Ecco was doing.

The nice, young, woman barista paused. Uh oh. Coffee here doesn’t just shoot from a spout – there’s a menu now, buddy. Saddle up.

“Ok, well, we have a few kinds and a few different,” the barista starts. The man stares at her blankly. “Ok, are you just in for something quick? I’ll just get you what’s in our French press…” she says.

“I think I’ll have a cappuccino?” the female partner orders without confidence.

And there in lies my nervousness, as mentioned much earlier. Will they be back? Or the woman who works next door? Something tells me probably not. Does it really matter? Well – when potential regulars and obvious coffee customers feel awkward buying what’s being sold – that could spell trouble. Let’s hope there’s more of SF who’s ready for what Ma Velous is doing. I know I am.

Arlequin Café: You Let Me be Me

With you, I'd Starve

Allow me to be frank. I eat a lot of cafe salads. And drink a lot of coffee. And eat lots of sugar-filled things I shouldn’t. And if that bores you, then you’re going to be very bored reading this blog.

Trendy, Shmendy. You're Yummy!

But if not, great! Because I found another great place where I can do all of those things.

Arlequin Cafè exists on Hayes Valley’s main drag, Hayes St. It has everything an average deli should, made-to-order sandwiches, bottled sodas, bags of chips, cookies, but they’re all just better here. The soup when I was there was a cream of corn with cilantro reduction – an interesting puree that fit the soup perfectly. The mixed greens were perfect too – a good portion, not over dressed. And my cupcake? Perfectly pumpkin spiced, filled with nutty cream cheese and frosted.

Coffee? Yep – full bar of it, although I think they use Mr. Espresso as their vendor and, their coffee’s not to great. That won’t stop me from loving it here. The nice, clean, French-bistro space and ample amenities like free wi-fi and a beautiful outdoor patio will definitely bring me back.

Stable Cafè: Modern Coffee Sustained

A Great Spot for This

Stable Cafè can be just a place for coffee. Or it can be a place for local-sustainable bliss. Take your pick. The building, for starters, goes back to the 1800’s when it originated as a carriage house. The way it stands now houses a locally focused breakfast and lunch cafe, an award-winning architect, a slow-food supper club, and a bike delivery service.

The cafe features De La Paz Coffee and Clover Dairy products. That equals a pretty delicious latte when the barista knows what he’s doing on his La Marzocco, which luckily he did. Prices are pretty fair, (e.g. $1.75 for a mug of French press).

The sandwiches, are, not surprisingly, killer. They’re on Acme bread and my ham and cheese, couldn’t have been better. Shavings of salty ham next to tart, seeded, mustard in between two hunks of fresh wheat thick-crust bread.

Local foods

The large salads are huge! So big they commanded an entire side conversation from the woman next to us, but when it’s a bowl of garden greens stacked of freshly sliced carrots, tomatoes and avocado, really, does it matter? It’s salad – I could eat vegan salad until pigs fly.
But of course, where there’s success there’s a crowd – so don’t be surprised by a line. The staff was there to support it, which is great. There’s a small mezzanine level upstairs with a bar, which is where most of the laptoppers land. If it’s nice, the patio is expansive and lovely as well. The final note of warning is regarding the dog-friendly policy. The eating area is far removed from the kitchen, but something still strikes me as odd to be diving into lunch while Fido rests at the feet of your neighbor. That’s not to say I’m guilt-free from taking advantage of the dog-friendly environments – oh I have, many times, but just know that Stable allows dogs indoors – awkwardness and all.