Atmosphere: 4/5 ♦ Service: 3/5 ♦ Food Quality: 4/5 ♦ Value: 3/5
Times Visited: One ♦ Will I Return?: Sure
Ironside is a hip little restaurant on Second Street between Townsend and Brannan in San Francisco. It’s one of the (great many) places that makes SF what it is in terms of food and ambiance. The decor is a sort of modern wild-west: heavy timber framing (the stairway landing is a 4′ cube of solid wood pieces!) and steel connectors and accents fit in with the polished concrete floors and steel-railed mezzanine. Like other top SF restaurants, it looks great.
The order-at-the counter style adds a bit of casual-ness to your lunch (though they are also open for dinner, and brunch on the weekends), and the paper menu has lots of tasty things to choose from. The list itself is nothing particularly fancy: soups, salads, pizzas, and sandwiches; but the execution is key.
As I’ve only been here once, I can’t verify that everything on the menu is awesome, but lots of things sure did look really good. And my Pressed Veggie Cubano was pretty awesome: roasted seasonal vegetables (mine had spinach, squash, and peppers), melted gruyere cheese, and pickles really hit the spot. A side of big fat steak fries is $2.50 extra, and I had to try an agave soda.
Yes, agave soda. Instead of using sugar or corn syrup, Ironside serves soda that is sweetened with agave. Since I’ve never tried this, I splurged and spent the extra $2.50 for a soda.
And it tasted like Coke. To me. I’m just saying.
Other lunch menu items include interesting sandwiches such as The Pauline (garbanzo cream cheese spread, cucumbers, carrots, avocados, sprouts, and sunflower seeds on whole wheat ($8), add turkey $3); Pulled Chicken; Grilled Snapper (with jalapeno aioli, pickled onions, butter lettuce, cilantro, and Thai basil – $10); Vine Ripened Tomato and Mozzerella; Meatball Parmesan; and Cheese Steak. There’s also salads (Cobb, Nicoise, Mediterranean, etc.) and pizzas (Spicy Sausage, Roasted Mushroom, Fig and Prosciutto, etc.).
I like this place a lot. My only complaint is that it was a bit pricey with my add-ons (fries were $2.50, soda was $2.50, and sandwich was $9), but overall a really cute place with a lively atmosphere, cool decor, and good food. Next time, I’ll have to try a pizza!