Last Saturday night we drove into the city for dinner at a themed restaurant on the edge of Little Italy in San Francisco. (Im still shocked and amazed our drive only took us 20 mins!!) We ate at the Stinking Rose which for those of you in the know is what some call garlic. At this garlic themed restaurant EVERYTHING has garlic in it, on it, or with it. We called the restaurant phone to ensure no reservations were needed and we were greeted by Count Dracula inviting guests to come enjoy the restaurants finest offerings. This amused me and slightly confused me as I thought garlic was supposed to repel vampires. Bonus- the restaurant does NOT charge a corkage fee. This is a super awesome plus as we are able to bring our favorite wine and not get charged $25.00 for a restaurant corkage fee. So we arrive at the restaurant, which is decorated with garlic chains hanging from the ceiling, and all things garlic inspired art, we are ushered down a side room where booths line the walls on each side. The fun part? Each booth is separated by curtains and each table has a chandelier and mirrored sconces. It ends up creating overall a slightly circus like effect- but is fun and still charming. The food though… We ordered Garlic Spinach Fontina which is essentially spinach artichoke dip minus the artichoke and add the garlic. It was a cheesy, delicious, garlicky, delight. The rest of our meal was also delicious. I got garlic gnocchi and Brian got garlic short ribs. Needless to say we haven’t eaten garlic since last weekend, but it was amazing. After dinner, we left and walked up North Beach on the hunt for dessert. We ended up at Cafe Grecco where we split an Italian cake for our dessert. Cafe Grecco evidently, (later learned by us) has a huge underground following and is the dessert place to go to in the North Beach area. We were lucky and asked our waitress for dessert recommendations and were glad we followed her advise. It is so unreal and unique to be living in a city where there are so many amazing cultural options to explore. Little Italy/North Beach area sits right next to China Town which sits right above the Financial District, which sits right on and by the bay/wharf area. All these amazing scenes, restaurants and shops are made more charming or more exhausting because they are carefully perched on the streets of San Fran’s insane hills. You can hike, climb, and trek your way to food heaven here. Just be prepared for horrible parking options, the threat of being towed and blisters if your shoes aren’t comfy. Some fun facts about garlic provided by a quick google search:
1.) 90% of garlic grown in the US comes from California;
2.) You can evidently have a fear of garlic, maybe Vampires really do exist? Anyways that phobia is called Alliumphobia; and
3.) Stay healthy. Garlic is supposed to ward off colds, flu, heart disease and even cancer.
All in all we had a fabulous dinner out. I would definitely recommend a trip to the Stinking Rose and a hike through North Beach for anyone headed out here.