It was time to stock up the home bar. We always pass by The Old Clam House two driveways down from BevMo, and have wondered what it would be like to eat there. So we thought this would be a good opportunity to have brunch and check it out. Opened in 1861, their claim to fame is that they are the oldest continuously running restaurant in San Francisco. Renovated earlier this year, the original area features a gorgeous long wooden bar that evokes a turn-of-the-century saloon era.
We sat at the bar and ordered Stella Artois beers, in glasses that were much larger than a pint, and looked over the menu:
We had decided to go with some breakfast items since an omelet of clams escargot and white cheddar just sounded like it had to be tried. Unfortunately, the bartender informed us that they were out of breakfasts at that time. Even though breakfast says it is served until 2 pm, they only serve so many per day; so once they are out, they are done serving it. So Plan B was to go for their daily $12.95 lunch special: a cup of their house-special clam chowder or a side salad with a choice from 4 items.
The huge cup of chowder was generously clam-laden, tasty and satisfyingly rich:
Their bread service included sourdough bread and butter served with a shot of tasty hot clam broth meant for dipping or sipping:
The Chicken Milanese reminded us that this might just be the best way to eat chicken breasts: pounded, breaded and fried:
The main course includes buttered acini de pepe pasta (pastina) and sautéed sweet peas. The Crab Enchilada was more like a mini burrito served with green and red salsas:
A closeup of the crab enchilada shows that it was stuffed with green chiles and spinach in addition to a generous amount the dungeness crab:
Since it was purchased earlier this year by the same company that owns the tourist traps Franciscan Crab and The Stinking Rose, we came in with low expectations. We were pleasantly surprised with our dining experience as it was just right for a lazy lunch.