Outerlands is an Outer Sunset institution. The small restaurant near Ocean Beach serves local, organic cuisine in a rustic-chic setting. Covered floor-to-ceiling in warm, rough-hewn wood, the interior invites lingering over an artisan cocktail or a ginger-lemon apple cider. Lunch and dinner feature such refined but hearty options as cast-iron grilled cheese brushed with garlic oil and slow-cooked lamb shank with nasturtium leaf pesto. The weekend brunch draws a crowd and is worth the often lengthy wait. Standouts include the Dutch pancakes and the house-roasted turkey. You can always make the most of waiting for a table and head to the beach for a quick jaunt before you indulge.
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Outerlands Cafe, San Francisco
You definitely can’t miss this café. It’s become a food destination. I dream about their open-faced fried egg and bacon sandwich. They top it with provolone cheese and Anaheim peppers, and sometimes on Sundays they’ll throw on some portobello mushrooms. If someone reached into my brain and pulled out the best sandwich I could imagine, that would be it. 4001 Judah St., (415) 661-6140, outerlandssf.com.
This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
After only three days in San Francisco, I’m not sure if I got a feel for it, but I certainly got a taste. Traveling with two foodies, my usual diet of coffee and ramen was replaced with roasted figs and melon, hand made pappardelle pasta, chanterelle mushrooms, and blackberry pear galette to name just one lunch.
At the Ferry Building Farmers Market; meat is the new vegetarian. Independent butchers, in the standard tight jeans and fedoras, hand out samples of lard cookies. Tattooed Kate Moss’s spin rotisserie. Authors signing books on the wonders of meat glue have a long line of readers waiting for a chance to discuss home made hot dogs. And there is a bonfire/butchering gathering next Saturday night if anyone’s interested. It’s a great time to be a carnivore in SF. I’m pretty sure its a great time to be anything in SF.
CSA restaurants can be found all over the city and in various price ranges. Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley sells shares of prepared meals to take home. Outerlands café, in Sunset, excel at making the food taste so good, the csa sourcing is just the raw butter crème icing on the cake.
Perhaps there is a place called china town in San Francisco, and maybe there is an architectural gem of a museum in a park somewhere. And there are probably a pair of hand made leather heels from Spain that have my name on them. All I know of SF I met on a menu, and have come home fatter, happier and hungry for more of it.