21st Amendment: San Francisco, Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

After a long day of walking around, ripping my feet apart up and down The Embarcadero and Telegraph Hill, you know what I want? A beer. Instead, I had about four or five. I blame the restaurant and not my inability to “know when to say when.”

The Wife and I decided that dinner tonight should be on the casual side since Monday saw us gorge ourselves on seafood and Wednesday was our planned anniversary dinner. I had the 21st Amendment brewery and restaurant in mind for a while. The theme was pretty cool, taking its name from the amendment that repealed prohibition, and the beers looked worthy of imbibing.

We made a slight tactical error by visiting the bar on game night. We had planned to attend that game before my ticket connection landed himself on Major League Baseball’s 60-day disabled list. Since I really didn’t want to pay for tickets, or have to sit amongst the unwashed masses in the bleachers, that came off the table. Instead, we opted for dinner two blocks away.

The restaurant was using its gameday menu. The narrow selection of choices clearly made tables easy to turn over as our wait was 45 minutes (we enjoyed ourselves at the bar…I highly recommend the Hell or High Watermelon).

The gameday menu (the local nine was facing the team from Los Angeles on Tuesday evening) featured about a half-dozen appetizers and as many salads. Our starter, Minnesota-style fried cheese curd, saw 15 or so mozzarella cheese balls, breaded and fried, and served with a spicy marinara. The sauce was not necessary, as the salty little buggers were tasty enough when washed down with the in-house brews.

Entrees ranged from grilled chicken to mussels. Sandwiches included vegetarian options and burgers, which is where we settled. My rare burger came medium-rare with grilled onions and cheddar cheese. The Wife opted for a completely naked burger. The Niman Ranch ground chuck was juicy and well cooked, hitting the spot after a day of walking. The Wife went for hearty fries as her side. The steak-cut fries tasted freshly sliced, as did my housemade chips.

Desserts were tempting, particularly the root beer float featuring the house-brewed soda, but we passed.

The service was top notch. From the bartenders to the sassy little blonde who waited on us, to the hostess that pinpointed the 45-minute time quote, not a beat was missed by this crew. And, that my friends, is what pushes a good dinner over the top. I happily overtipped this evening (as opposed to normal when I just feel guilty about how little waitstaffs are paid).

The 21st Amendement is located at 563 Second Street in San Francisco, two blocks away from AT&T Park. Reservations are not accepted. Dinner with one drink was $43 before tip.

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