Not a Sneetch in Sight

People with kids, or grand-kids, may well remember the Dr. Seuss story about the Sneetches.  Some had stars on their bellies, some didn’t, and prejudice abounded.  It was definitely better to be a star-bellied sneetch.

This probably doesn’t have anything to do with tonight’s dinner.

But the name of the place is Starbelly, so I had to tie it in some how.

Starbelly is a small place on 16th street, in the Castro District in San Francisco.  It’s small and hip and serves a pretty decent meal with very good service.  Now that the young Master has graduated from college and moved back to the City, we’ll be looking for places like this to take him to dinner.

Starbelly is casual: concrete floors, metal chairs and wood tables without napery.  It caters to the hipster crowd, and interestingly has bookcases mounted waaaaay high up on the walls, decorative not functional.

The menu has small plates, large plates, and pizzas.  We started with a couple of appetizers–the split pea fritters with greek yogurt (or “yoghurt”, as it is on the menu). and the roasted brussels sprouts.  Both were excellent, and the pea fritters are not something you will see every day.  It is strange to be charged $2 for 4 slices of bread and a tiny container of oil, but at least the bread was thick and fresh.

Due to the cold weather, I decided to try the French onion soup, but it turned out to be the least interesting part of the meal.  I thought it was bland and insipid, needed salt and just wasn’t worth the effort.

Always on the lookout for something different, I had the bangers and mash–an ostensibly British dish of sausage and mashed potatoes.  I’ve had bangers in London, and they were tasteless and mushy tubes of pork and cereal, with too much cereal.  These were just excellent local sausages, not strongly spiced but appropriately flavorful.  The mashed potatoes were accompanied with chunks of roasted apples to add a bright sweetness to the meal.  Not high-class fare, but the perfect thing for a frigid Monday night.

Better bangers and mash than I've had in England

Better bangers and mash than I’ve had in England


Gail had the chicken pot pie.  This is nothing like Marie Callenders:


Chicken and wild mushrooms baked in a pie.

Chicken and wild mushrooms baked in a pie.


While Gail certainly enjoyed, and completely finished, her meal, she would have preferred more sauce in the pie.

The service was excellent.  I don’t anything else to say about that–just excellent.

Prices are reasonable, given that we were in the high rent district. Parking is atrocious, but what do you expect?  Starbelly isn’t fancy enough to support a valet parker, just go a few minutes early and be prepared to be creative about where you stash your wheels and you’ll be fine.  Eat here and you’ll feel as proud as a starbelly sneetch in no time.

Starbelly on Urbanspoon




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