2 + 2 ≠ 6

Dinner before the theater last night at the Daily Grill in San Francisco, on Geary just up from Union Square.

There were six of us. I made a reservation 3 weeks in advance. Open Table tells them we are “VIP’s” because we eat out so often. We showed up, they led us past a round table set for six and plunked us down in  a space where they had taken two 2-tops (restaurantese for a table for two), squished them together and crammed three chairs on a side.  I guess I’m so svelte they figured we’d fit comfortably. They were wrong.

One thing I’ve noticed in writing about dining out these last few years–my complaints are almost always regarding service and management, not the food itself. This meal was no different.

The food is great. Each of the three couples elected to split a wedge salad, and we were all pleased.  The kitchen does the right thing and splits the salads, serving each of us half a salad on a plate. The excellent sourdough bread was served hot.

Daily Grill centers on basic American food, and their house specialty is chicken pot pie. It has mushrooms, so I don’t order it, but I still recommend it:

This is a beautiful dinner

This is a beautiful dinner


The pie is huge and theoretically freshly baked. This one came out of the oven well before it was served, as it was only slightly more than lukewarm. Still, the crust was incredibly light and flaky, the chicken inside was succulent, even the slices of carrot were cooked to perfection. If only they had gotten it to the table sooner………..

Never one to pass up a plate of pasta with pesto, that’s what I ordered:

Pasta good, chicken meh

Pasta good, chicken meh  


I liked the pesto sauce and the fact that it was loaded with pine nuts. I liked the portion size. The chicken was plain, unseasoned, dry, tasteless and boring. Save the $3 extra and just have the pasta.

Also recommended is the fish and chips:

Good fish, good chips, great  cole slaw.

Good fish, good chips, great cole slaw.

Fish and Chips  seems a trifle déclassé for dinner on the town, but it’s very well done and had grown men raving about the salad, and how rare is that? The “chips” would be better served by being properly cut instead of just standard frozen french fries, but I’m picky. We thought the grilled lemon was a nice touch in the presentation even if it makes no difference in the quality of the juice.

Saturday night is a busy time, but managers are supposed to hire enough staff for that.  I thought the entire process just took too long. Too long to order, too long to get the food, too long to get a refill on my tea or get a spoon for the pot pie (which should be served with a spoon in the first place), too long to clear the plates, just too long. It wasn’t that the staff was lazy or unconcerned, there just weren’t enough of them to handle the number of diners. I keep hearing about the unemployment problem, why doesn’t Daily Grill solve two problems at once and hire somebody?

And that perfectly fine six-top we passed on the way to being crammed into our tiny space? Still empty when we left. Maybe they were hoping to crowd 8 or 10 people around it.

Daily Grill on Urbanspoon


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