So if you’re going to see the sights and sounds of the fantasticity of San Francisco, you have to take the 20-minutes to head out to the coast. If you’re an inner-continental American and have never seen the ocean, this should be reason enough alone, but if it isn’t, for some strange reason I can’t fully comprehend, consider that there’s cool stuff out there to see, as well as hot as heck food to gobble-all-gone just as much.
We’ve only covered a handful of restaurants in the entire heritage of our nearly-thousand-article history, and we’ve never covered a single restaurant twice… but today might just be the exception, and only because we hit the same spot twice, and both times had a fantastically delightful experience.
I’m talking, of course, about the Park Chalet, which lies along the California coast, about half way between the Cliff House (and ruins of Sutros Baths) and the wonderful San Francisco Zoo. The coast is no place to be missed for sure, and if you’re out there, human, and need the sustenance that perpetuates humankind, you simply have to take in a snack at the Park Chalet.
This is rare because, not only does it exceed our typical (admittedly McDonald’s grade) budget, but because it’s in the very most convenient place, and even with price taken out of the equation, you can easily assume you’ll get 5-star service and lunchstuffs at two-to-three star prices.
There’s a couple cool things about the Park Chalet that makes them as memorable as they are “must see” and I can say this with authority since it’s the only place I ate twice in my entire visit to the great city-state of Francisco de la San. Snark aside, it’s not just that they offer foods most tasty to kids and parents alike at reasonable (though not cheap, per se) prices, but rather that the experience of it all more than makes up for the difference.
If you want beach front food as close as can be (without getting sand in your fries) and still want a great time, the Park Chalet is the place to go.
And I know this may sound like a shill promotion, but let me tell you this without any doubt or deniability, we’ve never seen so much as the first nickel from San Francisco’s Park Chalet, nor any sort of discount off of any meal tab we may have incurred. No, we paid a full-rate on our visit to Park Chalet, it’s just that the food, people and overall experience was so spectacular that we’d be a pack of jerkwads to serve them anything but glowing reviews… but why, you might rightly ask?
The servers we met (and there were two because we changed tables) both seemed to know the menu inside out. That’s good, but what’s better was that, when we wanted to deviate from standard menu offerings, they were absolutely accommodating. Beyond that the environment was great, the prices were good and they food was as delightful as we’ve ever had, and we’ve had pretty good food when we were nearly starved, but this was every bit as tasty.
The Park Chalet have a smattering of family friendly offerings including a kiddo-comfortous concert series throughout the summer, but there’s just so much more than that which is offered.
Try the fingers, try the fries, or try the grilled cheese sammich. No matter what you try, I can promise you (from my own two-fold experience, for which I was not compensated) that your patience will not be tried.
What you’ll experience (based on my own encounter) is a good place in a great location with spectacular foodstuffs. You can pretend you don’t dig killer foods if you like, or that you don’t care if a place is convenient, but if you head to the crazy great city of San Francisco, and hit places as critical as the zoo, you can’t pretend that you’re not already in the area. Since you’re already there, don’t be a meany, take in the sites, tastes, smells and 5-star service of the Park Chalet. It’s unassuming, really, but having experienced it myself, I can tell you I’ve got pretty big assumptions of it for my next visit. It’s a 100% recommendation with what I consider to be 50% prices, with about 200% service.
Hands down (and I mean it because I fell asleep halfway through my meal — what can I say, it was a busy day and my hands fell limp to my sides, or so I’m told — this was the best food, best location and best overall experience (whether with the price in mind or not) that we encountered in all of our trip’s experience.
Park Chalet is located at 1000 Great Highway @ Ocean Beach in San Francisco, CA 94121 or find them online at their website.
Above – Given a choice in table almost overwhelmed me. The sun was shining so we got to pick whether we wanted to dine inside or hit the patio so us kids could frolic away.