Friday 2 July 2010

The Grove, Fillmore Street, San Francisco

One of the most alluring places to chill out on upmarket Fillmore Street, the Grove has some uncomfortable outdoor benches well-placed to catch the evening sunshine and a rustic, stylish and much more comfy interior. The big windows ensure the mishmash of wooden beams, distressed leather armchairs, wooden floorboards and massive stone chimney breast are soaked in daylight. You queue at the bar for both drinks and food, which is fairly simple fare, such as soups, salads, sandwiches and enormous moist, tasty cookies. For less than $8, you can get a bowl of decent chilli with a dollop of sour cream, served with a little packet of crackers. The chilli's flavours are pretty good, but it can come lukewarm. There are several beers on draught, including the Czech stalwart Pilsner Urquell ($6.50 for a pint) or you can get cold bottles of Mexican beer. Some of your fellow customers will be on laptops, taking advantage of the free WiFi, but you only get 30 minutes online for every $5 you spend. Fashionable, but no-frills, the Grove tends to draw a relaxed local crowd, mixed with a sprinkling of tourists. 8/10