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The Granada Cafe
lost an Italian Füd Trial
versus Gaspare's

Granada Cafe
4753 Mission Street/Russia, SF
Map This Restaurant

Pretrial hearing at the bar
10/24/00

Guest Judge Sarah

The Granada Cafe rules!! I have said it before and I will say it again and again. This place does not have a wine list (you can get Burgundy or White by the glass or in a carafe), but it serves up heaping helpings of seriously tasty Italian dishes. I had the New York Steak, and it was rosemary-y and tender. All main courses are accompanied by homemade, lumpy, buttery mashed potatoes and the vegetable of the day. You also get a plate of meat set down in front of you before you can unfold your napkin! Awesome! And a choice of salad or soup of the day. I always go with the salad because I love the trio of dressings: mayonnaise with perhaps some blue cheese, vinegar with a touch of oil, and a VERY thick 1000 Island. Scrumptious. The salad is cold, crispy, you guessed it, iceberg lettuce with some kidney beans scattered about. I have eaten the Chicken Parmesan on other occasions, and highly recommend it for those in the mood for a cheesy treat, but the steaks are truly delicious. Would I lie to you? All this good food is served in a humble and original vinyl booth and formica table setting. I must end this with a tribute to the often deserted but lovely and functional bar. It takes up 1/2 of the building, and the bartender makes a fine martini and a stiff tall drink. Most of the employees have been with The Granada for quite some time, and they have it down. Thanks for listening...

 

Turner

Thanks to guest judge Sarah, the Court ventured "way out" to the Excelsior district for some old-fashioned home-style Italian-American cuisine. And it was well worth it. Especially considering the hysterical cab driver that Judge Vardigan and I were lucky enough to have. But I'll let him elaborate (just below my corn dogs).

Going to the Granada Cafe is like stepping back in time. A time when Frank and Deano were still on top, and Louis Prima was still jumping in Vegas. If you squint your eyes and imagine the great neon signs are still all functioning, you're there.

It's family-style at the Granada, and that means massive amounts of food. You start with an antipasti plate, consisting of salami, mortadella...and something else. Olive loaf? With your dinner (as opposed to the a la carte menu) you get a salad or soup after that. Plenty of bread, of course. Then comes the pasta course, in this case: spaghetti with meat sauce. The salad was an average iceberg affair (with beans) and the pasta was so-so in my opinion. Then comes your entree, with potatoes and veggies. I chose the Chicken Parmesan...or Parmagiano...or however they spell it. It was a very large, flat thing, with an ocean of mozzarella and tomato sauce on top. Quite tasty. Veggies swimming in butter, of course, and good lumpy mashed potatoes. By the time I finished that, on top of the salad, pasta, bread, and several glasses of fine cheap red wine, I was about to explode. Or, "full as a tick," as my dad used to say. No room for the ice cream, which is included with the meal.

All in all a good meal, and a fine deal. Around 13 or 14 bucks for a multi-course dinner of large proportions. Next time I'll try one of their many steak options, which I suspect may be their specialty.

 

Vardigan

Quite a hike to the Granada Cafe. Judge Turner and I took a taxi and the drive was long enough for our driver to explain his disdain for tourists, say "fucking" at least 348 times, run down the pros and cons of the Power Exchange sex club, and show us the prophylactics he keeps in his wallet (for his trips to said club).

We thanked the man for the enlightening lecture and entered the Granada Cafe out on Mission and Russia (that's one past Persia, to give you no idea). This place wins for atmosphere. The New York teams were in the World Series on the TV and the bar was filled with mostly older Italian men, some of whom were eating ice cream, which I found delightful. Our gracious guest judge Sarah and her husband Bobby (hailing from Detroit Rock City!) come here all the time, because they live nearby (possibly on Saskatchewan Street).

The dining room's got great booths, but we didn't sit in one. There was also a separate dining room with long tables. At one, our waitress explained, sat about 20 more older Italian regulars, while at the other sat 20 "footprinters," which I took to mean "not Italian and not regulars."

The food was good but not as good as the atmosphere. I had Chicken Toscano, running 11 bucks. About half a chicken smothered in artichoke hearts and mushrooms and a wine-based sauce. The mashed potatoes were excellent, and the amount of food is staggering. That 11 bucks also got me bread and deli meats prior to the meal, choice of soup or salad, and strawberry ice cream afterwards! Mandatory ice cream after a meal -- how great is that?

 

StoreMcClure

It's on Mission Street, but it may be an area you are not familiar with. Why would you go that far down Mission? Because you want to eat a tasty meal and check out a different part of town, that's why. You must pop into the bar on the way in. Nothing fancy, mind you, but full of neighborhood charm. On our night there it was full of locals chatting it up. Don't stop there, though, or you'll miss out on some fine Italian fare. We had a couple guests with us, including Guest Judge Sarah. This ensured that our table would be full of a variety of the many dinner choices available. It started off wonderfully: when we reached our table they already had bread and antipasto set out for us. The antipasto was the best, for the meat lover, as it was meat only. Another nice thing about the Granada is that the meals are complete. They include the antipasto, soup or salad, a plate of spaghetti for the table to share, your entree, and to finish up, a dish of ice cream. The downside is that the salad and spaghetti were so-so -- more filler than tasty additions to the meal. I chose the grilled pork chops which were served with creamy, yet stiff, mashed potatoes and butter sautšed zucchini. Great sides to go with great chops. The other choices for our group were: the London broil, salsbury steak, chicken toscano & chicken parmesan. The price range was $11 to $14 on these meals. Wine was extra but what's an Italian meal without a carafe or two. I don't recall seeing any disappointed faces. The food, atmosphere, and service were all very nice. If you make it to the Granada Cafe I hope you enjoy it as well.

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