The Other Critics

Bauer Says Fog City Diner Still Blows; Hirsch Finds ‘Mayhem’ at Mission Cheese; Reidinger Blows His Expense Budget at Alexander’s

Photo: Trimba/Flickr

Having heard they had hired a new chef, Mr. Bauer decided to give Fog City Diner another go, despite having been disappointed in it for, oh, the last decade or so. But alas, he recommends just ordering wine and enjoying the view, if you know what’s good for you. The signature buttermilk fried chicken schnitzel reminds him of “those frozen patties that you bake and serve” and the service was atrociously bad, and even angry. He gives it one and a half stars, with a mere one star for food and service. [Chron]

It looks like Jonathan Kauffman got a week off this week, and pinch-hitting is Jesse Hirsch over at the Weekly, who gives the first formal review of Mission Cheese, the new cheese bar and café at 736 Valencia. He writes, “Similar to Tartine, this inviting nook blurs the line between market shopping and dining out, with hand-selected artisan cheese as its centerpiece. But unlike Tartine… Mission Cheese hasn’t learned how to manage the mayhem.” He compliments cheesemonger Sarah Dvorak’s deep selection of cheeses, and says she “really shines” when she’s waxing passionately about her cheese. But she doesn’t seem to have been quite up for the influx of rabid Mission foodies, and nobody’s sat the servers down to tell them not to forget orders, and how to get food out in a timely manner. He also describes a truly awkward moment: “On my first visit, after 20 minutes of waiting, one server gave us four seats another server had promised to someone else. They then shrugged and walked away, indicating it was our mess to sort out.” Yeah, not cool. [SF Weekly]

Apparently Reidinger had never heard of truffled french fries before (haven’t these been around for a while? Anyone?), but he rather enjoys them on his visit to Alexander’s Steakhouse, despite his aversion to “their expensive exclusivity.” He doesn’t much care for the halibut with crispy chicken skin roasted on to it, and for beef he opts for what might be one of the cheaper things on the menu, prime rib, and finds it tough and overly chewy. As for the service, he says it’s some of the “wordiest” in the city, and this is compounded by a loud dining room “which is like being in the pit of the New York Stock Exchange when full and can make some of the servers hard to understand.” [SFBG]

Bauer Says Fog City Diner Still Blows; Hirsch Finds ‘Mayhem’ at