Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store - North Beach - San Francisco
Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store 566 Columbus Ave San Francisco CA 94133 415 362-0536
When I first moved to San Francisco I lived in North Beach for a year and a half. Although I think I must have visited almost every eating spot in the area, I've never written about any of them on my blog. A few weeks ago I had a hankering for my old haunts and I dragged Fred over to San Francisco's version of Italy for a leisurely afternoon brunch.
A rare moment: Mario's bar is empty. Two minutes later it was jam-packed full.
Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store no longer has anything to do with cigars and everything to do with people watching, toasted sandwiches, coffees and tumblers of cheap wine. It's the kind of place you can dine alone and still feel comfortable. I used to come here by myself with a magazine or a book, prop myself up at the bar, linger over a latte and watch the world go by.
Fred tried one of the famous meatball, swiss cheese, onions, marinara sandwiches on toasted focaccia $8.25.
I was yearning for my old favourite. Grilled Chicken #1 with dijon mustard, pepper jack cheese and onions, $8.50.
Our sandwiches were a little bit dry and overcooked, on this visit. The mustard was just as good and spicy as I remembered. The pickled green pepper garnish, always my favourite thing on the plate, was just as addictive as ever.
We were drinking a cheap red wine. They served it in glass tumblers. In a surprise move, the waiter came over and topped up our glasses for free. Thanks Mario's!
Chouquets is a new French restaurant in Pacific heights. Read my Chowhound review here. Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store - North Beach - San Francisco