Coming Up Roses
Rose's Cafe & Rosamunde's Sausage Grill
This is a copy of my latest article for SFist in which I eat my way around the Bay Area in alphabetical order and then write about it in SFist style using the 'royal we. We have just got as far as the letter R.'
This week, on our travels, we are are coming up roses as we share two favourite eating spots we return to again and again. Rosamunde's Sausage Grill and Rose's Cafe could not be more different but we love them both, just about equally.
Rose's Cafe, on the end of Union Street in upmarket Cow Hollow first lured us in a few years ago with a tempting thin crust brunch pizza topped with a gloopy-yolked egg, ribbons of prosciutto and a scent of truffle oil. Although we don't feel overly at ease with the smart, well-dressed, perfectly-coiffeured Ladies-Who-Lunch crowd, the "oh my god" Marinaesques or the sometimes boozy business associates who populate this sunny corner spot in the hours after midday, we distance ourselves, when we can, by electing to sit outside on one of the sidewalk tables. Last week we even peacefully lunched there in the drizzling rain.
The bright yellow awnings are deep and robust which makes year round dining perfectly possible, especially with the heat lamps to help when the air is more chill. Those pizzas, delicious by the way, are available on the lunch menu priced from $13 (watch out for the luxurious extra toppings - they soon add up). Other choices include pastas and salads. We love their unique sandwiches called a cosy which are a homemade sesame-crusted pocket described as a housemade pitta but tasting more like pizza dough and then stuffed with an exotic filling. These days we are usually most tempted by the appetizers which make for a lighter and less expensive lunch. Less expensive doesn't necessarily come cheap, however. On our last visit, a bruschetta smothered in a saucy porcini ragu with one of the freshest poached eggs imagineable languishing on the surface, was a special treat. It cost $10 so, delicious as it tasted, it's not a lunch we could justify affording to eat every day.
Rosamunde's Sausage Grill, on the other hand, is a place that favours your wallet as much as your tastebuds. It's hard to believe that there are any San Franciscan's who haven't yet made the pilgrimage over to the lower Haight, so if you haven't put Rosamunde's on your list of places to try make sure you take note. The menu is simple and frilless, just your choice of grilled sausage on a toasted bun with onions, peppers, chili or sauerkraut and mustard (the wasabi is our particular favourite). There is a style of sausage to suit almost every taste including more unusual varieties like duck and merguez. Being a fan of the thin sausage ourselves, we usually opt for the Bratwurst which comes as a double meat hit.
You can either eat your dog propped up at one of the small window counters or be more adventurous and head to the fabulous, grungy Toronado bar next door and wash it down with one of their incredible selections of beer. Tuesday lunchtime only is burger day at Rosamunde's when obsessed hoardes travel from all over town to pick up one of their famous, juicy, grilled patties in a bun. Expect a much longer wait than the usual five or ten minutes for them to meet your order at this time, but don't be surprised if you bump into people you know or haven't seen for a long while. It can be quite the social meeting spot. Now, if only we could persuade them to add a nice British chipolata to their International selection of bangers...
Rosamundes: 545 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, 437-6851
Rose's Cafe: 2298 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123, 775-2200
These reviews were Tried & Tested
PS The most informative and fascinaing post I have read in a long time: Mince Pies with the meat here.