Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Warming Hut

This post is based on my latest article for SFist in which I eat my way around the Bay Area in alphabetical order.

photograph picture cafe review of The Warming Hut Crissy Fields San Francisco

You may have noticed that my alphabetic journey around the restaurants of San Francisco has missed out the letter V. The closest I came to V last week was when my friend and potential dining partner, Penny, was stuck at home with Victory V throat lozenges and Vick's Vapour Rub. That's my excuse, during the season of snuffles and sickness, for skipping forward straight to the letter W and a place that sounds as if it will cure all ills, The Warming Hut.

You have all heard of stay-at-home-moms. right? A visit to The Warming Hut will expose their existance as a myth. In fact, the moms aren't at home at all. Instead they are hanging out in a beautiful stretch of San Francisco, right at the end of Crissy Fields, where the Bay waters gently lap up against a sandy little beach. A backdrop of The Golden Gate Bridge completes this idyllic postcard view and I wonder exactly why I wasn't even aware of the existance of this outpost of calm until a few of weeks ago. (Thanks for the tip, Amy!)

The Warming Hut takes an admirable stand. It sells itself as a model of environmental sustainability that is reflected not only in the freshly prepared food, but also by the items that are sold in the little shop attached to the cafe. Biodegrable soaps and honey made from local bees are things that you might not be able to resist dropping into your shopping basket. The building itself was even renovated using "green" products like recycled-denim cotton wall insulation, formaldehyde-free cabinetry.

The Warming Hut's menu is not one that will hold up well to regular visits. The salad special only changes once a month and the mainstay sandwiches number only three main choices which do include a vegetarian option. There is a daily soup special and an extra sandwich choice too, like the grilled, artisanal smoked Gouda and Niman Ranch ham on walnut bread I sampled on my last trip.

photograph picture cafe review of a sandwich from The Warming Hut Crissy Fields San Francisco

The food, although it has its heart in the right place, isn't spectacular enough in itself to draw the crowds. (I suspect it is the location that does that.) But even if you feel you are paying a little more than you should do for a self-service snack, when you take your lunch outside to feast on the view from a picnic table, you at least might feel a little warmer from knowing you have done your bit to support the Crissy Fields Center who benefit from The Warming Hut's proceeeds.

The Warming Hut
West end of Crissy Field,
Near the fishing pier.

Weight loss, weightwatchers and diet notes:

23 19.5 17.5 17.0 15.0 14.0
Much as I am enjoying seeing the pounds fall off, today is a slightly unsettling Weightwatchers day for me. WW give you a daily number of points to eat based on your weight. Unfortunately, as you lose weight you become smaller and therefore (at somepoint, like today) it is determined you need to eat even less to keep on losing weight. In real terms this means my 22 points food allowance drops to just 20 today. Perhaps this will be the incentive I need to get out and do a bit more exercise. (Exercising earns extra eating points).

Archive Alert! On this date in 2005: Jammy Vodka - Hangar One wins an award from me in the First Annual Independent Food Festival

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The Warming Hut


  • At 22/2/06 08:54, Blogger Farmgirl Susan said…

    I really enjoyed reading this. Loved the "stay at home moms" part. And congratulations to you on your weight loss success! Ra Ra Ra! Goooooo Sam! : )

  • At 22/2/06 08:55, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam, Jeanne here--congratulations on your WW progress!! I am impressed.

    Brian and I went over to Hangar One on a kind of last-minute adventure last week. They don't still have the raspberry vodka, but they have two stellar new flavors. Can you believe wasabi (made with fresh wasabi from the only grower in the U.S., in Oregon) and lapsang souchong tea?? Mmmmmmmm. So unusual, and so tasty. Definitely worth checking out!

  • At 22/2/06 17:31, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Welcome back Sam!

  • At 22/2/06 19:50, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    she's baaaaAAAAaaack!


    exercise? what's that?

    just kidding. i too have been *ahem* trying to get in some exercise, as the past year has seen my butt spread on my chair faster than liquid parkay!

    but you know - shopping around the farmers' markets is considered exercise, too ;)

  • At 22/2/06 22:38, Blogger Wags said…

    Congrats on the weight loss. Keep it up! And definitely try to get some exercise.. at least for me it was key to my recent weight loss.

  • At 23/2/06 18:56, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    So glad you are back :) Even if just for alittle bit..

  • At 23/2/06 22:54, Blogger Sam said…

    Barbara - the sniffles were my friend and dining partner, not me, fortunately, so far I have escaped them (must be all this healthy eating).

    I still havent got off my arse and it is two days since i tried to talk myself into the exercise. Its just a mental block but I have the hardest time getting past it. Denying myself food seems easer for some daft reason

    Farmgirl - thank you farmgirl, hey everyone - head over to see farmgirl, new born lambsies are popping out all over the place and they are seriously adorable.

    Jeanne - thank you - I did it despite Brian's wicked cheesecake.
    Keep the nuts away from me this saturday. The only fat thing I want to return from your poker night with is my wallet! We went to the launch party of Qi at Hangar One a couple of weeks ago, and although I wasn't convinced by the idea beforehand, I think it made great cocktails.

    Catherine - I am not really back - I just have those A to Zed commitments to take care of.

    Sarah - you're right - about the markets - but I am sure I am not doing my 10,000 steps. Maybe I need to buy a pedometer?

    Wags - I know the exercise was a big thing for me the last time, but i got a running injury and although that has long since been fixed, I am having problems finding the mental strength to begin an exercise programme. I just have to talk my head into the idea. SO far my powers of persuasion are sorely lacking.

    Clare - ok i have got the message. But how do I get that message through to the brain cells which control my fitness genes???

    thanks for your support everyone!


  • At 23/2/06 23:15, Blogger Civic Center said…

    Welcome back into the land of the living. The Welcome Shack, or whatever the f--- they're calling it, is weird and sterile and not quite right, and the food reflects that. I think you need to get out of the Satanic Mills at you-know-where and take over the food service of the Warming Hutttite yourself.

  • At 23/2/06 23:23, Blogger Sam said…

    Mike - How about I just bring some yummy goodies to your Oscar party instead, well, at least for starters???
    I can practice on you lot.
    Little bacon pies, buckwheat blinis, kir royale jellies, these are the ideas going through my mind right now, but maybe a little bit ambitious considering the work hours.
    I'll do my best when the time comes.

  • At 24/2/06 06:06, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam,

    This looks like a nice spot to visit indeed. What is this about? You are "gone" from blogosphere? mais non! I must have missed bits while gone myself.

  • At 14/4/06 11:20, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wish I could give the Warming Hut a negative star because of the poor and disturbing experience I had there. It started out well, but quickly took a turn for the worst. First, the sandwiches my co-workers and I received were on very dry, hard, bread, which was a small disappointment. That was nothing compared to the rude, unproffesional, and down right mean treatment we received from a blonde barista. Not only was she extremely unpleasant while taking our orders but, when I asked for a cup of water she violently snatched the cup out of my hand and slammed it down in front of me exclaiming she was busy. Busy or not, there was no reason for this behavior. I had plans to come back and purchase some gift items, but I will never spend another dime in the Warming Hut, and if anyone asks me the Warming hut is the 6th circle of hell, with demon spawn for employees.

  • At 17/4/08 08:52, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Welcome back Sam.


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