Lunch at a landmarkEat This! Thursday, October 27th, 2016
According to Merriam-Webster, “hobnob” is defined as time spent with someone (especially a famous or wealthy person) in a friendly way. “Butch” is famous for his acerbic sense of humor and is a wealth of scandalous gossip, so I guess you could say we “hobnobbed” at Hob Nob Hill.
Hob Nob Hill has been serving reasonably priced home cooked food and providing excellent service since opening their doors in 1946. The landmark restaurant and bakery has long been a “go to” favorite for a couple of my close associates, so I followed their lead and stopped in for lunch one recent afternoon with Butch in tow.
With a nod to their landmark status, the spacious restaurant’s décor is one of casual gracious sophistication. Chandeliers gleam overhead. Large booths are upholstered with a subtle paisley fabric of muted golds and silvers. The place was packed for lunch, the crowd predominantly comprised of senior citizens; which tells me the food is good and not heavily salted or seasoned.
Jenn, our friendly and efficient waitress, pegged us as first-timers. I asked how could she tell? “I’ve been working here for 16 years and never forget a face,” she replied.
The extensive lunch menu offers appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches and lunch plates such as grilled fish fillet or fried eastern scallops. There are daily specials, too, ranging from corned beef and cabbage on Monday, to smoked baby back ribs on Friday.
Butch slaked his thirst with an “almost bottomless mimosa” ($12) – limit six glasses – while I enjoyed a Stone Pale Ale ($5). The medium-bodied coppery colored pour, 6 percent alcohol by volume, presents fruity notes of peach and apricot over a malty caramel backdrop. Quaffable!
Our appetizer arrived piping hot from the kitchen. Roasted potato skins ($10) overflowing with melted cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese topped by crisp bacon bits and chopped green onions. Sides of sour cream and ranch dressing complete the presentation. A tasty “heart attack in every bite” according to Butch.
I enjoyed the Roast Turkey Sandwich ($12.50). Thin slices of roast turkey breast are piled on toasted wheat bread with crisp iceberg lettuce, tangy ripe tomato slices and creamy mayonnaise. The sandwich is accompanied by half a canned peach filled with cranberry sauce. Slathering the sweet/tart sauce on the savory turkey really bumps up the flavor profile.
Butch didn’t care much for the patty melt ($13) though, served on grilled rye with caramelized onions. He said the patty was “flavorless” and had a soft “gelatinous” chew. I took a bite and agreed with his observations. The highlight of his selection was the perfectly cooked French Fries – crispy on the outside, steamy and tender on the inside.
We perused the dessert menu. Hob Hob Hill is known for their baked goods and offerings include a variety of pies and cakes, fruit cobbler, sundaes served with chocolate or caramel sauce, a cup of ice cream or sherbet, a fresh fruit bowl or fresh from the oven cookies.
Hob Nob Hill is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’re looking for unpretentious home cooked food, then this Bankers Hill landmark is just the place. Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.
Hob Nob Hill
2271 First Ave.
Open 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
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