Saturday, July 14, 2012

O is for: Outerlands {Restaurant Review}

Tucked away on Judah street in the Outer Sunset, where the fog creeps in early and often stays all day, you’ll find the quaint little hideaway of Outerlands. It’s a refuge from the cool San Francisco air with its welcoming vibe and the basket of cozy blankets at your disposal while you wait outside for your table.

Once seated, the staff is as warm as the atmosphere, and the food and drinks are equally comforting. It was the perfect spot this week to meet up with my friend Kim as we were having one of those frigid July days in San Francisco.

This was actually my second lunchtime trip to Outerlands, and I already knew I would be having a mug of their hot ginger lemon apple cider. Then our server threw us a delicious curveball: “Would you like to add buffalo trace bourbon to that?” Why yes, yes I would. And while you're at it, I’ll take two.

The place is small, with concrete floors, reclaimed wood paneling and a gorgeous wooden bar that gives way to the open kitchen. It’s like if you took the coolest tree house ever and then served really kick-ass food inside.

One of their more popular dishes is the grilled cheese sandwich. This is not your typical bread-and-cheese deal. It’s like grilled cheese on steroids. The crazy-thick slices of homemade bread are brushed with garlic oil and seared on a cast iron skillet. It’s cheesy and crunchy. My only complaint is it’s a *tad* too thick and a *smidge* too crunchy on the crusts. OK, we get it. You like rustic bread. That said, I still smashed it and gobbled it down cheerfully. I got the combo, which came with a bowl of potato leek soup, which is topped with toasted walnuts and rosemary oil. This was the star of my meal. While I adored the grilled cheese, this soup was warm and complex and rich…everything comfort food should be. 

I also had a bit of food envy as soon as I saw Kim’s plate. She ordered one of the hot open faced sandwiches. This one had fried egg, bacon, Anaheim peppers, provolone and parmesan. The peppers really stepped the flavors up a notch in this one. Each bite was smoky and spicy and heavenly.

And because we just weren’t quite done catching up yet, we each ordered a second cup of the spiked cider. So if you’re looking for a warm escape from the San Francisco fog and a great place to catch up with friends, Outerlands is definitely worth the trek!


  1. Usually I know about restaurants you review, but every so often you introduce me to a place I've never heard before. Outerlands is one such example. I'm going to try this place. That spiked apple cider is all mine!


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