[link to same article illustrated with pictures can be found at the bottom of this page]
1 Market St San Francisco, CA 94105
Date of our visit - December 2004
O V E R - P R I C E D
Such is the curse of having a boyfriend with an unadventurous palate. Christmas shopping at San Francisco's Ferry Building we found ourselves to be peckish and in need of some quick nourishment. There are many places there I would love to try, but none of these appeal to the carnivorous Frenchman who loves nothing more than a slab of medium-rare cow lying in between two wads of cushy carbohydrate with a pile of crispy carbohydrate to the side.
To appease him I suggested Taylor's Automatic Refresher, even though I had tried it in the summer with a couple of English friends (when the weather was more clement and we could, at least, enjoy sitting outside). On that occasion we determined that their Fish and Chips (Fresh Mahi Mahi served with fries, slaw, & tarter sauce), were mediocre at best.
Despite the steep prices (for what they deliver) there is no waitress service at Taylor's. Pick up one of their huge menus and peruse it as fast as you can before you reach the front of the queue. On this occasion there was no line at all, causing our decisions to be more hurried than they might have been. For example, we didn't notice that fries weren't included with the burgers. This is one place where I might actually have liked the server to enquire "Would you like some fries with that?". Once you have paid, you are given a strange device (pictured above), that will bleep and flash at you, in irksome fashion, once your meal is ready to be picked up from the counter.
If you find yourself a free table, the chances are that it won't have been cleared or wiped and that discarded bits of food are trampled on the floor underneath. Despite, the clean, sharp looking graphics above the kitchen and the attractive stainless steel counters, the setting for your meal might actually verge on grimy. Despite it's allusions to grandness, this place uses plastic cutlery. Is it trying to be a glorified fast food chain?
PATTY MELT On grilled rye with Swiss cheese, grilled onions, mayo, & dijon mustard 6.99
Fred asked for this dish with something other than rye. He asked for a regular bun, not sourdough. He ended up with sweet white toast. Fred thought it tasted awful. He complained all afternoon about the burger repeating on him. I can quote him as having said, I ate it because I was hungry, otherwise I wouldn't have gone anywhere near it.
AHI BURGER Fresh Ahi tuna seared RARE with ginger wasabi mayo & asian slaw on a Sciambra bakery egg bun 11.99
To be fair, this was actually tasty. The portion was unbelievably small (despite the close-up beauty shot which might kid you into thinking it was enormous). The tuna tasted good and was thick. The bun, despite being toasted, was soft and slightly shriveled. The slaw was crunchy and spicy and a great contrast to the mushy bun. My main complaint would be that there is something watery in the sauce used, causing the bun to turn "wet" and making liquid dribble out all over the place whilst you are trying to eat it.
In conclusion: The Ferry building is obviously a destination for both tourists and locals alike. The plaza is aware of its appeal and I can't blame for the stores inside, who no doubt paying large rents, for cashing in on their captive audience. However, I think Taylors is pushing it a bit too far. At those prices they should at least provide a clean environment, staff with a little more savvy, decent utensils, larger portions and a more interesting wine list.
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