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100 short reviews, Los Jarritos, L'Osteria del Forno

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100 short reviews, Los Jarritos, L'Osteria del Forno

Paul H | Jul 28, 2003 09:29 PM

Los Jarritos - Traveling along dreary stretches of Mission neighborhood sidewalk, you suddenly come upon an oasis at 20th and South Van Ness where the sidewalks are spotless, there are sheltering trees, and a few outdoor tables proclaim that you are at a place of rest and refreshment. You have arrived at a clean well-lighted place with many small jars and many delicious things. Los Jarritos servers a wide variety of well-prepared Mexican dishes from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m seven days a week. Breakfasts include Huevos Rancheros and Huevos Machaca (eggs with spicy dried chopped beef). Lunch and dinner offerings include the obvious tacos and burritos as well as Pollo en Mole, Quesadillas, and Posole. There are special soups each day; and on weekends you will find burria (BBQ goat soup) and menudo (tripe soup). The staff is friendly and efficient, and prices are extremely reasonable. Recommended

L'Osteria del Forno - My handy Internet "Language Tool" translates this as "The Tavern of the Furnace." I suspect a better translation might be the Café with the Oven. If they cook it here, they do it in the oven. There is no stove, and because this tiny neighborhood place only has 28 tables, no stove means more tables; and, more tables means less wait, but you will probably have to stand on the sidewalk for 20 to 40 minutes anyway. "Hold on," you say. "How can this be a neighborhood place? It’s on COLUMBUS AVENUE!" It’s a neighborhood place because I met an 80-year-old lady there who has eaten dinner there over 500 times. I suspect she is good friends with the two ladies from Italy (cities of Varese and Bologna) who own the L'Osteria del Forno. I also met someone from Telegraph Hill who was writing a book on parrots (green and living in San Francisco, I think. The parrots). And it isn’t that I’m particularly extroverted, these tables are pretty close together. I had SPIEDINO DI AGNELLO (Skewered lamb marinated in ginger, rosemary, garlic with roasted potatoes and mixed salad), which was okay, but not up to what I was expecting given the high reputation. Perhaps the thin-crust pizzas or foccine (focaccia sandwiches), or the pork roasted in milk with potatoes would have been a better choice. When I go back, I’ll try one of those. No recommendation

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