Friday night my husband and friend found ourselves having dinner at Capp's Corner in North Beach.
I had some ideal of the restaurant from Chronicle's restaurant review, but what took place during the meals was more than just food, it was fun and entertaining as well.
A smallish family style restaurant, Capps was packed when we got there around 7:30pm. We had a reservation, but I don't think that mattered, the host didn't even bother to check his board. He sat us done on a long table with a big party already present. Because there are three of us, my husband ended up facing a stranger. At first I tried getting us a separate table, but the host said this is a family style restaurant and that everybody just sits with everybody else. Seeing that there are no other seats available we took the seats. The party already present turned out to be celebrating a birthday, and there are some very friendly Australians present as well. We chit chat through out the meals and even sang happy birthday to the birthday boy. The mood was so friendly and festive it's easy to over look some of its shortcomings (though you can consider them "charms").
The menu consists of two price prix fix menus, $14.95 and $16.95. All meals come with soup, salad, bread, entree and spumoni (sp?). Depending on the type of entree the price differs. I ordered chicken parmesan, my husband had the Italian sausages and my friend had the baked eggplant. All three entrees came with steamed vegetables and a small side of pasta.
My chicken was excellent, pounded really thin, it was breaded and probably pan fried. The meat was juicy and flavorful. My husband's Italian sausages were sweet and a little spicy, served with some green and red bell peppers. Grilled nicely, it was a very basic sausage dish. My friend's baked eggplant seemed to me like an eggplant parmesan. It was delicious. Piping hot, it came in a creamy tomato sauce.
The not so good part (or the charming part) is that the soup and salad came in a big metal bowl to the tableside. We have serve ourselves. Both were not bad, not the best soup or salad, but decent. I guess to keep the cost down they had to do things differently. I did feel a little institutional when I was ladling out the soup into my husband's bowl :)
Overall we had a great time at Capp's Corner. I think the low price, the friendly dinning-mates and the not so bad food made Capp's a good value. I think we'll definitely be back again.
Capp's Corner 1600 Powell St
San Francisco, CA (415) 989-2589