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Dinner al Fresco at Park Chow, SF

Melanie Wong | Nov 20, 200502:19 AM

On Friday when my mother felt like having a salad and a simple piece of grilled fish, I consulted the Chowhound's Guide to try to come up with something suitable near the hospital. The answer was on page 27, Park Chow.

This was a first visit for both of us. Arriving shortly after 6pm, the place was packed with families with small children. The wait for tables inside was about 15 minutes then. We decided to snag one of the sidewalk tables which are not part of the waitlist inventory. Luckily Mom had bundled up with a heavy sweater and was fine sitting outside. Btw, one of the overhead heaters kicked on at 7pm. She enjoyed the street scene here of crowds waiting for tables.

I had the Friday special, a petrale sole sandwich with mango-avocado salsa and chipotle cream with a side of salad, $8.95. This was too delicate a fish to bury under so much bread so I pushed aside the top of the bun. Even eaten just as an open face sandwich with a fork and knife, there was still too much bread. My lemonade was good.

Mom made better choices. Her medium-sized roasted beet salad with arugula, $6.50, was just the right portion for her. She added the fish of the day topper, choosing seared ahi tuna, $6.95. The tuna was very fresh and cooked medium-rare. Mom commented that it had a good grilled and smoky taste to it. She enjoyed every bit of her salad, crunched up the goat cheese-topped croutons, and picked up every little piece of chopped walnut on her plate using chopsticks. This had a generous amount of red beets, though none of the golden beets mentioned on the menu description. She kept putting the red endive on my plate. I think she liked having a choice of chopsticks, fork and knife at the table, also the extra napkins and toothpicks in the caddy.

All in all, a solid meal and the price was right.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/...

Image: http://home.earthlink.net/~melanista/...

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