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Restaurants & Bars 2

Grubs Hit Bay III – Magnolia, Marshall, Ralph

Mr Grub | May 5, 200411:34 AM

Late Sun a.m. heading for Sunset District on Haight. At Masonic, spot Magnolia Brewpub & parking space! Holy serendipity!

Looks like a Grubby kind of place, so check it out. Seems to be a cross btwn hip brewpub & Haight-funky joint. On Sun a.m., folks—customers & staff alike—laid back to the point of somnambulance. The fetching Mrs G spots a notice in the window about Magnolia’s serving the best hamburger in SF, or the universe & all stops btwn, so she’s all over that. For the Grubman—breakfast, your basic bacon & eggs.

Eureka! Mrs G declares the burger the best she’s ever had anywhere. The Mondo Grub grubs his fair share (half) & agrees. They cook it rare, so high-quality patty remains flavorful & juicy. All condiments are also fresh & 1st-rate. As a bonus, the bkfst, too, is exceptional. Smoky bacon & perfectly cooked eggs. Don’t know if SF hounds have propped this place, but in the grand burger schema, it’s in the top box.

Monday & the Grubs are cruising along Rte 1 north of Marin gawking at wildflowers. Mid-afternoon, after hours of finding absolutely nowhere to chow, stop at Marshall Store on Tomales Bay to slurp some oysters. A couple dozen oysters & 2 loaves of bread later, we’re re-stoked. Best we can tell, Marshall Store is a bait shop, general store, boat dock, & restaurant. Ate at a 50s-style ‘kitchen table’ in the middle of the store (which is about the size of a one-car garage). A hoot-and-a-half. Find it a bit peculiar tho that oysters eaten, oh, 4 feet from their point of origin cost more than those at Swan Oyster Depot. I guess it’s that high Marshall overhead.

So … if you are ever in Healdsburg & wondering where to filleth thine face, Les Grubbes recommend the ever-popular Bistro Ralph. [Whose name may result in a new Grub hint for selecting a restaurant in an unknown area: If the cook is so confident in his/her cooking that he/she names the place off-handedly, say Bistro Ralph or Janet’s Food, it may just be great.]

For him, steak frites—sliced rare hanger steak & shoestring fries. Nice. For her – She shoots! She scores! Again! – a marvelous lamb sandwich. Wonderful, chilling-cold J sparkling wine with. [We’d just had J’s unique & delightful taste pairings at the winery.] Our guest loved her simply grilled halibut. Extra order of shoestrings. Total about $90 before tax. Doesn’t get any better. Or does it?

In Grub World, one gets bonus points for scavenging. At nearby table Matt Gallo & friends were barrel tasting red wines. When they left, we scored the bottles (barely touched, of course) & polished off most of the 3, including one that tasted suspiciously like a stupendous Zin-to-be. Ahhhh. Life is good.

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