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Restaurants & Bars 1

Park Chalet (long)

Food Dog Man | Jul 6, 2004 05:50 PM

Well, since nobody else seems to have gone to the place despite my plea two weeks ago:

Piggy-backed to the Beach Chalet we now have the Park Chalet, two months old. Call first to ascertain the micro-climate, which can be totally different from the rest of the Bay Area. The restaurant has lots of doors and windows which can be opened or shut, looking out on a nice but not overly elaborate garden (California poppies mostly), but the fact that there's a garden at all (and no cars) immediately makes it one of the best places to eat al fresco around. There are also a dozen permanently outside tables.

As A Place To Take Your Dog, it cannot be beat. They let Dog sit with you at your (outside) table and provide a bowl of water. Either pre- or post-beach, Dog will like it. (Don't go to the beach on July 4th, when the imitation Hitlers with littler charm are out in force insisting that beach dogs be leashed. Sheesh!)

We called ahead, but a reservation was not necessary (2:00 p.m. Sunday). They will take your reservation over the 'net in advance, I think.

We were seated too near some kind of band, and moved, which created mental disarray in the waitstaff. The band was (a) too loud, and (b) inappropriate, not seeming to know anything more intricate than major, minor, and a few seventh chords. Some classical or jazz would have been great. It was so loud that our first waiter didn't hear me yelling what I thought was his name (Lars? Larch?) in my attempt to let him know we were moving. I told another waiter about it, and then finally a server appeared and immediately apologized for the wait in getting our order taken, and got our food on the table very quickly. They seem to have the same tag-team approach to service as the Beach Chalet does, which is unnerving. Who is this complete stranger bringing us our order? What happened to the person we gave the order to?

They also have the six-beers-in-thimbles thing like the Beach Chalet, which is pointless unless you have a spit cup. After imbibing three small beers, my taste buds are ready for a long nap. Fortunately, they also have all the beers the Beach Chalet does, so you can just order a tall one and enjoy it.

Food Dog Child had the chicken wings, which were very good, with a smoky sweet BBQ sauce. Food Dog Wife had the beer batter fish and chips, and I regret to say that I cannot report on how they tasted, since Wife and Dog finished them off. She liked them. He likes everything.

I had the Reuben, which was a total mistake. There's really only way to make a Reuben, so why use it to check out a new place? Any differences are not gonna be perceived as improvements. This Reuben had plenty of differences, starting with the very thick bread. You have to have a lion's mouth to eat the damn thing. It came with a pile of not potato chips but, get ready for it, "root vegetable chips", which were a definite improvement on eating plastic packing peanuts, but not much of one. Tasteless, and some (the yam chips, I think, or maybe they were rutabaga) not even crisp, BY DESIGN. We also had some kind of pile of shaved onion rings which resembled Marge Simpson's hairdo.

It's slightly high-end pricing, running us around $55 for lunch. I recommend it to families on the Chow theory that there's gonna be something on the menu for everyone, even smaller people who only eat fries and onion rings. I'm willing to forgive the Reuben, and will definitely try it again and report back on some of the other menu selections (see attached), because it's such a damned nice place to go. I'll wait 'til it's a touch warmer, though, which probably means after the "summer".

Link: http://beachchalet.com/menus/index.ph...

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