Went to this place on Saturday and found the food to be surprisingly good. The Tee Off is a total dive bar near Lincoln Park and the golf course, hence the name. It is a neighborhood sports bar that hasn't been updated since sometime in the Reagan administration, except for the food. There is clutter and memorabilia stuck to the walls and filling the shelves (bobbleheads, toys, etc.). A shuffleboard table is pushed against the wall, a 1980s era juke box is pumping out 20 year old songs, the stools are on their 3rd or 4th round of rips and tears, and astroturf serves as flooring. The place is funky, divey, and has all the "come as you are" casualness of any neighborhood watering hole.
And the food....
The place has new owners (4 years in) who are committed to serving high quality, well executed food. The chef/owner has a fine dining background. It's so good and contemporary, it becomes anachronistic in this place. Their standard menu has around half a dozen comfort food dishes like mac & cheese, double cut pork chop with apricot relish, burger, etc. They also have specials. I ordered a special and got a whole trout over red quinoa and spinach. Fantastic flavors, perfectly prepared and very generous portion all around. My wife ordered the mac & cheese, which was prepared with pancetta and served in a cast iron skillet with a side salad. This was a very rich and creamy M&C, with a nice bite from asiago & parm and it had a crispy top, absolutely fantastic. This food would be worthy of any number of high end restaurants in the area (Zuni quality is a fair comparison IMO). The chef came out to chat with us and when he realized we were into food he prepared a little extra plate of smoked ribs for us to try on the house. Those were also excellent and were made by a pair of visiting bbq cooks from KC.
The portions are big and one entree could be shared. There is no real waitstaff, the place is still a dive bar. The people here are very friendly and super passionate about their business. We did see a couple of parties come in and walk out when they seemed a little put off by the dive bar atmosphere. Yes, the place could stand to be cleaned up a bit. I suspect that some have heard about the food and come in expecting a more structured restaurant experience. But if you are looking for good chow, give the Tee Off a try. You will not be disappointed in the food.
Tee Off Bar & Grill
3129 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121