Hillstone

2 03 2014

I’ve done this before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again. A few weeks ago, I found myself wandering about the Embarcadero in search of food around 3pm. I wanted to see the newly remodeled Fog City Diner, so, starved, we walked down to their location across from Pier 23. For some unknown and seemingly unnecessary reason, they do not serve food between 2.30 and 4.30pm. I find that this happens to me on vacation a lot — arriving at a restaurant “between meals”. So irritating.

cheeseburger from hillstone ($19)

cheeseburger from hillstone ($19)

Now what? Well, a short stroll north down the Embarcadero is Hillstone. I’ve seen it many times before — it has a nice umbrella-covered outdoor patio and peaceful location on the west side of the street. And they’re open at 3pm for lunch or dinner or whatever you want to call it. They will give you food at 3pm if you give them money. Perfect.

The inside is large, open, and has built-in booths and dark wood accents. It has kind of an upscale lodge-y feel to it, which reminds me of a steakhouse. And while it’s not a steakhouse per se, it does have a similar menu that includes burgers, chicken, fish, ribs, and, indeed, steaks. While the atmosphere was nice, and the menu certainly looked good, my general feeling was that it seemed pretty ordinary-suburban. There is nothing wrong with this — it just didn’t particularly wow me with the special flair that is so common at SF restaurants.

house made veggie burger from hillstone ($19)

house made veggie burger from hillstone ($19)

We certainly did have an enjoyable meal, however. I had wanted to try a variety of the appetizers that looked delicious (house-smoked salmon, oak-grilled artichokes, spinach and artichoke dip, emerald kale salad…), but opted for the house-made veggie burger ($19) instead. My quest to try every veggie burger everywhere (and subsequently rank them, obviously) and my insatiable desire for french fries won out.

a closer look at that veggie burger

a closer look at that veggie burger

The veggie burger at Hillstone has beets in it, as evidenced by the red hue of the patty. Otherwise, I can’t tell you what else it’s made of, just that it’s good. My companion had a regular (meat) burger ($19), which he also thought was good. The fries were yummy, and the service was attentive. The whole experience was just fine, though I wouldn’t put either the restaurant or the veggie burger at the top of my list of favorites. So while I won’t be jumping to return, I will keep it in mind for the future — it’s always nice to know your options, especially for larger parties and outdoor seating.

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4 responses

3 03 2014
Diane Williams

That Fog City Diner thing is very annoying. I seem to always go there at the between meal time. I do not choose to go back as a result. Ate at Scotts in Walnut Creek last night. I haven’t had a seafood selection like that in sooo long! It was amazing and so was the seafood au gratin and sole that we ordered! Sounds like this place you reviewed would appeal to those who like coffee shops. I am not one, but even in the City, I suppose they exist.

5 03 2014
broccoliandchocolate

I’d definitely say it’s large step up from a coffee shop. It actually reminded me of that place in Napa-ish area that we went for your birthday or Mother’s Day last year… gosh, that’s a pretty sad description. Anyway, it was nice, just not super cute/cool/SF nice. I think you would actually like this place just fine, especially for the location.

5 03 2014
Tai Horowitz

Fog City just changed their hours so they are open all day now. Hooray!

5 03 2014
broccoliandchocolate

Really?! Good to know, thanks Tai!

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