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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Missed Opportunities With The Patriot, the Bar Rescued Holding Company

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 11:17 AM

click to enlarge ANNA ROTH
  • Anna Roth
The Holding Company in the ever-confusing Embarcadero Center has been Bar Rescued and become The Patriot, an "American gastropub" with trappings to match (muskets, oil paintings, old flags, light up numbers that spell out 1776 as though it's a Revolutionary War-themed Taylor Swift video).

The restaurant is fine, as these things go, crowded on a recent Friday lunch hour with nearby workers eating sandwiches and burgers and watching one of many, many big-screen TVs. But oh, the missed opportunities.

click to enlarge ANNA ROTH
  • Anna Roth
Here's the thing: If you are going to theme a San Francisco restaurant around obscure presidents and our nation's founding, at least go all the way with it. Only a few of the menu items follow the theme, like Millard Fillmore's Minestrone, John Quincy Adams' Peacefield Farm Salad, and Franklin Pierce's Smashed Potatoes. There's nary a pun in sight.

Where's the Aaron Burr-ito? The Paul Revere-tini ("One if by car, two if by BART")? Why serve a patty melt when you could serve a Patrick Henry Melt ("Give me liberty or give me a hamburger on rye with grilled onions.")?  And why would you make a complicated vodka-and-blackberry number called Grant's Elixir, apparently named after the drink that perked up Ulysses S. Grant on his deathbed, when you could make a delicious Corpse Reviver instead? 

click to enlarge ANNA ROTH
  • Anna Roth
As far as the food, I cannot tell a lie: I was a little disappointed with the puddle of broth that came in the bowl of George Washington's Fish Stew ($13.95; Washington, apparently, was "very fond" of fish), but I did appreciate the generous portion of fish and mussels. It made for a fine lunch under the watchful eye of our first president.

click to enlarge ANNA ROTH
  • Anna Roth
I can't say as much for the Blue Whiskey Van, a drink named after Martin van Buren's alcoholism and made with a blend of George Dickel white corn whiskey, lemon, and Blue Curacao. It looked like Windex and tasted like freshman year of college.

click to enlarge ANNA ROTH
  • Anna Roth

Our waitress came by halfway and asked how we liked it. We made noncommittal noises. "That was one of Bar Rescue's recipes, we're just testing it out," she says, implying in her tone that it is not necessarily a drink she would choose to serve if it were up to her. Bar Rescue's judgement is sometimes not the best. But despite all the new trappings, The Patriot House remains a fine sports bar downtown, and perhaps wisely, that's all it is trying to be.

[via Inside Scoop]


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About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Bio:
Anna Roth is SF Weekly's former Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.

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