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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Eat This: Garlic Bread at the Old Clam House

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge STEPHANIE KUO
  • Stephanie Kuo

The Old Clam House
is classic San Francisco. In fact, it’s one of the oldest restaurants in the city, having been established in 1861 along what was once the edge of the Bay. Yet when people think of quintessential San Francisco restaurants, the Old Clam House seems to be forgotten (probably because post-1906 earthquake fill pushed the shoreline two miles away).

A quick poll yielded two astounding facts: Nine out of 10 people had never been, and six of the 10 hadn’t even heard of it. If you happen to fall in either category, make a trip for a glimpse into San Francisco’s history and order one of the best treats I’ve had in a long time: Garlic Cheese Bread, “chorizo spiced."

After being greeted by a shot glass of warm, salty clam broth — the Old Clam House’s obligatory amuse bouche — I perused the classic seafood menu. All of your favorites are there: fish and chips, cioppino, and clam chowder (to name a few). What better accompaniment to sop up all of that cioppino goodness than an order of garlic bread? Done and done.

A cast iron skillet hits the table and at first I’m confused. What did I order? A rich, creamy pink sauce surrounds an island of a half loaf of crusty, cheesy sourdough bread. I rip off a piece and dunk in the ooey, gooey cheesy sauce that is studded with ground chorizo, paprika and coriander. It is insanely delicious and the star of the meal. If this is stuff that writes history, then it is right at home.

The Old Clam House, 299 Bayshore, 415-826-4880.

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Stephanie Kuo


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