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Food & Drink

Best Potato Chips 

Grand Cafe

One of the truly satisfying moments in American literature takes place after the hero of Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms deserts the Army and swims, hikes, and freight-hops across the wet, cold Italian countryside. Bedraggled and exhausted, he makes his way to a hotel bar in Stresa and enjoys a restorative repast of martinis and potato chips. The Grand Cafe is the closest thing San Francisco has to a belle époque watering hole: towering ceilings, ornate woodwork, lushly upholstered banquettes, and a classy little bar looking out on the theater district. Here the depleted adventurer can settle down to an icy martini and a big bowl of house-made potato chips. Light, crisp, and as thin as parchment, with flecks of peel throughout their irregular dimensions, these chips explode with luscious flavor; nibbling one is not unlike biting into a well-buttered heirloom spud. A bare minimum of grease and salt further showcases the chips' flavor. Only $2 per bowl, so even the most desperate of renegades can afford to relax, reflect, and munch.


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