Here we are in the Mission district in San Francisco and hungry for breakfast. As the Mission has a lot of Mexican restaurants, Tom had a hankering for Mexican food.
From the outside, Gallardo’s does not look that exciting and I was reluctant to give it a try but Tom said the reviews were good so we ventured inside. Granted it was 7.30 on a Sunday morning but there was only one other customer inside. I wasn’t sure there would be anything I would like to eat – remember my preference is for oatmeal – so I asked if I could look at the menu first (there was not one posted outside). The one and only server was very friendly and was happy for me to look at the menu. There were obviously a lot of Mexican dishes, like scrambled eggs and cacti, but, lo and behold, they had oatmeal. That was good enough for me, so we decided to stay and try it out.
The server said we could sit anywhere we liked. It is large restaurant and the tables are large too. We chose a table in the L-shape section. On top of each table is a thick sheet of glass. The chairs at our table were wooden but most of the chairs were metal with padded seats which would have been more comfortable I’m sure.
After a great deal of deliberation Tom chose the Pozole. He could chose between a large or a small bowl; he chose the large ($8) plus a serving of tortillas. My choice, of course, was oatmeal ($3.50). I could have had bananas to go with it but declined. To drink Tom had coffee ($1.50) and I had fresh orange juice ($3.50).
As it was a Mexican restaurant, you would expect the decor to be Spanish with brightly colored artifacts displayed. Here it is not like that. Instead there are large black and white photographs from Mexican movies of the 40′s and 50′s. Of course we didn’t recognize any of the actors.
We were amazed when the food arrived. Both the Pozole and the oatmeal came in huge round bowls. Tom’s dish came with several side plates – one containing shredded cabbage, chopped radishes and sour cream; another with chopped onions, chopped parsley and quarters of limes; a small bowl of chopped sage and last, but not least, three tortillas. The Pozole consisted of a tomato based broth with big chunks of pork (some still on the bone) and hominy. My oatmeal already had the milk added and it came with toast. The orange juice came in a large glass. I knew it was really fresh because I had just seen our server juicing the oranges.
We got stuck in. Both dishes were hot, filling and delicious but neither of us could finish our meal as there was just too much. We knew lunch could be skipped as we had had enough food to last us until dinner time. My oatmeal had a flavor to it but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. When the server cleared our dishes I asked her what it was and her answer put me off a bit as she said it came from a packet and the flavor was cinnamon. I’m very much against processed food and certainly would not have had it if I’d known it was instant.
Before we left, I had to visit the restroom of course. At least there were two restrooms here – one for men and one for women. Inside it was your standard multi purpose restroom which was suitable for wheelchairs as well. It was clean and functional with the added touches of a large artificial tree in a pot with very dusty leaves and a carved wooden and painted brightly colored flower.
With our check came two candies – a Tootsie Roll and a mini Crunch bar. We certainly couldn’t eat them there and then but I put them in my pack just in case we did get peckish later.
Our final verdict is that we would only go back if Tom wanted Pozole again as he was very impressed. If I had not known that the oatmeal was instant I would be raving about it too. All in all though I am very glad that we did decide to stay and eat there because on the whole we liked it.
Gallardo’s Mexican Restaurant
1807 Folsom St
(between 15th St & 14th St)
San Francisco, CA 94103