San Francisco is known for food and culture. If you are looking for a real treat, try The Grove. If there were a bucket list for food, this place would be on it. It’s one of those rare family-owned places that serves up passion and pleasure that is hard to find today. According to owner, Kenneth Zankel, it’s like a “barn from Vermont taken over by the Ramones and the Clash”. The décor includes real trees from the Grand Canyon inside the restaurant. The trees were transported and reconstructed with reinforced steel beams to be structurally safe. It makes for a unique atmosphere that is organic and chic, with a warm woods feel and a sense of outdoor cabin fever.

Kenneth opened the Grove in 1999, along with his wife, Anna, who did all of the decorating and design. Their partnership included Executive Chef, Jeffrey Saad. Jeffrey is a TV personality with a season on “Next Food Network Star”, is the host of the Cooking Channel’s “United Tastes of America”, and has had appearances on Chopped All Stars, Rachel Ray, and Bobby Flay’s show. He is a cookbook author and teacher.

With these credentials, you can understand how the food is so good. I was instantly addicted and wanted to hook up an IV and take it with me, like food-spotting. You can’t die until you’ve tried their famous French Toast soaked in egg custard and served over freshly baked oven roasted Sweet Batard.

The menu is as eclectic as the music and the ambiance with favorites like the Eggs Florentine. It has poached eggs over Wolferman’s English muffin with arugula, Roma tomatoes, Parmesan sauce, plus rosemary hash browns. You can top it all off with a Lavender Mimosa.

Their commitment to good food, and the passion that goes into preparing it, is an artform. Every day, Jeffrey and his staff roast whole turkeys for the turkey club, roast flank steak for the steak sandwiches, spend four hours making Bolognese sauce, and hand-roll their own pastries for the house-made chicken pot pie. They also have organic coffees, organic teas, and homemade chili and soups. They have happy hour with food and drink specials daily from 3-6pm. Enjoy every moment at this fun, hidden gem.