The Front Porch Bucket with a scoop of Ice Cream

by foodhoe on July 12, 2010

65a 29th St, SF, CA 94110 | 415.695.7800 | website

It would be really easy to miss this restaurant because if you didn’t know any better, you might think someone was having a garage sale or frontyard bbq…  The driveway has been converted into a open air porch where you can hang out and enjoy the cold clammy weather, it looks a bit chaotic but very inviting at the same time.

I met up with Liz and BG and their friend, dragonboat Lily who drove us over the bridge for the fried chicken, which is famous throughout the land. We entered the restaurant which is dark but very charming and cozy once your eyes become accustomed to the subdued light.  There are glowing lamps and candles that reflect onto the shiny vinyl booths and gleaming linoleum flooring.

Look at this this lovely chandelier, there are many little touches like this that add to the restaurant’s many charms.

We sunk into our cushy booths and looked over the menu. Lily had one ambition for the evening, and that was to try okra… so we began with an order of Deep Fried Okra that was served with jalapeno lime aioli to dip ($4).  I’d never tried okra either and it was such a treat to sink my teeth into the thin crackly batter which provided a lovely contrast to the okra, which had a firm, slightly sticky-creamy consistency that was augmented by the firm crunchy texture of the seeds.  These delectable nuggets were smoking hot fresh from the fryer and had us flapping our lips in an attempt to cool off our tortured tongues.

We decided to share everything and ordered the Spicy Shrimp and Grits, ($11) which we loved.  The dish is a Carolina low country dish of sauteed shrimp with bacon, mushrooms and garlic over Anson Mills grits. The grits were creamy and rich and the spicy sauce was bursting with flavor, every bite was a delight.  The garnish of chopped green onion added a fresh bright touch.

We all loved the ooey gooey Mac and Cheese ($6.50) which had the most deliciously browned melted cheesy top.  The macaroni was firm and the curved tubes were filled with the rich and creamy sauce.

We ordered the Gumbo with andouille sausage and chicken ($10) mostly because it had okra.  It came with just a little bit of rice and was rather plain when compared with the glamor of the other dishes.

The Green Bean Casserole with Parm bread crumbs($6) looked so delicious with the crunchy breadcrumb topping and creamy cheesy filling, but had an unexpected sour flavor that jarred our tastebuds.  Fortunately, our fried chicken arrived so we moved onto the main event.

The highly anticipated Bucket ($33-1/3) was served in a popcorn tub that you usually see at the movie theater.  How absolutely charming, it really invites you to dig in!

And the chicken made from momma Clara’s recipe with rocky jr chicken was delicious.  The meat was juicy and succulent, most probably brined, then coated with a spectacularly crisp and flavorful batter that compelled me to pull off and eat every last bit.

We inhaled the fragrant Garlic Mashers with gravy served along with Collard Greens.  I loved the greens, they melted in my mouth and had a silky texture flavored with rich chunks of pork belly

But my favorite thing from the whole meal was the popcorn.  The greasy pieces directly under the fried chicken were coated in a rich layer of schmaltz that was better than butter… seriously!  I couldn’t stop eating this…

That bucket was incredible and I am inclined to agree with these amusing stickers I found at the front desk…  I’d get the bucket just for the popcorn!

but we’re not done just yet…

Front Porch on Urbanspoon

We continued on for dessert at Mitchell’s Ice Cream, which is a couple of blocks away.  The desserts back at the Front Porch featured scoops of Mitchell’s ice cream, but we elected to stretch our legs for a bit of a walk to the source.  Mitchell’s is really the first ice cream parlor where I had ever experienced exotic flavors like avocado, ube, ginger and halo halo.  They opened in 1953 and make the best ice cream cakes and pies too and even if it’s cold and foggy outside, there’s usually a line.

After my last experience eating ice cream from a cup, I have vowed to only eat ice cream on a cone.  There is something about licking up the ice cream that just tastes better.  I got my favorite  delicious combination of Macapuno ice cream (the King of coconuts) dipped in chocolate on a sugar cone.  I was so full, but so in love…

Liz had a 2 scoop cone with banana and chocolate caramel.  She liked the banana best.

Lily, the dragonboat warrior, got a pint of chocolate and something that might have been coconut…  BG got a pint of Cantaloupe Ice Cream that he tucked away for future use.

We were so dang full…

Mitchell's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa July 13, 2010 at 12:52 am

A great and unusual looking restaurant. The food looks wonderful, especially that Mac & Cheese! Those ice creams look divine!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Liz July 13, 2010 at 9:44 am

I’m jealous of your meal. Especially that mac and cheese!

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Cookie July 13, 2010 at 10:48 am

What a cute place! You were totally right saying that it looked like a yard sale out there! Yum…Mac and Cheese and Fried Chicken!

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Carolyn Jung July 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm

The bucket of chicken with the popcorn at the bottom is crazy fun! I’ve heard good things about this place. Thanks for showing us how charming it is in words and pictures.

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Kirk July 13, 2010 at 10:03 pm

That food looked fabulous….. man I love fried okra so my tastebuds are going crazy.

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Single Guy Ben July 14, 2010 at 9:54 am

LOL, this is so such a commercial for Lipitor! That looks like such a cute space but it serves everything that will ruin my cholesterol. But I have to say that popcorn in the fried chicken bucket is a very original presentation. And I’m so jealous you went to Mitchell’s. I have yet to visit that institution.

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grace July 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm

fried okra is something of which i will never tire–it’s a lot of work to make at home, but good golly, is it ever worth it!

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consumable Joy July 14, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Oh my god. Look at that Mac & Cheese. Luscious.

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Bonnibella July 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Ooo, they have fried okra? The popcorn does sound more delicious soaking up the fried chicken fat.

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Mrs. L July 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm

What a fun place to go to eat. I was going to say I needed to try the Mac and Cheese but I think you won me over with the Fried Chicken and popcorn!

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M July 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Wow those shrimp n grits look relishing. I m trying this place when I m in SF next.

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foodhoe July 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm

rosa, yes two such fine eating establishments so close is quite a treat!
liz, it was so good
cookie, yep really cute spot and the food was excellent
carolyn, why you’re very welcome!
kirk, yeah I’ve been craving i ever since
single guy, yes not your usual favorites, but there were some non fried delicacies to tempt you with
grace, I’m thinking of giving it a try
CJ, yes luscious
bonnibella, yep, very good times!
Mrs. L, both are very good, but I’m really obsessed with the popcorn…

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hungry dog July 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I’m so glad you discovered the Front Porch! That is one of our favorite places, we go there about once a month. For several years we even lived within walking distance…*sigh*. And Mitchell’s…can’t go wrong there.

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mark July 15, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I love fried chicken (who doesn’t???), I would be all over those shrimp and grits!

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Passionate Eater July 29, 2010 at 12:52 am

I just went to the Front Porch (and Mitchell’s) yesterday and I thought the same thing about their fried chicken. It had to have been brined, it was so juicy! Have you tried the mango ice cream at Mitchell’s? They are known for that flavor.

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foodhoe July 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Hungry dog, you lucky dog you!
Mark, that dish caused great competition at the table
PE, it is so nice to hear from you! I haven’t had the mango ice cream, I always have to get the chocolate dipped cone and am not a big fruit and chocolate lover… but on a hot day I will remember to check it out.

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