KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Maverick
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
Previous Posts
Salon du Chocolat dans La Grande Pomme
Check, Please! Bay Area: Episode 2
Cook by the Book: The Best Recipes in the World
Ode to Canteen
Persimmons Please
Le Soufflé ~ Le Oooh, Le Ahhh
Check, Please! Bay Area premieres
Cheeses Christ Superstar!
Take 5 with Colton Harmon
Direct Fundraising, Gourmet Style
 
 
BAB Guidelines

'Bay Area Bites' is part of KQED's Blog Authors Collaborative. Blog contributors and commentators are solely responsible for their content. If you're interested in writing or contributing to a blog on kqed.org, email us with your idea.
 
Monday, November 14, 2005
Maverick
Texas seems to be following me around. I don't mean in a scuffed-boots-wearin, rifle-toting, big-hair, scary kind of way. More like a "howdy, ya'll!" kind of way. Let me explain. About a month ago I returned to Texas for the first time in 12 years, on my very own Texas Tour 2005 (I hit my hometown of Dallas, as well as San Antonio and Austin where I went to college). But those details are for another time (trust me, there's enough fodder there to last a lifetime). Suffice it to say, when I was there I was reunited with a whole slew of college friends, some of whom I hadn't seen since graduation.



You might be wondering what all this has to do with Maverick, the teensy little restaurant in the Mission which opened in July to big buzz. Well, I'm getting to that. When I returned from Texas, my close friend Trey (also a college buddy) had taken it upon himself to plan an SF gathering of a handful of our college friends who lived in the area, something we'd been trying to do for quite some time.

Not only was it appropriate to have a reunion of Texas friends at a restaurant called Maverick, but it also just so happened that Trey had designed and built all of the ambient lighting, which set the warmly colored dining room aglow (you can check out his work here). The most memorable aspect of Maverick's swanky design, in my (completely unbiased) opinion, is Trey's modular map of the U.S., set over the family-style table in the front dining room.



{An aside} What is it with me writing about tiny restaurants? What is it with tiny SF restaurants, are they the new rage? Or just the only thing that is affordable. Don't get me wrong, I really do like them, but the downside to all that coziness is the roar of the packed-in crowd. At a table of 10, it's not only impossible to hear the person at the other end of the table but also the person sitting right next to you. Or am I just getting old? I'm not offering solutions here, merely suggesting that you be prepared to scream at your friends or your date if you come here.



Not to open this on a negative note, because I really was impressed with this place. We arrived a bit late, but were immediately given wine and water (and let me tell you those glasses were kept full all night, a definite nod to the excellent service we received). One interesting thing that Maverick does--and remember, they are not only a restaurant, but also a wine bar--is to "wash" the wine glass with a splash of whatever wine it is that you'll be drinking. It's an interesting idea, apparently something that's done in Europe? I'm not entirely sure of the point, but if anyone can explain I welcome your comments.



But on to the food, because really that's why we are here, right? We started our feast by ordering an embarassing amount of the crab fluffs that I'd heard so much about (Maverick changes it's menu often according to the seasons, but apparently crab fluffs are a mainstay. Thank goodness.) In fact, we ordered one round and they were so good, we had to order a second. Three plump, round, fried nuggets of crabmeat were set atop celery and creamy homemade tartar sauce. At $11 a pop, they are a bit on the pricey side for the amount on the plate (one of my only criticisms of the restaurant, which I continued to notice as they night wore on), but they are so addictive you don't really care. In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest ordering your own and not sharing.

Although overshadowed by the fluffs, we also opened our meal with 3 out of the 4 salads available on the short menu. The Maverick Salad was a simple, crunchy mix of English cucumbers, watermelon radish, and mixed lettuces tossed with a light vinaigrette. The seasonal fig salad combined ripe slices of sweet figs with toasted pine nuts and a mound of watercress, all drizzled with a tangy pomegranate vinaigrette. Finally, a medley of roasted beets topped a tangle of tender mache lettuce. Salty shaved pecorino offset the sweet, earthy beets and horseradish vinaigrette gave the salad a pleasant bite. All of the salads were exceptionally fresh.

As with the first plates, the mains at Maverick, which touts itself as an American eatery, are based upon ingredients native to cities, states, and regions across the great U S of A: from Idaho trout and Minnesota wild rice to Baltimore crab and Southern fried chicken. My main dish of roasted pork tenderloin was like autumn in New England met my mouth. Thick, juicy slices of tender pork were topped with tart-sweet cranberry sauce, and served with mashed, spiced yams and a poached seckel pear. The flavors of the dish were nicely balanced, although I kept feeling like it was lacking something, perhaps a green vegetable. (I would have added braised greens to round out the dish and to balance the sweetness of the overall medley with a bit of bitterness.)

A number of people at the table ordered the root vegetable stew, an interesting mixture of slow-cooked turnips, parsnips, celery root, and green lentils, served in a red kuri squash bowl. It was a hearty vegetarian option (the only one on the mains menu), and while it wasn't my favorite dish, those who ordered it seemed satisfied. Southern fried chicken was another table favorite (imagine that, at a table full of Texans!). Three crisp pieces of chicken were balanced atop creamy, peppery mashed potatoes drizzled with brown gravy and braised collard greens. A hearty ode to southern comfort food.

Desserts ranged from pumpkin "whoopie" pies--thick, tender, and creamy riffs on the classic--to warm huckleberry crisp that was rich with flavor.



We closed down the restaurant and then some. Finally, around 12:30, after they turned off the music, we realized we were the only ones left in the restaurant. But it was a fabulous time, with promises to get together soon, perhaps at my house for a good old-fashioned Texas BBQ.

Maverick American Eatery & Wine Bar
3316 17th Street (between Mission and Valencia)
San Francisco, CA
415.863.3061
 
 

5 Comments:

Blogger JennyNAB said...

Hi, after reading your blog, the book publishing group (situated in Northern California) that I work for would like to send you a review copy of a food memoir. Is there an e-mail address or snail-mail address that we can use to contact you more efficiently? We will not use your e-mail address for purposes beyond the sending of the review copy.

11/14/2005 1:43 PM

 
Blogger Kim Goodfriend said...

Hi - thanks for thinking of me, I'd love to check out the food memoir. You can email me at cooking@kqed.org with your email address and I will get back to you with a mailing address (rather than post it here).

11/14/2005 3:21 PM

 
Anonymous rachel said...

Hey, the link for Trey's work doesn't work, and it would be great to be able to check out his stuff...

11/16/2005 4:50 PM

 
Blogger wendygee said...

Trey Gerfer's Stereoluz website address is: http://www.stereoluz.net
The link in the post is working now.

11/16/2005 5:03 PM

 
Blogger Kyle said...

I live just up the block from Maverick and have eaten there twice now. Your review is very accurate; it's a great place. Both food and service are excellent. Serving only US wines is a fun take, too. We had a really good one from Virginia (Valhalla), and recently ordered some more of it at a Virginia-only wine bar in Charlottlesville (VaVino). Anyone reading this should definitley check these out.

Incidentally, I think the idea of rinsing the wine glass with a little of the wine you're going to be drinking is to 'clean out' the glass without using water. It's much better to mix wine with wine than wine with water, so that would 'season' the glass for your new wine. It's also better than getting another clean glass, neccessitating not only more washing but more storage space for the restaurant in question.

1/24/2006 3:54 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Locate CP Restaurants:
Check, Please! Google Map
 
KQED Food Sites
Check, Please! Bay Area
Jacques Pépin Celebrates!
Jacques Pépin:
Fast Food My Way
Jacques Pépin:
The Apprentice
Jacques Pépin:
The Complete Pépin
KQED Wine Club
KQED.org Cooking
Weir Cooking in the City
 
Tasty Food Sites
CHOW
Chowhound SF
Crushpad
CUESA
CulinaryCorps
Eat Local Challenge
Edible San Francisco
Epicurious
eGullet.org
Food Network
Food Talk
Group Recipes
Hungry Magazine
KTEH Food
Leite's Culinaria
Locavores
Mighty Foods
NPR: Food
Om Organics
Serious Eats
SFGate: Food
SFGate: Wine
SF Station: Restaurants
Slow Food SF
Top Chef
Wikimedia Commons: Food & Drink
Yahoo! Food
Yelp: Reviews
 
Tangy Food Blogs
101 Cookbooks
A Full Belly
Accidental Hedonist
agoodfoodblog
An Obsession with Food
Anna's Cool Finds
Becks & Posh
Between Meals
Blogsoop
Bunny Foot
Butter Pig
Cellar Rat
Chez Pim
Chocolate & Zucchini
Confessions of a
Restaurant Whore
Cooking For Engineers
Cooking with Amy
Cucina Testa Rossa
Culinary Muse
Denise's Kitchen
Digesty-SF
Eater SF
Eggbeater
Extramsg.com
Feed & Supply
Food Blog S'cool
Food Musings
Food Porn Watch
Gastronomie
Hedonia
I'm Mad and I Eat
In Praise of Sardines
Jatbar
Knife's Edge
Life Begins at 30
Love and Cooking
MeatHenge
Mental Masala
Moveable Feast
Nosheteria
Organic Day
Passionate Eater
San Francisco Gourmet
SF City Eats
Simply Recipes
Spicetart
The Amateur Gourmet
Tablehopper
The Ethicurean
The Food Section
The Grub Report
The Petite Pig
The Wine Makers Wife
Vin Divine
Vinography
VirgoBlue
Wandering Spoon
Well Fed Network
Word Eater
World on a Plate
Yummy Chow
 
 
   
Search BAB

Eye Candy: Food Photos
BAB on flickr.com
Join Flickr for free and share your photos with the Bay Area Bites and Beyond group pool.
 
Food Books
 
The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen
 
Baking: From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan
 
Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
by Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robertmison
 
The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining
by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison
 
Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day
by Roy Finamore
 
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
 
The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
by Marcus Samuelsson
 
Michael Mina: The Cookbook
by Michael Mina, Photographer: Karl Petzktle
 
What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
 
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
 
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg
 
Romancing the Vine: Life, Love, and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo
by Alan Tardi
 
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Michael Sofronski
 
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners
by Matt Lee, Ted Lee
 
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
 
Coloring the Seasons: A Cook's Guide
by Allegra McEvedy
 
All-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
by Anne C. Cain
 
Modern Garde Manger
by Robert B. Garlough
 
The Spice and Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill, Kate Hemphill
 
The Improvisational Cook
by Sally Schneider
 
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
by Ann Cooper, Lisa M. Holmes
 
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
by James Oseland
 
My Life in France
by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
 
A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchett, Sheri Giblin (photographer)
 
Au Pied De Cochon -- The Album
by Martin Picard
 
Memories of Philippine Kitchens
by Amy Besa, Romy Dorotan
 
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
 
 
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
 
Hungry Planet
by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio
 
Sunday Suppers at Lucques : Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber
 
Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties
by Peggy Knickerbocker, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
 
The Cook's Book
by Jill Norman
 
Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
by Mario Batali
 
Nobu Now
by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
 
Cheese : A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best
by Max Mccalman, David Gibbons
 
Bones : Recipes, History, and Lore
by Jennifer McLagan
 
Whiskey : The Definitive World Guide
by Michael Jackson
 
The New American Cooking
by Joan Nathan
 
ChocolateChocolate
by Lisa Yockelson
 
Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know About Having Parties at Home
by Darina Allen
 
Cooking at De Gustibus: Celebrating 25 Years of Culinary Innovation
by Arlene Feltman Sailhac
 
Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
by Richard Bertinet
 
Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti, Fran Gage, Maren Caruso
 
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
by David Joachim
 
Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook
by Susan Spungen
 
Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health
by Nina Simonds
 
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
 
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
 
Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks
by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
 
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present
by Thomas Pinney
 
Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years Of Food And Art
by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, Virginia B. Wood
 
Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South
by Marcie Cohen Ferris
 
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
by Elizabeth Andoh, Leigh Beisch
 
 
Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining
by Joanne Weir
 
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
by Rick Stein
 
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
 
Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
by Serena Bass
 
John Ash: Cooking One on One: Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher
by John Ash
 
The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health
by Donald Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, R.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff
 
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
by Fernando and Marlene Divina
 
The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
 
Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
by Gil Marks
 
Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
by Gina Mallet
 
Bouchon
by Thomas Keller
 
A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World
by Maggie Glezer
 
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
 
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
 
Entertaining: Inspired Menus For Cooking with Family and Friends
by George Dolese
 
The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
by Grace Young, Alan Richardson
 
Cooking New American: How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine
 
The Japanese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes
by Kimiko Barber
 
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
 
Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
by Joan Reardon
 
Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
 
Everyday Dining with Wine
by Andrea Immer
 
 
Copyright © 2005-2008 KQED. All rights reserved.