San Francisco

A Fortuitous Meeting in a Dark Alley (Bluestem Brasserie)

When visiting another city, my smartphone map is usually my best friend. Until it tells me to go down a dead-end dark alley to arrive at my final destination.

You would think my college-educated, NYC, safety-minded brain would tell me, “Don’t follow those instructions. Something is wrong.” But instead, I blindly followed it believing that mapping technology in SF must be accurate and surely there is an opening to go through.

Dr. D (a partner in dine you may recall from another SF eating adventure) and I were tired and hungry after commuting from LA and NYC, respectively. We remembered eating at an Indian restaurant, Amber, back near the hotel, so we waited forever on the street corner trying to flag down cab after cab (SF cabs are the worst!) jumped into a cab and mapped it. That’s how we ended up in an alley.

Directions leading us down a dead-end alley.

Directions leading us down a dead-end alley.

Street view of dead-end alley (by day!)

Street view of dead-end alley (by day!)

Perhaps another reason we went down the alley was because a couple was doing the same about 10 feet in front of us. (I wonder if they thought we were stalking them as we followed them down the alley …)

We got to the end of the alley to find service door entrances and on-break restaurant employees. No outlets.

The couple we had been following took pity on us (or sensed our growling stomachs plight) and asked where we were trying to go. They offer to let us in the service entrance they were going and take us through the building. We gladly followed and ended up going through another restaurant, which we learned was Bluestem Brasserie and owned by Stacy and Adam Jed, our mapping-error rescuers. Then Dr. D and I realize we had eaten at Bluestem for a work event before and had a fantastic meal. So we quickly changed food plans and stayed at Bluestem.

We asked Stacy for some of her favorites and everything was a delight – tartare, brussel sprout salad, soup, bavette and the lamb. Some highlights:

Bluestem Smash (st germain, vodka, whiskey, muddled fruit, mint, lime, sparkling wine)

Bluestem Smash – st germain, vodka, whiskey, muddled fruit, mint, lime, sparkling wine (be sure to try the Honey Badger too!)

I'm not a huge steak tartare fan, but this I will definitely eat again! (used quail egg and pistachio oil)

I’m usually not a steak tartare fan, but this I will definitely eat again! (included quail egg and pistachio oil)

The lamb was PERFECTION - very fresh and not game-y. Also highly recommend the mac & cheese side.

The lamb was PERFECTION – very fresh and not gamey. Also highly recommend the mac & cheese side.

Stacy and Adam were also kind enough to recommend some new restaurants they have been enjoying:

Knowing the food quality that Stacy and Adam stand by at Bluestem, I’ll definitely add these recommendations to my next SF trip. But not before I stop in at Bluestem again – preferably using the main entrance.

Regardless, it was a most fortuitous meeting in a dark alley indeed.

Emmelle

Bluestem Brasserie, 1 Yerba Buena Lane (remember that the entrance is on the pedestrian mall!), 415-547-1111

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