the beach hut cafe, crissy field center, san francisco
"Park Club - natural turkey breast, ham, bacon, avocado, cheese and greens on whole wheat sourdough with mustard and mayo"
"Honey Dijon Turkey - natural turkey breast, jack cheese, honey spice Dijon and mayo with greens on whole wheat sourdough"
Els and I took advantage of a mid-week day off this week to go for a little bike ride, which was actually my first bike ride in several months. My gears were a little creaky, so were my legs, but we successfully made it from our starting point in the Mission to the buffalo enclosure at Golden Gate Park (despite being a resident of SF for close to a decade, I'd never actually seen the buffalo before!). Since we were so close to the beach, Els suggested that we continue on, and we did; upon arriving there, she mentioned a time that she and a friend had made the same bike ride, only to decide to continue up Ocean Beach and around the point to the Golden Gate Bridge. So of course then she and I took that route to the bridge, which led to us biking over the bridge and back. Not only is that a significantly longer bike ride than I'd anticipated, but it also included several very steep hills and even a long dirt staircase that we had to carry our bikes up and over. Needless to say I was pretty destroyed by the time we got to Crissy Field. I also hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, which was hours and miles behind me. Els, too, seemed like she was ready to eat anything that stopped long enough for her to catch. Fortunately there was the Beach Hut Cafe waiting for us on the East end of Crissy Field, offering sandwiches, smoothies, and a bunch of really strange gourmet snacks, like fancy marshmallows, steak strips, and wheat-free dog treats. It was a little small inside and the assortment of snacks as well as Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge souvenirs made it feel like a museum gift shop inside, but it was sunny and sheltered from the wind that was coming off the bay. We ordered the first two sandwiches on the menu, as well as what we thought was a blood orange and cranberry juice drink but turned out to be a smoothie. The sandwiches were the "Park Club" (pictured at top) and the "Honey Dijon Turkey" (the third and fourth pictures above). Keeping with the museum gift shop vibe of the place (and therefore in line with museum food), the sandwiches were both overpriced yet competently prepared. Neither sandwich was especially interesting or noteworthy, but the "Park Club" edged out the "Honey Dijon Turkey" by offering a more diverse set of ingredients. The whole wheat sourdough was pretty bland and tasted like your standard store-bought bread, and the toppings were somewhat skimpy on both sandwiches in my opinion, but I enjoyed eating them. I wouldn't suggest that anyone go out of their way to find the Beach Hut Cafe, but if you want a picnic lunch at Crissy Field and don't mind paying a little more for somewhat generic sandwiches, this place really isn't a bad option. I would certainly consider returning the next time I'm out there, although I'm hoping that next time I will not have just unexpectedly biked for hours across the city. After devouring our sandwiches, Els and I hopped back on our bikes and headed back home, pausing only for a moment when my legs seized up and I couldn't move them for a few minutes (I have since regained the full use of my legs). When we got home I didn't move from the couch for the rest of the evening, except to go to the front door to get the pizza we had delivered.
PS- the steak strips were pretty good (I got the "Cajun"), the gourmet marshmallows (we tried "Caramel" and "Chocolate") tasted like marshmallows. Go figure. We didn't try the wheat-free dog treats.