September was such a busy month for me! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted ANYTHING until now. On the bright side, I have plenty of posts coming up now. I got to do a lot, I mean A LOT, of eating and gaining weight this month. I wanted to come back with a strong and bold post, so here I am stating my favorite restaurant to go to in San Francisco! I know it’s such a bold statement… but I absolutely love this place.
Shoutout to my friend, Patricia, for introducing me to this place 🙂 I’ve came here twice now, and both times were extremely not-disappointing. If I have to choose a restaurant to take any family or friends in town, I’d go between this place and Mission Rock Resort (post will be coming soon)!
Okay! So the name of this place is called Cafe Picaro. It’s a Spanish restaurant that serves a long list of Tapas. If you didn’t know, Tapas basically means small dishes of appetizers/snacks. I’m not sure about you, but I’m a part of my life where I do not want to eat one dish until I’m full. I really like to enjoy a variety of small dishes – that way I can try different things.
I usually like to start of with dishes that I order in order first, But let’s get straight to the main course – their paella!
I am sure this is the best paella ever outside of Spain. Now, I haven’t been to Spain yet, but I can imagine the paella here is darn close to what Spain has to offer.
The first time I came, we order the meat and seafood paella. Their smallest size is $30 and it states that it’s for 2 people. The paella is so huge here that the “2 people” paella can comfortably satisfy 3 people without ordering anything else. I came with a group of 4 – we we ordered 4 additional Tapas and the paella. That was more than enough for us.
The second time I came (just Jake and I), we ordered the vegetable paella ($24 for “two people”). It was good, but I still highly recommend the meat and seafood one better. I would definitely come back and try the all meat one (great for those who had shellfish allergy).
When you first arrive, they give you a basket of bread and their special sauce. I do not know what’s in it, but it’s really really, I mean really good. It is kind of spicy, but not overpowering spicy. Just a nice little kick to it. We did manage to ask what’s the spicy ingredient and they told us it was paprika- We were really surprised! I didn’t even know paprika could make things spicy! I hope they would start selling a jar of this.
We ordered the Jamon Serrano en Pan con Tomate – Canapés of Spanish style cured ham on toasted French bread.
Since it was the first thing on the menu and has a long description, we thought it was a must to order… and indeed it is. The cured ham goes so well with the olive oil dressed cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, and onions that it doesn’t feel like you’re eating bruschetta. It simply all just dissolve in your mouth.
The Ensalada de Judos Verdes (Green bean salad). So delicious and refreshing. I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did since I’m not a fan of eating raw green beans, but I believe the green beans are blanched. It complimented really well with the rest of the veggies and the dressing. Delicious!
Oxtail stew. I mean, the moment I saw that on the menu, I knew it had to be in my stomach. Everyone agreed. It was really well flavored, and you can tell the stew has been stewing for a good long time. The oxtail was so tender and with every bite, it just melts off the bone. I, of course, had to use the complimentary bread and get every single drop off that bowl.
For all my Vietnamese food lover, it is very similar to Bo Kho (Beef stew). I grew up with my mom making me Bo Kho, which I absolutely love. So when I say this is similar, that mean it hits me right in the good spot.
I’m a huge fan of seafood. My dad is literally the master of cooking all types of sea/shell fish. With that being said, I do have high expectation when it comes down to cooking and having the right marination for shellfish.
Picaro has done it right. As if any of their dishes didn’t blow away my mind and tongue, their Almejas a la Marinera (clams in Spanish “marinara” sauce), takes it to a whole new level. It is sautéed with onions, garlic, parsley and white wine. Perfection to the taste.
We didn’t get to order the Tortilla de Patata the first time I came since we already ordered so many food, but everyone around us was ordering this dish. It must be a staple and traditional dish, so I knew I had to order it the second time I came. It looks like a fluffy pancake, but it’s actually a potato and onion omelet. It’s not like any of your average American omelet where it’s made mostly out of eggs. This omelet is super rich and delicious. It has a smooth texture and will have you questioning “is this really potatoes?”
I would have to say my least favorite dish would be the Pinchos Morunos (Pork Kebabs). The pork kebabs had great flavors, but it just didn’t wow me like every thing else.. which is okay. I am more than happy with loving 99% of the food on the table. I must say the Spanish rice that comes with the pork kebabs though are fabulous. I highly recommend getting a side of that Spanish rice if you like!
Last but not least, come during their happy hour! It’s Monday – Thursday (5-7pm) and Friday – Sunday (11:30 -7). Not many places have happy hour during the weekends, so yes take advantage to that and also their $10 carafe sangria. Just be careful – it’s so deliciously good and cheap that you might walk out tipsy!
I forgot to mention that it is in the middle of the busy and live Mission district. Parking would be hard to find on a busy time. BUT also, its the perfect place to explore and enjoy a meal at the same time.
TIP: I highly recommend ordering at least one tapas from each category (cold cuts, sausages, and cheese from Spain tapas, salad and vegetarian tapas, meat and poultry tapas, fish and shell fish tapas)
As always, please tag or let me know if you decide to try this place! You can find me at all my other social platforms:
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