CALIFORNIA DINNERS #8 – IZZY’S STEAKS AND CHOPS (SAN FRANCISCO)
Our last evening on the West Coast and we are following the recommendation of our absent friend, John G., and heading to Izzy’s for some steaks prior to our “red eye” flight back to Philly. We had just concluded a spectacular day in the city by the bay with a tour of Alcatraz and an awe-inspiring performance by the U. S. Navy’s Blue Angels as they performed their feats of fearless flying over the bay which was jammed packed with hundreds of boats.
We had certainly worked up an appetite and when our taxi driver dropped us off on Steiner Street we entered Izzy’s and were escorted to our upstairs table for a round of drinks while we waited for Gerry and Joann to arrive separately.
Legend has it that Izzy was a very generous saloon keeper in this area at the turn of the century (19th) and his place was always known to be a place where strangers were welcomed and they could find a hearty meal at reasonable prices. The current prices at Izzy’s still seem to be reasonable.
We still weren’t sure if we were going to be happy with our meal but we knew from the very beginning that our wives’ were happy with our server, Nate. It’s so embarrassing to us as males to be viewed by the opposite sex as simply “eye candy”. Anyway, Nate did a good job of keeping them entertained and seeing that our dinner service was first-class.
Gerry and Joann arrived with one the bottles that we had purchased as a group from Del Dotto following our tour of the caves. The story behind this 2007 Del Dotto, Vineyard 887, St. Helena, Cabernet Sauvignon is that Steven Wynn, the Las Vegas casino mogul, tasted this wine from the barrel and wanted two barrels for a private party. It turned out there was only one barrel available so he had it blended with another barrel he liked so that all of the guests would be drinking the same wine. Our bottles were from a small lot that remained after the Wynn purchase. Is it true? Who knows, but the story is good and the wine is even better!
Most of us started our meal with the old reliable wedge with bacon and Maytag Blue Cheese. This salad, in my opinion, is a little bit like chocolate chip cookies, it’s very hard to make a bad one and there are simply varying degrees of goodness to them. This one was pretty good but not the absolute best.
I am going to have to venture a guess that it was Joe B. who did not join the rest of us in choosing the Maytag Salad. He had created a week-long history of ordering the local tomatoes and I think his final dinner included one last order of the local produce. Once again, they looked nice and fresh and had that just-picked appearance.
Most had the filet with a side of baked potatoes and carrots and onions. Everyone seemed pleased with their filets.
I had my filet “blackened” and ordered it with Izzy’s Own Potatoes and Creamed Spinach. I love great sides with a steak and these were very good. I had ordered my filet done “medium” which was a first for me as I ALWAYS ask for medium-well. We agreed that my steak arrived medium-rare and I ate it anyway and thought it was good. I don’t think I am ready to make this a permanent change but I can certainly now stay with medium. The blackening added an extra flavor touch to my entree.
Gerry isn’t a filet fan so he ordered the Bone-in Ribeye. He was a little disappointed in the quality of the meat as there was quite a bit of “gristle” throughout. He still managed to consume most of the dish which may have simply meant that, like the rest of us, he was hungry, Overall, we enjoyed our final West Coast dinner at Izzy’s. Our trip was coming to an end and we headed to the airport for our flight home. Gerry and Joann were staying on for a couple more days, including attending the Eagles – 49er’s game the next day at Candlestick.
We all felt it was a wonderful trip and if any of you are out in the San Francisco area and happen to run across six hearts lying somewhere near the Bay….they are probably ours!