This is the place that started it all! If you read the About page then you know the inspiration behind this blog, but not the restaurant in question. Here it is--Padrecito in Cole Valley! I'd been reading online for months that we were getting a Mexican place in the hood, and I kept hoping it would open before M. arrived. Sadly I was one of those mamas that had HORRIBLE heartburn throughout my pregnancy (and yes, my baby was born with tons of hair), so I had to skip a lot of the spice foods I normally enjoyed. When Padrecito opened after she came, I thought it would be a good option for date night, so I made the reservation for opening night and the rest is history as they say.
The restaurant is in the heart of Cole Valley, so I anticipated crowds wanting to get into this new hotspot. Since we had a reservation our wait was much less than the two hours some walk-ins were quoted. We spent our 10ish minute wait researching the menu I was so excited to see some of the same ingredients that I'd worked with at a cooking class I took in Mexico a few years ago.
The space is not large, so I can't really call it stroller friendly. However the staff was extremely accommodating--we were seated at a table for two near the window with enough room next to us for M.'s seat, and she slept while we ate. What it lacks in size it makes up for in rustic character and lively atmosphere. There was a constant flow of traffic in and out the door and bar area was packed (as we could hear and observe from afar) and despite it being opening night the staff was really kind and seemed to take it all in stride.
The smart way to order here is to get several items and share them. We didn't do this and while I loved my duck tacos, hubby wasn't super excited about his skirt steak tacos, but he didn't want to try mine either :( I thought they were great even though that's not my first choice of taco toppings. One more plate would have given us another option AND made us more full, since the portions are on the small side. What we both loved were the margaritas! We both had the Padrecito, and it was a classic version that perfectly complimented the food. If you're a tequila or mezcal fan, this place has a huge menu you should check out for that as well.
After we ordered one of the managers stopped by to welcome us and check out the baby, and he complimented us on bringing her in, sharing that he wished he and his wife had done more of that with their kids when they were young. It made us feel like even though we were enjoying a restaurant's opening night, we were also in a new neighborhood spot that wants to make sure all the guests are enjoying themselves, even new parents with little babies. I'm looking forward to going back.
San Francisco CA
Tight fit--plan ahead!
Yes, via Open Table