For the last few years, my sister Susie and I have partnered with our cousin Wendy to take our moms to a special place or restaurant on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Some of the places and restaurants we have been to were a special tea at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, Poppy Ridge Restaurant in Livermore, and the Pyramid Brewery & Alehouse in Berkeley.
This year we took them to the Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant in San Francisco for lunch. The weather was perfect that day and our table looked out across the Pacific Coast Highway and onto the Pacific Ocean. Our mom’s seat offered her a perfect view of the ocean, the Cliff House, rocks with waves crashing against them, and some hills covered with iceplant with bright purple blooms. Several times during lunch she said, “This is just perfect.”
Susie Calhoun and our mother, Tilli Calhoun
Aunt Patsy Neely and cousin Wendy Howe
The Beach Chalet sits at the very west end of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It has an enclosed dining room upstairs and some murals and historical exhibits downstairs. Also downstairs and in back is an open air restaurant called the Park Chalet. It has a large fireplace and large glass doors and windows that can close most of the restaurant off from the elements when necessary. The day we were there a live band was playing on the grass outside of the Park Chalet. The crowd there seemed to be having a great time. See our sister Nancy’s story about the Beach Chalet.
The Beach Chalet
Pacific Coast Highway
Windmill in Golden Gate Park next to the Beach Chalet
The Beach Chalet offers classic ale house fare with salads, burgers, fish and chips, but a bit more gourmet than the typical ale house. We started off our lunch with an order of calamari that was perfect. Some of the entrees we had for lunch were fish and chips, French dip sandwich, Monte Cristo sandwich, hamburger, and crab louis. My mother and I had the crab louis and we were somewhat disappointed as we had envisioned the crab louies we used to get at The Grotto in Jack London Square in Oakland that were just full of large pieces of Dungeness crab with a nice louie dressing that complemented the crab. The chef at the Beach Chalet has taken creative liberty and mixes chopped onion, mayonaisse, and spices with the crab and then mixes capers in with the lettuce, all of which overwhelm the sweet taste of the Dungeness crab.
We finished our lunch off with a rustic warm apple pie, beach chalet chocolate sandcastle, and cheesecake. They were all very good and well presented.
Rustic Warm Apple Pie
Beach Chalet Sandcastle an Intense Chocolate Torte
Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age. ~William Feather, The Business of Life, 1949