Dinner at Marlowe

Marlowe burger
I believe American cuisine has a bad rap. When you mention American food one immediately thinks of burgers and pizza. On this trip I learned that this is far from the truth.

Yes, burgers seem to be the favorite American food and it’s everywhere. From the ubiquitous fast food joint to restaurant chains even high end restaurants. And believe me I’ve eaten my share of burgers on this trip.

I’ve enjoyed the American food at Anchor and Hope, Salt House and Gott’s Roadside where I had my first burger in this trip. When Ariel told me he was bringing Jeanne and me to Marlowe another American restaurant I didn’t hesitate to say, “Yes!” Jeanne and I consulted Yelp and we took down notes on what others said were the best things to order at Marlowe.

Marlowe was a short bus ride from Union Square. It was located in the Soma (South of Market) area. I was surprised because the area looked like an industrial area and Marlowe seemed out of place. Nevertheless, the place was packed. We were lucky to get a reservation at all.

While waiting for our turn to be called, we took our time to read the food quotes printed on the glass wall of the restaurant.

These were some of my favorites.
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After 15 minutes of waiting we were led to our table. The place was very small and cozy and wonderfully warm. 



How can we resist not ordering the roasted bone marrow? It was simply sinful. The salsa verde sauce was the perfect condiment for the marrow.
roasted bone marrow
roasted bone marrow $11
roasted bone marrow

I’ve never tried brussels sprouts before. From what I’ve seen on tv and movies nobody likes them. But almost everyone in Yelp loved it and so we ordered it. One bite and we were all hooked. It was soooooooo delicious. The leaves were crisp reminding me of tempura batter. It was seasoned with just lemon and salt. The taste was so different and addictive. I’d eat it over potato chips any day. Gasp! Did I really say that?
crispy brussel sprout chips
crispy brussels sprout chips $6

A lot of people in Yelp said the burger was the best. A lot of newspaper articles on the web proclaimed Marlowe’s burger as one of the best in San Francisco. Ariel and I were so excited to try it that we actually ordered one each. Neither of us wanted to try something else.

I took a bite and it was far from nirvana. I found the burger very, very greasy. It also lacked any flavor and it didn’t have the beefy, steak taste I look for in all burgers. Not even the bacon, cheese and caramelized onions could save it. Was everybody wrong? Was I wrong? Maybe it was just an isolated case?  I looked at Ariel and saw his frown. He didn’t like his burger either. It wasn’t really horrible but I just expected more from a burger so highly praised.

The fries were another thing. They were the best fries I’ve ever eaten in my life. The were unbelievably light and crisp and fantastic with the horseradish aoili.

SFGate rated this among the top fries in the Bay area.

I don’t know when I’ve had a fry that has such a thin, delicate coating. With each bite, the fry shatters like glass to reveal a creamy, almost custard-like inside. The fries are $5, and come with horseradish aioli. The secret to the clean flavor and crisp coating: They’re fried in rice oil. 

Marlowe burger
Marlowe burger $13

Jeanne ordered the poulet vert which turned out to be the best chicken dish ever. It was beyond soft and it was very, very full flavored. You could taste the marinade all the way to the bone. I bet if you ate the bone it would taste good too. It was a million times better than the burger. Boy did we envy Jeanne.

From an article in SFGate I learned that the chicken was marinated for at least 25 hours in a mixture that includes basil, parsley and tarragon. No wonder it was so amazing.
poulet vert
poulet vert $21

Here’s a video of the chef making the chicken.

Marlowe is another restaurant that impressed me even though their burger didn’t. The crispy brussels sprouts, fries and poulet vert are not to be missed. I’m definitely adding this to my list of restaurants to go back to.

Marlowe's Menu
Marlowe’s dinner menu

330 Townsend Street,
San Francisco, CA 94107
telephone: (415) 974 5599

3 thoughts on “Dinner at Marlowe

  1. you’ll be surprised that there is more to american food than burgers and pizza! if anything there are better ones out there outside of the delivery pizzas and fastfood burgers (as you’ve experienced here at marlowe). sayang lang all the hype about their burger didn’t turn out as you expected. pero don’t depair! you’re in san francisco! you’re bound to find something you like! there seems to be a quest to produce the best burger lately (i can say for sure here in cincinnati there is!). try some new american cuisines 🙂 that’ll change your perspective of “american food” as we know it in manila. be sure to support local businesses though. i’ve found that my most enjoyable dinners have been at non-chain places.enjoy your food tour around the US!cheeksandchubs.wordpress.com


  2. Wait for my reviews on the restaurants in DC. I had a lot of awesome eats there specially the best burger I’ve ever eaten ever! Thanks for your nice comments. I have yet to visit Cincinnati. Maybe one day….


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