Out of sight: The Front Porch

The Front Porch

65A 29th St.

(415) 695-7800

Hard to find factor: 3

1 Not too bad

2 Takes some searching

3 Ask a native

4 Bring a map

Neighborhood: Outer Mission

On the downlow since: 2006

Porch poaching: Of course, we kind of expected a sweeping, wrap-around porch, with Adirondack chairs and big wicker rockers when we showed up to the still-new Front Porch restaurant. Instead, we discovered a rather ramshackle front porch, with a porte cochere constructed of corrugated steel. We’ll call it old-school. Mismatched tables with randomly chosen chairs (some of them rocking) provide a quirky hip space to wait for your table and have a glass of wine or a pint of beer. The expansive indoor bar and the friendly bartenders are a good alternative when the weather outside is more forbidding.

Southern comfort: Our appetites whetted, we immediately ordered a bowl of sweet and spicy nuts ($2.25) and pickled veggies and eggs ($2). The nuts came as advertised and quite delicious, which was offset very nicely by the pickled plate. One thing about Front Porch’s menu, is there is a very conscientious effort to cull and nurture every taste bud. We nearly fainted when we took our first spoonful of the eatery’s Dungeness crab and sweet white corn grit porridge ($11.50), which tasted as rich and creamy as a freshly peeled stick of butter. And would you believe it, The simple Porch Burger ($11) was one of the best burgers we’d ever had. If you’re a big group, heck, why not just order a bucket of Miss Mollie’s Organic Fried Chicken ($29.50) to split among yourselves, which is served in a peppy red and white stripped container and comes with two sides.

Hometown hospitality: Typically, we hate waiting 20 minutes for a table, but the staff at Front Porch was so gosh darn nice, we didn’t mind that much, especially when our hostess was a peach to keep us continually updated on our ETA for a booth. We did, unfortunately, have a bit of a terse interaction with our waitress when she misunderstood our question regarding our missing sides as a demand for prompter service. Once we clarified our intentions, that radiant smile returned and she even brought us out a wonderful piece of yellow cake (— we mean this as the highest compliment, the yummy kind from a box) on the house.

Know any hidden gems? E-mail us at outofsight@examiner.com and tell us your favorite off-the-beaten path haunts.

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