After Work Saloons Are Working in North Beach

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    Fried potatoes, cheese curds and gravy.

    Ever since it opened last year, Comstock Saloon in North Beach has become one of my favorite after-work hangouts.

    As its name implies, the vibe is saloon-like, down to the live piano on the mezzanine and the old-school cocktails (think Manhattans and Sazeracs).

    And to be honest, I rarely visit a bar with the quality of food in mind, but Comstock’s dishes are just as good as their drinks.

    During one of my last visits, I ordered a hop toad cocktail, made of Jamaican rum, apricot brandy, lime and bitters.

    Strong and oh-so-slightly sweet and tart, it was a good accompaniment to the plate of fried potatoes I shared with a friend.

    Served with cheese curds and gravy, I imagine these amazing potatoes are a tribute to poutine, the classic Quebecois dish that I wish would take hold in California already.

    That’s what makes Comstock so great. They have terrific all-day fare, with an emphasis on hearty, traditional cuisine.

    Naturally, a place with solid drinks and food, and in a convenient neighborhood to boot, gets busy, even on weeknights. If you’re coming with a large group, it’s best to make reservations ahead of time. But even with a crowd, the service at Comstock is consistently friendly yet professional.

    They may have been open for less than a year, but Comstock seems to have it all.

    Mariam Hosseini is a Bay Area native who has been writing about food and travel for seven years.  She blogs regularly at