It’s hard to believe that Foreign Cinema will be celebrating its 12th anniversary in September. I’ve always loved this hidden gem, tucked away in the non-gentrified part of San Francisco’s Mission District. The food’s always been spectacular and the outdoor covered courtyard is such a treat.

Now that I’ve got kids in tow, I love this place even more because they totally welcome pint-sized diners. (As long as they’re not behaving like little shits, mind you. Even their parents don’t want to eat next to those kids.)

The menu is broken up into four sections: oysters and shellfish (by the single, half-dozen, or dozen), urban picnic (shared appetizers), premieres (individual starters), and local features (entrees). The little peeps also get a special kids’ menu that features an organic veggie and fruit plate with dipping sauce, choice of entree, and homemade ice cream.

It’s relatively easy to order a Paleo-friendly meal here and they’re super accommodating if you make special requests with a BIG SMILE and a “pretty please.”

As per our M.O., Fitbomb and I shared all our dishes while the kids ordered from the kids’ menu and sampled off our plates. In case you’re wondering, M.O. in this case means “M’s orders.”

The kids got their starters first which were platters of organic veggies and berries with lemon vinaigrette dipping sauce.

Meanwhile, the big people’s appetizers included a plate of warm mixed Mediterranean olives…

…half dozen Louisiana White Prawns…

…and a wild arugula salad with shaved fennel, pecorino, green olives, and almonds.

Next up were the kids’ entrees. Big-O chowed on the steak plate (which had steak and roasted potatoes)…

…and Lil-O ate pasta and cheese. Yes, I know that’s super anti-Paleo. Knowing he’d go nuts at dinner, I made him eat scrambled eggs and spinach at lunch.

Then, the adults’ entrees arrived. We shared a plate of Llano Seco pork chop with roasted turnips and mission figs (hold the polenta)…

…and the mixed grill featuring quail, duck sausage, duck pate (hold the toast), duck breast, radicchio, apricots, and tapenade. I also requested that they hold the white bean puree on this dish.

Big-O observed that the roasted quail was sitting “criss-cross applesauce” on the plate. He was right; it was totally chillaxing on the plate with legs crossed – until we devoured it.

The kids finished their meals with a small bowl of ice cream while the adults just groaned and held our bellies. Dinner was delicious and it was wonderful dining outside under the clear tarp, overcast skies and heat lamps. Don’t forget this is San Francisco — a naturally air-conditioned city 10 months out of the year!

I love eating out in the city, and it’s wonderful sharing the experience with my kids. Total bliss.

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

Other Recipes You May Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *