It’s a bit murky, a bit smelly, a lot loudy, and gosh darn it, I liked it.
Not a hint of CBDs in sight. (CBD = cougers and douche bags)
Beer is served at a good temperature to bring out the best aroma and flavor – not freezing cold to numb the taste buds of dire piss water that passes as beer at sports bars.
But…the bathroom. I have to complain about that. Someone scrawled graffiti of “OXNARD RULES” just above the toilet. They need to get rid of that. Misleading.
(photos by Ted Mills)
Toronado (Lower Haight)
I’d only eaten at Deano’s once before, and while I loved it and thought of it often afterwards, I rarely had the occasion to be on the Mesa with others who also wanted it. But I found myself in the perfect formula that equated Deano’s. I was in the area, tired of convention food, reluctant to attend an art and poetry reading late and a dining companion well-experienced with dining at Deano’s. QED.
Deano’s has that classic American pizza parlor appeal, with long tables, neon beer signs and lots of arcade games. There is a continual buzz of busy-ness, but it’s hardly overwhelming. It’s comfortable.
Ah, a large pizza with pepperoni, olives and mushrooms, and a pint of beer. The crust is crunchy and sauce is zippy, and the beer is frosty. This is the life.
Props for the whole wheat crust and doing the fold-over technique long before fast food pizza places offered it as some kinda newfangled marketing scheme.
Getting a fresh pizza to order is the way to go. It does take an extra 15-20 minutes for it to arrive, so folks with limited dining times should phone it in ahead of time.
They’ve teamed up with the IV Food Co-op to offer a fully vegan pizza, and their campus spot is open late. I know there are some folks out there who are super appreciative of these offerings.
There are also good specials, which all include the BOTTOMLESS SODA. I got the slice, with “free” side of ranch and aforementioned bottomless soda for $3.99. Also a free side of table graffiti.
My lunch buddy got the 32 ounce beer, $6. Jesus. What the hell? Oh yeah, college town.
This intrepid reporter has few words about the beer.
Points off, though, for blasting the early 90s grunge so loud we could barely think. And if everyone who eats there knows the first thing to do when the pizza arrives is dab up the grease with a handful of napkins, is that really a good tradition to have?And really, before you turn this spot into your happy place of fond college memories before going into the real world of corporate pizza joints, please note that Woodstock’s does a crazy amount of bliss point marketing, like training (and testing) the staff to upsell the sickenly sweet cinnamon dessert pizza thingie. And a 420 special? Clever, dude.
But a point back for keeping all the graffiti on the walls. Sometimes you really can make a poignant statement with a simply drawn penis and hairy balls.
When I was a wee bean, my parents ate here and hated it. Their disdain spilled over onto me and I have held back from eating here for years. YEARS.
But I’d just donated blood, and the yoghurt and tangerine I’d brought for lunch just wouldn’t cut it. A co-worker said, “Dutch Gardens!” and we were off.
The bar rocks. I am all over this cozy kitschy stuff. It helps that the music was Radiohead, too. The area is tight, with small blue swivel chairs. The whole place, in fact, is all lopsided and slopy and quirky. LOVE.
Left: the bar. Middle: bar chairs, so tiny! Right: Weiswurst lunch plate
The vegetables were so good, they must have been par-boiled in a lightly spiced broth, the carrots tasted vaguely of cloves. I really liked it.
Left: bread and butter, served with the weistwurst lunch. Right: reuben!
Friend had the reuben and a beer.
I’d love to come back some day after work for a swift half, a sausage and some mellow times with friends. And please do come with your young, hip friends, because most of the other diners were part of the blue rinse brigade. And they were *not* rocking the Radiohead.
The wrap-up? Either Dutch Gardens has changed for the better or my parents are liars. Probably a combination of both.
I certainly wouldn’t call myself an Elsie’s Regular, but it is the bar I most often frequent. Frequent being relative.
I go there because it’s comfortable. I never feel underdressed or overdressed there. No makeup, no problem.
Sure it’s changed over time. The regulars of 10 years ago are not the regulars of today. But I’d take it any day over the bars on State Street, even through it’s mostly a beer and wine bar and the wine isn’t well cared for.
This is the guaranteed spot to run into old high school friends during holiday breaks.
I feel sorry for the people who live in the newly built condo 20 feet above the back patio of Elsie’s. But I’m also a little envious.