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Wing Wednesdays

Wing Wednesday: Ho’s Bootleg Tavern

ho’s bootleg tavern

Since you’re reading this, you probably know that I like eating at bars, good deals and gross overindulgence. Since one can only realistically do bottomless brunch once per week, I’ve gotta get my fix elsewhere the rest of the week. So it is that I find myself with increasing frequency at Wing Wednesdays throughout San Francisco, and since that seems like the sort of thing that you’d enjoy, dear readers, I’m going to start reviewing them here. First up: Ho’s Bootleg Tavern.

The Bar

Ho’s Bootleg is in Russian Hill at Van Ness and Green – look for the awning with the name written in some good-looking graffiti style. The interior is pretty nondescript – a medium sized place with a big wood bar and tables throughout, along with several TVs on the walls. We got there on Wednesday at 5:30 and it was almost entirely empty, and when we left an hour later more folks had shown up but there was still plenty of space.

The Wings

The wing special at Ho’s Bootleg Tavern is 25 cent wings up to 12 at a time per person (but you can keep ordering more once you’ve finished the first dozen). They have traditional buffalo, BBQ and spicy BBQ. We tried buffalo and spicy BBQ, and both were solid. The buffalo wings were pretty standard, while the spicy BBQ wings had the right blend of BBQ and spice – not too sweet like a lot of BBQ wings are. All of the wings were reasonably sized – none of the dinky little ones that you sometimes see on Wing Wednesdays, but not huge, either.

The Service

There were a couple of bartenders working, which was more than enough for the crowd there, so wings and drinks came out reasonably fast. Everyone was friendly, and we had a good time.

Overall

Ho’s Bootleg Tavern is a strong contender for your Wing Wednesday attention. It’s a solid dive bar with nice staff and well-done wings. Nothing that’ll blow you away, but definitely not a place you’d regert going to.

Rating:ย ๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ—

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Hollow Cow

hollow cow

“Served shamefully.” This is the last sentence in the description of one of Hollow Cow’s brunch cocktails, the Hare of the Dog. Ingredients: one shot of Fernet, one small glass of an IPA and one menthol cigarette. I don’t smoke menthols (or any cigs, really), but you better believe I had one of these for the sake of being able to provide a thorough review for Brunch Club. That’s how much I care. More on that below.

Hollow Cow is in Cow Hollow (duh) at Union and Laguna, located in the space that was formerly Lighting (RIP). As of now, it’s still pretty new, and it looks it, with a lot of wood and exposed brick in the inside and a covered patio out back with a lot of natural light. The music is fairly loud (but it’s the good stuff – 90s/2000s classics), and there are plenty of TVs both inside and out if you want to watch a game while you brunch.

The Bottomless

$25 for bottomless mimosas with no time limit. Instead of making the mimosas and bringing them out, they just serve ice buckets with champagne and a small carafe of orange juice, which is objectively the best way to serve mimosas.

The Food

The menu at Hollow Cow is fantastic – much better than what Lightning served when they were here. A few highlights:

  • Pork and grits – This was actually my second choice after being told they were out of chicken and waffles, but it was definitely the best thing at our table. The pork belly was nicely fatty and very tender, the grits were very flavorful and the poached egg on top was a great addition.
  • Short rib hash – A pretty traditional hash dish, but notable because the short ribs were perfectly tender and sweet.
  • Steak breakfast burrito – ย Nothing too different from the usual breakfast burrito except that they use prime rib, which really works.

The Service

I was devastated to hear that they were out of menthols for the aforementioned Hare of the Dog. One of the servers, though, was kind enough to pull out one of his personal cigarettes to complete the cocktail. That’s service for you. Bottles of champagne also came out quickly, as did the food.

Overall

Top notch drinks, food and service – Hollow Cow brunch may be relatively new, but it was clearly designed by folks who know what they’re doing. The only minor knock is that it’s a bit pricier than some other brunch places (came to about $55 per person for bottomless drinks and an entree for each of us), but this is very much a case where you get what you pay for.

Rating:ย ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ

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