The Roadhouse Less Traveled

With its tremendous hunks of tender, slow-cooked lamb, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and carrots bathed in a rich wine sauce, the stew proved my favorite item of the day. (And the next day, too, since a friendly waitress dropped by to provide us with a few to-go boxes.) For our final entree, we indulged in an innovative take on an old favorite, the grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough ($5.95) with basil and tomato. The bread was perfectly toasted, and came stuffed with provolone, cheddar, and, much to my delight, a thin layer of cream cheese.

Repeating my own personal mantra (Eat like you'll always be thin), I sauntered back to the counter to procure a sweet for my sweetie: a heated apple turnover ($1.50) topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (a buck extra) that was flecked with tiny bits of vanilla bean. As we made our way out the door, we grabbed a couple of packets of cookies for the road ($1.50 each) -- crunchy chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, and somewhat less crunchy spiced oatmeal cookies that we nibbled on throughout our journey. Stix also features a small but affordable breakfast menu (bagels, breakfast sandwiches, eggs, served until 11 a.m.), all-day brunch on weekends, an after-4 p.m. snack menu, cappuccinos, lattes, satellite TV for the sports fan, and to-go orders for those on the run.

Details

1200 Sixth St. (at Channel), 255-7849. Open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., weekends 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Reservations: not needed -- it's a roadhouse. Wheelchair accessible. Parking: plentiful. Muni: 15, 76

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Since it's located a ways off the beaten track, I like to imagine the Roadhouse is rarely crowded, and would make for a perfect post-baseball game hangout. And it's also the kind of place where you could drop by for lunch, start ordering pints of beer, and not leave until after sunset: I guess the next time I'm walking along Jones Street in the Tenderloin and happen upon the former executive director of that neighborhood-based advocacy coalition, I'll have to thank him.

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