Best Hidden Restaurant San Francisco 2004 - Desiree
This tiny breakfast-and-lunch place may be tucked away in the Presidio, in one of the old military office buildings now colonized by film production companies, but enough people have found a way here to feast on the farmers' market- influenced home cooking of Annie Gingrass (former chef and co-owner of Hawthorne Lane) that it has had to enlarge. You still order at the counter, but now there are a few more tables at which to enjoy breakfasts of softly scrambled eggs dusted with chives alongside house-made gravlax, Irish oatmeal with golden raisins and brown sugar, or a scrambled egg with a goat cheese and Swiss chard sandwich. Lunch features sandwiches such as chicken salad made with orange and lime zest, creamy egg salad, or grilled goat cheese; big, fresh salads, tricked out with herbs, nuts, and fruit, might feature poached salmon with an Asian vinaigrette. Don't miss the buttery baked goods, like apricot-hazelnut scones and a lovely plum-almond tart. It's a perfect place to bring out-of-towners, who'll be impressed with your secret knowledge as you drive them through the Presidio gates, but we like to sneak off here on our own, as a little urban escape.