The bison head covered in glass hexagon tiles that guards the bar tells you a lot about Buffalo Club. It’s a mash-up of country tavern taxidermy and a gaudy discotheque’s icon, and it says that this might place might have both feet planted on Mission Street, but it doesn’t mean things aren’t going to get a little fancy.
[jump] Only a few doors down from Dr. Teeth, Buffalo Club is a spacious gastropub with two bars and respectable and well-thought-out wine and cocktail lists. I visited on a quiet weeknight, but I can see it getting pretty rowdy in there if sports are on TV, and the upstairs space holds room for about 75 people, which likely means equally rowdy after-work parties for the tech glitterati. (Note that such spaces are not often found on Valencia Street.)
Rum and gin get plenty of attention here, with a daiquiri of the month and a floral combination of Nolet’s, elderflower, and lemon called the Monarch. I’m always curious about draft cocktails (and Buffalo Club has two, a slightly sweet rye Manhattan made with two vermouths and a Old-Fashioned made with Old Forester bourbon). But there are also three $30 pitchers, all of which are a bit fancier than the margarita-with-store-bought-mix we’re all used to. Witness the Brown Out: Maker’s Mark, honey, grapefruit juice and soda. Even the lowly shot-and-a-beer concept gets a facelift when it’s Sol and Maestro Dobel tequila.
The kitchen puts out some pretty highbrow pub fare, but let’s start with the pizzas. There are five, they’re mostly meaty (salami and pepperoni, sausage, and smoked eggplant) and Buffalo Club seems to live for reasons to slash the $13-$15 price to $5. Sundays, happy hours and various promotions mean it’s possible to eat well and drink well for cheap. Cheese and charcuterie, a few salads and shared plates such as hand-cut fries with confit garlic and a charred cauliflower all signal that this is no mere sports bar where people are just going to hang out watching football. Except that it is, and they are, because that’s the Mission.
Buffalo Club, 2331 Mission, 285-2380.