Fewer and fewer bars offer bowls of complimentary crispy-savory snacks these days. The occasional gem — like the soon-to-be-demolished Lucky 13 on Market street or Buddha Lounge in Chinatown — offers free popcorn, but that’s about it. But one place in the city has bar snacks that, if the medium were an art from, could be considered a masterpiece.
The Lone Palm
is that special place. Located on the very edge of the Mission and Noe Valley, at 22nd and Guerrero streets, it’s well-known for its atmosphere and cocktails. After walking under the neon pink sign, you’ll enter a gorgeous little dark room full of tables with white linens topped with lit candles. Every time I come here, I feel like Rick Blaine in Casablanca
. I’m overcome with an urge to start gambling illegally and light up a cigarette. Other than the sexy ambience and lovely drinks, The Lone Palm’s most un-applauded attribute is the free bar mix laid out in small bowls all down the bar.
A well-rounded mixture, it consists of Flaming Hot Cheetos, salted almonds, Asian rice crackers, sesame sticks, honey barbecue Frito twists, little square pretzels, and mini breadsticks. There is a little bit of heat, a little bit of sweet, and a ton of salt. It’s like the Chex Mix from heaven. It may not be the best snack for first-date breath, but it’s just about perfect for any other scenario. Whether you need a little appetizer before dinner or just a late afternoon snack with your after work beverage, it never, ever fails to satisfy.
Drinks and vittles have always gone hand-in-hand, and The Lone Palm celebrates that. Nothing goes better with a beer or a G&T like peanuts, pretzels, and popcorn, and although this marriage is as old as time, we are in a day and age when there is no such thing as a free lunch. Then again, who needs lunch when you can have a martini and a bowl of crackers fit for a king?
The Lone Palm, 3394 22nd St., 415-648-0109, no website.