We'd heard a lot about the design of the newish Southern Pacific Brewing -- the soaring 7,500 square foot warehouse space at the terminus of the old Southern Pacific train line, the building materials reclaimed from the site's former machine shop, the live trees growing inside -- but not a lot about the food. So we decided to venture down to the dead-end street in the Mission one afternoon and check it out for lunch.
The space is stunning, no doubt about it, and casual enough to be comfortable. Plaid-bedecked hipsters and startup-y young professionals were camped out at the sunny picnic tables in the outside beer garden. Inside, sunlight streamed through the glass front wall onto the industrial-looking tables and live saplings near a handsome bar backed with reclaimed wood from the owners' family barn. (The brewery was designed by Boor Bridges, the architecture firm that brought us Four Barrel and Sightglass Coffee.)
We ordered a light Belgian wit and a cheeseburger with sage fries at the bar, and settled at a nearby table to sip our beer and people-watch. The beer was fine -- a near-textbook example of an American wheat beer -- and if nothing exceptional, it hit the spot for lunch (and with only 4.2% ABV, didn't immediately send us into nap mode).
The burger ($9) was glorious -- dripping and meaty, accompanied by spicy house-made dill pickles and assorted pickled vegetables. We were glad we'd sprung for a thick slice of aged white cheddar ($1) which added to the decadence. And the sage fries (an extra 50 cents with the burger, $4 for a separate order) had a generous dusting of fried sage that lent a nice earthiness to the crispy fries.
We'd come back with friends to hang out in the sun or in the pretty room and drink our way through the changing menu of six house-brewed beers -- and to try the bahn mi ($11) made with wit beer-roasted pork loin.