I’m no Southerner, but there’s a special place in my heart (and my stomach) for innovative but authentic Southern food. That’s why I was eager to try out 1300 on Fillmore’s revamped menu, because I’ll never not be a sucker for fried chicken.
[jump] I stopped in for dinner this week, though their brunch menu has me eager to come back in the morning — spicy tasso Cajun ham and Eggs Benedict? Yes please. To be honest the space surprised me — apparently it’s been a while since I’ve been somewhere with a classic vibe, as opposed to fast casual.
It was deeply refreshing.
Otis Redding crooned over the speakers, his lyrics absorbed by the dark grays, browns, and purples of the walls and furniture. The lighting is low and intimate, with intricately designed spotlights wafting diffuse light throughout the spacious dining room. Despite the setup the host and servers were very friendly, not stuffy at all.
But the food is why I was there, and the food is what stole the show. With new Chef de Cuisine Jake Whitlock taking the reins, longtime fans can expect a pared down menu. I personally appreciated his inclusion of shishito peppers, a hot button food trend that I hope never dies. They were sprinkled with bottarga dust, a shout out to its original usage along Florida's Gulf Coast dating as far back as the 1500s.
The Southern-ness didn’t stop there. Of course I ordered David’s Fried Chicken, a classic dish that’s been with 1300 since its opening 8 years ago. Chicken in general is easy to overcook, but fried chicken especially. This generously portioned bird was cooked to perfection, and the spices made me nostalgic for the Southern childhood I never had.
But it was the pork chop that made this meal. I’ll caveat with the fact that I’m usually not a fan of pork in general, unless it’s in bacon form – it’s rare that I’ll order a pork dish unless I’m really not digging anything else. My dining companion was feeling adventurous and ordered the pork chop, which is plated with a serving of Chef Whitlock’s apple butter.
All I can say is, if you’re visiting San Francisco for a day, or you’ve lived here forever and want to sample an instant legacy, order this dish. The pork is cooked sous vide style ensuring it’s neither too dry nor undercooked, and tastes like a dream. It’s phenomenal. My only issue with the dish is that they’re not currently bottling and selling the apple butter, but I’m sure with enough petitioning they might change their minds.
1300 on Fillmore, 1300 Fillmore St, 415-771-7100.