Emmy's Spaghetti Shack | A Foodie Review
Earlier this week, Steven turned to me and asked what I wanted for dinner. My answer was: noodles. There is a ramen place we like in Bernal Heights, so we headed to the neighborhood (making the rookie mistake of not checking their Yelp to see if they were even open!) and were sadly met with a dark chained up restaurant door. So we decided to walk along Mission until we found some noodles and…well, you can guess the rest of the story.
We stumbled upon Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, a restaurant I’ve always heard so much about but never realized was in that particular part of Mission Street. And they didn’t disappoint.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
As you can see by the entrance shown above and this sign to the left, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack is all about their quirky, feminine homey sense of style. And I love it. It is so warm and inviting, and by the looks of the large number of people inside and the chatter we heard from the street, it sounded like it was popular too! The first thing I thought to myself when I saw the outside was that I had to get a picture of Steven in front of it. And the adorable and recognizable organically handwritten look to the signage outside continued inside of the restaurant. Not just on the blackboards, but also in the menus! It strained my eyes a little bit, but it also made me feel sort of like I was eating at someone’s home or family get-together rather than a run of the mill Italian restaurant. And while it took me about two minutes too long to read the menu in my opinion, I truly appreciate the effort and the delightful surprise of all the personalization I saw.
WHAT TO ORDER:
If you were wondering whether the food itself was homey and inviting as well, the answer is: “Yes, queen.” After scoping out the Yelp, we decided on their infamous Mac and Cheese for an appetizer and the even more infamous Spaghetti with Meatballs as our entrees.
We were both extremely hungry, so as you can see below, we didn’t bother to share one plate of it. And no one can ever accuse these people of skimping out on the meatballs. I’m not usually a meatball fan because so often I’ve ordered dishes with meatballs are overcooked and like little chewy golfballs taking up space on my plate. But here, they are well seasoned and tender. I was even able to easily smash them with my fork and mix them with the marinara to create a sort of meat sauce. It’s the little things at these restaurants that make me remember an experience and want to come back. And I can guarantee that when we’re once again in the mood for Italian food, or even simply just “noodles,” Steven and I will be returning. And just to be clear, Italian food is his favorite type of cuisine… so when he says he likes it a lot, you know it’s a winner
WHEN TO VISIT:
It states on Emmy’s website that early in the evening, it’s a kid-friendly restaurant and later on the music becomes louder and it becomes a place for adults to lounge.
Steven and I walked in around 6:30 or 7 and the first thing I noticed when entering the restaurant was the sign to the left. When I read the sign, I thought “Huh, kids eat here…” Anyone who knows me personally knows I have a very…interesting…relationship with children. I understand the importance of children and advocate for their well-being. But I also am the first one to suggest a 21+ movie theater when seeing a G or PG movie. Which is why San Francisco is such a great city for me. It’s full of adults doing adult things. Everyone just kind of runs around cussing and talking about politics and discussing where they source their weed and making sexual puns without the guilt of worrying if they’re scarring tiny ears.
But apparently this is known as a kid-friendly restaurant in Bernal Heights. And that’s cool! Because it had the right amount of appeal to families where it didn’t look like any ex cons would be in there downing whiskey, but also gave an adorably kitchy and hip environment for those of us who are just trying to enjoy a night out.
I appreciate that there are rules set for parties with children. It lets the parents know that they’re welcome and will be accommodated with high chairs and kid-size meal options…But also let’s them know that Sydney sitting next to them paid $17 for her plate of spaghetti and $11 on her glass of wine and would like to enjoy both of them without her eardrums being blown out.
Great to see a restaurant in the city that accommodates children, as I’m sure that must be hard to find. Good on you, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack. Way to take your homey concept seriously from start to finish. I’ll be back soon for that late night atmosphere I’ve been hearing about.
Thanks so much for checking out this review! Please subscribe or give me a Like on Facebook to see more Bay Area foodie coverage.