West of Pecos Restaurant Review by Culinary Guide Corinne Sykes
West of Pecos is a Southwestern inspired restaurant and cocktail bar dropped right in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, and once you set foot inside, you may be sure there’s nothing here but “rattlesnakes and bad men,” but take one sip of a cocktail with smoked ice, or house made guacamole and you’ll be whistling a different tune.
The Place: From the absurdly large snakeskin pinned above the bar, to the hanging red chilis, to the various antlers and animal skulls, West of Pecos sets the stage for its Southwestern home-style cookin’. Tucked behind the Valencia streets trees and the inviting wood paneled exterior, you may be surprised to find such a spacious world of Southwestern style living right here in the Mission.
The Dishes: While the dinner is fabulous, I prefer to stop by West of Pecos for a home-style brunch with some flare. Their Huevos Rancheros is a masterful presentation of this classic breakfast feast. It has all the things I could possibly want out of a breakfast – perfectly cooked eggs, beans and rice, red and green chilis, sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo — and the colors are just fabulous! As complete as the Huevos Racheros is, however, I cannot help but add a freshmade biscuit to my order. These biscuits are nothing short of spectacular. Add the strawberry jam or the fresno chili butter — that’s right, I said chili butter, and you’ll be in heaven. Tack on a fresh tomato Bloody Mary and your brunch will be complete – you can choose vodka, tequila, or mezcal (hint: choose mezcal!).
Key ingredients: fresno chilis, fresh tomato juice, eggs over medium, beans and rice.
Other Menu Musts: The Chunky Guacamole and Chips is not to be missed. Every visit should start with this – a no-brainer. And if you’ve managed to save room for dessert – you’re in for a treat. It’s difficult to choose, but the Sourdough Bread Puddin’ (owner Tyler’s grandma’s recipe!) is a winner.
Little Known Facts: Owner Tyler MacNiven won season 9 of The Amazing Race, along with his buddy B.J. Tyler has also walked the length of Japan.
Insider Secrets: The massive snakeskin pinned above the bar is not real – but Tyler and brothers did make it themselves, it’s said, in an effort to have the biggest snakeskin around. There may be some friendly family rivalry mixed in to this story!
The Details: Huevos Rancheros – $12
Biscuit and Strawberry Jam (and chili butter) – $3
Fresh Tomato Bloody Mary with Mezcal – $9
Restaurant Name: West of Pecos
Address: 550 Valencia St, San Francisco
Hours: Brunch: Sat-Sun 11am-3pm.
Dinner: Mon-Thurs: 5:30-10, Fri: 5:30-11, Sat: 3-11, Sun 3-10.