Hard Knox Cafe: White Girl Meets Soul Food in Dogpatch
If you know me, you know I’m famous for coming up with really, really bad ideas. Like watching the trailer for The Human Centipede alone while eating three-bean chili. Or going to Hard Knox Cafe for dinner after a 15-mile bike ride in the sweltering heat (which, by San Francisco standards, means barely breaking 70). If you disagree, thinking, “Wait, binging on delicious, cheap-for-its-kind soul food sounds like an awesome plan after working up a healthy appetite,” you probably haven’t considered what comes after the meal — riding 15 miles back home. Okay, so 15 miles is a teeny exaggeration, but seriously, riding home with an extra five pounds packed into your small intestine isn’t fun.
But is it worth it? HELL YES. Because while I’ve heard tell of Hard Knox for a long time, I hadn’t been in three years of living in the city until today.
This soul food is serious. You always hear about falling-off-the-bone rib meat, but I honestly had never seen it in real life, let alone tasted it, until Hard Knox. The fried chicken is by far the best I’ve had in SF — perfectly tender and juicy inside, fried the shit out of outside. The sides I chomped were also tasty — collard greens, mac and cheese, rice and gravy — the carbs never end!! And they don’t have to.
The best thing is you get an insane amount of food for a very fair price. For instance, my meal — three huge pieces of fried chicken, a heaping pile of macaroni and cheese, and a shit ton of rice and gravy, along with two cornbread muffins, was only 10 bucks. They also have cheap booze — $2.50 PBRs/other bottled beers and $3 – $3.50 drafts (including a house pale ale that was pretty good). This could have easily been at least two meals for me and probably three meals for a non-fat-ass.
Yeah, I ate it all in one sitting and then had to ride my bike home. I may make mistakes, but I never make the same one twice.Hard Knox Cafe 2526 3rd St. (between 22nd & 23rd) [Dogpatch]
Photo by Yelper Annie T.
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