Eaten The Coffee-Rubbed Pork Shoulder At Range


After tackling the first item on the “7x7 Big Eat SF: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die” list, the coffee-rubbed pork shoulder at Range was next.  I made a reservation for 3 (me, J, and A) a few weeks ago, but I was still unable to get one before 8:15pm.

Here’s the description from the menu:
    - coffee rubbed pork shoulder with creamy hominy and collard greens
First, a word of warning if you’re planning on coming here; arrive a little early so you can find parking.  This restaurant is located in the Mission District on Valencia Street (between 19th and 20th), right next to
826 Valencia.  From the outside, it is easy to miss (the sign is tiny).

We arranged to meet up with A at the restaurant.  Despite having a small storefront, the back dining area is larger than I thought it would be.    


The menu was fairly simple.  There were 7 appetizers and 6 main dishes.  I knew what I was going to be having for the main course, and I decided to get steamed clams with sausage as an appetizer.


This was a good dish.  The clams had a good texture and weren’t too fishy tasting, the sausage had a nice spice to them, which I really appreciated, and the sauce was delicious, especially when you dip your bread into it.

On to the main course... this is the coffee-rubbed pork shoulder:   


I thought the presentation was nice.  The color of the meat, the greens, and the hominy really complemented each other.  I could tell from looking at it that it was tender and when I put my fork through it, it pulled apart as nicely as I thought it would.


I could definitely taste the coffee.  It was mild but added a unique flavor to the pork.  The sauce paired well with the vegetables.  I felt everything tasted good, however, I would not say it was great.  There was nothing wrong with the dish, but it didn’t strike me as particularly extraordinary or impressive.

J had the Alaskan cod, which she felt was cooked to the appropriate doneness but was disappointed by the overall flavor.  I had a little taste and would agree with that assessment.


After dinner, we ordered two kinds of raw milk cheeses, a blue and a gouda.  Both were very tasty, and I was glad that they had those choices available.  These were followed by tiny truffle petit-fours.
IMG_2735 petit

I have to say that I’m glad I had this experience, however, it might be a while before I go back to Range, and this is for a couple of reasons:
  • -Parking there is a pain.
  • -Reservations have to be made way in advance.
  • -Prices are a little high (the pork shoulder entree was $25).
  • -The service was okay, but not super friendly.
Basically, the taste of the food is not worth overlooking the above reasons.  You would think considering that I had to make a reservation way in advance that everything would be so impressive, but in the end, none of it really was.

I would say that the coffee-rubbed pork shoulder was a good dish, just not a great one.  Do I think it’s worthy to be on the list?  Well, I haven’t made it to all of the restaurants on the 7x7 list, but I’m not sure this is something you have to eat before you die.
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