In the whiplash on-again, off-again indoor dining at 25% capacity for San Francisco restaurants, no one has drawn more public interest than the plight of Van Ness Avenue eatery House of Prime Rib. When the old-school steak-carving destination reopened on October 15 with its new $10,000 air filtration system, the reservations were immediately booked up through December.
Yet they were only open a mere 27 days before San Francisco reversed course and yanked indoor dining from all restaurants. But the Chronicle reports House of Prime Rib will deal with that curveball by switching to take-out only.
The take-out service is already in effect, as House of Prime Rib has been taking carry-out orders since their reopening (and had not ever done so prior in its 71-year history). What’s odd, though, is that you do have to show up and place an order in person. Hoodline confirmed with House of Prime Rib staff that they will not accept orders online or over the phone, you must physically show and and order the take-out in person at their Van Ness Avenue location.
They will, however, accept large, bulk orders via email.
In an extremely well-timed piece, Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho just penned a review of House of Prime Rib’s carry-out. She describes her to-go order as “like getting a care package from someone who really loves you,” as the bagging and presentation are still quite elaborate. Ho says the food comes in “enormous, Bloomingdales-sized bags, and unpacking them overloaded my small kitchen counter with meal components, including three different pints of horseradish mixtures, a container of hot beef jus and a labeled bottle of the restaurant’s Thousand Island-ish dressing.”
One of the odd consequences of 2020 is a food review that is primarily about the little touches of a restaurant’s carry-out packaging. If this shelter-in-place drags on longer, that may be a component where certain restaurants really want to stand out. But the fact that House of Prime Rib will remain open under the circumstances is great news for the restaurant’s 60 or so remaining employees, and the some 3,000 hungry San Franciscans who rely on that Christmas Eve feast the restaurant provides the Tenderloin’s Glide free meals program.