Refreshingly Unhip: The Iceberg Wedge
Diners are fickle lovers when it comes to the wedge salad — a retro menu item that has gone in and out of favor more times than bow ties and baggy pants. The crunchy, refreshing, thick cut iceberg adorned with creamy blue cheese and salty bacon bits brings either fond memories of white table-clothed steakhouses or thoughts of formica table tops at the local diner. Whichever camp you fall in, the iceberg wedge is a salad that will never completely disappear, and so we must give credit where credit is due. Move aside kale, arugula, and frisee, and make way for the big gun.
There’s something about a bowl of cioppino, a cracked Dungeness crab, or a bowl of mussels in garlicky broth that just screams for a cold, crisp wedge salad. North Beach’s Sotto Mare has the best of both worlds: out-of-sight seafood dishes with an equally fantastic wedge salad. Feeling especially bold? Top your wedge with bay shrimp or fresh crab for just a few extra bucks. 552 Green St.
Marengo on Union boasts over ten different sliders, from shrimp to lamb, but don’t let that steer you away from a delightful wedge. Succinctly dubbed “The Wedge,” it’s topped with crispy Molinari pancetta, pickled red onions, cherry tomatoes, radishes, and a chunky housemade blue cheese dressing. Enjoy your salad under the retractable roof with a glass of crisp white wine for balance. 1980 Union St.
In the hunt for a quality wedge, look no further than the classic served mere steps from AT&T Park. The sports haven Public House adorns their wedge with local Point Reyes blue cheese and Niman Ranch bacon. Not overly dressed like some, Public House’s wedge lets the beloved Point Reyes cheese sing. 24 Willie Mays Plaza.
Funky little neighborhood joint The Front Porch blends Southern comfort food with San Francisco culinary technique. Tuck into creamy shrimp and grits or get your hands dirty with succulent Dr. Pepper short ribs. On the side, brighten your palate with their seasonal wedge. The Winter Wedge eschews the bacon, but is still a sumptuous blend of little gem lettuce, radish, pickled beets, avocado, brioche croutons, and a rich Pt. Reyes blue cheese dressing. 65 29th St.
This SOMA after-work hot spot does happy hour just right. The small food menu is unpretentious and straight to the point — intriguing flatbread pizzas, a few sliders, and decadent truffle tater tots are the perfect snack to pair with a custom cocktail or a cheap beer. Don't miss their wedge salad: refreshing iceberg lettuce topped with parmesan cheese, pickled red onion, tomato, and house-made blue cheese dressing. 575 Howard St.
Want all the perks of fine dining while still enjoying a classic wedge? Morton’s The Steakhouse has all the old-school charm of white tablecloths, prime cuts of beef, and endless options for sides, salads, and appetizers. For a group, order the iceberg wedge bites — bite-sized wedge salads with tomato, egg, bacon bits, and blue cheese dressing. If you want it all for yourself, opt for the center-cut iceberg — an entire half a head with all the quintessential toppings. 400 Post St.
With a menu full of Southern favorites — think fried chicken and biscuits and gravy — Farmerbrown believes soul is a way of life. From the seafood gumbo to the cornmeal crusted catfish, there’s no lack of authenticity at this rough-around-the-edges Union Square spot. So their wedge salad is a home run — a simple combination of little gem lettuces, crisp brioche croutons, lardons, and that favorite Pt. Reyes blue cheese. 25 Mason St.
Have a favorite wedge we missed? Let us know in the comments!