There was a brief period about 9 years ago when El Patio was my favorite restaurant in the Mission. It was a little off the beaten path, it was near the Knockout, the food was good, there was never a wait, and the cutesy decor almost sort of felt like Disneyland or the Secret Alley.
I guess it closed recently, and it’s gonna be replaced by the Barchili/Old Bus Tavern combo that’s been popping up at Pizzahacker on Tuesdays. I had their burger and their Frito pie and a couple of their beers a couple weeks ago, and it was all awesome, so we’re gaining something good. But I’ll always remember El Patio fondly.
Here’s a cheesy blurb I wrote about it while working as an intern for an online travel guide company in 2006:
On the outskirts of the Mission District, where Valencia dead-ends into Mission Street, lies a hidden gem. While the Taqueria Cancun outpost across the way has garnered more accolades, El Patio is an exceedingly pleasant place for a home-cooked meal. Unlike its burrito-centric neighbors, this establishment offers full sit-down service, and heaping plates of Salvadoran and Mexican specialties. Sun streams in through the windows and skylights, providing ample reason to sit around drinking imported beer (such as Suprema or Regia), enjoying the sights and sounds of the bustling intersection out front and perhaps chowing down on a few plates of pupusas or a hot lengua entree. [link]
My boss was saying the clients at Marriott were asking for some more off-the-beaten-path stuff for their San Francisco city guide. I was like, “I’ve got just the thing!”