By Stephanie Wright Hession
Cole and Carl streets, S.F.: On a sunny day in June, a golden retriever carries a leash in his mouth while prancing alongside his person up a residential slope of Cole Valley. Nearby, a passerby eyes neatly displayed textiles, while others devour mac and cheese at a local bar, burgers, kick back outside among trees and plants in a local cafe or watch a soda jerk create a strawberry rhubarb phosphate.
1. Kezar Bar and Restaurant
900 Cole St.: Sip on cocktails such as the lavender haze concocted with gin, lavender, cucumber and lemon; down a pint of one of the beers on tap and munch on pub grub including Luca’s yummy mac and cheese baked with three cheeses, grilled portabella mushroom, charbroiled chicken sandwiches and more. (415) 681-7678.
2. Urban Mercantile
85 Carl St.: At Urban Mercantile, find festive greeting cards celebrating birthdays, babies or to simply say hello; striped tablecloths, throw pillows printed with turquoise, marine blue, yellow, green, orange and pink floral and ikat designs, cinnamon hued cloth napkins, bird themed serving trays and crimson ceramic vases. (415) 643-6372, www.urbanmercantile.com.
86 Carl St.: Got a hankering for a superb burger? Stop here and dare to finish the Meisterburger—stacked high with a Niman Ranch beef patty, apple wood smoked bacon, avocado, sautéed mushrooms and onions and cheese. Don’t forget the oodles of curly garlic fries, onion rings and milk shakes-oh my! Cash only. (415) 566-1274, www.burgermeistersf.com.
4. Reverie Cafe
848 Cole St.: The combination of Reverie Cafe’s outdoor back patio, accented with trees and plants, and its drip and specialty coffees, frittatas, home style potatoes, fresh fruit, salmon, crab cake, Florentine and traditional eggs benedict, French toast, etc., make for an ideal spot for breakfast and brunch. Cash only. (415) 242-0200.
5. The Ice Cream Bar
815 Cole St.: Pop into this delightfully retro, 1930s style soda fountain, hop on a stool and try a phosphate, lactart or other classic fountain soda, ice cream, floats with a contemporary twist, malts and milkshakes. They also make their ice cream on site daily utilizing organic, local dairy and produce. (415) 742-4932, www.theicecreambarsf.com.
6. Cole Valley Pets
910 Cole St.: Select a natural toothbrush for your hamster, the Cat Dancer and other amusements for your kitty, Frisbees and more toys for your pooch and food, litter boxes and flea treatments at this amicable neighborhood pet store, which sells supplies for cats, dogs, birds and other small animals, reptiles and fish. (415) 564-8811.
At “Off the Grid” join the lines in front of the mobile food trucks and carts. Then savor gourmet eats—from Indian curries to Korean barbecue to Peruvian sandwiches to Thai food and more. 5-9 p.m., Thursday. Waller and Stanyan and Waller streets (Upper Haight). www.offthegridsf.com.