Johnny Foley’s Irish House – My Forehead is Tattooed with "Tourist"

johnny foley's and sons, union square, san francisco, ca
LAX to SFO, no. 8

Please.

I know that “Tourist” is tattooed to my forehead right now. Do we really have to rub sriracha mixed with Russian mustard into the wound that was torn open by a rusty butter knife?

The only reason we found ourselves in Johnny Foley’s Irish House is that we were already in Union Square after shopping a bit, we didn’t think our own hotel’s bar was any better than the mini-bar that we didn’t have in our room, and we were beaten down by the walk back to our hotel from Ferry Plaza. Oh yeah, I didn’t mention that? You mean I forgot to tell you?! We (and by “we” I mean “not me”) decided it would be “fun” to walk back from Ferry Plaza to our hotel so we could see all the sights along 257 blocks of Market Street. Fun! Whee!

Market Street is very boring on foot. The only thing that was open was a lonely Sprint store that was pathetically screaming out for attention with offers of free phones and low rates. Or maybe I confused that with one of the “massage parlors” we had seen the night before. I cant remember.

Johnny Foley’s is a very big restaurant/bar/pub on the corner of O’Farrell and Powell, and like most establishments in the Union Square area that is surrounded with business and pleasure hotels, it is easy to tell that it caters to a tourist crowd. Wen we stumbled in around 4:00 in the afternoon, walk-weary and shopped out, all we wanted was a stiff drink and a place to sit down. Even tourist traps can provide that.

The space has high ceilings and has typical Irish decor – dark wood walls, heavy furniture, green lampshades and stained glass accents. We walked through the half-full room that is divided into mini-areas by strategically placed low walls and columns, and plopped down on the first vacant stools at the bar.

Our bar seats were directly in front of a set of taps, all labeled with beers that certainly sounded Irish, or at least non-American. Of course, if it’s not Foster’s, it may as well be from Australia. I had a cup of steaming hot coffee spiked with a generous shot of Kahlua. I will give credit to Foley’s for having enough class to fill the glass with hot water, let it sit for five minutes to heat the glass, then pour my drink.

Foley’s was a good place to catch our breaths and catch the second round of the NFL draft. Leinart to Cardinals. Good for him. He can stay with the sunshine. If I lived in San Francisco, I probably wouldn’t go to Foley’s with local friends, but if visitors are staying in Union Square, it’s not a bad place to grab a drink with them.

Johnny Foley’s Irish House
243 O’Farrell Street (@ Powell)
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.954.0777

www.johnnyfoleys.com

** a year ago today, we de-lubricated at pink’s

tags :: : : : : : :

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • Clare

    Sarah, are you still in SF? IF so, go back to the Ferry building on a Saturday morning and have the Chiliquiles at the Mexican stand. They are AMAZING.

    Also, for a great German food, try Suppenkuche in Hayes Valley. Kinda loud in there but good food. You gotta go hungry, tho. Or if you feel like spending dough, the Fifth Floor or Michael Mina. And, you MUST have an almond crossaint at Citizen Cake (also in Hayes Valley – can you tell which ‘hood I used to live in up there?). But you have to go early – they sell out every morning.

    Hm…what else?? Il Borgo (in HV also!) has an amazing pasta dish called a Lasangetta. Fabu. Ok, I’ll stop now :)

  • sarah

    clare: no matter where i am, i think i will always be in SF, you know? :) however, i will be going back soon, in fact maybe this week, if i suddenly decide to jump in my car and drive up…for an event this weekend. depends on whether i feel like a crazy, spontaneous girl ;)

  • KT

    While we’re on the Hayes Valley, Absinthe is one of my favorite places–they have good coq au vin but more importantly, they have amazing cocktails, lots of interesting vintage ones and have obscure ingredients like maraschino liqueur and orange flower water and stuff.

  • KT

    While we’re on the Hayes Valley, Absinthe is one of my favorite places–they have good coq au vin but more importantly, they have amazing cocktails, lots of interesting vintage ones and have obscure ingredients like maraschino liqueur and orange flower water and stuff.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed Foley’s. Suprisingly, there were a lot of people in ther getting full of ale in the mid-afternoon.

    Next time we will try harder to find a Hooters! ;) JP

  • sarah

    kt: ah, a friend mentioned absinthe, too! might have to put that one on the To-dine List ver.2.0 :)

    jp: you only liked it for the nfl draft :)

    oh wait, that’s the only reason i liked it!

  • Phil C

    Leinart to the Cardinals? Wasn’t the NFL Draft like a month ago?

  • Phil C

    Leinart to the Cardinals? Wasn’t the NFL Draft like a month ago?

  • KT

    I actually went to Foley’s several times as a LOCAL. And my LOCAL friends and I often go back as TOURISTS. It’a all-encompassing like that.

    First, I had a friend who was dating an Irish guy, so … we kind of had to go sometimes. Second … I don’t know … it’s just a place that you can remember when you’re kind of wandering around Union Square going “Where should we go?” And when you get there it’s either the perfect place to be, or you need to leave immediately.

  • sarah

    phil c: yes, it was…that’s when i was in sf!

    kt: ” it’s either the perfect place to be, or you need to leave immediately” – isn’t that funny how so many places are like that? love it or hate it. i actually didn’t mind foley’s too much at all, but i just felt like a maaaaajor tourist. LOL!

  • Anonymous

    Did I ever tell you how good sriracha mixed with Goulden’s is? I can’t remember. It’s gooood.

  • http://www.mythaibeach-restaurant-santacruz.com My Thai Beach Restaurant Capitola

    Love that place…

Previous post:

Next post: