Sunday 11 November 2007

What’s the Stink?

The Stinking Rose
325 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA USA 94133

Where is it?

When you go through the front door there is a bar in front of you. Head towards the bar and then left. The door to the rest rooms is in on the right in the corner. Go through the door and you’ll find the toilets across the hallway.

What’s it like?

The Stinking Rose is by all means a favourite of many people I know. No less than 3 people had, unprompted, told me to eat in this place before I got across the States. Taking their name from their most used ingredient, Garlic, this place prides itself on using the vegetable in every meal they offer. Does that sound appetising? Well I wasn’t so sure.

One of the first things you notice though is that this place is fun. They have the longest garlic braid (348 feet long). And they also have a garlic making machine (well I think its that) over the bar.

The food was also excellent. The 40-clove roast chicken with garlic mash was one of the best meals on my trip, at a reasonable price too. The garlic was not too prominent and complimented both the chicken and mash well. There was also a good selection of beer that sliped down well with the chicken. Nevertheless, having met a similar concept at the Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight in the UK [] I gave the Garlic Ice cream a miss.

Given the garlic odours in the restaurant you might expect the toilets to smell a bit too. Well they didn’t smell, but they were pretty bear unkempt and unfriendly place to be. The first thing you notice when you go in, given that this is a set up for a single person, is how large they are. I guess this doesn’t help give a friendly feel, but I’m not so sure that it explained why they were so cold. Honestly, you want to speed through just because of the temperature. Then there is the décor. You notice that the place is pretty dark and then you see that the walls are covered in grime. Dirty is not the word for it. When it comes out on the photo’s you know they’re dirty as hell.

Beyond this you’d have to say the basins etcetera were obviously cleaned. And there was a veritable overload of different toilet papers ready for use. So, its not that there was no effort being put in to keeping these toilets clean, it’s the general feeling that the room as a whole was on the verge of irretrievable decay.

My verdict has to be that unlike the restaurant itself these toilets are not a fun place to be.

Marks out of 10:

5 – You might use the utilities without fear, but they’d certainly not be your first choice!

Comments to the management:

Such a fun place to eat, but your toilets are in dire need of refurbishment.

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