The Chron's drinks writer Esther Mobley and cheap-eats scribe Anna Roth ventured to check out the food and booze options at SPiN, the new SoMa ping-pong bar opened in May by Susan Sarandon and ex-boyfriend Jonathan Bricklin (which has counterparts in New York, LA, Toronto, and Chicago). And their review comes in the form of a hilarious conversation, like an IM chat scroll, which I'll just excerpt briefly here.
Long story short, they were not in love with much of the food, or the signature cocktails, which all have ping-pong-y names like The Lob No. 2, and The Topspin No. 1.
But worst of all, it sounds like, was a seasonal flatbread.
Roth: I mean, it serves us right getting the “seasonal flat bread” at a pingpong club. It had peaches and cold, charred escarole.
Mobley: And Brie.
Roth: Brie is not a pizza cheese.
Mobley: And wilted escarole is not a pizza garnish. It may not have been quite as offensive as the “tamale bites,” however, which did not resemble tamales. They were deep-fried balls of chorizo and cheese.
They were slightly more fond of those deep-fried chorizo-and-cheese balls, which strike them as good midnight stoner/drunk food.
The cocktails, on a whole, were "dialed up too high", says Roth, who adds, "I will grudgingly pay $14 for a cocktail in San Francisco 2016, but I at least expect it to be something I want to drink."
And there's more.
Mobley: The first drink I ordered — Lob No. 1 — was not the worst. Though, given that it had Pimm’s, gin, berries and cucumber, I was expecting it to be like a Pimm’s Cup No. 1, and it just didn’t taste like one.
Roth: Mine was undrinkable. Backspin No. 2 — with Calvados, dry vermouth, Benedictine, Bonal and applewood-smoked rhubarb bitters. Why?
Mobley: The smoke thing was so bad. So many of their cocktails included it. The Topspin No. 3 was aggressively rosemary-forward. I also didn’t need the flotsam that was floating in my Fernet cocktail, the Industry Standard. Its garnishing took edible flowers to an unnecessary level.
They also had a two-hour wait for a ping-pong table, which enabled lots of drinking but which was kind of annoying given that half the place was rented out for a startup's office party something that will likely be a nightly occurrence at SPiN until the bubble truly bursts.
So, their advice: Stick to beer. Also: Eat before you go.
Related: US Olympic Table Tennis Team Is Coming To SPiN In SoMa To Practice