San Francisco has no shortage of remarkable pizza destinations — Flour + Water, Del Popolo, A16; the blessedly straightforward cheese slices served at Arinell Pizza — but the Outer Sunset’s newest restaurant, Damnfine, aims to differentiate itself from the current competition by also offering other "damn fine stuff."
In the past ten or so months since COVID-19 and coronavirus entered our lexicons, one thing that has proven true is comfort foods, quality coffees, and adult beverages are essential during times of collective unsteadiness. Even the shuttering of both indoor and outdoor dining hasn't thwarted San Franciscans from seeking out their favorite eats and drinks — albeit now served for takeout only.
Molten, golden cheese bubbling atop tender crusts continue to double as sources of feel-good brain chemicals. Artisanal coffees (perhaps more so than before) have become synonymous with our WFH routines. To-go cocktails are now frequently prepared and ordered in serving sizes fit for two people — but consumed by one drinker.
Laura Seymour, the force behind Damnfine — the name itself, as Eater SF notes, ideated after she came across a vintage advertising sign that read “damn fine stuff" in her neighborhood of fifteen years — is keen on creating a foodie haven that sells just that: “all of [her] favorite things."
"It hit me that, well, ‘damn fine stuff’ really encompasses all the things,” Seymour waxes to the gastronomic-minded publication about the new restaurant, which was prior a very questionable massage parlor. “So, when you’re drinking our coffee, it’s Damnfine Coffee, when you visit us at night, you are having Damnfine Pizza.”
Opened at 3410 Judah Street this past Friday, Seymour’s expansive business venture aims to serve as a one-stop-shop for those things she and others find solace in consuming — coffees, pizzas, and alcoholic beverages. And unlike other more common pizza eateries, Damnfine has a full liquor license, permitting it to serve to-go cocktails; pastries and coffees could soon occupy the takeout-only menu, as Eater SF writes.
Damnfine's current roster of pizzas rose from Seymour’s self-admitted obsession with naturally fermented doughs, the rounds of relaxed carbohydrates left to sit for three-days as yeast converts the present sugars into ethanol, carbon dioxide, and other metabolic byproducts. Once enough time has elapsed, the "cold risen" — a fermenting technique that uses refrigeration to slowly sour the product, as opposed to letting it do so quickly at room temperature — doughs are then molded into amorphous, circular shapes before they’re topped with an array of chosen ingredients. After any manner of meats, vegetables and fungi are generously sprinkled atop, the pies are consciously placed inside a wood-fired Stefano Ferrara Napoli pizza oven to cook and develop proper leopard-spotting.
Unlike traditional, less tended to doughs, consuming Damnfine's pizza crusts, which are made from high-protein flours, are easier to digest. Per Seymour, they "won't leave you feeling like shit afterward.”
Colin O’Malley, who's Seymour’s business partner and husband, is described as the lead behind Damnfine's current bar program and wine list. (O'Malley, to boot, is the co-owner of the still-closed John Colin’s in SoMa bar and Sunset Cantina — the quasi-new Mexican street food staple and tequila watering hole opened in September of 2019 that now saddles Damnfine.)
With enough time, Seymour hopes Damnfine will also become a place for San Franciscans to convene in the mornings to indulge in strong coffees and sink their canines into a housemaid croissant, a laminated pastry Seymour hints is hard to come across in the neighborhood. (Or, rather... a good iteration of one, that is.) At that time too — or possibly even sooner once Damnfine partners with Doordash to serve more of San Francisco for delivery — the eatery hopes to then expand their operating hours and kick-off its coffee business.
But for now, eager foodies and curious passerby can place an order from their menu, which currently boasts eight different pizzas and two salads (as well as a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages) for pick up Wednesday through Sunday at 3410 Judah Street, between 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; estimated prep times are usually around 30 minutes per order and walk-ups are also welcomed.
For more information on Damfine, as well as to peruse their current takeout-only menu, visit damnfineco.com.
Image: Instagram via @damnfineco