Nestled in North Beach in San Francisco, CA is an understated French restaurant with gold lettering on the windows. This is Cafe Jacqueline. Although understated, this is a local favorite (rumor has it Steve Jobs came here for his bachelor party).My dad grew up in San Francisco and found Cafe Jacqueline and their legendary soufflés when he was younger. As I grew up to be a chocolate-loving foodie, he brought me to this restaurant for the first time two years ago. Since then, it has been a necessary pit stop when we visit San Francisco.
This quaint and homey French restaurant is run by Jacqueline Margulis, an elderly French woman. Along the expected French dishes like escargot and onion soup, Jacqueline is better known for her mastery of soufflés. She offers dinner soufflés with savory flavors such as lobster, gruyere, or white corn with ginger and garlic.
She also serves dessert soufflés with flavors such as lemon, Grand Marnier, or (my personal favorite) chocolate. The menu says they serve two to four people, but it takes restraint to not take it all for yourself. If you take a bathroom break, you walk through the kitchen and can see Jacqueline, herself, cooking away.
Jacqueline has mastered the technique of soufflés (to say the least) and I'm always excited to return and once again taste haven. Her restaurant is a must-go for anyone in the bay area. You may have to be rolled out of the restaurant and work extra hard at the gym the next day, but believe me when I say: It is worth it.