Collard greens are underappreciated outside the South; they are among the tastier greens on their own, and when zipped up, as here, with garlic and a touch of vinegar, they can become almost addictive. Comparably underappreciated (and perhaps almost unknown) beyond the South are black-eyed peas, with their distinctive two-tone look and near-gritty texture; Hard Knox serves them with short-grain white rice, and if you feel inclined to add a jolt of hot sauce to this mildness not a bad idea a bottle of Crystal is sure to be near at hand.
Although Third Street has changed considerably in the last decade, with Muni Metro's T-line now running down the median to relieve some of the tedium, the corridor is still industrial and can still have a sinister video-game sameness, especially at night. But finding Hard Knox Café is dare I say? easy. Look for the clumps of people milling around at the roadside. *
HARD KNOX CAFÉ
Mon.Sat., 11 a.m9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.5 p.m.
2526 Third St., SF
also 2448 Clement, (415) 752-3770
Beer and wine