Under a disk of golden pastry (a treat in itself) lurked a potpourri of cauliflower florets, carrots, and lentils in a thick mushroom slurry. The effect was surprisingly autumnal (on a warm night, no less), and at first I hoped for and missed the flavor of curry, but the milder flavor accreted bite by bite in a swelling crescendo. Even so, I couldn't finish it. Two fairly hungry people could share one and come away happy, and I call that value. They could also probably share but might end up fighting over the exceptionally tasty country-fried pork chop ($17), slathered with white gravy and served with cheesy grits and bacon-braised kale.
Given Liberty Café's bakery chops, the pies I speak now of the dessert kind are generally estimable. Cherry ($7), for instance, featured an avalanche of wondrous sour cherries the color of a good red Bordeaux and with just enough sweetness to qualify as a dessert. If not a slice of pie, then perhaps some butterscotch pudding ($7), served in a goblet and deeply tasty despite some feathery remnants of scalded milk. It was good but could have been, should have been better. And for now, that's the way it is at Liberty Café. *
THE LIBERTY CAFÉ
Dinner: Tues.Sun., 5:309:30 p.m.;
Fri.Sat., 5:3010 p.m.
Lunch: Tues.Fri., 11:30 a.m.3 p.m.
Brunch: Sat.Sun., 10 a.m.2 p.m.
418 Cortland, SF
Beer and wine
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