Did you know there were only three authentic Ecuadorian restaurants in the U.S.? You can find them in Queens, Los Angeles, and our very own San Francisco. Poquito is located in the Dog Patch district and opened three years ago. It features recipes from Ecuador and Spain. Much of the food at Poquito is naturally gluten free.
Poquito’s owner, Richard, grew up in Ecuador. His family owned a restaurant. Richard got his inspiration from all of his memories of growing up in the restaurant. These influences helped him to create authentic recipes that are true to his roots.
Ecuador has a very diverse terrain. You have the ocean areas and then 10,000 feet of mountains all in one country. There are two main styles of foods. Americans are more familiar with the Coastal region style of cooking, which is more citrus based. Ceviche is a good example of this style. The other, less well known style of cooking is Sierra, which originates in the mountainous region of Ecuador. Sierra Ceviche gets its acidity from tomato stock, which is more brothy. It is typically served with popcorn and corn kernels.
Starting a new restaurant from scratch was a lot of work and very different from what he expected. It took a long time to find a good location for his restaurant. Spaces came available and were snapped up very quickly by larger restaurants. He and his wife decided to look for spaces in the Dog Patch. They both loved the community and family feel of this San Francisco neighborhood. They finally found an old bar that needed a lot of love. As they worked on renovating the space, the bar became a bigger part of the restaurant than initially intended.
Richard makes homemade red and white Sangrias with his families old recipe. It takes four hours for the flavors to meld together, so when the sangria sells out, it is gone for the night.
Many Ecuadorian foods are naturally gluten free. Many of the ingredients for his dishes use yucca, potato, and corn instead of wheat. There is a key at the bottom of Poquito’s menu that indicates what dishes are gluten free. It is really important to Richard that customers with food allergies know what is safe to eat. Although Richard does not have a gluten allergy, he has a very strong allergy to molds. He can not have any foods or drink that contains molds. He gets really sick and he compares his intolerance to how sick someone with Celiac can get when they eat gluten.
Gluten Free at Poquito
- Menu items are clearly marked.
- Staff is well trained about food allergies.
- GF foods are prepared in a separate area.
- Dedicated GF fryer. No gluten items are fried.
- Order is marked GF and chef is alerted.
- Cooks wash hands before GF orders.
- There are two gluten free beers available.
2368 3rd St
San Francisco, CA