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Given that it was high time for SFO to get some other Priority Pass options, it was high time I try them. After passing through Terminal 3 a couple times per year, I found myself flying Delta most often these days, and out of Sacramento no less. So much easier on all fronts. Except it meant I wasn’t likely going to try the Giants Clubhouse SFO Priority Pass restaurant anytime soon.
But I managed to work it in. I was supposed to fly back home a couple weeks ago on the 1-hour hop from San Francisco up to Arcata, but high winds, the FAA, and United conspired to derail that plan, which is quite the story in its own right [SEE: My epic battle with LifeMiles and how I was finally (sort of) victorious]. I found myself driving back in a car the next day. But that didn’t stop me from stopping by the Giants Clubhouse SFO Priority Pass Restaurant before heading out the door. I mean…I still had my boarding pass and all.
Location, hours and membership usage
The Giants Clubhouse SFO Priority Pass restaurant is one of two additions in Terminal 3, Yankee Pier being the other, which I already reviewed (SEE: Review: Yankee Pier SFO Priority Pass Restaurant). Just like Yankee Pier, your Priority Pass membership will get you up to $28 off the final bill, which includes food and beverage charges, as well as tax. It does *not* include a gratuity (SEE: Enjoy those Priority Pass restaurants, but remember this one tip). You can also bring a single guest for an additional credit of $28 and total of $56 off your meal, but only do this if your membership allows free guests. If your membership does not, you’ll end up paying $32 for that second $28 off the bill.
The Giants Clubhouse is located out in one of the “arms” of Terminal 3, near Gate 82. It opens as early as 5:00 a.m. and closes at 11:00 p.m. There was a wait of 5 minutes when I arrived, and a few other people waiting around. This surprised me, as there were more than a couple open tables.
Make sure you show your Priority Pass card at check-in. Not doing this caused me issues later. The hostess will swipe your card, authorize you and a guest, if you have one, and print off a tag for your server. It’s an entirely different system than at Yankee Pier, which is annoying.
Food, beverages and service
Each table in the Giants Clubhouse SFO have numbers printed on them, presumably to know which table is which, but they look just like uniform numbers. As I don’t know more than #28 and #40 these days on the roster (I like the Giants, but am not a crazy fan), I looked up #46. The last name I really recognize is Santiago Casilla, a relief pitcher during the Giants’ “mini-dynasty” of Series wins in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
The menu is a mix of things you may order at the ballpark with a number of other options more suited for a restaurant. It’s not a large menu, but there should be enough variety for you to find something you’d like. As I’d had only a salad a few hours earlier at Yankee Pier, I was in the mood for something a bit more filling, but it was still a bit early for a full dinner after the late lunch.
I settled on a bowl of clam chowder and a cider, and a side of papas con ajo. The fries were very good with a strong garlic flavor, and the chowder decent. The food came quickly after my order was taken, but after that the service started to break down. More on that later.
As far as ambiance goes, there is an ton of San Francisco Giants memorabilia lining the walls. You can also watch any of four sports channels on a ridiculous eight different screens lining the wall above the bar. If you love sports and want to kill some time, this might be your place.
I had fun listening to the two guys next to me chat about delayed flights, status with various airlines, and how one was considering ditching being a United elite to flying Delta (I vote yes). They covered things like upgrades and international first class products, and, of course, the delays out of SFO. There was also a discussion about being Marriott Titanium elite. I had to wonder how that has been working out for them since the program merger.
I didn’t engage them regarding travel, but we did exchange a few words during the 20 minutes or so it took me to flag down a server and finally pay. Hilariously, the two business travelers clearly had no clue what Priority Pass is. They saw me holding the card and I had to explain to them how the whole system worked. It was a funny contrast given their high travel volume and interest in loyalty programs. But back to the features on the Giants Clubhouse SFO.
The service is where the Giants Clubhouse SFO Priority Pass restaurant experience started to frustrate me. Initially, it took the server forever to bring the check. When she finally did she walked off immediately, even though I had my Priority Pass card and credit card in hand and ready.
Another full 5 minutes passed before she returned, only to tell me that I needed to scan the card with the hostess. This was a detail that was not covered at the beginning, and cost me more time. Then it was more waiting for her to come back yet again to pick up my Priority Pass printed slip and take my credit card for a tip.
It was only mildly annoying, as I didn’t have anywhere to be. My flight had been canceled and I would just be heading to take BART back to the City. However, if I had been in a hurry with a plane to catch, I would not have been happy. My service experience at Yankee Pier was entirely different, as the server there was super fast and efficient.
Giants Clubhouse SFO Priority Pass Takeaways
This is the third Priority Pass restaurant I’ve used, and I can say that I generally prefer them over a lounge. The Giants Clubhouse SFO Priority Pass restaurant certainly had a bit of a service failure which tainted the experience, but in general it is awesome to have a nice sit-down meal and only spend $3-5 for a tip. I would certainly stop by again, but after comparing the two SFO Priority Pass options, I would opt for Yankee Pier first, given the chance.
These Priority Pass restaurants are still a great addition to the network, and I hope that the trend continues. I also hope one day Terminal 3 will be connected to the rest of the airport post-security. I would consider walking over from Terminal 2 or Terminal 1 just to eat before heading out on my flight.