What are your favorite joints in SF? (and nearby environs)

Traveling and dining in other Arizona cities and beyond
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azhotdish
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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4 years ago

meleyna wrote:
Lunchbox wrote:Saturday lunch at the Ferry Building.
We will also be there. :mrgreen:
ROLI. ROTI.
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Joel
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LaPan
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Location: Chandler, AZ
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4 years ago

Where the sourdough is.
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Dapuma
Posts: 567
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Location: Scottsdale

4 years ago

Heading back in July for the Manchester United v Barca game

If i cannot get in for Saison - what else is worth checking out for a splurge meal

Not sure if I want to do Crenn or not as a backup

Have already been to Benu
artvandelay
Posts: 147
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3 years ago

Just got back from SF. Had a lot going on and so food was not the primary focus but we managed to squeeze in some good meals. First day lunch was at Wise Sons Deli, a modern Jewish deli. This was the second restaurant in this category we visited in as many weeks (was in DC and ate at DGS) and Wise Sons was by far the better of the two. Had a pastrami on house baked rye. The meat was tender with great flavor and the bread was outstanding. We also tried their house made bagels and Babka. Both were great but the Babka was really outstanding. Less chocolate than typical (like Karsh's when it was still around) but really fantastic flavor.

Second day we went to the Ferry Building and caught the tail end of the farmers market. Not surprisingly, they had a smoked fish vendor making their own lox and smoked fish. I got a salad topped with smoked salmon which was excellent although the portion of fish was minuscule. Also the prices for the lox (more than $60 per pound) were shockingly high. Walking around the Ferry Building and visiting it's various vendors was a blast.

Next we ate at Mission Chinese, which has received heaps of press and some derision as a hipster impostor. For me, the place easily lived up to the hype and was one of the best meals I've had in a while. The menu is on the small side and we made a nice dent. We got the smashed cucumbers topped with Szechuan chili oil and sitting on a bed of hummus. Really strange combination but I thought it worked. I was with a bunch of vegetarians and so we got a number of dishes made vegetarian (they can make many of their dishes vegetarian and so it is a great choice for non-meat eaters). We ordered Ma Po Tofu, which my wife thought was the best she had ever had and my one kid inhaled despite the fact that it was extremely spicy. Also ordered Dan Dan Noodles in a peanut sauce, chow mein noodles and Mongolian long beans all of which were hits. For the carnivores we got the kung pao pastrami and a fried chicken with a Filipino garlic sauce. Much has been written about the pastrami and I thought it really worked well especially the combination of the meat and the potatoes with the kung pao flavors. All in all everyone really enjoyed the food. Service was also excellent. We had reservations and got right in and the waiter was both friendly and knowledgeable as well as extremely patient with our relatively large group. Just a great experience over all.

For desert we walked over to Bi-Creamery and got their soft-serv. I really enjoy soft-serv ice cream and this was the best I have ever had. And as a bonus there is a separate line for the soft serv and it was considerably shorter than the line for the scoops.

The next day we went to Muir Woods and stopped in Sausilito. We got lunch at the Fish Restaurant, a cash only counter service place down by the water. They serve locally caught, sustainable fish. While quite expensive ($24 for a halibut sandwich) the food was amazing. The quality of their product really comes through and this is definitely worth a visit if you are in that area. Besides the halibut, we also got a salmon bahn-mi (not called this and not authentic but it's the easiest way to describe the toppings on the salmon sandwich) and a tuna fish. Both were outstanding.

We headed out of the Bay area through Oakland and so I took the opportunity to have lunch at the Chez Panisse cafe. This was the meal I was probably most excited for and, while it was fantastic, it was slightly disappointing. There was nothing wrong with the meal but I think the combination of very high expectations and the cost of the meal caused some letdown. Lunch for 5 of us with three kids was $130 and while I have no problem spending money for an amazing experience, this just didn't blow me away. We ordered ravioli, roasted quail, harissa couscous with vegetables, carrot soup and a fried goat cheese. Everything was tasty and the service was spot on but I guess I was expecting more. I think American restaurants have simply caught up to where Chez Panisse has been since the beginning and so "farm to table" is not as groundbreaking as it once was. All that being said, it was a great experience and I really have no complaints.

All in all we ate pretty well although there are a lot of places we didn't get to. I think a return trip is in the cards soon to make more of a dent.
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ScottofStrand
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Location: Mesa, AZ

3 years ago

Great write-up Art! I'm headed to SF in a few weeks, so it's super helpful to hear about the standouts.
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GoBlue18
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Location: Chandler

3 years ago

I moved up to the Bay Area a few months ago (about halfway between SF and SJ) and have really been enjoying everything the bay has to offer. One of my favorites is the So Gong Dong Tofu House in Palo Alto. Really tasty bibimbab and tofu soup.

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MAdoubleT
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3 years ago

Couple of favorites from my last trip.

State Bird Provisions - had no luck getting a reservation but stopped by around 5/6 on a Sunday put our name in and then walked throughout the neighborhood and stopped and had some drinks and they will call you. Dim sum style but not Asian dishes in any sense of the word

Had la taqueria in the mission. Get it grilled. Was a seriously top notch burrito. Nate silvers fivethirtyeight.com had it up there as best burrito in the country and at the top level it's tough to say one is better than the others but it was an awesome burrito.

I stumbled into la Mexicana right near the 24th st Bart exit in the mission. Tiny little Mexican bakery that was super cheap and ridiculous good.

Some of my other favorites have been mentioned. Roti roti, hog island oysters and blue bottle at the fairy building.
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