Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where I eat.

Everyone thinks there restaurants are the best. The truth of the matter is that 90% of the time people eat around their houses or near their work. Another good rule is that everyone thinks there restaurants are the best. I am no exception to this rule, whenever any asks me for recommendations I usually steer them to restaurants near my house (in the Castro) or where I hang out (mission). I usually eat at places I can walk to or place I am already familiar with. I have friends that are always eating out at new restaurants but for the time being I have been doing a ton of cooking at home, there for I have not been eating out that much. It is odd, I like new things but when it comes to eating I seem to be drawn towards cravings rather than trying new things. This is not to say that I don't eat at new restaurants but it seems like most of the time I go back to old favorites or places highly recommended. So here is a list of some of the places I like to eat and a few places I am yet to try but come highly recommended by close friends that I trust. They range from cheap and easy places to high-end eateries meant for special occasions.

Like I said most people don't travel to far from home to eat, So I live in the Castro, work in the mission and my wife works near Fillmore st. So most of my eating happens near those places. I am sure there are good places in other neighborhoods like the Marina and Polk ST. I just haven't found any worth mentioning.

DISCLAMER- this is not a “best of” list, these are just places I like. I don't need to justify why I eat there, I just do.

In no particular order;

Sunflower (both)- Vietnamese- There are two restaurants that share one kitchen. The food is clean and fresh and very cheap. I like the vermicelli with imperial roles and BBQ pork (like 6.95). My wife likes the Pho, shaken beef and lemon grass tofu. They also have one of the best lunch deals in town. (Mission)

2223-California cuisine- this is a good solid restaurant. Not revolutionary cuisine but it does recipes that you are familiar with, really well. Recently they have had some ups and downs, but it is still one of my go to restaurants. Great drinks and atmosphere. (Market, Castro)

China First-Chinese-This is great Chinese food. A lot of there specials are written in Chinese so I feel like I am missing out. This place is so cheap and has that authentic Chinese atmosphere. Great for large groups. Not classy but really good food. This and Tong Kiang are the only reason I go to the Richmond for food. (Richmond)

Tong Kiang- dim sum-Clean, white person (and Asian) person Dim sum. This restaurant is great for Dim sum, the regular food is O.K, but their dim sum is the reason to go. Other Dim Sum places have a better selection, but for some reason this place just does it right. No matter how many people you have in your party it will cost you between $20-$22 a person including tip. (Richmond)

Café Macaroni- Italian-I ate here for the first time about two weeks ago. I thought it was good solid Italian food. My chicken was over cooked but the sauce it came with was really fresh and tasted great. It is owned by a father daughter team and with real Italians in the kitchen, you can’t complain about authenticity. They also own the one across the street (temporarily closed). I haven’t found great Italian food in S.F, so this will have to do. (North Beach)

St. Frances soda fountan-Indi-rock diner-. The service is good, the food is O.K and a little pricy for a diner, but it seems that all diners in this town are pricy. You will wait for a table if you come here for brunch on the weekends and during peak lunch hours during the week. If you’re lucky you may see the Mythbuster team in here. Worth checking out. My brother swears by the burger. I eat the Reuben. Salad dressings leave a lot to be desired. (24th ST mission)

RNM-California Cuisine- I hear this place good, very highly recommended. Check it out. (Lower Haight)

Firefly- California Cuisine- This is a staple restaurant for a date or dinner with the parents. It is cozy and has a great warm atmosphere. All the food is great; I have never had a bad meal there. Sometimes they have prix-fix menu that is also a very good deal. (Noe Valley)

Hog island (farm and ferry building)-Oysters plus food- If you like oysters just go. You will leave the ferry building hungry but damn those oysters are good. The farm is a great way to spend the day but call first and reservations. (Embarcadero, Marshal)

Manora Thai- Thai food-Great lunch special never been there for dinner. Good food. (SOMA)

Osha- Thai food- great food, smaller portions but the food is really good.

Old Jerusalem- Middle eastern- best Middle Eastern food I have eaten in S.F. Atmosphere is O.K but the food makes up for it. I mean this is the real deal; I’m talking about that lightweight “truly Med” stuff. The portions are perfect for eating family style. (Mission near Caesar Chaves)

Zeitgeist- Grill food-Great burgers, I am sick of the home fries. The burgers are the only thing worth getting and they only come well done, but for some reason they taste great. (Mission)

Vallarta Taqueria-Taqueria- I think this is some of the best Mexican around, this is the real deal. A lot of Hispanic people eat here which to me is a good sign. The other day I was in for lunch and saw them boiling an entire Cow’ head it was a sight to be seen. Great tacos!
(24th ST, Mission)

Na'an and anything (chutney, curry and so on)-Indian- I have eaten at the one in the inner sunset and the on down town and the one in north beach. I can’t tell any of them apart even though the names are different. Most of them are good. The one in North beach is the best. They skimp a little on the meat but the sauce is very good. (All over the city)

Chow (park chow)- comfort food- Food is B-, but there is something for everyone. If you can’t make up your mind, go to Chow, you’ll leave satisfied. That’s all I’m going to say. (Church and market and inner sunset)

Blue- comfort food-good food, great portions, but needs better décor. Try the mac n'cheese. (Castro)

Boulevard- I still think this one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. I have eaten at almost all of the high-end restaurants in town and this one still holds up. They went through a spell about two years ago of putting two or three small entrée’s on a plate, like short ribs and monkfish on one plate. They just didn’t gel with each other. I have never had a bad meal there.

This isn’t a complete list of all the places I eat but it is a good start. If you ever find yourself in any of these neighborhoods, I highly recommend checking them out.

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