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I'm going to be in SF November 10-13, accompanying N while she attends a conference. I'll be free most of the day on that Friday, if anyone would like to join me for lunch. Or, does anyone have a good recommendation? I'm looking to expand my horizons past Mission burrito and Tenderloin banh mi places.

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Steph, I'd love to have lunch with you while you're here. I'll be working way downtown that Friday. My office is a block away from Barbacco, the trattoria from the Perbacco folks, which I've been meaning to try. Any interest in that?

Looks great! I'm sending a PM now.

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I'm sorry to say that I'm heading out of town on the 10th. If you're still looking for recommendations, what kind of places are you looking for?

Fairly cheap ones that are around the Embarcadero area or relatively easy to get to from. (N and I will need dinner spots.)

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I'm sorry to say that I'm heading out of town on the 10th. If you're still looking for recommendations, what kind of places are you looking for?

Fairly cheap ones that are around the Embarcadero area or relatively easy to get to from. (N and I will need dinner spots.)

Hmmm... not much too cheap around the Embarcadero. il Cane Rosso is one of the better spots in the Ferry Building and they have a 3 course dinner for $30. I haven't had dinner but their lunch and sandwiches are great. Note that you'll be sitting at tables set up either outside or in the Ferry Building in front of their storefront/counter. Also in the Ferry Building is Hog Island, which is one of my favorite evening places to sit outside by the bridge with some oysters and clam chowder.

 

Mission Chinese Food is fairly easy to get to and worth a trip if you like Chinese. They've been getting a ton of press so there will be a wait on the weekends/later in the evening, but they're doing some of the best food of any kind right now. And they're cheap and will deliver anywhere in the city.

 

If you find yourself near Union Square for whatever reason, Jasper's is fairly new and I'd say the best of any option in the immediate area. It's casual (whole front half is the bar area with communal tables, counters looking out on the street, etc) but they make good cocktails and have a decent beer selection. The food is good too. I've had some bad service there on an early Sunday afternoon but a weekday evening saw more (and more attentive) servers.

 

Sorry I don't have more around the Embarcadero and cheap. That area is dominated by the Ferry Building and I'm usually only over there for lunch. The La Mar in NYC has a thread on here and the one in SF is on Pier 1.5. Check the thread for my caveats. I've had some nice meals at Lafitte and the views are nice, but I wouldn't call it cheap. If you're willing to travel a bit more, North Beach has come into it's own with some newer, non-Italian, non-touristy places. My two favorites are Txoko and Comstock Saloon. The only caveat on that is you probably won't want to be over in that area too late on the weekend nights as it's the strip clubs/B&T clubs neighborhood and can be a bit much (Comstock is set back a few blocks from that scene though).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stephanie, you really should hit at least one San Francisco burrito place. One that is easy for you to get tois Tacqueria Zapata on the corner of 18th St and Collingwood. Really good tacos (order a super) and burritos. Although somewhat Gringo-ized, lots of Latinos here as well as neighborhood, so it really is pretty authentic. This is in the heart of the Castro, so you would also have some interesting window shopping. Take the F street car at Embarcadero to Castro and walk one block south then one block west. Voilla.

 

Also, you need to have some dim sum. You can take the #2 Clement bus at Embarcadero and ride all the way out to 9th Avenue. One of our favorites is Good Luck dim sum on the north side of the street. About $1.30 for 3 pieces. Eat yourself silly for $5.! While in the hood, cross the street and wander through Mai Wah supermarket. Who needs to go to Hong Kong or Shanghai?

 

FWIW, I will be around, although chasing my tail, through Saturday, so if you have a question, logistics, etc, email me and I'll try to help. Enjoy!

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Work has been nuts, so I'm finally getting around to reading MF again and posting. While Barbacco is an insane space at lunch, the food is quite good. We started with simple focaccia (a bit oily) and olives. I had a bruschetta with sardine, potatoes, and "salsa verde" to start and a big bowl of zuppa di pesce. Everything fell off the bruschetta as soon as I took a bite, but after I reassembled things I found the fish to be nice and meat and the bread sturdy enough to handle the oil from the fish and potatoes. My soup was tomato broth with pureed tomatoes, potatoes, chunks of fish, and lots of garlic, accompanied by two pieces of toasted bread (more starch) with a cream smeared on them that I couldn't recognize. Well-balanced and not overly acidic. The weather was lousy that day--cold and drizzly--and a bowl of hot soup was very welcome.

 

Other food adventures:

 

--Hitting Bi-Rite Creamery, Bi-Rite Market, and Tartine Bakery in one swoop. When I passed by the market, they were offering a plate with samples of all their Thanksgiving offerings.

--Vietnamese pho at a small place in the Castro. It was sadly on the sweet side, but otherwise not bad.

--Cake and espresso at Caffe Greco, with additional stops at Gelateria Naia (looked but not bought) and Molinari Delicatessen (my friend got cheese and I got a SF salami)

--A lovely meal at Zare at Fly Trap in SoMA with Carolyn Tillie. The meatballs, smoked trout salad (with "cucumber linguini" and fish roe), and the roasted kabocha squash with freekeh, broccoli rabe, caramelized carrots, mushrooms, and almonds were all excellent. Dessert was courtesy of Humphry Slocumbe and Dynamo Donuts.

--And of course, Ferry Market on a Saturday. Through sheer force of will, I managed to escape with only RG beans, a date-walnut bar, and some vanilla quark, which was promptly confiscated by SFO security as spreadable cheeses are apparently considered gels.

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