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Decent-quality-not-expensive sushi in SF that's pretty good?

Not setting the bar too high here, but not too low either. Looking for a good, weeknight-eating, neighborhood sushi spot, that's well-priced, for meeting a friend or two. Not Maruya or the like. I'd go to Koo, which I like, but wish it were cheaper for everyday use. The other options I try, where the price is right, tend to be kind of disappointing quality. Any happy mediums to suggest? I'd like to pay, say, $30 per person for the food, not including drinks.

A sit-down-and-order "cheap eats" that takes rezzies in the Mission or Soma, wine and beer?

Mission Cheese looks like a great option!

A sit-down-and-order "cheap eats" that takes rezzies in the Mission or Soma, wine and beer?

I think we'd have a hard time keeping on budget at Hog and Rocks, but it sounds good.

A sit-down-and-order "cheap eats" that takes rezzies in the Mission or Soma, wine and beer?

Gajalee sounds good!

A sit-down-and-order "cheap eats" that takes rezzies in the Mission or Soma, wine and beer?

We used to go to Walzwerk semi-regularly. DH is russian, and enjoys it. Never tried Mozzeria - will look it up.

A sit-down-and-order "cheap eats" that takes rezzies in the Mission or Soma, wine and beer?

I love Cotogna, but would have a hard time sticking to pizza, once there!

A sit-down-and-order "cheap eats" that takes rezzies in the Mission or Soma, wine and beer?

Thanks barleywino. At the moment I've come up with Lolo, which we still haven't tried. Am still interested in everyone's take,as this is an issue that comes up a lot for us - eating well, and semi-romantically, but on the cheap.

A sit-down-and-order "cheap eats" that takes rezzies in the Mission or Soma, wine and beer?

I don't get out enough in my own town and need your help! Need to make a Friday 7:30 reservation for two (waiting more than 15 minutes won't work with our dining window), to a place that's in the $20 per person for food range (plus a drink, not included). In the Mission, or Soma, preferably, and not so loud we can't talk about deep things. Trick Dog is too loud. Plin, Bar Tartine, etc are too pricey. Any ethnic would work, as long as you sit down to order, and can get a glass of wine. Any decent wine bars? It doesn't need to be trendy, but the food needs to be tasty. Thanks for your ideas!

Ming Kee Restaurant formerly known as Happy Bakery, Ocean Ave. - Just Opened 4 days ago! Roast goose is back on our radar... [San Francisco]

I'd be thrilled to pay that for goose since the Mary's goose I bought frozen for Thanksgiving at Andronico's the other day was $80, and I've got to cook it.

Best dinner rolls in San Francisco?

Bump, because in the south the freezer section of any grocery has Sister Schuberts rolls, which may not be natural, but are very small, and buttery, and well loved. I've never seen a good looking dinner roll in SF.

Looking for small 6-8 oz. cans of Sauerkraut in the Eastbay?

This is a somewhat different ball of wax, but have you tried the Saurkraut that Trader Joes recently started selling? It's in their refrigerated section, and is naturally fermented, AFAIK. Just cabbage, salt, garlic, and, oddly, some bits of cucumber. Tastes more like fresh homemade than stuff out of a ballpark hot dog vendor.

Dinner in SF for 6 tonight, 2 kids, not too pricey, not Asian, pizza, or Mexican

Troya was... Hit and miss. Still like the quiet, low key atmosphere. Service was friendly. Crispy Brussels sprouts very tasty, if a little greasy. The most positive surprise was the hummus - I don't get excited by hummus, at all, but really liked theirs, which is very bean and tahini forward, smooth and rich not tart. Tempted to declare it best hummus ever. The miss on the appetizers was the fried feta, which was not what I was expecting. I thought it was wrapped in grape leaves, but instead it was breaded and reminiscent of fried mozzerella, but with a watered down honey dipping sauce. The kids liked it. The grilled halloumi salad also didn't work for me - the combination of olives, dried cranberries, almonds, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes with halloumi felt all over the map, literally.

Main courses, again, were hit and miss. Lamb kabob tasty if a little overcooked, came with excellently spiced rice. My picky daughter liked her vegetarian moussaka, though to me the spices were overpowering. Husband had ground lamb kabob that had been rolled in lavosh with tomato sauce and yogurt on top (like a skinny, wet burrito) - tasty enough. He liked it.

Alas, over all, it worked in a pinch, but not sure I'll be returning. However, the waiter said that they sometimes serve manti as a special on weekends - these fabulous handmade ravioli-like dumplings are worth seeking out.

Dinner in SF for 6 tonight, 2 kids, not too pricey, not Asian, pizza, or Mexican

Thanks everyone for your thoughts! We ended up making a reservation for Troya on Clement. They've retooled the menu since we were there last, maybe 18 months ago. We'll miss the manti they used to serve, but hopefully it's still tasty. I appreciate the fact that it's low key. I'll let you know how it goes.

Dinner in SF for 6 tonight, 2 kids, not too pricey, not Asian, pizza, or Mexican

I know I'm asking A LOT here, but we've no reservations, party of 6, multiple generations, good eaters, but one doesn't like (most) Asian, two aren't pizza fans, and two are "tired" of Mexican (something fabulous might be a go). It'll be 7:00 before one can arrive, and waiting more than 20 minutes won't work. Most anywhere in the city, but not downtown. Something Mission/ Divisadero / Marina / Cole Valley / inner Sunset would be perfect. Any ideas? Thanks!

Two wineries this weekend, Sonoma town / Glen Ellen / Kenwood, low key, high quality

Two of us are making a day trip from SF Saturday. Our plan will include a little hike (Jack London SHP or?), either a picnic or El Molino Central, depending on how warm it feels, and a visit to, probably two wineries in the vicinity. Trying to avoid extra driving. I prefer small wineries, and a more restrained, old-world winemaking style, (particularly Pinot and cab, though we drink white too), and a friendly staff, pretty surroundings a plus. Past successful day trips have included Joseph Swan and Porter Creek in the RRV, and Robert Keenan and Schweiger on Spring Mountain. Here's what's appealed so far, but each has issues, and I'm very open to suggestion:
Mayo (not sure about quality here?)
Hanzell (looks awesome but a little put off by the $45pp cost, and they're above our normal buying price range, which is usually under $50, including reds)
Sojourn, but like being out in the vineyards
Adastra looks fun, but further afield

Not interested in Benziger. Your thoughts and ideas appreciated!

Is Central Kitchen really as pricey as Chez Panisse

I was surfing the net, trying to make sure I had the right restaurant reserved for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and came across the "top 100 restaurants" on sfgate. They have Central Kitchen labeled $$$$, in the same category as Chez Panisse, Coi, etc. Can that be true? To look at the menu online, it seems more similar to Cotogna, Nopa, or Frances, unless their portions are bite-sized. I've been tripped up by this before, when I thought Cavallo Point's $29 steak on their menu might be larger than 1.5oz.

Set me straight - cause this wasn't meant to be a Chez Panisse - priced dinner!

Our next nice Dinner - Central Kitchen, Outerlands, or Rich Table? [San Francisco]

Also loved Aziza, btw, so suggestions don't have to be cal-ital.

Our next nice Dinner - Central Kitchen, Outerlands, or Rich Table? [San Francisco]

My favorite restaurant recently is Frances (in fact, I'm tempted to simply return), but we don't get out to eat upscale that often, and want to see what's happening in the food world. Also love Cotogna and Incanto, but AQ was too stiff and contrived for us. So, where next, between Outerlands, Rich Table, or Central Kitchen, or suggest an addition, given our preference for this general price range, relaxed atmosphere, and especially, yumminess. Need to be able to actually make a reservation for 4. Thanks!


We just came back from dinner at AQ. While I enjoyed my meal, I'm sorry to report that the rest of my table were underwhelmed. I had the brussels sprouts and the swordfish, and I guess I was playing it safe, because bacon makes everything better. They were both very tasty. But the other diners left feeling less than thrilled, and I rather agreed with their assessment of their dishes. I tried the lamb tartare, which I had high hopes for, but which really only carried the fatty taste of raw lamb, and mint. I felt some salt and acid would help, but maybe I didn't get some of the garnishes, as I really only tried the meat. And my mom was a little flummoxed by the octopus dish, as it was quite strongly doused with squid ink, of which she is not a fan, though the menu didn't mention it. Plus, the biggest component of the dish was the tete de cochon, which she also wasn't quite prepared for. I tried the tete de cochon, and wasn't excited, though the squid ink sauce tasted good to me.

Actually, several members of my table had a hard time ordering, as the a la carte menu is limited. With about 6 appetizers and 6 entrees, one of which was turkey and cranberry, and each one containing a more adventurous ingredient, like charcoal, not everyone was seduced by the vague descriptions. And in the end,despite being relatively sophisticated diners, they found the whole concept a little precious, overcooked, if you will.

One nice thing our server did was to bring us a dessert on the house, the chocolate mousse on a whisk, when he heard it was my husband's birthday, and we weren't going to order any. And my cocktail, the caribbean knife fight 2, was tasty, though be warned, on the sweet side.

How much do you tip when you get take-out? [Moved from SF Bay Area board]

Let's say you've ordered indian food for take-out, at the counter or over the phone. I normally don't tip 15%, because it wasn't a full service meal. But I want to tip something - do you tip 10%, or just a couple of dollars even if you've ordered $80 worth of food?

Oct 26, 2012
leeinsf in Not About Food

Best winery for a picnic on Spring mountain, that's not Pride?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. We ended up visiting Robert Keenn Winery, then Schweiger. We tried to make an appointment at Smith-Madrone, but they were bottling next day and not accepting visitors.
Laura at Keenan was friendly, and they were harvesting their cab grapes, so we got to taste grapes and some fresh juice, which was fun. Nice wine and particularly loved their cab franc (at $60 too expensive for my bank). Bought a bottle of 10 chard, and a 08 cab, and their merlot was tempting, too. Also, we did picnic at their tables. While the tables don't have a "big" view, to us the view of the vineyard below, along with the soulnds of the working winery, was lovely.
Schweiger was fun too, although James our host was in danger of writing us off as yahoos without big wallets. This always annoys me - why should I have to work to warm them up to the fact that I do have taste, a little, and can buy, a little. (If they do that to SFers who've made 20 Napa trips, how do they treat folks from Kansas?) Luckily an industry worker showed up and tasted with us, which warmed James up, and we had lively conversation and some good wine. He let us taste a 98 (I think) cab, which was lovely. We debated style diferences in the 07 cab and the 07 Dedication, their blend. I bought a bottle of the 07 cab.
Looking forward to next time!

Help me narrow 4 SF restaurants down to 2

We took them to Cotogna last year, but Locanda sounds great. Locanda or Incanto? They both sound great to me.

Help me narrow 4 SF restaurants down to 2

For example, I'm now thinking of Incanto or La Ciccia instead, and the reservations would be easier.

Help me narrow 4 SF restaurants down to 2

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. AQ it definitely is. Not to overthink this, but the choice between the other two is more of a puzzle, for a few reasons. 1) the only reservations I could get at either, still 2 months away, is 5:15 for Frances and 5:45 for F+W. Not a killer, but hardly ideal. 2) Flour+Water has the fresh pasta slant I think the parents could get behind, but Frances, not sure how to excite them about yet another intimate CA restaurant. Aziza they loved, because it was so fresh for them. Am I missing an option at this price point, while staying stylish, and without heading to Asian or Latin?

Best SF Breakfast

I'm addicted to Art's Cafe on Irving: 2 eggs, hash browns, Crystal hot sauce. If hash browns made into a crispy crepe-like disk of yum aren't enticing to you, don't bother. Though the bibimbop is good too.

Help me narrow 4 SF restaurants down to 2

I'm a decent cook / foodie who doesn't get out much (little kids + no $!) My mom and her boyfriend are coming to town for Thanksgiving, from Venice Beach (their taste: Tasting Kitchen and Gjelina's.) We'll eat out twice at dinner, once at either:
Commonwealth or AQ
The other time at either:
France's or Flour + Water

I've never eaten at any of them (tho I live here), but last year we enjoyed our meal at Cotogna. We'll probably branch out for lunch to something more exotic, but that's not part of this post.

We're looking for excellent food, casual / stylish people and digs, and prices at, well, the price level of the restaurants mentioned. Thoughts? Am I missing something exciting?

Best winery for a picnic on Spring mountain, that's not Pride?

I think we're narrowed down to Keenan and Smith-Madrone, based on affordability and laid back tasting experience. If anyone recommends a third to pair with these two, please tell!

Best winery for a picnic on Spring mountain, that's not Pride?

I like the Trespass idea, and love cab franc, even though their pricing is veering out of our affordability range. Barnett's website specifically prohibits outside food, but I'll ask when I call (kind of a bad sign in my book, though.)

Best winery for a picnic on Spring mountain, that's not Pride?

Husband and I are taking a day trip to Napa or rather, Spring mountain, next Wednesday, and want to visit 3 wineries. We like low key, friendly places, with well-crafted wine and at least a wine or 2 below $50 so we can buy a bottle if we want, and we'll be bringing picnic supplies. A picnic spot with a view (and a bottle of their wine) would be great, and I'm a sucker for a garden. We enjoy visiting Pride but would like to try new places this trip.

Some options we've noted:
Terra Valentine
Cain (but perhaps reservations are hard to get?)
But it's hard for me to get a sense of each winery's distinct "feel", and I would welcome other suggestions. Want to narrow the list based on wine quality-to-price, plus a generally relaxed atmosphere. I love to taste reds, but often buy white due to Napa prices.

Santa Fe: Comments on Coyote Cafe and Tabla de los Santos, please

We'll be there in a week and I'd love to hear your thoughts re Cafe Chimayo?

Jun 02, 2012
leeinsf in Southwest