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OliverB's Profile

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Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Of those restaurants I've only tried Palmyra and it was absolutely terrible. Again not Greek though, which is really what I was looking for. I guess I'll just wait until I fly home to Montreal.

about 6 hours ago
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Tasty Falafel sandwich at Sabra Grill

Thanks; I gave up on Greek in the city (not hauling out to the East Bay this aft) and you kind of sold me on Middle Eastern in the other thread, so I'm compensating for the lack of proper souvlaki with a falafel lunch today!

I'll go anywhere in Pac Heights (Upper/Lower), Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Tenderloin, Financial District, Union Sq. and even Cow Hollow or Fillmore area. Closer or on a direct and convenient route to Van Ness and California would be a plus. It seems like the two popular choices are Oasis Grill and Saba and the latter seems more "authentic", though I get the impression that their other food is not quite as popular and it's not really a place to explore menu offerings.

Apr 18, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

To further complicate things, Montreal has an odd way of referring to chicken shawarma as shish taouk. It's come to be interchangeably defined as any and all chicken pita wraps (shaved off a spit or brochette) sold at any of the countless Middle Eastern lunch counters throughout the island. If you order shawarma in the city, you'll be getting marinated beef or lamb; sometimes carved from a spindle and sometimes in the form of a kebab.

Apr 18, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Cubed lamb (and pork at the cheaper fast food spots) is the most common meat found at almost every Greek resto and hole-in-the-wall in the city. Chicken and shaved lamb souvlaki, carved off the spit.

Apr 18, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Tasty Falafel sandwich at Sabra Grill

Can anyone tell me if this place is still good for falafel pitas?

I usually don't give a toss about Yelp reviews but it's rated pretty harshly. I was planning on walking over for a falafel pita and hummus in an hour... any updates in the past 5 years??

Apr 18, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

It looks great for schwarma and falafel but I don't see the souvlaki connection.

Apr 18, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

I doubt that a Middle Eastern deli would make good souvlaki.

Apr 18, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

I've had it with fresh sliced cucumbers too, which is quite nice. Greek pepperoncini on the side are a must too.

Apr 18, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

You mentioned "salsiccia di bra" which I'm certain I've seen at Salumeria. Here's a post from 2011 on their Facebook page advertising it in a panini:

"Sapete cos'è il Mac Bra? È la risposta locale allo junk food: un panino che contiene la Salsiccia di Bra, il tipico formaggio di Bra e foglie di lattuga. Se siete nei dintorni non perdetevelo"

Apr 17, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

Try Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto.

Apr 17, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

There are places like Babbo and Lincoln which focus on monthly regional menus, including Piedmont.

There are countless places focusing on regional Italian in the city, though not necessarily Piemonte dishes... Maialino, Scarpetta, Perla, Rosemary's, Il Buco, etc.

Perbacco is wonderful but it's not at all exclusive or unique to San Francisco in any way. That's not to detract from it's superb kitchen, but if comparing distinctly local restaurants - I would say that Nopa takes it head and shoulders.

I don't think it matters one way or the other; you can't go wrong picking either restaurant and the decision should really be based on the personal preference and appeal of the menu.

Apr 17, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Apr 17, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

Nopa feels more like a local institution, if that matters to you. Perbacco is great but not as distinct and as has been mentioned, there are similar restaurants in NYC. Ultimately it depends on what you're in the mood for - check the menus out as they're very different restaurants.

Apr 16, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

Btw, nobody is talking about morality... more like pretentiousness and lack of purpose.

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

You seem to be overlooking an important aspect... if the restaurant is so popular that you can't book a table several days in advance (let's adopt some suspension of disbelief here because none of the named restaurants could admittedly be considered such)... then what's to make it any easier to do so through this app if all they've done is taken a few tables out of rotation and allocated them to Table8? Surely such a popular place would be just as difficult to get a reservation to if the only criteria for reserving a seat is to pay a $20 fee... and compete with every other person in the city who wants a reservation for the same table! What seems quite obvious but has not yet been mentioned, is that there is no greater chance of securing a table through this app. The same number of tables are available as always... only a handful now cost $20 more. Unless the creators of this app have such little faith in it's success as to not consider this an issue due to the niche demographic that may or may not adopt it... you're still competing with everyone else in the city for a table at a very popular restaurant (suspension of disbelief!) that's impossible to get a last minute booking. It kind of exists in defiance with it's own purpose... designate a limited number of tables at premium charge and then assume that as a result of said charge, considerably fewer people will be interested (in both the app and reservation!) therefore making it easier for others to book. So they've purposefully created a tool which, in order for it to function effectively, must remain unpopular with the majority of San Franciscans. Otherwise, it will be just as difficult to book a table through Table8 as it will through any other means. Furthermore, even if the vast majority of local diners shun this app and chose not to use it, there will still surely be enough of a following to make the limited number of tables equally difficult to reserve... otherwise, it's essentially defeatist as anyone could bypass Table8 and get a res on their own. Which, upon coming back down to reality, happens to be the case for every single restaurant associated with it as of now.

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Melanie, what was in the pita exactly? I see what looks like feta, cubed pork(?), tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions? The tzaziki looks a bit runny and pita looks a bit thin (not sure what to make of the feta) but so far I guess it's the best example I've seen in the city. Could you describe the tzaziki sauce; was it very garlicky? No pepperonicinis offered?

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Ex-Montreal native homesick for Greek food in the Bay Area...

I've not found a passable gyro/souvlaki joint in San Francisco since moving here. Is there just not a large Greek community in the city?

The ubiquitous San Francisco souvlaki is something like disgusting cafeteria style mystery meat, cheap iceberg lettuce and bottled ranch dressing on a stale pita folded over like a taco. Unacceptable!

Is there any hope for a real souvlaki/gyro pita in this city or will this pervasive lunch staple found on every corner back home be something to savor only on return visits East from now on?

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

I've made same-night reservations at Acquerello, Aziza, Boulevard, and Waterbar on multiple ocassions (well, only once for Aziza). I've also easily gotten res at Fleur de Lys and La Folie at the last minute; I think I had to cancel both times the day before for different reasons, but I don't understand how holding back tables and charging a premium at places that can't even fill to near capacity would benefit or be of use to anyone. They'd have to hold back a LOT of tables. Waterbar is great btw and I love that I can walk in any day at just about any time and get a seating. The views are unbeatable!

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

I hope we're not using the commercial airline industry as a standard or prototype now... you couldn't really chose a worse example to follow. What I want to know is why anyone on here, as conscious consumers, would actually defend these bad decisions and poor business practices?

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Namu Gaji - SF

Does anyone know what the "noodle pop-up" that they're advertising the first Monday of every month on Facebook/Twitter is all about?

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

I'd still like to understand how these restaurants project that this tool will be an advantage to them at all. Obviously they believe this... or they're just being paid off to participate by targeting a few popular names and hoping that others will want to follow suit, which I highly doubt is what's happening.

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

Okay, well I suck at math/economics (which is why I'm not building pretentious apps like this!) so I'll take yoru word for it. :)

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

I think I may have had a one too many glasses of rose this afternoon as it's confusing to read it back to myself...

Basically if you have a small space that can accommodate x-amount of people and then suddenly reduce that space even more, you are creating more demand because it can accommodate less people. The quantity of seats certainly factors in.

I just sent an out of town friend to Bar Crudo this aft as she was in the mood for a crab sandwich and oysters. There are not many tables and there's ocassionally small line-ups at happy hour. If Crudo eliminated 10 seats then the small line-ups might be a bit longer. The demand isn't really a variable factor when it's proportional to the capacity... Once you reduce the capacity, you increase the demand because there are more people who want to patronize an establishment than the space can accommodate.

There's more of a demand for limes right now because there is a shortage of supply. That doesn't necessarily mean that more people love limes... it means there are less limes than there are people who want them. When a restaurant takes away seats, it increases demand... unless nobody cares about the restaurant eitherway and it isn't ever near capacity. In which case, I think this app would be useless to all.

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

I thought I had read that they were only allocating 2 tables nightly, which may contribute partly to the confusion on my end.

I don't understand how you find the conomic logic tortured... I was merely suggesting that if a restaurant such as Commonwealth for instance, which is not terribly difficult to get into (there are typically a couple of walk-in seats available on any given night) were to restrict several seats in their already limited space to Table8... then suddenly a restaurant that is able to fill it's dining room to near capacity yet doesn't have the demand to oversell... could suddenly find itself in a potentially different position. Someone like myself who might have otherwise called for a last-minute reservation, could find it completely sold out... if I were some privileged tech guy who thought this Table8 was a great resource, I might then go ahead and book the table (that would have otherwise been available were it not for this app!) at extra cost.

If you have 20 seats in house and only fill 17 by reservation on average per night with ocassional last minute calls or walk-ins... then suddenly reduce the 20 seats to 15... you've just created demand.

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

If I knew how to create an app, I'd restrict posting on all messageboards including Chowhound between 5:00-7:00 PM daily, except for those willing to fork over $5/day or $20/week. As these are the peak times for site traffic at the close of the work day, it levels the playing field by freeing up space on the servers and allowing those who truly appreciate the website to contribute to it's continued operation... meanwhile, I'd get rich from sponsorship and ads, probably with other people's startup money.

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

Because of the basic principles of supply and demand.

The restaurant is operating at a loss when the kitchen and staff are paid but the room is empty. They offer points as incentive to create demand. When demand exists, there's no good reason in the world to charge additional costs for the same experience and service. It's a silly concept.

The solution is to scrap the OT points, forgo happy hour, and just open later in the evenings... or if the foot traffic gained from the offer of added amenities at otherwise hard-to-fill time slots outweighs the loss of revenue from not operating at all, then keep on. That's how business works.

It's pointless to create solutions to problems that don't exist. Having a full house in a restaurant is the very essence of a problem that isn't.

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

The good it does is perpetuates demand... which is what every successful restaurant in the world wants and needs. I'd rather have a dining establishment with long lines around the block and one-month advance bookings, then a place with regular nightly walk-ins, obviously.

This app doesn't attempt to solve these restraints though... it exagerrates them by keeping more regular diners out when space is already full (if not, why bother because who'd pay more??)

Frankly, I've never had a problem getting into Boulevard with a couple of day's notice. If I were visiting from out of town and needed last minute reservations and absolutely had to visit Boulevard, chances are slim the app would help if they're only setting aside 2 tables... unless they're planning on it being as unpopular a tool as it is useful! ;)

If the restaurant is not SO popular that you *might be able to squeeze in on a prime night ocassionally, then this basically creates demand wher it was borderline before. Now there's no chance of scoring a table whereas before it was a possibility. Selling water to fish, right?

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

I just don't think that pulling out 2 tables per night will be enough to make any difference in diner's booking habits as nobody will notice... it's not like your or I will know which tables are being allocated to Table8 at precisely what times. We'll just try to get a reservation per usual and if it's booked solid and one were so inclined to check out Table8, we'd still not be at any advantage - with a 2 table limit, they'll either be available or not. So why is it a significant benefit to anyone? It seems like a wheel of fortune kind of thing... if you're lucky enough to have booked during peak hours and a table is avail. on the app, you can pay more to book it (assuming there are no earlier/later reservations and you have a flexible dining shcedule) but there's no rhyme or reason to using this. It's not an app that's very well though out imo, nor does it make much sense. I really don't think it will create more demand for off-hour seats because we're talking about 2 random tables nightly and most diners will be clueless to this. It's literally just... "let's create an app selling water to fish!"

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

I don't understand this reasoning... if the restaurant is so successful that demand outweighs capacity, why would they feel the need to up-price a table for a measly $20 instead of just fill it like every other table in the restaurant, since the demand exists and they have the client base?

How could having "more potential customers do them no actual good anyway" - are you suggesting they are understaffed or something? Filling a table is always good. There's no such thing as customers doing no actual good to a restaurant.

Consider this in another light... every restaurant in San Francisco will now charge $25 for the privilege of reserving a seat every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Probably not a very popular suggestion, huh?

This one is just as shitty but makes even less sense, as they're only pulling out 2 tables a night and charging a minimal amount... so creating less capacity despite the existing demand... but charging a "privelege" fee. How pretentious can you get? So some schlub sitting next to you might end up paying $20 more for the same table at the same time for no good reason.

This is the very definition of creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist to begin with.

If they really wanted to "level the playing field" they would charge a $20 booking fee for every single table in the restaurant at prime time on a weekend... then see their app fail miserably and watch as bookings decline.

By limiting it to a couple of tables, they're creating some elitist lotto that is anything but "level". I like how the sf.eater article mentions "normal people". Normal people either plan ahead or make do if they don't for whatever reason and can't get a seating. Let's not pretend that this is creating more capacity... it's doing the opposit by limiting capacity but charging for it, thereby kicking the "normal people" in the ass. Seems disloyal to any restaurant's customer base and a paltry amount to make any difference. $40 is really a negligible increase in nightly earnings for a popular restaurant.

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

They basically take 2 tables out of rotation each night and let someone else sell them for a $20 premium. Those tables would have gotten booked regardless. The blockheads paying a premium for these tables are doing so only because the restaurant's sold them to this app. So essentially the restaurant is charging 2 tables an exorbitant booking fee each night... for no good reason at all. And this is good/helpful to diners how?? Because it allows people willing to fork over the fee a chance to dine at the same table they could have otherwise booked for free through the restaurant or OpenTable directly? Because... why??

Any restaurant that can fill it's seats on any given night of the week would surely see no merit in this. What's the purpose or benefit to the restaurant... an extra $40 / night?

Any restaurant that struggles to pack it in (I could walk in to Waterbar any night of the week and wait 10-15 min. MAX for a table) would also not really benefit because who is suddenly willing to spend $20 for a reservation at a place that isn't filled?

Unless they are holding these tables and releasing them at the last minute (on the very night of - or the day before) then I don't understand who will benefit or even use this app. If I wanted to get into Boulevard for example, I could go on OT right now and make a reservation for this coming weekend without issue.

It sounds like a fairly useless resource for nobody but the developpers. Basically they attempt to guage prime hours when these restaurants are typically filled, pull out a couple of tables thereby creating the problem... and then charge for the solution. They're banking on people who wouldn't rather just eat an hour earlier, later, or somewhere else entirely... I'd sooner chose any of the above before supporting what seems like a brainless tool that does more harm than good (if any - I still can't figure out how).

Apr 15, 2014
OliverB in San Francisco Bay Area