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Table of 12 Needed (Casual & Good) in SF

I have eaten there for 25 years and the food seems the same to me as always. I took family who were visiting from out of town and we all loved it. Of course, to them, some of the filo items and such were a little exotic.

I have always enjoyed the food and service there and have served their party platters at home many times.

"Below average for the style" - if there are better Mediterranean restaurants in San Francisco, I would love to know about them. I like Kokari, but I don't find it to be a good value.

Table of 12 Needed (Casual & Good) in SF

La Med. The one at Noe & Market. Everyone gets the meza, which is lots of small plates of great food. Vegetarian option is available. I did this in June for the same size group and it was perfect and the price was reasonable.

Any good bakeries or chocolate places in Baltimore?

Thanks. It looks very good. I will have to try it!

Any good bakeries or chocolate places in Baltimore?

I will be visiting Baltimore and would appreciate tips on any exceptional bakeries or chocolate places.

Noise level at 1760? [San Francisco]

There are already reviews of 1760 on Yelp, but no mention of the noise level. From the photos, it looks like another popular, all hard surfaces restaurant.

I would like to try it, but I don't want to leave with a sore throat and ringing in the ears.

Can anyone tell me if 1760 is quiet enough to have a conversation without raising your voice and if the music is kept at a reasonable volume?

Thanks.

HEARTBROKEN, Fog City to close

I think it was 27 years. Anyone remember when this was Mildred's? They had great turkey sandwiches.

Solo diner overwhelmed by her choices

One more suggestion. Cordon Bleu on California between Larkin and Polk was one of the first places in SF to serve Vietnamese food. Limited menu, but very affordable and you can sit at the counter. Closed on Mondays.

If you are going to ride a cable car, it is on the California line, which is much less crowded than the other cable car lines.

Solo diner overwhelmed by her choices

OK, but you are not going to get a small plate at AQ for $10. More like $14.

Solo diner overwhelmed by her choices

I can't believe I forgot to add Tadich Grill to my suggestions. One of our best and oldest restaurants. Huge selection of seafood.

As a solo diner, you should be able to elbow past the crowd in the doorway and sit at the long counter. And they are open on Mondays for both lunch and dinner, unlike many restaurants.

Solo diner overwhelmed by her choices

Just ate at A.Q. last night. It is far beyond the original poster's budget. You have to order at least two small plates and one large (which wasn't all that large) to make a meal. That's about $60, before you add on beverages, dessert, tax, tip, and the SF Health Insurance charge.

It is good food, but not worth busting your budget.

Solo diner overwhelmed by her choices

I am surprised no one has mentioned Yank Sing in the Rincon Building. They have a separate take out area, it is very good food, and it fits your budget. This would be for lunch only. There is cheaper dim sum to be had in Chinatown and elsewhere, but this is the most accessible, in my opinion.

You didn't mention breakfast, but if you can get to North Beach by 8am, try Mama's on Washington Square Park (at the corner of Stockton and Filbert) for on Tuesday morning. It may be the easiest place to experience Dungeness crab. Just try to get there when they open. It is a small place and there can be a very long line.

On the opposite corner is Liguria Bakery, which makes one thing in the brick oven they have been using for generations: foccacia. There are several varieties, but in my opinion plain is the best. If you ask for it "cut up" they slice it into strips for you. But I prefer to just have it cut in half. Heavenly, and definitely within your budget! Just get there by 11:00 a.m, because when they run out, that is it for the day.

On that same block - Victoria Pastry. Definitely worth a visit, although I get the impression that you might not have a sweet tooth.

On the other side of the park is Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store. No cigars, but excellent sandwiches (meatball, eggplant, etc) come out of their tiny Baker's Pride oven (kind of like a toaster oven). A walk from here up to Coit Tower is great. The murals inside the tower are worth a look, as is the view from the top. A walk down the Filbert or Greenwich steps at the back of the tower is an "only in San Francisco" experience, with great views and cool little houses on the hillside on the way down. And chances are you will see the wild parrots.

A big yes to the Ferry Building. A big no to Slanted Door. And be aware that Frances is expensive, ear splitting loud, and packed. The bar area is tiny. I would recommend skipping it.

A better option in the Castro is the Anchor Oyster Bar. It is small, but they have a counter and as a single diner you are very likely to be able to jump the line and sit right down. Another place to get very easy to eat Dungeness crab - their crab burger is all crabmeat, no filler. I order it without the lettuce and tomato, so it really is all crab.

You will love the Land's End walk. Be sure to visit the ruins of the Sutro Baths, next to the Cliff House. They are interesting on their own, but right now they have the bonus of a river otter who has taken up residence there! I saw him these weekend and it was so cool.

Just be aware that going out there by bus may take 40 minutes or more from downtown, and without a car, you will have few if any dining options.

Easiest way to start the Land's End walk is to take the bus to the Legion of Honor and go behind the museum to the end of the parking lot, where the trail begins. It's amazing that what feels like such a wild place (though not nearly as wild as it was when I moved here [clears throat]) is right here in a big city.

Please report back here after your visit about what you liked (and whether you saw the otter!).

Half price panettone?

Thanks!

Half price panettone?

A.G. Ferrari had several versions of panettone that I wanted to try, but at $40 each I thought I would wait until they were marked down after Christmas. Well, they haven't marked them down.

Has anyone seen imported panettone at half price in San Francisco?

Does Lucca on Valencia Street have holiday sweets or baked goods at half price?

Is there a cafe in the JCC? [San Francisco]

Is there a cafe or restaurant in the San Francisco Jewish Community Center on California Street?

I couldn't find anything on their website. A google search yielded only old articles about things they tried there that closed (Asian fusion, etc.).

Did they give up on having a place to eat there?

Dinner near Golden Gate Theatre?

I am seeing a show at the Golden Gate Theatre in early January and would like to have dinner nearby beforehand. It will be a Saturday night.

I am looking for something walking distance and the mid-market location is a bit of a challenge.

I have enjoyed Farmer Brown in the past and may end up going there, but I would appreciate suggestions of anyplace else within three blocks or so of the theatre.

Where can I find Zabaglione in San Francisco?

Can anyone recommend a restaurant in San Francisco that serves zabaglione, aka zabaione, aka sabayon, etc?

It is an Italian dessert of egg yolks and wine and a few other ingredients, whipped up and served hot. The traditional presentation is to serve it overflowing in a parfait glass, which is quite dramatic. I first had it at Milano in the 80's, but it was not on their menu when I was last there. Unlike most other desserts, this has to be made to order.

I am not interested in the frozen variety or the ice cream that supposedly has the same flavor. For me, the whole point is the texture and the temperature.

Fino on Post Street is the only place in SF where I have been able to find it recently.

Is it available anywhere else?

Help me have the best possible experience at Yank Sing

Thanks for posting the link to the previous discussion. I used the search function before asking my question, but did not find that string.

Help me have the best possible experience at Yank Sing

I will be going to Yank Sing on Sunday and taking out of town visitors.

I will definitely order the Shanghai dumplings. What else do they do especially well there?

Can anyone explain their pricing? On past visits, they stamp the card and then there is a big surprise at the end of the meal when the cashier adds it up. I can't think of any other restaurant experience where you have zero chance of catching a mistake, overcharge, or duplicate entry on your bill. I guess we'll just avoid the crab and Peking duck and hope for the best.

It has already been decided that we are going to Yank Sing, so if there are better dim sum places that you would recommend, please understand that would be for a different discussion.

Thanks for any suggestions on what to select from the carts at Yank Sing. Is there anything I should ask for if it does not come around in a cart?

I would like recommendations for Charlottesville, VA, please

Hello. Original poster here, reporting back. I was in Charlottesville for two days. The best food experience was the sticky bun at Albemarle Baking Company. Not to be confused with their cinnamon roll, which was also good, but the sticky bun, which might be called a morning bun in California, was out of this world perfect goodness. Not all that sticky, it was crisp and crunchy at the edges and chewy and moist in the middle. Loved it! Their quiche was also good and the staff was friendly. I had to make a special effort to get there and appreciated that they were open early in the morning on a Saturday.

Maya was a good dining experience. Excellent service, really nice waitress who took good care of us. I loved the trout, cornbread, and collard greens. Extra points for a very creative dessert menu. I can't remember now what was on it, but they were items I had not seen offered anywhere else, and I study the dessert menu everywhere I go. We didn't order dessert, but I was nevertheless impressed by what they offered. The outdoor seating was nice. Would have been better without the cover over the entire patio. I would go back here to try the other sides, all of which looked good.

The Local was another good experience. The place was more casual that I expected and the people at the bar were talking a bit too loudly, but it was Saturday night. They have an awkward reservation process - five back and forth emails before it was finally confirmed.

I had trout again and enjoyed it. But The Local's dessert menu was things one could very easily make at home. e.g. brownie sundae, banana split. Clearly, they didn't spring for a pastry chef. A good meal, but I would return to Maya before going back here.

The big disappointment was Peter Chang's. Perhaps it is better suited for folks who like spicy food and can order his specialties. We had tea smoked duck, seafood in a bird's nest (a gimmick - the bird's nest was an inedible, premade bowl of dried noodles), a vegetable dish, soup dumplings, and scallion pancakes.

The scallion pancakes were the greasiest thing I have every eaten anywhere. They were OK. The duck was good, but I sat there waiting to eat it because were were only given spoons. When our waitress finally came back, we got forks and chopsticks, but because duck was on the bone, we really needed knives. The vegetable dish was the exact same combination of veggies that accompanied the seafood. If the waitress had given us a heads up, we would have ordered a different vegetable dish. They did not have brown rice. Also jarring to see white people working in a Chinese restaurant.

The soup dumplings arrived last, even though they are an appetizer. We were told when we ordered them that they would take 15 minutes and we said we were OK with that. The food should have been paced so we received these first, then the entrees.

It really surprised me that the restaurant was empty on a Thursday night. It's a large place, and there was only one other table that was occupied. With the famous name and everything I had read, I had been worried that we would not get in!

They seemed to do a brisk take out business. Everything on the menu seemed overpriced for Chinese food. I would not go back. I just don't think I am the right audience for this place.

Also visited Carter Orchard and loved the view. The cider (non-alcoholic) that they sold there was not from their farm.

My biggest regret is that I didn't make it to Gearharts Chocolates or to Berry Hill Farms.

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions and for anwering my questions.

Sep 17, 2012
Bay Gelldawg in Mid-Atlantic

I would like recommendations for Charlottesville, VA, please

Orignial poster here. The responses so far have been great. I wanted to add a request for places to get hard cider, which I have been told is a regional specialty.

Also, how is the service at Local? The menu looks wonderful, but Yelp reviews repeatedly criticize the service as slow and unprofessional. Any info regarding the noise level at Local would be appreciated.

And I checked and the weekend I will be there in September is not a football weekend.

Thanks so much.

Jul 27, 2012
Bay Gelldawg in Mid-Atlantic

I would like recommendations for Charlottesville, VA, please

Hello. I will be visiting Charlottesville, VA in October for the first time. I've done some research, but my best tips have always come from this site, so here I am again.

We are looking for places to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Primary consideration is the noise level - it has to be low to moderate. What is considered "average" noise for restaurants these days is more than I care to pay to sit through. I would also like to avoid stairs, please.

I would love to find local specialties. Is Charlottesville too far North for traditional Southern food? One of my favorite restaurants in the world is Hominy in Charleston, SC. If there is anything like this in Charlottesville, please steer me to it!

Another favorite cuisine is Italian. Does Charlottesville have an especially good one?

A place with spectacular desserts, especially beyond the same old cheesecake, tiramisu, flourless chocolate cake merry-go-round would be appreciated. On that note, are there any good bakeries or chocolate shops?

The menu for Local is very tempting, but multiple yelp reviews slam the service - should I risk it?

I would like to try Peter Chang's restaurant, but the web site does not list the hours. Do they serve dim sum on weekend mornings? If I order carefully, can I avoid spicy food or is everything there hot?

I love a bargain as much as anyone, but I am used to big city restaurant prices, so cost is not an issue here.

Thanks so much for any suggestions.

Jul 24, 2012
Bay Gelldawg in Mid-Atlantic

Tips for traveler with a sweet tooth in Chicago?

I'll be staying on the Gold Coast and would like to know if there is a bakery, chocolate shop, restaurant with unusually good and imaginative desserts, or other not to be missed sweet opportunity in that part of town.

Thanks.

May 07, 2012
Bay Gelldawg in Chicago Area

Best view for dinner or cocktails in Chicago?

Do any of the skyscrapers have restaurants or bars on top?

I would also like a great place to watch the sunset while eating dinner or having a drink.

Thanks.

May 02, 2012
Bay Gelldawg in Chicago Area

Dinner in Millbrae?

Thanks. It looks a bit pricy, but interesting. I'll report back if we end up eating there.

romantic dining on the North side of Chicago?

I appreciate the geography lesson and the local terms. Both of the restaurants fit what I am looking for and I will examine them further.

Much thanks!

May 02, 2012
Bay Gelldawg in Chicago Area

romantic dining on the North side of Chicago?

I'm not familiar with Chicago at all. Will be visiting for two days and staying on the Magifiscent Mile (E. Ontario and Michigan Avenue). Can someone confirm that this is called the North Side? Should I be calling it something else?

Are there any romantic restaurants within walking distance? Ten blocks is not a problem. We will probably spend most if not all of the weekend in this part of town.

Most important is that the restaurant be quiet so we can talk without raising our voices. The quieter the better. Call me a grumpy old man, but nearly every restaurant I visit is too loud.

I know Charlie Trotter's is history, but I'll just use that as an example of a place I would probably not like. A three hour 15 course meal doesn't appeal to me. Other than that, I am open in terms of type of cuisine.

Thanks.

May 01, 2012
Bay Gelldawg in Chicago Area

Dinner in Millbrae?

Can anyone recommend a restaurant for dinner in Millbrae?

Most important quality is quiet enough for a conversation.

A close second is killer desserts!

Favorite cuisine is Italian, French, Californian, or classic American. A cool diner would be fine, upscale fancy/expensive would also be fine if it is quiet.

Thanks so much.

Dinner near Marsh Theatre on Valencia?

The Marsh is on Valencia between 21st and 22nd Streets. I would appreciate any dinner suggestions within two blocks - the closer the better as my friend is recovering from knee surgery.

Range is way too loud for me, even on weeknights.
Has Rice Bowl Joint opened yet in the old KFC/Spork space?

I'm looking for something not too loud and would prefer not to eat Indian food. Also need to be able to get in and out within 90 minutes.

Thanks.

Planning a honeymoon in San Francisco and need some help...

Take a look at Alfred's. I have never eaten there, but it is not a chain and others have raved about their creamed spinach and appetizers. Harris Ranch on Van Ness might be another option.

Planning a honeymoon in San Francisco and need some help...

Crustacean is not a place for newlyweds and isn't in the best part of town and also would not be easy to get to from Union Square. Skip it. I would say go to Waterbar for dinner your first night and Gary Danko for the second night.

During the day, take a cab to Coit Tower and then walk down the Filbert steps. There are wild parrots and the steps are wooden and go past gardens and cute homes. It is an "only in San Francisco" experience. The parallel Greenwich steps are similar. When you get to the bottom, you can go to Il Fornio in Levi Plaza for coffee or lunch and then walk down to Market Street and back to Union Square (or take the subway for two rides).

The tower itself has murals of the history of California. If you can see the view from the parking lot, there isn't much point in going to the top of the tower itself.

For breakfast, Mama's on Washington Square is wonderful, but get there when they first open if you can. No offense to the other poster, but Sears is a tourist trap. Lori's diner is nothing special and I thought it closed or is closing.

Be sure to walk through the food shops in the Ferry Building some morning or afternoon. You could probably find a place to get great coffee and pastry for breakfast there, and it would be and easy and pleasant walk from your hotel. If you want to ride a cable car, ride the California line (get on at Market Street at Davis). The line is much much shorter than the one at the better known Powell & Market turnaround and it takes you to Nob Hill.