The Dal Makhani, the tandoori dishes and breads, the lassis...basically what most people think of when they think of Indian cuisine.
And because Punjab and Kashmir are both in the north, Mehfil's cuisine (which is basically northern cuisine) has a healthy selection of Kashmiri dishes.
Also, try Rogue Ales Public House on Union near Columbus. This is very close to where you'll be staying.
They have a wide selection of beers, including a large selection of their own.
I took beer-loving out of towners here once and they really loved it (even bought 2 cases to take back home with them).
There's a great fish and chips shop run by Turks across the street from the Thistle Hotel in Islington in London, so if you're in the neighborhood, stop by.
I had to laugh when you mentioned Grand Sichuan. That place can't hold a candle to Spices. Although it does have one thing that Spices doesn't.
General Tsao's Chicken. Yummmmmm.
As far as Indian food is concerned, I hope you're not talking about any of the Indian joints on 6th Street. There is a reason why everyone jokes that they all share the same kitchen.
The fact is, San Francisco, and the Bay Area, simply has a larger, wealthier, and more demanding South Asian population than New York. I like Mehfil, because I think they excel in Punjabi cuisine, and obviously I'm not the only one.
On the contrary, while Delfina is good for San Francisco, I doubt I would recommend California Italian food to an Italian expat who lives in New York.
He may like Limon, however.
Hmmm, well I've never been in the P&W after 10 PM. I've only been there in the afternoon and I've never had anything but excellent food. I use to work in Laurel Village and would pop on over to have the banger roll for lunch. I still go, even though I don't work in the hood, on the weekends and the food is excellent. Out of town guests love the place. And when I was in the Cotswolds, Oxford, Brighton, Wales, and London a year and a half ago, I rarely found fish and chips as good as the Pig and Whistle's.
Also, I was in NYC (Manhattan and Brooklyn) at the beginning of this year visiting friends. I'd be interested to know which places you thought were better than Mehfil and Spices.
To what I suggested on another thread, I would add Gatip Classic Thai Cuisine on Lombard (#30 Chestnut bus). While there are closer Thai restaurants to where you are staying, I personally am a huge fan of Gatip (and it's not as pricey as Citizen Thai). Plus, remember all of the cool old motels on Lombard when you lived here last? They're still there! I like to drive down that street just for the vintage/kitsch factor. Also, FYI, people in Thailand eat with forks. For God's sake, please don't ask for chopsticks!
Another good, but often overlooked, Thai place is Cha Am on Folsom and 3rd.
Why not try something different? Go to the Grubstake on Pine (#1 California bus) for some authentic Portuguese food. I don't know what's up with the Portagees, but they're generally not the restaurant owning kind. So when one of them opens one up, it's always worth a visit. Definitely Mom and Pop here.
My favorite Italian place for pasta in NB is Caffe Puccini. Service is sometimes confusing (in the day you often order at the counter, at night they have a waitress), but the pasta, and the price, is well worth it. I love the rabbit sauce.
Also, pop into Molinaris to check it out, but you'll be much happier getting your Italian sandwiches at Palermo on Stockton (near Washington Square Park) and then walking over to the park. Plus, they're much nicer at Palermo than Molinaris.
La Boulange is a new French cafe that opened on Columbus that has fantastic croque monsieur sandwiches (that's a ham-n-cheese to you and me) and fantastic people watching. It's my new favorite on that stretch. And while you're on Columbus, you must try the sacripantina at Stella Pastry (hope you're not on a diet!)
Also, check out The Helmand on Broadway. Really good and unique (at least for this area) Afghan food, not terribly expensive, and in a very nice dining setting. The lunch buffet is $10 and is well worth it.
I'm not sure where you're from, but if you're from California then you probably know about taco trucks. There is a good one (within walking distance) at Pacific and Sansome that has a delicious al pastor (bbq pork) burrito for, like, $4 or something (the torta - or sandwich - is also good). You get that to go and then walk over a few more blocks to the park at Pacific and Front, or walk a little further to the park near Justin Herman Plaza, or walk a little further to Pier 7. Either way, you can't go wrong.
Other Chinatown suggestions: Hunan Homes and Chung King (both on Jackson between Grant and Kearney), Vietnam (on Broadway) - small restaurant but great Vietnamese food. Please don't go to Sam Wo's. You will only regret it. Also skip any place on Grant not called Yee's or Golden Gate Bakery and avoid anyone who attempts to hand you a menu. Yuet Lee on Broadway and Stockton is also another fine Chinese restaurant, and you'll have plenty of people who will agree (in a way it's overhyped). However, it's not my number one choice and the service and setting is below that of those mentioned above.
If you want dim sum, go to one place and one place only - Gold Mountain - and (unless you're Chinese or a native SFan) prepare for a bit of culture shock, and don't be surprised if you're seated with other people. When you sit down, tell them you want the "bo lay" or "gok fa/yellow flower/Chrysanthemum" tea. Order from the menu, smile at the people who come around to offer you food, and say "no thanks" (unless you actually do want what they're offering). Don't be a chicken...try the chicken feet or "phoenix claws" or however they have it worded!
Don't bother going to Chinatown before 11 or 12 PM. Most places aren't open until then (and sometimes later).
You mentioned sushi...for a surreal sushi experience, you MUST go to Country Station on Mission (#14 Mission bus). Excellent sushi, eclectic jukebox, and really, really happy owner.
Also in the Mission, try Los Jarritos on South Van Ness (#10 Folsom bus). Really good, basic homestyle Mexican food in a colorful setting. Also very good jukebox (of various Mexican tunes).
Like I said in the other thread, The Pig and Whislte is a fantastic and authentic British pub with great pasties, fish and chips (the best in the city), and shepard's pie to die for. The atmosphere is very welcoming and relaxed. Less relaxed, although interesting, is another pub on Geary (but further up) called Ireland's 32, which is an Irish nationalist pub that often has live music at night. Pics of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness everywhere and fresh-off-the-boat young Irish guys. Not sure about the food here, though. But if you want an authentic Irish pub and not the "Irish pub in a box" that you see everywhere, this is it.
Don't bother going to the Edinburgh Castle unless you're going to see a band. The f&c sucks there and is overpriced.
In the same area as Ireland's 32 is Katia's, a Russian restaurant run by, who else!, Katia. The best Russian food you're gonna get in SF and in a very comfortable, homey setting. I don't know if the crazy accordianist still comes in to serenade the diners, but if so, you're in luck. Highly recommended. Not sure if they serve vodka (officially) now, so you may want to call ahead and check. Otherwise, see if you can bring your own and have them chill it for you.
Coit Liquors on Columbus is a good place to stop for your liquor needs.
Good luck and welcome!
On this side of town, tie between Mo's and Clown Alley in the big-ass tasty burger category.
However, let's be real: many of us downtown workers dream about getting on the F car and riding down to In-N-Out for a double double animal style....because no matter how fancy schmancy, organic, "we know the rancher personally", you get, a hamburger's roots is in the fast food world and some of the best ones are still found there.
Oh yeah, and the Flytrap restaurant (around the corner from Mehfil). Very old school San Franciscan restaurant, beautiful setting, and reasonably priced.
Who does Celery Victor anymore? Worth going just for that!
Here's the site:
It is? Oh, my bad.
In that case, I suggest....House of Nanking!
Seriously, no it's not and not even close. It IS good and it is certainly creative (again, you're better off not ordering from the menu). I wanted to hate it, since that sentiment seems to be very popular with certain people (especially those who simply diss it because of the tourist/whitey factor), but I found myself, surprisingly, liking it very much.
I think you will too, but like everything in this forum, that is simply my opinion (a 13-year SF resident who happens to have eaten lunch - and occasionally dinner - at various and differing Chinatown restaurants 3 - 4 times a week for the last 2 1/2 years).
Oh my God, Becky. New Yorkers driving in our city....please don't.
Here are some great places you can get to on PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:
Mehfil (#15 or #10 bus) - great Indian cuisine
Ton Kiang (Richmond District)
Try Town Hall, Bong Su, Oola, or Frisson.
I beg to differ. It's served weekdays as well.
I'm on or near Jackson and Kearny most of the week and my nose doesn't lie, especially when half of the neighborhood reaks!
OK, that's not one word, but it's in Chinatown and you won't be sorry!! It's fairly cheap - one of the cheapest things on the lunch menu - and filling as well. BTW, the meat and hot oil is on the bottom of the bowl, so make sure you stir first. Of course, the numbing hot flavor is in full effect.
If you're by yourself, make sure they don't seat you by the door (it gets pretty cold and windy). Service is crazy slow sometimes (and not because they're busy), but be patient.
Z&Y is on Jackson between Kearny and Grant (in the former Sam Lok location..you can't miss it - the Sam Lok sign is still up).
In fact, you'll likely see other tourists there (who, unlike you, will look confused) whose out-of-date guide book recommended Sam Lok.
Well, I guess my point was that none of the take out dim sum places are all that good, at least in Chinatown. However, some of them, like You's, have certain items that are better from place to place.
For instance, the steamed gao at the dim sum place on Washington, between Grant and Stockton, are pretty large and tasty.
Mon Kiang on Broadway is mostly a steam table operaton that also serves dim sum. They're one of the few take out places I know of in Chinatown that sells the Chinese donuts.
Of course, the daan tat (egg custard) is the best at Golden Gate Bakery, which isn't a take out dim sum place.
As I said earlier, I like the sticky rice ball at Broadway Dim Sum, as opposed to You's, and I also think their lo bok go (fried rice flour cake) is better than most. However, You's has a very good baked char siu bao. I also like You's siu mai.
Har gao is pretty disappointing at both take out and non-take out places and, frankly, the only place I've eaten it where I truly was amazed was Koi Palace in Daly City.
So, unless you have time to sit down at Gold Mountain (which has excellent chicken feet and tripe...and is far better than Great Eastern for dim sum), you're choices of take out varies between good to fair to bad depending which joint specializes in what item.
First of all...sorry that you went to You's. It's ok for what it is, but it's not the best dim sum, that's for sure. Trust me, I've spent many grease-laden lunches there. That dim sum must have stayed with you throughout your entire trip.
photo 1940: In addition to what you've named, one of those things is their egg-battered fried dumpling (think of it as the Chinese Scotch Egg). The other thing you didn't mention is the gao choy gao, or chive and minced pork steamed, transparent rice (as opposed to wheat flour) flour wrapper dumpling. Classic dim sum item.
photo 1939: Also in addition to what you've named so far, there's what You's calls a "sticky rice ball", which is similar to those Chinese tamales (lo mai gai) wrapped in the lotus leaves, only with a few more added ingredients and nothing in the middle. I like You's sticky rice ball, but the ones across the street at Broadway Dim Sum are bigger.
photo 1938: various steamed dumplings although I'm not sure what kind. The one in the middle looks like it may be xiao long bao, or soup dumpling.
Jesus, why am I up this late?
For most of what you're looking for, try Chinatown, specifically Stockton Street and the sidestreets. Obviously, you know "Asian" is a huge category, right?
Unlike Boston or Honolulu or Seattle or other cities, San Francisco (and the Bay Area) rarely has pan-Asian markets.
For Chinese cuisine, you go to Chinatown. For Japanese, Japantown. For Filipino, Pacific Super in Daly City (or I think there's a market on 8th street in SF). For Korean, Kuk Je in Daly City. There are Vietnamese markets in the TL or the Mission.
There is one pan-Asian supermarket probably similar to yours in Boston called Ranch 99. It's in Daly City, and while accessible to public transportation, it isn't necessarily easy to get to.
By the way, Little Paris on Stockton street has a lot of the fresh rice noodles you're looking for.
Thanks Ruth, B2G, and Melanie!
I'll definitely check out Julie's Kitchen since I've never been before.
Those tips about Chinese meats and Vietnamese options are excellent!
I wonder...do you think Lucky Creation would be an easier place to dine?
Any dim sum suggestions?
Z&Y Garden is a fantastic Szechuan place that delivers.
For standard, but good, Chinese food, also try Fortune Wok.
Brandy Ho's may be a bit touristy, but their smoked dishes are, nevertheless, very good. They also deliver.
Now...with those suggestions in mind, let me warn you. STAY AWAY from the Potsticker; the worst Chinese food (delivered or otherwise) I've ever eaten (and I've eaten at "China Buffets" in Florida).
By the way, most Chinatown places don't deliver. However, I think you're a little crazy to be living so close to Chinatown and not just going to pick it up. You can drive if you don't want to manage walking/biking up the hills, as driving and parking in Chinatown is a lot easier than most may think.
Oh...one last thing - R&G Lounge also delivers, but it's a bit pricey for your standard delivery-type food.
Soon, I'm going to be starting Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet.
I'm wondering if anyone has any lunch menu suggestions or items for places located in the Financial District or North Beach/Chinatown.
For instance, in Chinatown: buying slices of roast pork at Hing Lung and steamed veggies at Mon Tiang.
Eventually I'll hit stage 2, so I plan on adding healthy portions of brown rice, some pasta, and some bread as well.
Any advice/hints/suggestions/warnings? :)
PS Thank God Golden Gate Bakery is closed for the month of August! The temptation for those Daan Tats is too extreme!
Thanks everyone for your responses. I think we will settle on Chileno Valley, since we were looking at purchasing from them before I posted this question.
We weren't sure they were still selling beef since a link we found for them was over 4 years old, but it's good to hear from Daniel that they are still in business!
I will post the results when we finally order through them.
Those are all good suggestions.
However, I'm looking for someone who has experience buying in larger quantities than what you can typically buy at the farmer's market (I'm talking between 100 - 200 pounds of beef and likely half a hog), as well as price comparisons if possible.
I'm also looking for each type of meat to be supplied from one animal.
Nevertheless, I will check out your suggestions further.
My partner and I just received a free, large chest freezer from a family member and now we are eager to fill it up!
We really want to support local ranchers by buying beef and pork (and maybe lamb) directly from them and in bulk, and prefer it to be grass-finished (or non-feedlot). If not grass-finished and/or organic feed, then grain-fed is fine as long as it supports a small, local rancher.
Can anyone suggest ranchers they have experience using? Plus, any tips as to when and how to purchase? Pricing? Best deals?
I know a lot of these ranchers require that you pick up from them or from the butcher, which is a reason that this is a locally-based question.
Along those lines, is it advisable that I order through a butcher, and who?
Thanks in advance!