These are some no joke sandwiches, with no joke prices to boot, but when it comes down to it, they are every bit as delicious the hype has set them out to be. Much has been said about the long lines, but if you can score a money sammy from Ike's without the wait you're already a step closer to winning in life.
The key to every great sandwich is quality bread. From wheat to gluten free, Ike's bakes them all fresh daily. Their most popular bread, the Dutch Crunch, is similar to Tiger Bread and adds a new dimension of texture and flavor for all sandwiches. One bite and infinite crunches later, the path to foodgasm is that much greater.
There are so many options that it's hard to cover them all in one review. All appetites should be covered (light-spicy-gut bombs, etc.), along with lots of choices for vegans and meatheads alike. If that doesn't show versatility in the sandwich game, I don't know what to does.
Want to start slow? Shoot for one of the menu's cheapest options, such as the Chipper's Fave ($8) which is a simple combo of tuna, american cheese, and avocado, which tastes wonderful cold or room temperature. Meat lovers with a vegetarian limitation would likely enjoy the Meatless Mike ($10), a concoction of vegan meatballs, marinara, and soy cheese that even carnivores would appreciate. Throw in a side of their air-y fries, which are baked, for some guilt free eating.
Continuing on the vegan path, I can't stop ordering the Health Ledger ($13), which contains vegan meatballs, beer battered zucchini, ikes red pesto, ranch dressing, and is underrated compared to their most popular items. The most gourmet of all veggie / vegan sandwiches is the Tom Brady ($13), a concoction of vegan breaded chicken, garlic and herb sauce, mushrooms, avocado, soy cheese, the kind of stuff vegan dreams are made of.
The Damon Bruce ($13) is a mean sammy of thinly sliced rib eye, A1 steak sauce, beer battered onion rings, provolone. That one alone puts me in food coma mode. I'm also a sucker for the Al Bundy, another sub $10 sandwich that consists of ham, salami, french dressing, avocado, and cheddar cheese. Piled high on some Dutch Crunch with a slather of dirty sauce, this sammy is nothing less than a party in my mouth.
Gluttons can appreciate any of these sandwiches, but the wannabe competitive eaters of the world would love any of their $20 sandwiches. Sure, the Doomsday is nice, but the Kryptonite is where it's at. What goes in this monster sammy? Roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, salami, turkey, bacon, ham, mozzarella sticks, stuffed jalapeno poppers, beer battered onion rings, avocado, pesto, extra pepper jack. It is stupid good and the consummate hearty meal. And now you know why I dedicated an entire paragraph to it.
If you haven't been to San Francisco / live in San Francisco / love sandwiches / eat food / breathe air / have some type of money and an appetite, you should pay Ike's a visit. There is nothing like a quality sandwich from a one of a kind Bay area establishment.
Nestled along the quiet corner of Union and Grant, Don Pisto's is the unsung hero of contemporary Mexican cuisine of North Beach. The interior from two dining rooms front and back are fairly small in all its brick lined glory, solidifying a guaranteed intimate experience just perfect for dates and small groups. I've partaken in the Don Pisto's journey before in small doses and encounters, but never to organizing a large dinner for coworkers and friends for what was an incredible experience from start to finish.
I owe it all to their incredible host Christine. She was the glue, kept the gears moving and was so professional and efficient throughout the process. After an initial call to setup, along with a barrage of back and forth emails customizing a menu with our logo and inserting various items with respect to dietary habits; everything was done within an hour. Upon learning that this was no ordinary group dining event (going away party as well), she took it upon herself to also pick up and store a cake that we had waiting in the wings. If that's not top notch service, I don't know what it is. Above all, she made me look damn good to the group and all I did was make a quick phone call.
When we had arrived, it was clear which table was ours - we were dead center and 16 seats deep in almost communal fashion. The main dining area was already small to begin with, considerably scaled back with our large group absorbing much of the scene. We weren't the classiest bunch of individuals, just the ones everyone wanted to sit with. And in the corner, smiling from afar, was Christina - plotting every little bit of our meal and getting us everything that we needed without even having to ask. It was a symphony of service and she was the leader of the orchestra.
Meanwhile our table was an endless river of sangria and giggles. The company was good it almost seemed as nothing else mattered. Our meal table was full of hits too numerous to mention, highlights include:
* Delectable shrimp taco, cooked perfectly and wonderfully juicy on a soft corn tortilla.
* Mexican sashimi, with a twist of lime and cilantro and we're off to the races
* Oysters, as fresh as they get from the bay.
* Lobster is succulent and tasty, but very different to share.
* Al Pastor was as good as advertised. Tender bits of rib chop, with the zest of pineapple.
The evening was a success. We ordered extra pitchers of sangria as the night went on, and before we knew it, it had been over 3 hours. Throughout the time we never rushed and service was stellar to the very end. Christine thanked us on the way out and even sent a follow up email the next day to offer her token of appreciation. After some cake, more sangria, a group photo, more sangria, and feeling stuffed beyond galore, we still managed to rock the rest of the night.
Don Pisto's gets nothing less than 5 stars for service alone. Throw everything else in the mix (ambiance, food, price,etc.) and you've got yourself a spectacular spot for just about anything.
It was a chilly evening and my friends and I were in the mood for something warm, interesting, and borderline exotic. In a city like SF where a multitude of cuisines are available at one's disposal, I'm not entirely sure how we arrived at shooting for Burma Superstar. Prior to this, I hadn't seen a business on Yelp with as many reviews (over 2,700 at the time) and the intrigue was just too great. Popularity has its disadvantages however, as the wait was nearly 2 hours.
The next and most obvious question is: was it worth the wait? I'm still not so sure. The food was definitely tasty, hearty enough for groups to enjoy, and had enough variety to appeal to most palates. Burmese cuisine enthusiasts might balk at how Americanized the menu seems but it makes it easy enough for all to enjoy. And for those seeking some traditional dishes, just look for asterisk (*) near each dish to denote an actual Burmese dish.
I wasn't able to find some of the traditional stuff I typically get in Queens NYC (Where you at Onno Khao Swe?), so we went with the waiter's recommendations. We started off with a vegetable samusa soup, which was unexpectedly light, though a tad salty. The nan pia dok was solid yet smooth curry noodle dish, which had some heat to it. I personally enjoyed the beef curry over coconut rice, which came with a tasty fried onion on top. The beef was perfectly cooked and the curry flavor was prominent with every bite. A special pork belly with bok choy and string beans might've been the most lavish of the evening, but was forgettably bland and overpriced. The chili lamb came with the most recommendations from the staff, a spicy stir fried lamb in spices, onion, and basil. It was indeed quite good.
I think if I had a head start on the nightly crowd, I'd consider coming back for some more Burma Superstar action. The menu is too big not to try something new. And of course, I have never been to a Burmese joint where most of the staff spoke Cantonese. There's clearly a first time for everything.
What might be the most popular location of the Kara empire, this spot within Ghiradelli Square is a stone's throw from Fisherman's Wharf. While it does feel downright touristy, devout cupcake crazies can get their fill here as long as they're willing to brave the lines and pay the price.
The Kara faithful can expect to fulfill their sweet tooth cravings here. Their signature line of cupcakes are good that even cupcake snobs can appreciate them. The vanilla coconut, simple banana, red velvet, and Kara's karrot all have my thumbs up approval and are roughly $3.25-3.50 each.
If I'm looking for a show stopper cupcake, it would be anything from their filled cupcakes line up. The banana caramel is a sinful combination banana bread with caramel filling, with a touch of "silky" cream cheese frosting and is delicious to boot. Zestfully tasty, the meyer lemony lemon is a winner for its tart filling, soft vanilla cake, and creamy lemon frosting. A similar yet equally tart option is the passion fruit and one that needs no introduction is the raspberry dazzle. Insanity in cupcake form, seriously.
Every few months they have a seasonal variety of cupcakes, like their current fall featured cupcake - pumpkin spice. It is undoubtedly rich, a touch decadent, and just enough to keep you on track for a blissful diabetic coma. Folks who aren't feeling sinful enough to indulge on the regular sized cupcakes, can find solace in the $2,00 minis they offer for every flavor.
I came in with a boba craving and left with a bowl of gelato. No, that's not my way of saying I exited Chinatown and came into Little Italy or how I am dissing tapioca in favor of colorful better-than-ice cream substances. It was simply Tuttimelon and a hot day in San Francisco. And yes, it certainly gets warm.
Speaking of boba, I love that Tuttimelon serves it. I had a few sips from friends who felt like sharing their ball infused beverages - and I loved the green tea / passion fruit flavors. Even the froyo looked appealing for a hot minute. But there was gelato. I get gelato in NYC. But on the border edge of Chinatown/Little Italy in San Francisco by a corporate chain? Yeah, I had to go that route.
My dining companions and I settled for bowls with their sesame, pistacchio, and vanilla bean gelato. The pistacchio and the vanilla bean were exactly what I needed at the time, sporting a smooth, rich, and light texture that kept us all cool. It was actually crowded that day, not necessarily because it was a weekend but because everyone else was feeling the heat as well.
The Tuttimelon franchise apparently started here in San Francisco. I've been to my fair share of the ones in Southern Cali and Hong Kong, but this is my first in SF. It's not every day that I find a place that serves the trifecta of the boba/froyo/gelato, especially during a time when people need it and in a setting that is perfect to chill.
I'll be back for the froyo.
It might just be the pseudo-New Yorker in me to think of Manhattan when "Union Square" comes to mind, but this cleaner, exceedingly more retail laden west coast version is likeable too. Be it tourists or locals, there are people just about everywhere and even more during the holiday season. It is a great people watching spot, an ideal time killer, and a great place to relax in a city that offers so much to its inhabitants and visitors.
It is in every way a city landmark, a place surrounded by high end retail shops and the consummate meeting place for folks coming from all directions; uniquely SF and constantly changing to keep up with new holiday themes, cultural festivals, and the occasional hipster activists looking to draw attention for some worldly injustice. Most folks know this place as the site of the big Christmas tree lighting and the annually installed ice skating rink, which again conjures up images of New York (ahem, Rockefeller Plaza).
To live near Union Square is to pay a premium in the already crazy rent of the Bay area which will coincide with the spendy fees at any of the nearby high end hotels. Union Square is undeniably a place of gathering for all and best enjoyed during the daytime when the bay area fog has lifted.
San Francisco's windiest, most zig zag, car sick inducing street, might as well be a fixture in the city's driver's test for how narrow it is. It is undoubtedly touristy and home to some of the most expensive real estate in the city (#1). Folks can walk the path that is Lombard Street, but most everyone will travel by car and at grandma speeds to ensure safety.
Try coming here during the day. The night is fun as well, but definitely not as easy to drive through for folks who haven't done it before. It is a one way street, so don't go driving up the hill anytime soon. If only San Francisco had a snowy winter, I can imagine this place would be an awesome spot to ride a sled / snowboard through. Wishful thinking yes, but zigzag lovers would have to agree.
The Lombard experience is worth a try at least once for all SF visitors. After a handful of times, it's just a time killer with a (steep) view.
(#1) The perks of living on a winding hill is ... what?
It feels almost crazy that there isn't a standalone restaurant or food stand yet because these burgers are delicious. I didn't expect much from the burgers, but it only took a bite or two to get me hooked. There's no doubt, Big Chef Tom knows what he's doing.
They may not be big, but these pork belly patties sure pack a lot of flavor. Some folks might call it hipstery / trendy for playing with the flavor profile of a traditional American food, but are plenty unique in their own right. The All American, outfitted with sharp cheddar, a slice of apple, and rosemary mayo is nothing less than addicting. Their most popular burger might be The Classic, consisting of fried pepper aioli, cotija cheese, and tomatillo pickles. It really is as good as it sounds.
The banh baby banh, is a pork belly burger with jalapenos and hard boiled egg slices. I don't see the relation to the banh mi per se, and I envision a lot of folks misspelling it with the usual "bahn." It is tasty, with a little kick, but certainly not better than the American. The toasted buns that are buttered or slathered in mayo really bring the experience together, ending every juicy porky bite with a nice buttery, crunch.
Tom and his staff are a fun group of guys with a worthy product. Here's the hope they find a permanent home soon, coming to SF without a chance to enjoy it all over again is almost palate cruelty.
Just when Midi was on the verge of taking off, the landing gear came back out to make for a permanent stop. And while the ho hum Hecho (yelp.com/biz/hecho-san-f…) has comandeered the space, my mind wanders back to Midi whenever I'm strolling by.
Good local friends and a stellar happy hour is how I made my way here. Soon afterward, the happy hours were followed by stellar dinners and service that most people would pay so much more for. I longed for their "quartertet" meals composed of 4 mini plates and thought their gruyere burger was worth every cent. The only thing missing to make this five star establishment go higher was some real melodies of the karaoke kind, but looking back, bad singing would have only cheapened the place.
Fast forward a couple of years and the crowds were fewer and fewer, the wait staff seemed a bit disgruntled and the food had taken a hit. It was back to happy hour again, solely relying on their $5 cocktails to get week day fun bell ringing. There was obviously some room for improvement, but I figured Midi would be around for the long haul.
Then just a little under 2 years ago, Midi suddenly closed. Calling it quits on the very day I landed back in SF for another work adventure, only leaving me to engage in another search for quality drinks and even better company. The tune ended for Midi a bit too quickly, almost like a one hit wonder gone too soon.
A visit to San Francisco is never complete without a visit to the Tenderloin. And a visit to the Tenderloin is never complete without a visit to Hai Ky Mi Gia. Vietnamese/Teochew for "Seafood Noodle House" (rough translation), this divey spot is the quintessential cash only joint where noodle lovers can get their slurp on.
As previously noted, the staff is speaking a hybrid of Teochew (Chaojinese or Chiu Chow / Trieu Chau / Chaozhou in Viet / Chino speak) and Vietnamese, so if you can rock either dialect / language, awesome. Otherwise, Cantonese and English should do just fine. If you're still not able to communicate with the staff, try busting out the Yelp app and flip through a few images that of stuff that you are interested in trying. It'll work, trust me.
For me, Hai Ky Mi Gia is comfort food while dining alone. I come here, decide whether like I'm feeling like noodle soup or dry noodle and roughly $7 and infinite slurps with hot oil / sauce applications later, I'm out and onto the next stop. The duck leg with wonton noodle (aka #4 on the menu) is an easy bowl of noodle goodness to love. The fattiness of the duck leg, crispy salty skin, along with the smooth wontons make for a fabulous bite. As a seafood fan, nothing gets me more excited than a #11 Hai Ky Special Noodle (hu tieu hoanh thanh dai mi dac biet) with the broth on the side.
Whether you like ho fun noodles, rice noodles or egg noodles, virtually all bowls are customizable. I like my noodle dry with the broth on the side and I love to add all the random condiments available at each table. Since most bowls are served at individual size, sharing becomes a bit problematic. Hence. family style fans, this is not the place for you.
The bathroom should be declared off limits for the general public. The ladies who work here are often so nice they'll let the local guys from around the hood use the facilities. Let's just say it ain't pretty during their peak hours. The place is pretty quiet on the weekday afternoons, which is my favorite time to frequent this spot.
Sitting near the border of SF's Little Saigon in the heart of the Tenderloin is another Lee's Sandwiches, which in the last few years has only been a fixture in communities with sufficient amounts of Viatnamese folk. Sure, Lee's is nothing next to the nearby banh mi spots, but it serves the purpose whenever the others are closed for the evening.
Banh Mi Dac Biet (house special) is the only way to go for a little bit of everything. A selection of meats, a slather of pate, on a inhouse toatsted piece of bread is as every bit as good as it gest. Sadly, it's the rest of their stuff I take semi-issue with. Stuff like cha gio (fried spring rolls), che (dessert?), goi cuon (summer rolls), and pastries galore.
Despite the general blandness across the menu and pre-packaged goods, there is a lot to be found here. If the TLC in these Viet goodies are lacking, it might be a good idea to drown it all in fish / hot sauce. On the bright side, at least this place will accept credit cards.
Lastly, SF Lee's is for some reason a magnet for all sorts of homeless and crazy folks, who have been known to create havoc and randomly steal stuff. It is a product of being open door biz in the Tenderloin, perhaps its time to look into getting a security guard.
If raunchy is one word to describe Kozy Kar, divey is the most certainly the other.
It's not a classic dive bar by any stretch, not even with the wild array that SF has to offer. It is a place where pretension does not fly, where drinks are as stiff as they appear, and where bathrooms should never be inspected with a UV light. The nods to the retro porn decor are a head turning touch and the crowd is almost always an interesting cast of characters.
Bartenders are a fun bunch, though they're not the easiest to get to when the place gets crowded. Best to pick a spot, like the car booth and sip slowly. The music can best be described as a pseudo 70s / 80s collection of hits in case one forgets where they are. Beware of the water bed, I'm still not entirely sure how that thing hasn't burst from a pen in the pocket yet.
Surprisingly, the place works well as a party venue. Be it a birthday or a going away, friends can come here without having to worry about cover or sufficient space to mingle. The last farewell I attended here a few Halloweens ago was an epic evening, one that burns Kozy Kar into my memory of SF haunts of drunken celebrations and friendly encounters.
Welcome to NYC A.
If coffee were my thing, I'm sure I'd be willing to give Peet's 6 stars if it were possible. But alas, I'm not. And yet I still give Peet's my blessing for all of the non-coffee drinks they happen to carry and for everything I've tried, I've enjoyed. Additionally this location stands out for doing so many things well, beyond drinks.
For one, this Peet's is bigger than most other locations. This means more chairs, more tables, and generally more space to enjoy your beverage. The aroma is great in the morning and they even have outdoor seating. Another plus? The bathrooms are spotless.
I also appreciate the friendly staff and their efficiency. With multiple registers and baristas, lines are never a problem and the wait time for drinks don't tend to test anyone's patience. For those paying attention, they are skilled in coffee / latte art. Instead of going for the obligatory heart, leaf, or tree try shooting for an eye, peacock pattern, or crown. Be prepared to be surprised.
For our lactose intolerant friends, this location is now one of many that carry almond milk. Lastly, I'm a fan of their hot chai teas. It's just sweet and cinnamon'y enough to warrant many returns.
Anyone with a penchant for the sweets can certainly appreciate all that Recchiuti Confections is trying to do. They are by no means no regular chocolate / candy shop, but a next level establishment featuring confections of the palate pleasing kind. Not only are these sweets beautiful to look at, they taste wonderful as well.
They make for the ultimate gift. Pricey all around, these aren't sold in bulk but small, intricate pieces that would work as art on its own. Since Recchiuti is located at the Ferry Building, there is understandably a touristy component to the experience. Even with window shopping, these treats are as impressive as they come. Thank goodness for samples.
Chocolate novice needing recommendations? Few can argue the Fleur de Sel Caramel isn't quality. Same goes for the maple bacon toffee, which is so legit that it's hard not to just eat one. The cherry jelly is a nice chocolate alternative, with just enough tartness to merit an order or two. If all else fails, their hot chocolate is one of the best I've had.
Chocolate fans or not, this is a must see stall at the Ferry. Plus, the nice staff are like chocolate sommeliers, experts of cocoa in all forms. Learn a little something, sample a little more, and you might have yourself a fabulous gift that few can get anywhere else.
One of my usual SFO haunts, Compass Books has been my mini airport oasis for all sorts of reasons. Rather than going to a convenience store and reading an overpriced magazine, I am certain to score better reading material here from a decent collection of best sellers to no namers.
There is the element of killing time, but I should note how many times Compass Books has been a perfect gift spot for last minute ordeals. From greeting cards to small accessories, I've been able to find a decent selection of stuff that I wouldn't find anywhere else in the airport.
It won't replace one's usual bookstore, even the chain ones. The condensed sections here make specialty books less likely to be featured but at least it is big enough to keep most folks occupied. The nice folks at the counter make for a nice addition to the experience and have been great at recommending stuff for random occasions.
Lastly, they haven't given me any grief for sitting down and reading one of their books. The true mark of a bookstore, they score very high for yours truly.
Whenever I'm driving in the Bay Area and looking to score some cheap gas, this is where I go to fill up the tank. There are plenty of other gas stations around San Mateo, but Gas and Shop is where it almost always comes cheapest.
Make no mistake, this gas station is all things described with the letter D: divey, dodgey, dingy, dated, and even a little dirty. A nasty film on the lever while handling those pumps? Sounds about right. Numerous oil stains and overflowing garbage bins crowding the median? Yezzir. It really isn't pretty.
The most important thing to know while visiting here: Pay with cash. Straight USD because the cheapo gas rates are based on cash payment. Only rockin some plastic? Then expect to pay 8-10 cents more on a card.
There is a small store beyond the pumps. It's just a mini convenience store with someone behind the counter eagerly waiting to take your money. Don't expect any stellar customer service because there isn't any. Also, don't go to the bathroom. Just trust me on that one.
But do come here for the cheap gas. If there is anything in life I can't get enough of, it's most certainly that.
When it come to Chinatowns in America, San Francisco's is the oldest. Whether its the largest (or even the best) seems up for a coastal debate, but it still gets a thumbs up from yours truly for pioneering and persevering an ethnic enclave known to all around the world.
It's not as widespread as LA, as pathetic as Portland's, or as gritty as any of NYC's Chinatowns, but it definitely has its own charm. There is a mix of young and old, with colorful murals that illustrate the old days of railroad hardship and colonial ties. A majority of the many Chinese locals here are Cantonese speaking, and there are plenty of elderly folks walking the streets, hitting up the markets and manning the divey shops.
It must be me, but in terms of eats I've yet to find anything outside of Golden Gate Bakery to entice me to come here more often. The Canto contingent has been more concentrated in the Richmond area and regional Chinese spots seem scarce. Something tells me Ar-Yi and Ar-Po are busy cooking their market veggies and meats at home, unless they're just settling for mediocre Dim Sum and noodle joints.
Like all large Chinatowns there is no shortage of touristy businesses aimed at providing an gimmicky experience, as opposed to cultivating and maintaing authenticity. It is by all accounts, a ghetto space that turns into a ghost town after 8pm.
In spite of all of this, I still make an effort to explore Chinatown whenever I'm back. Most of my friends in the area tell me I'm wasting my time, but I can't help but wonder if i'm missing something good that I can't get back in NYC. Hence, for now, the nation's most famous C-Town gets 3 big stars.
My 1,000th review pays homage to my dedication to this service known as Yelp.
It has been my latest obsession for a little less than a year, affecting my ability to be productive and has altered my ability to look at any business the same way again. It has been the source of strain for sleepless nights, innate attention to detail, and has been my number one source of wasting time while meeting new people.
Before Yelp, it was strictly Citysearch that had my attention and I wrote so many reviews that I almost lost count at one point. There was always something wrong with Citysearch, however, the flaws were too great and while I saw Yelp via search results in Google, I tried desperately not to like it. After taking a chance in registering myself and not posting a review until almost two months later, I soon became disturbed at how easy it was to fall into this sick fixation. It was like crack on the web, it became a daily need for me, a fix that I still crave virtually all of the time. But even after several hundred reviews whizzed by, the craving is still as strong as ever.
From a business standpoint, its pure brilliance as its such a simple idea, yet there is nothing out there like it. Citysearch, Zagat, InsiderPages, Google Local are similar but ultimately the community aspect of Yelp prevails over all, allowing folks to get the latest scoop on community happenings while socially interacting with other would be reviewers. The ability to add listings, learn about new spots, and contribute one's two cents about anything is important. It may aid a business, help others make a decision, and add to an existing food / business blog. Like MySpace, Yelp has become a culture all of its own, where people now know how it has affected society yet remains unknown to many communities.
In a nutshell its without a doubt one of the most useful sites on the web and is the source of obsession for too many people. One day it will be so popular that all Yelp employees will be rich and there will be nothing out there that can't be "yelped."
A name like Farley's conjures up images of an Irish pub, but it turns out it's one of the better coffee shops in the uber fun neighborhood of Portrero Hill. The parallel parking on the steeper parts of 18th street on the other hand, not so fun.
It has all the makings of a fabulous coffee spot. The incredible odor from the brews, grinding of the beans, the frothy steam of the milk (along with the cool pour art), is all put perfectly put together in a cup. As the cruelty of life has kept me from enjoying coffee the way other aficionados have, I still score a wonderful chai latte here from time to time.
Save for the wifi and the magazine stand (wow!), this beats newspapers any day. One can browse without having to purchase and the food they serve here is surprisingly decent (shoot for oatmeal squares). Interesting soundtracks flood the audio ambiance, everything from progressive metal to classic 90s alternative.
Finally, that view of the city from atop the hill, makes San Francisco very easy on the eyes. Take a sip and take a gander; soak it all in.
Lunchtime in SOMA is a bit like the wild wild west, there is opportunity in just about every direction. Sandwich lovers can realize their dreams at The Toaster Oven, one of many spots dedicated to almighty toasted sammy.
One easy reason to consider coming here - lines are pretty manageable even during peak lunch hours. The setup is somewhat Quizno's like, choose a sandwich, let it go through a large toasting machine (#1), and then a separate line for random condiments. Best of all, the prices are super affordable for SF, which the most expensive sammy goes for a little over $5.
The sandwiches themselves are pretty simple. Save for the popular "kitchen sink" (an all-in-one sandwich of roast beef, turkey, salami, ham, provolone cheese), most of the other sandwiches are one namers: meatball, turkey, tuna, piezzano, and so on. The kitchen sink gets my vote for the fave from this location, but the Italian comes in on a very close second.
There aren't a ton of places to sit, which can be annoying for some, but consider take out and make the hike back to wherever you came from. Don't be too down about the service, the staff seems to change often. In the end, the Toaster Oven is a good takeout option for hungry folks on the go.
(#1) Didn't find a single toaster oven here. Oh the irony.
There are a multitude of reasons I'll find myself coming to Grubstake:
* I need greasy food. And lots of it.
* I feel like waiting.
* I'm drunk.
* There is no where else to go.
* I have too much money to spend (#1)
* Friends want to go. Popular vote wins.
* I want Portuguese food. (#2)
As you can read, the reasons are never good. The food at Grubstake is hardly worth waiting for, but people do so because there aren't a lot of places to go post bar crawling in these parts. The staff is also a bit inept at times, but just imagine having to serve a drunk crowd late into the night. You would be bitter and snarky too.
The bacon egg cheeseburger is almost always disappointing. $13 with fries, it's small, greasy, and somewhat unappetizing in plate form. If you're trying to score a decent meal under $10, make it breakfast with their $9 two eggs and protein option. At least one gets (bland) home fries and some toast.
Make sure to bring cash. Credit cards will only ensue strange looks and quite possibly laughter.
(#1) Apparently, I'm still drunk.
(#2) Seriously. They have a separate Portuguese section on the menu. What the .. ?
Just from looks alone, you couldn't convince me this party shop was indeed a one stop for all things costume related. Who knew that in one of the most residential spots in the Noe Valley was this tiny corner shop, stuffed full of party essentials? I'm pretty certain I'm not the only one fooled by this.
But alas, One Stop is indeed what they say they are. A one stop shop of various party materials, from balloons to costumes to party favors. Depending on the time of the season, the store gets decked out in accordance to the theme. So if it's Halloween it's pumpkins, gouls, and witches. Mardi Gras is all things Bourbon Street and the masks / beads to boot. And so on.
I'm always here for costumes. Whenever work parties or Halloween parties are on the horizon, I've learned it's probably a safer bet to explore here than it is bouncing around to various temporary party spots throughout the city. The prices are a little spendy, but that's how party shops make their money.
And of course, always call ahead for a specific item. I certainly did and that's why I keep on coming back.
I really had higher hopes for Pho Huynh Hiep 2 aka Kevin's Noodle House. San Francisco has never really been known for its Vietnamese food and it's place like this that prove the notion to be true. Most of all I've sampled here in some way remind me of the Vietnamese fare back home in NYC. which is not a good thing. Hence, 3.5 stars rounded down is the best I can do for now.
Like most Vietnamese spots that specialize in noodles and soups, pho is a natural benchmark to go on. Only problem is, the broth is mad bland. I've had my fair share of pho tai and pho tai chin / nam bowls here, all priced accordingly at less than $7 each but either its loaded with MSG (likely) and / or prepped with subpar seasoning (also likely). In the unlikelihood its just bad luck, I still haven't mustered a decent bowl of pho here just yet.
The other noodle soups, like bun rieu, hu tieu, and bun bo hue or even mi hai son (seafod) are also low on the Viet totem pole of deliciousness. The broth in all need some work. From a noodle standpoint, the consistency is there, but the broth is one essential that locks everything in place; an equalizer of sorts. It's just not there and that strikes out a sizeable portion of the menu.
Rice plates have fared better, which is their saving grace. Their meaty combo platter - com suon lap xuong tau hu ky (aka Chinese sausage, pork chop, and shrimp cake) is a mean dish, especially when doused with a tangy but sweet nuoc mam fish sauce. I also have some love for the bun thit nuong cha gio, otherwise known as vermacelli with pork chop and spring rolls. It's got a lot of textures going on, served in a decent portion if I've ever seen one.
While there are some Viet servers, let us not forget this is The Richmond area. Most everyone will be Chino, which includes lots of the wait staff. They're not the friendliest bunch, so make sure you've got your orders straight before they ask (unhappily) again.
If I'm on Polk and itching for a game, chances are I'm watching here at Green's. It's not glamorous or the finest sports bar by any means, but the fact they throw in game audio and host a hell of a crowd make for an interesting, yet divey ambiance. Bonus points for having reasonably priced drinks and a fun tap selection.
A sports bar is no bar without a decent slew of TVs, which I'm happy to report Greens has plenty of. There is no shortage of sports memorabilia, most of which are found in photo frames caked throughout the walls. How none of the images are soaked in beer is beyond me.
The bartenders are usually a jolly ol bunch, so as long as you can get to the bar. When there are bar crawls (I can *only* imagine how insane St. Patty's Day is), the place basically has arms and legs hanging out of the windows. If you're claustrophobic in any way, Greens might not be the place for you.
Last I checked the place doesn't serve food, which is a bummer for you kids lookin for wings and calorically rich bar food. That's not why the star rating is minus -1, it's because I nearly lost my lunch walking in their bathrooms. Next time I want to reenact a scene from the Walking Dead (complete with smell), I'll be sure to walk in there.
Ever eaten your breakfast with a dildo table center piece? If the answer is yes, chances are you've been here. Everything from the scantily clad staff, the sassy 'tude of the owner is all part of the experience of Red Door Cafe. While the penile table bits may put most bachelorette parties to shame, it hardly outshines the star attraction: the food.
The menu has changed quite a bit over the last few years, but much of it is gluten free and veggie friendly. More fun than the actual plates are the names of the dishes themselves. Who doesn't love a plate of "Vegan Butt Bay French Toast" or "No One Sucks It Like a Married Straight Man From Texas?" Suddenly the idea of ordering a "Havana" or "French Toast Josephine" is pedestrian, even boring by these standards.
More often than not, my go to is the "Two Big Titties," a practically open face taco concoction that includes hummus, cilantro salsa, and a cornucopia of "bisexual bacon." The "Lick My Fat Cuban" is also very tasty and is a crowd pleaser; quesadilla with eggs, bacon bits, and beans for a very scintillating plate.
A few things worth noting:
* Got 20 people? Leave em at home. This place is a little too small for massive groups.
* The owner, Ahmed is quite the character. Be friendly and he'll be just warm right back at you. If there is any pretension in the house, you might get a tongue lashing. (No, the other one!)
* It's only open Friday through Monday. The middle of the week is a no go.
* Carnivores can still find something tasty (and likely healthier) here. Don't be intimidated by vegans.
* Most dishes are $15+. It might admittedly feel a little pricey, but then again, welcome to San Francisco.
Sure, it's run down. It is the epitome of dodgy with a capital D. But in the end, it's as clutch as they come in the Tenderloin. I can come here knowing that I score everything from snacks to cheap booze without having to blow a major penny. Take notes Fred's Liquor (yelp.com/biz/freds-liquo…), this is how it should be done.
If I lived nearby, this would totally be my neighborhood store. In New York, a good bodega is in every corner, but I wish I could say the same about San Francisco. It isn't a large store by any means, however, they've managed to cram all the the little things into a few aisles and keep them reasonably priced for the the area.
Some folks would say customer service is the name of the game and Econo Market does it well. Cashiers who often have to deal with the crazies in the hood are good with helping folks find items without being too coarse. They've even neglected bits of change when I'm short a few cents or quarters. Paying in cash has its advantages.
Part of the late night, bar hopping Polk experience starts and ends with McTeague's. Part Irish pub, part west coast "Saloon," it is a drinking sanctuary that accommodates all occasions and all crowds. Judging by the lines and how consistently packed it is nightly, it is by far one of the area's most popular bars.
Plenty on tap and drink specials for days, libations just never seem to end here. From the obligatory Guinness on tap to the Shiner Dark as well as cocktail deals, no one can or should go thirsty. I myself prefer a strong whiskey on the rocks, which they have plenty to choose from.
There is free pool, live music on occasion, and when in season, lots of sports playing on all the various TVs. It's a great place for Giants / 49er games and even better during MLS matchups. There is a small selection of pub food and even complimentary BBQ during weekend games.
When the crowds come and the ventilation suffers, that's when I'm out of here. Saturday nights around midnight can be a cluster of dbaggery, but then again, what place on Polk isn't inundated?
I'm never one to say no to a quality paella, let alone a myriad of tapas, but the many of which I sampled at B44 was average at best. The intimate ambiance of the restaurant may win points for date nights with some wine sipping, but on a food front it's a little more miss than hit, i.e. subpar.
The words "bargain" and "Spanish cuisine" rarely go hand in hand, and B44 is no exception. Pricey from top to bottom, the real draw is the quality of the food and the execution of the small dishes. Perfect to share of course, which lends to the experience and should result in something vastly more promising.
There were sighs over the gambas al ajillo, an adobo and garlic sauteed shrimp that was impressive in size but bland in taste; along with plenty of disappointment over the sad patatas bravas, a staple dish in the tapas scene. While the chorizo riojano was presented wonderfully, the sausage turned out to be a bit too room temperature for comfort. There were some minuses shared in our group for the ceviche as well as the pulpo (octopus).
Their signature B44 Paella along with the Paella Hortelana ended up being the night's biggest disappointments. Much of the vegetables, seafood in each bowl was a tad overcooked. Some of the rice was a little dry as well, which is practically a cardinal sin in paella world. At least the seasoning was somewhat on point, but with crispy rice and chewy seafood, the overall outlook is never much beyond bleak.
Despite the disappointments on the food end, the service was very friendly and the wait wasn't terribly long. Though I might not be hard pressed to come back for a full fledged meal, I could stomach the idea of a few cocktails and some wine for a small happy hour.
Two things of which I think San Francisco lacks sorely: Karaoke and Korean Food.
Thankfully at Playground, one can have both. It isn't going to be the best Korean or the best karaoke experience for many who know this scene well, but it will serve as the one of the better venues to serve the lethal Asian combo of soju and singing.
Noraebang, i.e. Asian (or Korean) style karaoke is a private room voice belting affair that is addicting and fun for all American Idol finalists and window cracking vocalists. There is no pressure of the public crowd or the random stranger filming you from afar (#1). Instead, it's all about friends, food, and fun.
The song selection at Playground is decent. For the two rooms I got to check out, the sound system and the music videos that come with it are dated and a tad ghetto. (#2) There is a limited variety of English songs and a hell of a selection on Korean songs (but of course!). Please, someone invest in some quality wireless mics. Those wires are so 1990.
Most Korean food in SF I've had has been very mediocre and Playground's offerings aren't doing much to deter me from that conclusion. All the jungol stews, banchan sides, pajun pancakes, myun variety of any kind has been lackluster at best. But instead of talking about the stuff I didn't like, here are a few things I think would work otherwise:
* Cheese Corn. Don't have them zap that ish in a microwave in a plastic bowl. Have them serve it on a skillet. Trust me, it's *way* better this way.
* Yogurt Soju. Sure it's cute and yogurt-y, but if they douse enough cham-cha-reum in there, it's game over for you lightweights.
* Bulgolgi Fries. Southern California's Carne Asada fries have nothing on this beast. Extra cheesy with layers of kimchi make this heart attack of a platter, one worth having.
* Mul Mandu. Boiled dumplings. They seem handmade, which is surprising for a club/nightlife type spot. Smooth skin, tasty filling, it is an excellent choice for folks wanting something semi-traditional without going the pubby food route.
Lastly, the service is good. They're an amiable bunch, which I can't say is the case for many other similar places in the Bay. Hence, if I absolutely must do Korean anything in SF, it's more than likely I'll end up coming here. Big ups.
(#1) Unless of course, you decided to sing with a bunch of strangers. Roofies isn't just a drug, it's a way of life for some folks.
(#2) Relax. It's nothing like Do-Re-Mi (yelp.com/biz/do-re-mi-mu…).
Having been around so many bridges in my life, it all tends to blur itself together till they all practically look the same. The Golden Gate Bridge in all of its iconic San Francisco glory is one that simply stands out.
Perhaps it's the red arches, the mind bending visual of driving through or walking through. It might be the view of the foggy San Francisco skyline or the glistening landscape during the summer time. Whatever it is, it is one of the defining landmarks that keeps the Bay and SF in particular, one of the most recognized places in the world.
It has that distinctive look from afar, but I personally enjoy being right in the thick of it. In some ways, it is hauntingly beautiful yet somewhat plain at the same time. Then when you consider its history, the utility of the commutes, and the countless tourists who make time to visit, one can't help but admire its impact on the area.
Couple the bridge with the park and it's certainly one of the most unique spots in the west coast, if not the United States. It is everything: unique, touristy, necessary, romantic, versatile, and an architectural wonder.
What it comes to AMC Van Ness, the gripes come easier than the praises. For instance, the service is pretty lackluster and the parking situation becomes an obvious problem. Not to mention the fact folks might be timid to come here considering how it borders one of the shadier parts of the Tenderloin. Filthy seats / theaters are also a well documented problem, it already sounds like an unpleasant experience from the get go.
But the moment one has these expectations, it becomes easy to spot the positives. How many movie theaters look like this? I almost thought this was an office building before I realized there were multiple screens and stadium seating. This is a good start.
Then there is the fact they often show multiple screens for various popular movies. No sense in being tripped up by sold out screenings when there are fewer crowds and more than one showing per screen. When it comes to figuring out a movie theater to choose, movie selection is almost always the number one criteria.
The food is as terrible as any movie theater. So movie-goers tend to bring their own. Not exactly an original concept and there are plenty of great eateries nearby to make this a reality. There are countless fast food spots nearby. There is also a Banh Mi Saigon Sandwich (yelp.com/biz/saigon-sand…), a pastrami sammy from Tommy's Joynt (yelp.com/biz/tommys-joyn…), and a bowl / set from Bento Bowl (yelp.com/biz/bento-house…). The options are endless and the staff is pretty loose about checking for containers, etc.
Even if San Francisco was the coldest city in the US and I'd still probably find every reason to visit these guys. Forget Italian Ice, gelato, froyo, or ice cream, kuhsterd in the frozen form is where it's at. As a current east coaster facing unbearable summer humidity, it's hard not to seethe from jealousy after trying the myriad of flavors they have available day in and out.
There is no shortage of wonderful flavors, all must be sampled at some point. There are seasonal concoctions and lots of "premium / exclusive" flavors worthy of palate experimentation. One cannot go wrong with any of them, which means it's a win-win for all!
My favorites from their exclusive flavor line are: Ube (purple yam), Black Sesame, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Vanilla Bean, and Maple Butter. If you're looking for something with a bit more "umph" it's time to move to the premium bunch of frozen kuhsterd. Ones like Reposado Tequila, Buena Vista, Red Velvet Cake Batter, and the Coffee Mint Mojito are straight game changers. It's all stupidly good that wanting another is only a natural reaction.
The dudes running the truck are super friendly and they sure know how to turn a profit. From around $3.50 a scoop or $5 for two, some folks might wince a bit considering the portion size. If it's just about the experience, throw in some extra $ for a dynamo donut or waffle. Sprinkle some bits of extra toppings to really make it rain.
One last request: Please come to New York?
What I have always appreciated about 24 Hour Fitness was the very notion of being able to work out whenever one wanted. Any hour of the day or night, for as long as desired. Despite only being in this part of town for a few days, it was here where I could realize my late night workout dream.
Or so I thought. As it turns out, this 24 Hour Fitness is only actually open 24/7 for three days of the week. Terrible move if you're looking to to kill some owls by looking for some place to get your sweat on after midnight. For anyone reading, those days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The rest of the week, 10pm is when the doors close.
For location purposes, this 24HF is pretty convenient. In the heart of downtown, it's near all the major transit stations and is situated near lots of bizes. The service has been pretty awesome as well, which has been a surprise since I can't say the same about other other club locations I've worked out in.
The gym consists of a decent upper floor of cardio machines and weights. It feels smaller than how it looks on the outside, but it's no big deal. Locker rooms are solid and seem pretty clean from what I've observed. Shout out to the people who wipe down their seats after usage - gym etiquette is so underrated.
Finding serenity from the madness of Polk is easy at Quetzal. The free WiFi is a huge plus for those of us who enjoy people watching and surfing the internet at the same time and the drinks aren't half bad. For those of you wondering, a quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala. No, I don't see a correlation either.
First timers might be initially confused when entering: does one sit down and establish a spot or order from the counter first? I can never decide. Judging by the other confused looks of patrons coming in, it's clear I'm not the only one.
To ensure the staff I'm not here just to leech WiFi, I order something at the counter first and then pick my spot for the next hour or three. My spot will almost always be an area that has an outlet. Thankfully, there are plenty in every direction. If you choose to sit along the back wall (facing the front), then be prepared to share outlets.
When it comes to ordering something, I stick with drinks. Coffee / tea is available for caffeine chasers, but the smoothies keep me satisfied. A power shake with a little blackberry keeps me hydrated, even if it's not my favorite flavor in the world. In the 1st world, these are hardly problems.
Not feeling like any of the above? Shoot for their beer on tap. Nothing like sucking down a frosty one during the warmer months and surfing a little internet. Oh and they have a real happy hour deal ($3 on tap!), which goes until close.
Then there is the food. I can't seem to stomach anything beyond breakfast. The smoked salmon scramble is among the only winners of the bunch, not be outdone from a slew of super subpar items that include: nachos, quesadillas, club sandwiches, pizzas, and salads. Save for a slice of quiche, pie, or something in their pastry lineup, but even those feel a tad overpriced.
Lastly, the internet connection I've experienced has been stellar so far. There have been some quips about low quality internet, but unless good luck has been on my side, I haven't had to deal with any slow speeds at all. If anything, it's the one thing that keeps me coming back.
We all know how this story goes right? yelp.com/biz/taco-bell-s…
But I digress, KFC is not Taco Bell and Taco Bell isn't KFC. They may share the same roof and counter, hell, even the same workers, but hardly one in the same. Do I really feel like the late colonel's basket over the same snoozefest of Taco Bell? Tenderloin standards, that's a yes.
To eat KFC here happily is one thing, but to settle for it is the more likely scenario. When all the shops of the wonderful Little Saigon are closed, guess who's open? KFC. You can't stomach the wait at Brenda's (yelp.com/biz/brendas-fre…), who's just around the corner? KFC. When you feel like getting your fingers disgustingly greasy and touching the same surfaces that have graced many a hobo in the most unflattering scenarios imaginable, who's up for it? That's right baby, KFC.
There is no glory in eating here. Merely stories meant to be told for later. I could share many wonderful accounts that range from craziness to straight up absurd, but that's to be written for another date.
In the meantime, I can reveal that I had my first and only Double Down Sandwich (yelp.com/biz_photos/kfc-…) here and clearly, I lived to tell the tale.
Ok, one weird story: I witnessed a guy tweaking out and managed to order himself a family sized bucket of chicken. After tossing a wad of crumpled up dollar bills on the counter he looked like he was doing the robot dance, except he was hopping up and down. When his chicken was ready and on the counter, he took the entire bucket with him and went into the restroom and locked the door. My group and I waited for close to 30 minutes, hoping for something epic. He never came out.
If visitors in NYC are turned on by Times Square, surely the same can be said for tourists checking out Fisherman's Wharf in SF. It is a hood that most San Franciscans avoid and is home to some the most popular businesses in the city. My two cents? Come by and bask in the tourist aura, reserve your judgements until the experience is fully embraced.
While it was established as far back as the Gold Rush era for commercial fishing, it still very much remains a spot where fishermen and their ships work today. The oodles of seafood caught from this part of town are still put on display and sold to anyone who is willing to buy some locally caught fare. Leave the fishing rod at home though, no one without a permit is dipping their hooks into the water anytime soon.
Understandably, there are cheesy chain restaurants, expensive ventures for the kids and family, and more people crammed into one area than all of the rest of the city. There will be lots of distractions, gimmicky souvenirs to be sold, but that's not to say it's all a bad time. Here's why:
* It is home to the only In-N-Out Burger (yelp.com/biz/in-n-out-bu…) in SF proper. It's by no means the best In-N-Out, but if you can't head to Millbrae or Daly City for a vastly superior version, then this will just have to do.
* Enjoy watching some of the sea life and an incredible, brisky view from Pier 39. (yelp.com/biz/pier-39-san…). One can catch some serious views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the rest of the SF skyline.
* If there is one venue to hit up in FIsherman's Wharf, it's the Musée Mécanique. (yelp.com/biz/musée-mécan…) Unless you've been there 10x, it is a fun place to visit and peruse. It's even better with kids.
* Hit up the dungeness crab and other chowder stands (yelp.com/biz/fishermans-…) along the sidewalk if *you must* but know that the Codmother (yelp.com/biz/the-codmoth…) is your best bet for a quality seafood experience.
If there is a dive bar worth checking out, it's Dave's in SOMA. Upon entering, it has the look, feel, and smell of something sketchy. Best thing about the place is the drinks are stiff, the bartenders are nice, there are few tourists, and they have a decent food menu.
When I don't feel like hitting up the posh lounges nearby or the cocktail hot spots, chances are I'll be at Dave's. The late night crowd isn't as intense as the happy hour folks and when I'm drinking my whisky neat while watching a soccer game on their TV, life doesn't feel so bad after all.
There are just some things I'll know ahead of time: The tables are going to be sticky, the existing patrons might seem dodgey, the intense odor from and near the unisex bathroom is woof worthy, and group friendly seats can be a bit tough when most of the small tables are clustered together.
The food is what you make of it. Hot dogs, sandwiches, soups / chowders., nachos might not seem so appealing initially, but with a little intoxication, the food can certainly be appreciated. I will find myself coming in (drinking or not) and looking for a bowl of chowder. I will almost always know that with a bit of food, lots of smiles, and a mean drink in hand, a good time at Dave's will be virtually automatic.
Until someone shows me otherwise, banh mi (not bahn mi) doesn't get much better than Saigon Sandwich in SF. The lunch hour wait can be brutal, as there are practically lines out the door every day. It's all happening in the name of a $3.50 sandwich, made in a place that doesn't even have seating and closes at 6PM every day. Those who are hanging out in line know the deal: this is killer banh mi that is worth the wait.
Saigon Sandwich has the luxury of being located in the seedy Tenderloin, home to the "Little Saigon" hood of SF, where crazy hobos and dive eateries go hand in hand. The menu is notoriously simple, located on a green board on the upper right hand side of the wall, with thit (pork), xiu mai (meatball), and ga (chicken) listed as their main proteins. Chay (tofu) is also available, though not listed is dac biet (special combination), which happens to be the one I order almost every time.
The sammy seems a bit on the smaller side, but taste more than makes up for it. The bread is toasted almost perfectly, with a generous slather of pate, a gorgeous piling of pickled veggies, cilantro, daikon, peppers above a stuffing of choice. Whatever the filling, it's makes for the perfect lunch under $5.
There are other Vietnamese snacks available at the counter, but the sandwiches steal the show. The ladies are super nice, though are pretty sparse with the English outside of money and menu words. They've done an outstanding job each time I've been here, I can only see bigger and better things happening for Saigon Sandwich, where the banh mi sandwiches are at their top of their game.
The dive bar of dive bars, Butter on looks alone is enough to keep most visitors looking the other way. Somehow amidst the grime, filth, suspect bathrooms, sticky floors, and piss poor ventilation, I can't stop coming here with friends. In fact, I make it a point on a yearly basis to be here amongst the crowds and drink like there is no tomorrow. Butter is the reason why it's always possible.
Making simple conversation here isn't easy. There is incredibly loud music, obnoxious SF douches, projection streams against the wall, and a steady flow of people crowding the bar at any given hour. Thankfully the bartenders have seen this night in and out and have managed to serve each person, in surprisingly diligent fashion.
Beware of the jello shots. They're sweet, potent, and downright deadly in the game of drunkeness. They're not the easy to shoot, and it's likely your paper cup will still have lots of jello on it before you're done. Order a few cocktails which are $6 for the well version / $9 special cocktails, the bartenders always have a strong pour and aren't likely to let you down. Or simply shoot for a $5 beer.
When we bring the party, the night turns into a blur. As the host, Butter simply does as its told in helping us celebrate the night like its our last (typically with these trips, it is). While I might wish the place was slightly bigger, it just means for now the crowd will simply have to get closer. (#1)
If food is on the mind, you might want to save your stomach for the crepe guys outside. Fried finger food have their place, but not in the unsanitary confines of Butter-land. If you're still feening for munchies, then a few tator tots, mini corn dogs, and nuggets will go down with the booze quite nicely.
(#1) Good idea while intoxicated? You be the judge.
A nice departure from the usual bar scene I'm entrenched in while visiting SF, Rock Bar might be a place I'd call myself a regular at if I lived in the area. On a weeknight when it's got just enough folks without being crowded it becomes an easy place to mingle and sip on something strong. Date night or pick up night, you make the call.
There is a dive bar element interiorly speaking, but there is something about the tranquility that lends itself to a steady and easy ambiance. This doesn't feel like a place I'd bring 20 of my friends to, but rather a spot where I'd catch up on some conversation with close ones while imbibing with the best of them.
Speaking of drinks, the Manhattan is the real deal. Strong without squinted reactions, potent enough to keep the flow and the vibe going. The Winter Sour also gets a nod in the grand scheme of drinks in their lineup, and the Ichi Rock also has me smitten. Whether it's bourbon, gin, vodka, or tequila based, there is a little something in it for everyone.
The prices aren't as steep as the rest of San Francisco cocktail spots. Friendly bartenders and a seasonal selection of cocktails means I'll be back soon enough for more. Bringing good company while thirsty is highly encouraged.
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|Holy smokes. You're in Salem, the capital of Oregon. Time for you to give yourself a pat on the back. Check these staples out!||New York City is quite possibly the greatest city in the world, with sex and food being one of it's two most beloved assets. A foodgasm can be considered a combination of both as it is simply put, the greatest food reaction possible. It is where O-Faces are unavoidable due to the sheer deliciousness that exist in some meals. These are the places where I have foodgasm'd and have been in heat for a repeat ever since.|
|In a city where lesser is more, cupcakes certainly "take the cake" when it comes to the ultimate post-meal treat or birthday sweet. I've never been a dessert person, but my ode to cupcakes in a city filled with them is where this list comes in.||In a city filled with temptation all around, sweets have garnered their share of guilt, pleasure, while contributing to the nation's obesity epidemic. These tasty treats are so hard to avoid and even harder to resist after a good meal. Some call these foods from heaven, but judging our waistlines, they may be from somewhere else.|
|One of the worst food allergies known to man, I feel for all of my gluten-intolerant friends from all over. Here are some gluten free eateries below to prove life doesn't have to suck when eating in and around NYC.||Something about SOHO makes it one of the best hoods in the city. See the following below to enjoy the best these streets have to offer.|
|A collection of pastry loving, oven adoring places throughout the boroughs.||Cheesy goodness, all up in that grub. Oh yes.|
|Adkins would've never approved of this list. Veggies and meat lovers, stay away (unless you love carbs)||Too much dessert and candy? That's exactly what this list is all about!|
"Queens was never the forgotten borough, it's just the best kept secret of NYC."
Queens, NY, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
November 2006Dinge, die ich mag
Travel, Jeet Kune Do, Hashbrowns, Karaoke, Yelp, Hole in the Walls, Sushi, Indian Cuisine, Languages, Photography, The Internet, Mexico, Boudin Balls, Kolaches, College Football, Japanese Ramen, Street Food, Hip Hop, Cha GioHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
a remote hood in NY. And loving it.Heimatort
A place where the air is clean and tacos are only a $1.00Mein Blog oder meine Website Wenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm unpacking my suitcase.Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
Because it might just save your life.Meine zweitliebste Website Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
Jorge G. Castaneda "Manana Forever"Mein erstes Konzerterlebnis
The Jets. youtube.com/watch?v=K8LL…Mein Lieblingsfilm
(Tie) Shawshank Redemption / Borat / Oldboy / My Sassy GirlMeine Henkersmahlzeit
A buffet consisting of Korean BBQ, Mexican, Indian, Sushi, and Cajun Food.Erzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
It's not "Bahn Mi." It's Banh Mi. Karaoke is not "kareo-key." It's Kara-OKAY.Meine neueste Entdeckung
Too many people living in Queens or BK list "Manhattan" as their profile city.Ich schwärme gerade für