July 25, 2007

eating san francisco

So while we're on the topic of food... When I travel, I always enjoy finding local favorites - both foods and restaurants. To me its an important part of experiencing a place - literally getting the local flavor. Because a lot of "finds" come from internet searching, I like to post the results for others doing future searches, as well as for anytime you may find yourself in the same cities; plus, its a way of supporting the mom and pop places over the big chains. So, here are some of the finds from my recent time in San Francisco with my friend Myron (who also enjoys finding local favorites - another thing that makes him such a good travel buddy):

Chow - a local reliable standby I've been to before on Church St, its woods make it feel warm and comfortable, with friendly service of casual american foods and twists on comfort foods, plus a good beer selection

Pasta Pomodoro - to their credit, I didn't realize until now that this is a chain, but their french toast is unlike anything I've ever had. They make it with sourdough and serve it with bananas, walnuts, and marscarpone sauce. Its a must.

Orphan Andys - a staple of the Castro, it isn't really anything special, though I did love the feeling it gave me of San Francisco in the 70's. It feels as though little has changed since then, and I felt like I was in a chapter of Tales of the City. It was fun to experience rather than wish for something that is long gone. We went here mainly just because we were starved and couldn't find anything else open that late. I ordered a cream cheese burger - only because I had no idea what it possibly could be. It was literally a big slab of cream cheese on a burger. Go figure. But it was damn tasty.

Canton Chinese - many people we asked sent us here for Dim Sum. It was my first Dim Sum experience, so I don't have much to judge by, but everything I had was excellent, and the staff was extremely friendly and attentive.

Sears Fine Food - another long-standing San Francisco tradition, known for their little Swedish Pancakes. Make sure you get yours with Lingonberries; and even better, add a touch of something sweet with the Lingonberries - like a touch of syrup or a strawberry - the combo is pretty amazing. Mine came with corned beef hash, which was pretty damn good too.

Lefty O'Douls - more an experience than great food - Lefty's is another institution that has been around forever, serving pastrami sandwiches and cafeteria-style basics in the middle of a very boisterous sports bar.

Dotties True Blue Cafe - this was a late find, but apparently this tiny but casual and warmly comfortable dive has such a following that the line on weekend mornings can take hours. I missed the cornmeal blueberry pancakes that bring lots of people to Dotties, but their regular cinnamon-laced ones covered in fruit were great. I went on a weekday at lunchtime - no lines at all.

There's no shortage of great food everywhere in San Francisco. And even better, its a pedestrian city. Good thing, too!

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