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Jul 22, 2000 08:51 PM

Good Lunches in San Francisco

  • m

Not exactly part of the ladies who lunch set, I've been seeking the counsel of female power players these last few weeks. Not too costly, fast service, and quiet enough to talk, a couple new spots fit the bill nicely.

Citizen Cake - in new digs on Gough near the Opera House. After the initial chill of a hostess with bad attitude, our server turned out to be warm and efficient. My tuna salad sandwich on house-baked bread with apples and roasted pecans with a side of cornichons was delish. And as one would expect in a bakery, our shared dessert of warm berry cobbler topped with a mountain of whipped creme fraiche was the star.

Ché - near Moscone Center, formerly Vinga, same management but rechristened in nuevo latino mode. We sat at the end of the long bar away from the entrance. Service was smooth and unobtrusive, and our water glasses were kept full through the two-hour meeting. Agua fresca of the day was mango. My open-face medium-pink flank steak sandwich was tasty dressed with chili aioli, but the crusty bread base was too hard once toasted to cut with a steak knife. I think Leslie enjoyed hers more -- layers of roast pork with smoky seasonings.

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