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Jan 3, 2002 11:50 AM

MUNI Food Tours

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The "Need yummy recommendations" thread having diverged into MUNI discussion, I thought this might be a really good idea (I could be wrong).

Maybe we need a thread of 'food tours' by bus route - meaning a collection of great chow palaces on a specific route. To my knowledge, nobody's done this, and I will start it off with a reply to this message on the bus route that I use the most often.

If you do post and start a new sub-thread, put the MUNI bus route number in the subject so we can zip quickly to the chow.

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  1. On the 47 Van Ness, we have:

    House of Prime Rib, Van Ness and California (California stop) - great prime rib and spun salads, good Yorkshire pudding and decent prices.

    Malee Thai/Vietnamese, Lombard and Van Ness (Chestnut stop) - cool Thai and Vietnamese soup and salad, a couple of stir-fried dishes, and wonderful pupu platters.

    Tommy's, Geary and Van Ness (Geary stop) - across from the Cathedral Hill Hotel, great sausages and old-world stew type options, roast meat and great beers. Incredibly low prices for the food but the atmosphere is old-Midwestern-bar.

    24 Replies
    1. re: PRSMDave

      This is a fantastic idea! I am in the east bay and never use MUNI, so I'll try to come up with some other equivalent...every restaurant within a block of a BART stop? Or maybe a list of good eatin' on the Oakland-to-Berkeley Webster Ave Bikeway. Thanks for the inspiration! --patrick

      Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/21/c...

      1. re: patrick

        I don't think you can beat AC Transit's 51 line for good eats -- it starts at the foot of University in Berkeley, cruises up University (mostly ethnic, great Indian and Thai), through downtown Berkeley (cafes and more upscale restaurants), the heads up to College Ave. and travels pretty much the length of it (including the Elmwood and Rockridge places discussed yesterday). There's a barren patch as it goes down Broadway, but then it swings through downtown Oakland and Chinatown on the way to Alameda, where it hits both main business districts.

        But I like the idea of a compilation of every good eatery within a block or two of a BART station. Maybe we could divvy them up and put something together for ChowNews.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I think the 40 is the AC bus that runs down telegraph. It could be called the "Ethiopian Bus" as it travels through a seemingly endless stream of ethiopian and eritrean restaurants on telegraph, from Berkeley all the way down into Oakland.

          My partner and I will make a tasting survey of places within a few blocks of Macarthur BART next week and submit a report. Rockridge and the downtown BART stations are obviously full of options, too, but I think Macarthur needs/deserves some research. (As does Ashby...)


          1. re: patrick

            I hope you like Korean restaurants -- there are quite a few of them around the Macarther BART station.

            My brother-in-law's sister and her husband just moved to that neighborhood. I've been trying to get her to write up all the restaurants they've been exploring for chowhound.

          2. re: Ruth Lafler
            Nathan Landau

            The 51 and the 40 are good candidates--I also like the 43. The 43 runs on the same route as the 40 from Eastmont Mall through Downtown Oakland to 45th & Telegraph, then splits off and goes up Shattuck. So it goes by Berkeley Bowl, Downtown Berkeley places, and North Shattuck places. Then it goes through the tunnel and goes down Solano to San Pablo, passing cafes, juice places, bakeries, Chinese restaurants, Walker's Pie Shop, Sam's Log Cabin etc. Some of the 43s actually bend around and continue on up Pierce St. past Pacific East Mall before curving back to end at El Cerrito Plaza BART station.

            The idea of guides around BART stations is great, I've often found myself scratching my head about this, particularly for Macarthur (foodwise things are picking up around Ashby) and to a lesser extent the BART stations further out the line.

            1. re: Nathan Landau

              Wow! A bus line that does the gourmet ghetto, Solano Ave. and the Pacific East Mall could keep anyone eating happily for years.

              Did you see Patrick's first report on Korean BBQ near the MacArtur BART station?

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                Nathan Landau

                The only caveat is that only half the trips go past Solano & San Pablo, so a chowhound wanting to go to Pacific East Mall should check the schedule.

                I concur with the review of Koryo--it's always seemed like a neat place. I can't vouch for its authenticity to Korean traditions, but every time I've gone there have been lots of Korean-Americans.

        2. re: PRSMDave

          also on the 47 is that great persian place fatemah took us to, which i unfortunately don't remember the name of. maybe somebody can help me out?

          the food was fab, and huge portions and the ambiance lovely.

          1. re: Rochelle

            I believe that's Alborz.

            1. re: Limster

              limster, thank you. and delicious it was.

              thinking about the lines i use i thought of just a couple of places, i'm sure people will fill in others on these lines and go mad with others, as ours is a city so easily traveled by bus or train.

              71 haight: lends itself to the lower end eateries, tho they're all yummy, breakfast at the somewhat sketchy pork store in the upper haight, magnolia cafe at masonic, memphis minnies, the sausage place (T-something), and the ever favorite kate's kitchen at fillmore.

              n judah: this leads you to a whole world on market: john frank, mecca, 2223, tin pan, chow, church st. stop, eos at carl st. stop,
              palimino, momo's near the ballpark, not to mention gordon biersch.
              and if you wanted to get off downtown there's a whole 'nother world open to you.

              21 hayes: hayes valley is full of little eateries. our fav is absinthe, bistro-ish but romantic enough for a special meal. i'm sure others can fill in on all the other hang outs.

              38 geary: this takes you everywhere, but i'd get off at 6th and take a gander down clement (the 2) and go to my favorite noodle house, king of thai where a huge bowl of duck leg and wide noodle soup will only set you back $6. then over to wood fired oven to get duck to take home for another meal.

              brother's korean bbq #2 is at this stop on geary as well and delicious, you cook at your own table, they bring tons of little salads and you'd better get there early because it fills up with korean families and you'll have a hard time getting in.

              1. re: Rochelle

                The sausage place on Haight St (lower Haight) is Rosamunde Sausage Grill. Great sausages, no atmosphere, so take your dog over Toronado next door and get one of their many beers on tap to go with your dog-in-a-bun. Speaking of dogs, though, I wouldn't send my dog (if I had one) to Palamino (on your N-Judah/Mission Bay list). It's a chain, had a truly terrible and way-too-expensive meal there once. I've also never had good food at Tin Pan, but I know lots of people like it. If you're on the N-Judah, stop at 9th and Irving for a slice of pizza from Arizmendi or a big cheap healthy sandwich from Einstein's Cafe. There's also Hotei, Ebisu, Avenue 9, and a noodle place that Limster swears by for their sauteed eel...

                1. re: Dixieday

                  That sauteed eel noodle dish is at Shanghai Restaurant on Judah and 9th.

                  1. re: Dixieday

                    I will second the vote for Rosamunde which is such a fantastic place!!! also a second Burger joint which just opened at Steiner and Haight.
                    but if you guys are going to start talking the N Judah line then i need to throw in my vote for a couple of places:
                    1.) Yellow Submarine for awesome east coast style meatball subs and sausage subs with the provolone melted on and the good tomato sauce! YUM
                    also PPQ 2 (irving and 19th) for decent vietnamese at a cheap price.

                    1. re: Jupiter
                      Rochelle McCune

                      "also a second Burger Joint which just opened at Steiner and Haight."

                      I checked it out because I live down the block but I found little interesting about Burger Joint. Cheezy decor, expensive food.

                      Tuesday is Rosamunde's Neiman Ranch Burger night and their burger kicks the pants off BJ's burger and its cheaper ($4; $4.5 with chili).

                      1. re: Rochelle McCune

                        Right on! thanks for the tip, i am a sucker for burger joint, since they serve malt vinegar with their fries, which for some bizarre reason seems like an oddity to the rest of the burger places in this town.
                        I will definetely try Rosamundes burger's. since i agree that burger joint is pricey, but pretty average compared with Flipper's, Bill's, Barney's, and every other burger house in this town.

                        p.s. Rochelle, I am a librarian also, and i just finished reading a great book about a librarian that has a metabolic disorder which leads her to consume the largest quantity of food in each sitting that anyone has ever seen, which gives her a healthy and happy respect for food and all it's glory. I guess consumption of knowledge makes you hungry for just about everything!

                        1. re: jupiter

                          OOOPS Rochelle,
                          i think that i might be confusing you with someone else, sorry if i am....if i am, then ignore that last part of the message.

                          Happy New Year!

                          1. re: Jupiter
                            Rochelle McCune

                            Hmmm. I don't know if you are or not. I am an archivist and I am getting my MLIS at SJSU but I am concentrating in Information Science more than the traditional library courses.

                            The book sounds amusing, what's the title?

                            The drag about Rosamunde is that they don't have fries but the way around it is....Order the burger at Rosamunde, cross the street and order the spicey curly fries at Memphis Minnie's (they have a homemade vinegar sauce that is good). Take the fries & burger to Toronado and have a beer. That way we are patronizing three neighborhood establishments in one fell swoop.

                            1. re: Rochelle McCune

                              I AM a librarian!
                              really, i am.
                              I got my MLS form Simmons in boston about 5 years ago. I work for a private firm as the corporate librarian.

                              Anywhoo, the book is called Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. And the librarian is only a quarter of the part of the book, but she is a most interesting character indeed.

                              I will have to take your suggestion and try Memphis Minnie's fries. I am not an avid beer drinker, so i would probably just end up back at my house with the whole bundle of greasy goodness. I think that my favorite thing at Rosamunde's is the Sweet Italian. Yumm yumm

                  2. re: Rochelle

                    Is "wood fired oven" a name of a place, or a description of a place with a different name? Do you know its' address? It sounds interesting.Thanks, Derek

              2. re: PRSMDave

                One of my buddies thinks that the 22 Fillmore is a bit too weird an experience. But the chow quotient isn't bad, because it passes through an interesting cross-section of neighborhoods.

                En route:

                The Portero Hill area that is still underexplored by me

                lots of cool places on and around 16th and Valencia (including Bombay Ice Cream and Chaat, Truly Med, Sunflower for cheap and decent Vietnamese and a bunch of taquerias)

                Japantown (adore Maki, itching to go to Juban, think that On The Bridge is cute and at least amusing, enjoyed Takara)

                the Fillmore stretch (tempted by Cafe Kati, Galette for crepes, decent Japanese at Ten-ichi, Bay Breads-'nuff said, Chez Nous and Vivande on my radar but never been there, what's the word on Jackson-Fillmore Trattoria?)

                up to the Marina (Chaz - just had their fabulous venison w/ chocolate sauced and dried fruits tonight, and somewhat near places like Isa, Three Seasons and Izzy's et al. on Steiner, some of which I'm thinking of trying too).

                1. re: Limster

                  Just wanted to give you my opinion on some of the places you mentioned that you had not been to.

                  Juban: pretty good, a lot of fun and not as pricey as i thought it would be. Definetely one up on Koriya Hot Pot, since the meat comes pre-marinated. and the assorted beef plate has some very tender and delicious cuts on it to grill.
                  Chez Nous: Very delicous french fries, and if you go, i recommend you try to sit at the bar in front of the open kitchen, that way you get to chat with the expediter and watch the most amazing orchestration of cooking ever done by 2 people. The guys turn out an astounding amount of food without getting in the weeds and manage to serve ever 20 tables at a time. i was impressed. Some of the food is amazing, i would HIGHLY recommend the lamb chops with Lavender sea salt and the frites (so would the sous chef apparently, since those are what he recommended we order that night!). and some of it is pretty so-so. The attitude is definetely snobby annoying trend setting trash (no offense to those of you who are, it is just not my scene), but it is still worth going for the food and the kitchen show.

                  I would also add a few restaurants to your bus line tour:
                  Betelnut (union and buchanan): for delicious ribs and out standing mojito's
                  Aperto (18th and Connecticut): for very well done Italian
                  Indian Oven (Fillmore and Waller): definetely my favorite indian joint in town, and i don't think that most of the people on this board like it, but i still recommend it to everyone i know and they all seem to enjoy it immensely.

                  and that is all i can think of right now.
                  Happy New Year

                  1. re: Jupiter

                    Cool - thanks for your information - in particular, I was hoping for a take on Juban. Maybe I'll go soon.

                    1. re: Limster

                      All in all, I liked Juban. when we went we got a platter of assorted vegi's to grill and the platter of assorted meats and the garlic in butter. The garlic in butter was interesting. They put like a million and a half cloves into a small loaf pan and stick it on the grill first for the garlic to roast int the butter sauce. the only problem was that the garlic took forever to cook, so it was not ready to eat until it was time for desert. and the second problem we encountered was that the grill was not well seasoned or oiled so all the food stuck to it and ripped apart when you tried to pull it off for consumption. That was upsetting since the meat was really tender and kept pulling apart where it stuck to the grill. I finally had to rub some of the butter on the grill and everything started to pick up from there.
                      The food is not outstnading, but not bad. I am more interested in conquering Maki now. Any suggestions?

                      1. re: Jupiter

                        At Maki, I really liked the salmon + salmon roe (it's called salmon oyako on the menu) wappa meshi. We ate well going on the waitress' recommendations for the appetizers - she was very knowledgable and even suggested one or two things not on the menu.