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South Park Cafe suggestions?

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I occasionally go with my coworkers to South Park Cafe (South Park, SF) for lunch, and they adore the place, but I haven't been overly impressed with anything yet. Today I had the ahi tuna with canellini beans--the ahi tasted overwhelmingly of black pepper and black pepper alone. It was seared beautifully rare, but I couldn't enjoy the flavor of the tuna for all the pepper. And the cannellini beans were cooked well enough, but they had little flavor--I like cannellinis with a bit of zingy saltiness to bring out the creamy flavor.

And the server got two of our table's orders wrong.

Is there something I'm missing? Any recommendations for what I should get there next time--something that's not overly heavy for a midday meal? (The oxtail looked great, but nohow is this girl getting back to work with a bellyful of oxtail.)

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  1. I was there a few weeks ago for dinner and ordered the vegetarian plate. It was an Indian & Moroccon inspired dish consisting of grilled vegetables with a yogurt sauce served over couscous. This might be worth a try if it is ever offered in the lunch menu.

    1. I've been going there for years--it's a sentimental favorite, and the location knocks me out; it has a Paris neighborhood feel, especially in the early evening with folks who live on the little park walking their dogs, stopping for a glass of wine at an outside table. The staff are friendly and the food is.. good, but a little uninspired. My favorite for lunch (since they reopened at noon hour--they had cut way back a few years ago) is the steamed mussels. The fried potatoes are OK, seldom as crisp as I like them, but you get a big plate of mussels in (usually) a simple white wine-shallot-anisette broth, and a glass of Muscadet makes it a good lunch for not too much money. Dinner is riskier... Ward (the chef-owner) likes innards and often has a sweetbread preparation on the menu, but the food in general is more cozy than exciting.

      1. For lunch, the pig salad is a pretty good bet.

        1. I'm not crazy about the Moroccan vegetables (too many whole coriander seeds for me), but I do like the chicken salad, which is served with sliced apples, goat cheese (or is it blue cheese? Sorry, I always omit that), and very tasty walnuts.