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CHEAP eats near Moscone?

Taking a large group (34 mostly low income Oakland middle school kids + a dozen high school TAs and adults) to Zeum on Friday. Thought we were going to brown bag it/picnic at Yerba Buena Gardens. Just found out we're supposed to buy food where we take the kids. For whatever reason, I'm having trouble getting the director to tell me what my budget is. I'm assuming it's tiny (probably less than $5 per person). Hoping for take-away banh mi or noodles in the $2-4 range. Might have to settle for fast food. Needs to be close by, as we're taking BART. I want to call in my order, pick it up and take it back to the kids to eat outdoors (I can't imagine any place being able to handle my boisterous group of 40+).

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  1. I guess inexpensive is the operative word here.

    Goat Hill Pizza (www.goathillpizza.com - 715 Harrison at 3rd Street) is decent enough pizza and could possibly deliver to you at the Zeum if you call them in advance (they're open 11 am - 9:30 pm). Check the website to see if the prices are within your budget.

    I suppose Del Taco (corner of 3rd and Market) could do for a cheap fast food alternative if you're tired of the usual fast food suspects in the immediate area (JitBox, McD's etc.) Or maybe Lee's Deli (one on New Montgomery and one on Market near Post) might also work.

    There's a bahn mi place on Fremont (Happy Donut?) if I remember right, but that is a tad far from your location. There's also a standard-type Chinese place on Mission near New Montgomery (New Ming's) that could do in a pinch.

    Good luck to you and have fun regardless!

    1. Oh yeah, one more option - Fatt Dog (www.fattdog.com - 1 Post St at the corner of Market and Montgomery). What kid doesn't like hot dogs?

      1. This is an article from last year but I can't imagine the prices have risen that much. Give these folks a call to check prices and advance warning about a group. Maybe Chowhounds have feedback on this places and the kids menus.

        Zeum Cafe, $1-$5.50;
        Firewood Cafe, kids menu $4.25-$4.75
        Buckhorn Grill, kids meals $4.45
        Luna Azul, $1.99-$9.49;
        Long Life Noodle Co., $1-$8.95


        3 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          Thanks for responding, rw - I've never eaten at any of the places inside the Metreon (those are all Metreon places, right?) so I didn't have a clue about the prices there; it sounds like another option for sure.

          Regardless of whom you choose, it's probably best if you call in advance to see if they can accommodate the large order.

          1. re: rworange

            Buckhorn is a very good cheap eats place. When I ate at the Long Life Noodle Co., I could hear Homer Simpson's voice in the back of my head saying, "Hellooo, taste? Where are you?"

            1. re: J T

              Buckhorn is the place with the roasted meat sandwiches? I thought it was fine, but not cheap. More like $6-8.

          2. Mo's Grill above the bowling alley has inexpensive lunch options, and you can eat it right there in the play circle in front of Zeum.

            2 Replies
            1. re: foodiegrl

              Yes, Mo's Grill is the closest place to Zeum (just a few steps away ...no streets to cross...and controlled space..unlike the Metreon which is wide open and can get a little chaotic....kids running to half a dozen food places.......if you know what your timing will be...call Mo's perhaps they can put the tables together for you...the burgers are quite good there.

              1. re: ChowFun_derek

                I was about to get onboard with the Metreon places with the caveat that I eat small portions (though not off the kid's menu) and don't get drinks and a meal at Firewood can still be $8 or $9, Buckhorn $7, etc.

                But Mo's Grill is the superior suggestion. When I ate there, the burgers were above average, the fries quite good. And it was empty and most importantly a controlled space. Metreon will be chaos.

            2. There's a Thai takeout (Cha Am Express?) on the southwest corner of Howard and 3rd. Haven't eaten there myself, but it's right where you're be.

              I love B&M Mei Sing, especially eating upstairs.

              And I always like Firewood for pizza, pasta, and chicken. At least at the branch in the Castro, they have lunch specials that include salad and a soda.

              Good luck, and let us know where you end up.

              1. Tu Lan, 6th & Market Streets is a famous Viet hole in the wall. Perhaps the BEST hole in the wall in SF! Sit on the bar and learn from the pros.

                1 Reply
                1. re: aureliano buendia

                  Keep the kids close to you if you go on 6th. The food at Tu Lan may be savory (if kind of coarse and inauthentic) but the neighborhood's not savory!

                  Try Julie's Kitchen at 250 Montgomery between Bush and Pine:

                  Buffet-style, enormous selection--fruit and salad fixings alongside sushi , spring rolls, Chinese noodles, pot stickers, egg rolls, and roast meats and vegetables. hot and cold--but beware: Plates and platters are charged by the pound.

                2. I started to look into pizza delivery, but when I told the boss it would run a bit over $200 for the 53 of us, I realized just how dire the budget situation was. Solved my problem by having a TA drive my car to the 5th & Mission garage while I BARTed w/ the kids. At lunch I picked up 10 pizzas at Costco that, thanks to a coupon, came to $70 total. Not exactly what I'd hoped for, but it was non-toxic and the price really can't be argued with. With drinks and cookies I fed us all for just under $2 a head.

                  Thank you to everyone for the tips. I wish I could have afforded to try one of the suggestions. Ultimately, the kids had a blast, and that's what really counts.