Great food that's cheap by 16th & Mission BART
I have never explored this area before, and I suspect that I'm missing out on some great finds here... so I'm planning to check it out with a friend on Monday night for dinner. We are hoping to find a place within our budget of no more than $15-$20/person for a meal (not including drinks) and within walking distance of the Bart station. And if possible, I'd like to find a place with good white sangria.
Noise factor aside, Ti Couz would be my choice (assuming you both like great crepes with your choice of fillings, and great salads). You could try Limon for good Peruvian, but it might be tough getting a table. I've had their red sangria which is nice, but have not had the white.
i had pretty good sushi for $3/handroll at tokyo go go, 16th and guererro, during their happy hour, which is until 7pm weekdays. as long as you get your order in by 7pm, you can sit there long after enjoying your inexpensive sushi.
i particularly liked the scallop, unagi, and quail egg rolls. no sangria, but cucumber or lichee sake.
A lot of people absolutely love Limon which is 1 & 1/2 blocks away from the 16th. street BART station on the west side of Valencia south of 16th. It's sophisticated Peruvian. The ceviche, and other fish dishes are really fine. It's within your price range. It's stylish...cool. BUT a friend and I had a bad experience there and I realized I dislike stylish/cool restaurants in poor neighborhoods unless they have A LOT of heart and soul. But there's something a little cold around the heart at Limon.
My best friend and I had some heavy duty girl talk to do and Limon was dead at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. We went in and sat in the back corner. After a while, a waitress came over and told us we couldn't sit at a table for more than two because some large parties MIGHT come in and need to sit there (maybe we would have inconvenienced someone if say, six large parties suddenly showed up in the middle of the afternnon on a weekday - but what are the odds of that happening?)
We had to move to a tiny table right next to the door that was 3 inches away from the only other people in the place. I asked her to turn down the tinny (techno, house?) music. She grudgingly did - ever so slightly. That was it. Adios Limon.
But, on a happier note, I'll tell you my favorite neighborhood restaurant: Panchita's. It's Salvadorean - on the south side of 16th closer to Valencia than Mission. Family run, great food, lots of heart, sunny, good Latino music, the biggest bargain in town, but although the dining room is airy and very clean, the kichen and BR are just barely clean enough to be acceptable to me. And in a personal first, I have actually been panhandled INSIDE this restaurant.
But I love the women who work there. My favorite lunches always come in at around $5 or so. For that price you can get a lot of excellent food. The pupusas are fat and made to order. I get 2 of the chicharron con queso. The fried to order chips, smoky salsa, and curtido cabbage slaw are gratis and gladly replenished. A hearty meal: $3.25. Excellent fish soup, fabulous ceviche, the best chicken tamales I've ever eaten ($1.65 each), and the best refritos I've ever eaten (it's the lard).
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