Any good cheap eats by New Montgomery in SF?
I'm looking for some decent cheap eats by my school (Academy of Art). I'm looking for anything under $7. I'm aware of Speciality's, Lee's Deli, that food court place a block away, and B&M Mei Sing. That's all I could find through my years of going to school there. I haven't ventured too much outside of New Montgomery, so I was wondering if anyone can recommend a good, cheap place that's a short walking distance from the Montomgery BART station. Chinese, Mexican (love carnitas), Thai, Viet, sandwiches, anything tasty at a good value. Thanks!
Do not neglect insane Krivaar Cafe. A little hole in the wall
on Pine between Montgomery and Kearney. Right near the
north end of Belden Place.
The best Middle Eastern, Armenian place downtown. Seems to
be family owned, grandpa's often out front with a table full
of random fleamarket stuff he's trying to sell. Inside, a rack of
curious bottles of $6 wine partly blocks your path to the
tables in the back.
If you can't decide which of the oddly-named salads or sandwiches
to get, order the "Wowee Plate". It's a little of everything plus
double helpings of something or other thrown on top. About
If you like Chinese, Thai and Viet, then you're primed for Burmese food. Natoma Cafe, right around the corner from the Academy has 16 Burmese dishes on the menu for $4.95 each, and makes a few selections each day.
I had an errand to run in the neighborhood yesterday and finally had a chance to try the place for the first time after reading about it in the thread linked below. The ohn noh kaukswe (yellow curry chicken noodle soup) was assembled to order and was quite good. I'd had this dish at Burma Superstar in the last week (still have the leftovers in the fridge), and I enjoyed this more. Unlike BSS's, the chicken stock in this was more intense and had just a little bit of coconut milk for richness rather than being completely dominated by it. The yellow peas were fried into a crunchy cake and then broken into crispy bits for textural contrast, rather than being blended in to make an overly thick soup. The fragrant fried garlic chips were satisfyingly crisp and freshly made. This had a lot more chicken in it, soft chunks of thigh meat braised soft with aromatic veggies and the slightest bit of piquancy. The fat noodles were soft and near mushy, bringing up childhood memories of Campbell's chicken noodle soup. Not super-complex, but absolutely delicious and homey.
I also got a fresh lemonade. This was a comforting and very satisfactory meal for the price in a pleasant setting. The place also has some interesting non-Burmese salads and sandwich combinations. I'll be back to try more the next time I'm in the neighborhood.
-Wolfgang Puck Express Cafe in Macy's Cellar; I highly recommend the pizza special (pizza, salad, and soda for $6.25) - especially with the spicy chicken pizza.
-Ming's Coffee House for decent steam table Chinese food (2nd & Mission)
-AG Ferrari for good sandwiches (Mission & 3rd)
I'm not sure which food court you mean - both Crocker Galleria and the random place on 2nd between Market and Mission are a block from you. I'll plug Crocker Galleria though. Chili Up! makes good chili (I love the Bombay chicken special when it's available), Leila has good chicken kebabs, and there's other places there, too. (between Post & Sutter, Montgomery & Kearny)
Escape from NY Pizza for good potato pesto slices ($2.99 for a slice and drink if you get the coupon in the alternative weeklies) (Bush & Montgomery)
Chaat Cafe for good Indian chaat. I especially recommend the stuffed potato (aloo) naan and the veggie samosas (3rd & Folsom).
Si Senior on 2nd between Mission and Market is very good. There is also one in the Stevenson alley near the Yank Sing. If you remember Pepito's on 1st and Mission, you will be pleasantly surprised. Carnitas, chile verde and carne asada burritos are nice and the Chicken Banderias (skewered chicken grilled on rice and mixed greens) is great.
I think if you wander around a little more (staying south of Market) you'll find some more gems. For starters, Tea Garden on Mission between 1st and 2nd (south side of the street) recently made a big splash among chowhounds for its authentic Taiwanese beef noodles, baozi, and rice plates. Almost directly across the street, Linda's Place (Thai) has earned a lot of cheap eats fans (including me) over the past two decades of so.
What about Chipotle on New Montgomery? Granted it's owned by McDonald's, but I have to admit that their soft tacos (flour tortilla) are pretty tasty and I really like their hot salsa which is kind of a thick/chunky taco sauce and quite spicy. I usually get chicken, but their barbacoa (shredded spicy beef) and carnitas (Niman Ranch pork) are nice. I also enjoy the chips which are well salted and have a slight lime flavor. Their rice has a pleasant (and different) flavor, as well.
I wouldn't call it authentic by any stretch of the imagination, but it's right across the street from you and seemingly fits the bill.