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Dec 1, 2006 06:55 PM

Seeking a dinner spot that meets all the requirements -- am I doomed?

I'm planning to have dinner with a friend tomorrow night, but he's a tad on the picky side -- not about food but about waiting for a table. (last dinner I tried to plan @ Charanga, we arrived around 8:30 and were told the wait would be about 30 mins; I had no problem with that but he practically threw a fit.)

We plan to park @ St. Mary's garage and walk to the dinner location
(no more than 6 blocks otherwise he might have another meltdown and he's insisted on this specific garage)
it will be around 7pm and he doesn't want to wait
max price for entrees @ $25
and no american, californian, asian, italian, or middle eastern (looking for something different).

Our other option is to stick close to his place around 28th & Quintara (again with the same requirements).

I really want to go try Andrew Jaegger's place, but its a bit far to walk...

Basically, I'm trying to salvage any hope of a chowish dinner tomorrow; and I don't want to end up at some crappy place like we did last time after he nixed Charanga.

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  1. R&G Lounge
    Penang Garden
    any of the places on Belden Alley
    Palio d'Asti
    Jeanty at Jack's

    Pakwan's lunch only at the Clay St. location.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Don't forget ... no Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc.

      This just seems sadistic. Pick a parking garage in the middle of all the nixed options and no waiting on a Saturday night prime-time. It's almost like he looked around the area, and made sure he put anything nearby on the list.

      IMO ... and I don't like to walk, Andrew Jaeger is in walking range. I would walk there from the garage. Really, it can't be over 6 blocks, though it is uphill.

      Beldon Alley joints eliminating the Italian one might be the best bet, but I'm not sure about a wait on a Saturday prime-time.

      Don't know how it is, but there is restaurant Seven Fifty in the Hilton near the garage which is Mediteranean, but that mainly means Italian and Mideastern with California influence and you'd have to stick to the vegetarian options for the most part to meet the price requirement. But I'm positive there wouldn't be a wait.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        If American, California, Asian, Italian, and Middle Eastern are out, Jeanty at Jack's (which is very good) is about the only choice on that list.

        Bocadillos and Cafe Prague are within walking distance.

        Better yet, ditch the high-maintenance friend and go to Perbacco by yourself. ;-)

      2. Hmmm ... I didn't say it quite that, uh, assertively, but yeah ... that only leaves French in that neighborhood which also may not meet the criteria of something different ... and prime-time tonight isn't going to be easy in that nabe.

        I don't know of the OP caught this but in the Hilton across the street from the garage is Restaurant Fifty Seven. It is Mediterrean leaning on Italian, but there is some interesting stuff on th menu and I REALLY have to think you won't have to wait at all.

        I haven't tried it yet but it is on my list ... not high because, well, it's a Hilton ... however, some of the Hilton's have had decent restaurants and if under the right set of circumstances I might give it a try.

        The other thing is that I have a bad knee so walking long distances isn't my thing. I do think that Andrew Jaeger is under your six block radius. It is uphill, but not that far from the garage.

        Just as close is Impala a Mexican joint where I only had the Margarita. At seven pm it might not be swinging yet. It is a stomping ground for the 20 - 30 crowd, but that might be a little early for that scene.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          (Oh, that's so odd! Your first post didn't show up for me until this morning! I was puzzled by your comment about "I didn't say it that assertively"! Sorry to repeat what you said; I have no idea why that post didn't show up until now.)

        2. Take him to Tommy's Mexican on Geary and order a pitcher of Margaritas.

          Other then that I'd take him to an "old people's place" for fussy diners. Isn't there an old school French place out in West Portal? I can't remember the name but as a friend said, "it was like walking into a different decade," and at 40 they were the youngest by at least 15 years. This sounds like the sort of place you want to go.

          1 Reply
          1. Park, arrange to have a cab waiting, and take him for a burrito in the Mission. He sounds like he needs serious help being reasonable.

            1. At the top of the hill on Pine (I think) is Rue LePique, it's a funky little French place run by a couple (he runs the front of the house, she's in the kitchen). It's reasonably priced and they are very's not going to win any Michelin stars, but it was always a go-to place for us when we lived in that neighborhood.

              You could also try b44 in Belden Alley - it's Spanish - or Sam's for fish. Cafe Prague can be fun, but service is Iron Curtain esque and you have to order wisely.

              Good luck...

              4 Replies
              1. re: megamalone

                Any chance you'd be willing to say more about Rue LePique, its the first I've heard of it.

                1. re: China

                  Given the location I think it is Rue Lepic

                  It gets a positive post every now and then on Chowhound and an occasional 'eh' post. More positive than negative opinions. I don't remember ever reading a pan about the place. Sounds like a good neighborhood place.

                  Until I linked to the webpage above, I never knew the owner/chef was Japanese with that having some influence it says on the food.

                  I wonder where the OP went and how it turned out.

                  1. re: China

                    By all means, check it out - it's a great little spot.