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Dec 5, 2006 10:49 PM

Help? Friends for dinner in SF this wknd...Atkins & vegetarian needs! Opposites attract?!

Hi guys! We're vegetarians but our friends are
fairly strictly into Atkins style eating.

We'll be doing a show near Union Square in the afternoon,
so could do dinner near there, or possibly travel across town (maybe by cable car?) ;-) to places like Pier 39 or Ghiradelli,
if you can think of a recommendation that might meet both our needs.
Being tourists in a way, they might enjoy that area too. (to see the lights)

They *are* fairly limited in their likes besides doing Atkins.
Not much into ethnic foods (unlike us!!), altho'Atkins probably would have limited that way, anyway. They *will* eat a little seafood, like Halibut. Something mild.

Any thoughts? Could really use help! Haven't tried Aqua yet.
Is that worthwhile? Old seafood places I can think of are:
Neptune's on Pier 39 or Dante's. (for local 'color')
Scoma's in Sausalito? Too far probably this time around.
Any other? Tadich's?

Ghiradelli? No idea what's there now...a Vietnamese place?
Is McKormick & Kuleto's still, or something named like that?

Anything near Nob Hill or Union Square?
What about the French 'district' near Plouf, etc.?
We've never checked that alley out.

Most of what we've seen are pasta places or pizza near Union Square. We, of course like Millennium but that won't suit them! Sigh....Help? :-)
Anyone tried the Grand Cafe?

Anything fun at Ghiradelli? Would love it if we *could* take Cable Car somewhere. Thanks so much! We're honestly WIDE open for ideas.

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  1. Espetus

    1686 Market St
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 552-8792

    Brazilian Style Churrascaria. It will probably be a touch pricey (say, around 45 per person, perhaps more), fixed price though - alcohol not included. Here's why it's perfect for atkins and vegetarians - although I have never been to Espetus, Churrascarias usually have immense salad bars with quite a selection, including veggies and starches. For the Atkins diet folks, the primary attraction is all-you-can eat meat, which is brought to and sliced at your table.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Gotta disagree - an Atkins persons would love Espetus but a vegetarian would find it very limiting. Yes, there are veggies, but it not overtly friendly towards vegetarian dining and there would be little else than a few salads to entice.

      1. A couple of quick thoughts in rather random order....first, I wouldn't eat at Pier 39 or really Fisherman's Wharf. Yes, McCormick & Kuleto is still in Ghirardelli Sq. - the view is beautiful, food is ok. Aqua is very good, but very pricey. I think I'd be inclined to go to Tadich and then buzz around town a bit looking at lights, sights. You can go out to Ghirardelli/Wharf after dinner and get an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista and stroll around out there. Ana Mandara is a Vietnamese place now in Ghirardelli Sq. - the interior is very pretty but no view. I've only been once and found the food over-priced and average. You can walk to Tadich from Union Sq. - you can also walk to Belden Alley (Plouf, et al.) or even Myth - I've not been but many people love it.

        1. You might consider Farmer Brown which is near Union Square, has had some positive mentions on this board and has some veggie items on the website's sample menu like Vegetable Jambalaya. Looking at the menu you might be able to make requests to make it Atkins-friendly ... but skip the fried chicken.

          The Pier 39 restaurants are expensive and really not that great. Yeah, McKormick is still there, but view aside, it doesn't really show off SF food to its best advantage.

          I'm not a fan of Aqua and unless you are a pescatarian, there doesn't seem much on Aqua's menu for you.

          How about something like this

          Eat in the Union Square area and then take the cable car over to Fisherman's Wharf and have drinks at Buena Vista ... though I'm not sure how booze does or doesn't fit into Atkins. If you are up to drinks and it is the weekend you could also stop by Ana Mandara which is a pretty stunning looking restaurant and has live music on the weekend.

          Or just do the tourist thing. Catch the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf and at the Wharf catch the street car and go to the Ferry Building and eat at Boulevard or someplace like that ... the scenic route, so to speak ... really, don't do Pier 39 ... don't encourage those types of restaurants by throwing money at them.

          However, if you do decide that for your guests something like McKormick or the Pier 39 restaurants are just the ticket, I hope you will report back ... good or bad ... as we don't get many reports from that part of SF. Either we'll hear from you about great new eats or know what to avoid.

          1. I was on Atkins for quite a while, and the great glory of this being able to eat great piles of steak, as long as I avoided the baked potato and texas toast. SF has some really great steak places, therefore:

            Harris Steak House
            Ruth's Chris
            House of Prime Rib
            I think all are on Geary Ave. (take a cab)

            Since you are vegan, you will go hungry at these places. One very trendy, newsworthy spot is Lark Creek Steak in the new Westfield Center on Market. Since everything is a la carte, you can easily avoid the meat and order multiple vegetarian type things, but make sure your credit card can handle this over-priced assault.