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What would Calvin Trillin eat for lunch in SF?

Calvin Trillin is only in San Francisco for one meal, then back to NY. Sure, the wharf might be out. But some part of this meal certainly should have only very recently been alive, happy and well in a nearby body of water.
For the sake of variety, Tadich and Sam's have lines out the door, and he's very very hungry (plus wasn't too interested in those anyway).

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  1. I don't know how happy they were, but Bar Crudo has great fish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lori SF

      opps not open for lunch. Yes Swans.

      1. Swan Oyster Depot.

        However, from what I've read, what Calvin Trillen actually eats when he comes to SF is a burrito.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I was going to say he would go for a burrito or a banh mi.

        2. For some reason, Belon came to mind first, a restaurant which no longer exists. Swan Oyster Depot mentioned by Ruth, perhaps.

          I don’t think he’d specifically go for seafood for the one meal in San Francisco.

          No doubt he would head to Chinatown to hunt for new delicacies, the Tenderloin for Vietnamese or Pakistani. The Mission. Perhaps Clement Street in Richmond. He might even settle for the Ferry building.

          A young Calvin Trillin might have ventured into, of all places, North Beach, in an attempt to find that ONE restaurant with the elusive soul of Old San Francisco.

          1. He has been interviewed on this topic, since he's in SF frequently, and has said that he gets burritos.

            1. If memory serves, he's on the record as being down with La Cumbre in the Mission for burritos. His main complaint: Parking's a drag in that Mission/Valencia stretch. Aside from that, on the piscene front, sushi's out, since he could certainly procure better fish in Manhattan. He has very finely developed tastes in dim sum, so I'd bet he'd skip the city altogether and just go one BART stop from SFO to Millbrae's miracle mile.

              Sushi Monster

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sushi Monster

                I believe he's been quoted as saying Yuet Lee is his favorite Chinese restaurant in town, with the salt-and-pepper squid his favorite dish.

                1. re: ernie in berkeley

                  When he wrote that article, he was visiting his daughter and baby grandchild, who live(d) in the Mission. The fried squid was from the since-closed Mission branch of Yuet Lee.

              2. "In San Francisco the burrito has been refined and embellished in much the same way that the pizza has been refined and embellished in Chicago. ... so good that at times I’ve been tempted to put it on my list of favorite dishes that rarely seem to be served outside their place of origin."

                The article's in Best Food Writing 2003.


                1. A friend of mine claims to have spotted him at Delfina a couple of years ago.

                  1. Its not. The requirement was that part of the meal have been IN the water.

                    "some part of this meal certainly should have only very recently been alive, happy and well in a nearby body of water" = local, fresh seafood

                    1. Although he's probably a burrito guy, I do like to think of him with a nice
                      plate of sand dabs in front of him. But aside from Sams and Tadich, where
                      would be a good place to get 'em?

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Season's open all year. When should we ask Calvin to come visit to
                          get the best supply?

                          And the original question, where besides Tadich is a reliable place to get them?

                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                            Summer and fall.

                            Tadich, Sam's, and Hayes Street Grill are the only good places I know that have them regularly.

                            I've seen them as specials lots of places, including Delfina and Hog Island.

                      1. Calvin Trillin has been, and spoken quite highly of, Fook Yuen in Millbrae. It was one of the things that gave him comfort in his daughter living three thousand miles away.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: snw

                          That might have been before Fook Yuen's top chef left for a new venture down the street, The Kitchen.