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What would Calvin Trillin eat for lunch in SF?

kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 06:30 AM

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. Lori SF RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 08:14 AM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lori SF
      Lori SF RE: Lori SF Mar 23, 2007 08:56 AM

      opps not open for lunch. Yes Swans.

    2. Carrie 218 RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 08:24 AM


      1. Ruth Lafler RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 08:43 AM

        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
          chocolatetartguy RE: Ruth Lafler Mar 23, 2007 01:36 PM

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

        2. grocerytrekker RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 08:53 AM

          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. JasmineG RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 09:44 AM

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

            1. Sushi Monster RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 10:21 AM

              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
                ernie in berkeley RE: Sushi Monster Mar 23, 2007 10:32 AM

                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
                  Robert Lauriston RE: ernie in berkeley Mar 23, 2007 12:30 PM

                  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. Robert Lauriston RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 12:26 PM

                "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. Squeat Mungry RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 12:47 PM

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

                  1. larochelle RE: canard Mar 23, 2007 03:03 PM

                    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. Chuckles the Clone RE: kojikiri Mar 23, 2007 06:48 PM

                      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: Chuckles the Clone
                        Robert Lauriston RE: Chuckles the Clone Mar 23, 2007 06:54 PM

                        Nowhere, this time of year.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          Chuckles the Clone RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 23, 2007 07:52 PM

                          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
                            Robert Lauriston RE: Chuckles the Clone Mar 23, 2007 09:05 PM

                            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.

                      2. s
                        snw RE: kojikiri Mar 24, 2007 09:08 AM

                        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
                          Melanie Wong RE: snw Mar 24, 2007 10:21 AM

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

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