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Jun 25, 2007 06:15 PM

Funky,Strange, Cheap, out-of-the way

i'm looking for diners in industrial areas, taco trucks in parking lots, places you are scared to venture, unlikely and hidden store fronts, old tiki lounges, trucker or biker spots,dive bars with a good burger, strange combinations, down-home, or out of control. Give me your strange, funky, grimey and cheap. I want to throw together a real FOOD ADVENTURE that will take me somewhere I have never been, or never thought to go. I don't care how far away it can be anywhere in Nor-Cal. Thanks. Places like (the now gone) Mike's at the yard in Petaluma...

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  1. Trad'r Sam
    6150 Geary

    funky neighborhood tiki bar

    3 Replies
    1. re: sgwood415

      OMG, is that place still around? How about the "Persian Zan Zan" in the Haight --or whatever it was called -- is that still there, too? Another funky neighborhood bar with a low rent attempt at exotic ambiance.

      1. re: Sharuf

        Yes, both Trad'r Sams and Zam Zam are still around, although I'd hardly compare the two, what with the former being a cheesy noisy faux tiki place with a young college crowd (at least on the weekends) and frou-frou umbrella drinks, and the latter a pretty mellow place serving good-quality traditional cocktails. Then again I'm biased, as Zam Zam is my favorite local watering hole :)

        1. re: Sharuf

          The Persian Aub Zam Zam is still there physically but not spiritually - for me, there is no Zam Zam without Bruno who has passed away. The new owners cleaned the place up, offer a full range of beverages (vodka "martinis" - the heresy!), let the place get over crowded (the tables are open, for god's sake!!), ruined the jukebox and can't make a decent Bruno Martini to save their lives.

          That said, its cooler than any of the other bars in that neighborhood, if I hadn't been a regular during the Bruno years and experience perfection, I'd be a fan.

      2. Out of the way, somewhat hidden, strange combos (peanut butter and steak) and politically incorrect Al the Wop's in Locke.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wolfe

          My dad's been here- it sounds even stranger than you can imagine when you hear someone try to describe the place.

        2. Ah ... the story of my eating life ... where oh where to begin

          Well, this will get you started ...

          House of the Blessed Pupusa

          And since this is a Sunday only eating experience for dessert there are churros

          Stalking the Wily Richmond Hot Churro Guy

          In the area, though the torta report wasn't positive

          San Pablo: Food Barn - grocery, panaderia, carneceria ... 80 tortas 80 … with a sami-sosa torta

          And in Northern California on the if you are in Salinas there are the trucks ... links in this story will take you to the California board where Salinas info is reported.

          Outta the Back of a Truck

          There's just so much more my head spins.

          1. If you venture south...past Gilroy and take the 25 exit then get back on 101N; on the right hand side, you'll see Garlic World. In the parking lot is Lou's BBQ. Basically- some of the best BBQ ... It's real BBQ too; not the fake, lighter fluid stuff. You order at the truck and pay inside at the grocery. He makes his own sauce; good value too!

            1. Mariposa Cafeteria is a working man's favorite. The roast pork was a big hit with hounds .... haven't been there in a few years. You won't go away hungry from this place. The menu has a lot of old Chinese American faves and is open for breakfast and lunch only.