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Aug 20, 2007 08:07 AM

Alfreds, Bobos or Harris Steak restaurant San Francisco

I am coming to SF next month and I wanted to make a restervation for a steak place one night. I am not interested in going to a chain. I was told to go to Alfreds but then saw a review saying the atmosphere wasn't great. I'm going with my boyfriend and i want to go to a place with great food and a great atmosphere. I'm not a huge eater- I usually will order a petite filet if it is available so any place that has that option is a plus. How does Alfred's compare to Harris'? I read something about Bobo's? How does that compare? Any and all suggestions/recommendations are appreciated!

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    1. Just stopped into Bobo's last night with my mom after the Family Winemaker's tasting to do a "business dinner" and see if we could give whoever is in charge of the wine list a taste. We stopped in because one of my parent's neighbors sells a case of cab a month to Boboquivari, but it was nowhere to be found on the list, which is arranged into categories such as "$39 wines" rather than color, varietal, winery location, or other sensible categories that help you find a wine.

      Prices were way up there with the most expensive steakhouses, and despite the menu being printed on a sheet of paper as if it was seasonal or weekly, offerings like asparagus and crab are way out of season, and it isn't exactly romaine season either. I wouldn't be surprised if the menu is the exact same year-round.

      We ended up leaving some cash on the table for the waiter and hostess and hightailing it out of there.

      We probably should have tried to go to Alfred's steakhouse, which despite the statements, "Real Steak, Real Martini, Real San Francisco" prominently featured on its web site did have the wine list posted, with a good selection of Cabernets. Boboquivari's web site does not have the wine list posted, for what the comparison is worth.

      1. I like the atmosphere at Alfred's. Very old school to go with old school martinis. Much less corporate than Harris, IMO. What do you mean by 'great atmosphere'?

        2 Replies
        1. re: susancinsf

          I like Alfred's too. Harris' is also good but the atmosphere is a bit more "stuffy" if you know what I mean. It's much quieter if that's what you like, but I prefer Alfred's. People tend to dress up more at Harris' whereas you won't feel out of place if you don't wear a jacket and tie at Alfred's.

          1. re: baron45

            Harris' might have been the very last restaurant in SF to drop its dress code.

        2. If atmosphere is important to you, then I would recommend Alfreds or Harris' but definitely not Bobos. Bobos is very expensive, the steaks are good, service is humdrum, atmosphere is poor (it's in a travelodge parking lot). Alfreds' feels old school (dark red booths and waiters in traditional, formal waiter attire), while Harris' feels a little old world (tobacco leather booths, tall curtained windows, a dark bar area). Of the two, Alfreds' is probably a little less formal. Both have great steaks - although I prefer Harris' for the steak. Both have great bars.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kresge86

            This is very helpful... thank you for your advice- I will decide between Alfred's and Harris'

            1. re: natalina101

              Natalina, please repost after the meal and let us know. This is one of the most popular topics on these boards, and I haven't seen a clear favorite. BTW, I would go to Alfred's over Harris' for what it's worth. I also like Bob's at the Omni and House of Prime Rib... for *ahem* prime rib. :)

          2. I don't have any experience with the other two restaurants, but for what its worth, I had a meal at Harris last year that left me feeling short changed. It was tasty enough but for the prices I want some ragingly naughty and delicious beef with some mean sides to back it up. Didn't quite rise to the occasion.