Bun Heaven and 77 Chinese & Hawaiian BBQ
I walked down Battery St. between Market and California for the first time in a long time this week and noticed two places that we unfamiliar to be and I don't recall seeing discussed on the board (and search came up with nothing, but that doesn't mean it isn't there!).
Bun Heaven is a tiny little corner operation that offers burgers, hot dogs and sausages and steak sandwiches, plus a good assortment of sides and a couple of salads. It smelled really good: that salty-oily french fry smell, but didn't actually see any of the finished products. I guess the "bun heaven" moniker comes from the fact they say the buns are baked specially for them every day. Anyone tried it?
77 Chinese Cuisine and Hawaiian BBQ is in the next block, next to a big Lee's. They have a big steamtable with the Chinese offerings; it appears the Hawaiian offerings (typical Hawaiian BBQ items, served with two scoops of rice and macaroni salad) are made (or at least assembled) to order. Everyone seemed to be eating the Chinese stuff, though. It looked like above-average steamtable food, and they claim they don't use MSG (unlike Lee's Chinese steamtable offerings, which left me with MSG mouth for an entire afternoon the time I tried it).
77 Chinese and Hawaiian BBQ
77 Battery St.
200 Pine St Ste 120, San Francisco, CA 94104
So I hit Bun Heaven for a burger at lunch today.
The burger LOOKS great: good quality, well-toasted bun, melting cheese, thick patty, etc. so I regretfully report: BIG THUMBS DOWN on the burger. Sad to say, it's virtually inedible. My mouth is burning from the excessive amount of black pepper (I can actually see the flecks) mixed into the meat. The meat itself has a weird texture -- even though they claim it's 100 percent beef, it's meatloaf-like texture resembles beef with filler. Maybe the sausages are better.
Went to 77 today. Overall, better than average steam table Chinese (didn't have the Hawaiian BBQ). I got an incredibly large portion too. 3 item was $8.14 incl tax, but is more than any normal person should eat.
Best thing was deep-fried salt & pepper prawns -- I never thought I'd see heads-on prawns in the FiDi. Great to eat whole.
Also had chicken w green beans in black bean sauce. Bean sauce could be more flavorful but has nice, almost porky undertones. Yu-shiang eggplant is not a good.
I just tried 77 Chinese & Hawaiian BBQ. I'm going to comment on their made to order food (I'm not big on steam table food ala Panda. Not to say that it isn't good but it's not me).
Today I finally dropped in to take a look see. Glanced at the steam table but nothing stood out for me. I asked the owner (he is (was?) the owner of Happy Donuts down the block) if they make chow mein that was on the menu. He said they did.
I ordered a seafood chow mein. They gave me this huge order (in a round take out container). Chow mein is actually pretty good (not too greasy and not too salty). They were also generous w/ the seafood (shrimp, scallops, calamari some fish).
They are one of the very few FiDi places that do made to order chinese food.
Staff is friendly and courteous (service with a smile!). I also got a free pop with my order.
Not bad for $7.87 (considering I get to spread this meal out into 2 lunches!).