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Mar 10, 2009 02:48 PM

Family of 6 from NYC needs a few SF pointers

I've spent a lot of time browsing the board and will try to keep my questions focussed. By way of background, we're eating with our four kids, aged 8-18, at Zuni Cafe Saturday night lateish (hamburger time) after we arrive; Sunday night Aziza with the two oldest; Monday night we're leaving the kids to fend for themselves (room ' n out) while we go with friends to Cafe at Chez Panisse. Questions are the following:

For dinner Tuesday night for all six of us, should we go to Slanted Door, Beretta, or NOPA? I was excited about Slanted Door until I read some of the slams here; Beretta sounds fun, but I'm worried that its pizza might be a letdown for our kids reared on di Fara's, Grimaldi's, and Sal and Carmine's; NOPA sounds perfect, but is it too much like Zuni Cafe?

Dottie's True Blue sounds great, but the warnings about the neighborhood have got me worried. Don't mind an iffy neighborhood, but don't want to wait on line in one w/ the kids. Anyone have an idea whether there's usually a line early on Sundays - say 9am? If not there, how about Nob Hill Grille?

Sunday afternoon we'll probably go to Golden Gate Park and maybe walk across the bridge. Is there a good bakery in the area where we could get a snack to refuel?

We'll probably be going to the Farmers Market at the Ferry on Tuesday morning before heading to Alcatraz (unfortunately we won"t be there on Saturday). Most posts here on the market talk about Saturday - anything particularly good that we should be on the lookout for late breakfast/early lunch Tuesday?

Tartine Bakery sounds like a good place for our carbloving family to have breakfast Monday - do they have tables big enough for six to sit?

Many thanks in advance.

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  1. I say try have to get the pork chop!

    Tartine isn't a very big place but on a Monday it might not be that bad. Mission Beach Cafe is blocks from Tartine too and they have a good lunch menu.

    1. Beretta does not seem like a good fit. Not many tables for 6, not a family scene. Without tossing in a bunch of alternative choices, I'd go with Slanted Door. Really gorgeous setting on the SF waterfront and who cares if it isn't 'authentic'? The food is really delicious.

      Tartine will be a chore for a family breakfast. It takes extreme cafe karma to seat 2 people together there on a typical morning. Six? That would take an act of god. My personal favorite brunch for larger groups is Townsend.

      Are you thinking of walking all the way from GG park over the GG bridge? Sounds like a Von Trapp family outing! Or, more likely, are you driving from one to the other? In either case, check out Richmond district guides here and think Asian / dim sum. Tons of great options that I'll let others pick up on.

      Town's End Restaurant & Bakery
      2 Townsend St Ste 2, San Francisco, CA 94107

      3 Replies
      1. re: BernalKC

        It may just be me, but I'd rather take food from Tartine to the park across the street and eat it while watching the dogs run around than go to Townsend. I know Townsend is popular for brunch but what I had just wasn't very good. Whereas I've been to Tartine dozens of time and always been happy.

        1. re: Pei

          I'm just the opposite. I ate at Townsend almost every weekend for over five years and was rarely disappointed. Loved that mini muffin basket. Can't work up any enthusiasm for Tartine. In terms of take out, I probably dropped by weekly there for a few years because it was on my route. After all those years and all that money, I honestly can not remember a thing I ate at Tartine without dredging up my Chowhound notes ... and with exception of the bread which I haven't tried ... my travels were in the morning ... I pretty much went thru everything. I have put the croque there on my to-try list just because I've been trying various versions lately.

        2. re: BernalKC

          FYI: I've learned that Beretta will take reservations for large parties. Not sure if six qualifies or not. I still think it would not be a good fit -- unless you're looking for a fun coctail and people watching place where the kids can be happy with the pizza.

          Also: miracle of miracles - I dropped in on Tartine this morning around 8:15 and there was no line and the big table of 8 was empty. The sky must be falling. Or else Tarinaires don't do 8AM. Or it was a total fluke. I vote for fluke. With less than 30 seats indoors and long lines the norm, take out would be the best bet if you crave une mourceaux de la Tartine a famille.

        3. Forget the slams go to the slanted door over others,great food,good hood, takes res. Breakfast enjoy the hype and go to Sears fine foods, touristy yes but a classic and locals DO GO! On tuesday if your talking 11ish try hog island oyster.

          1. I'm not a big fan of Slanted Door, but I've been trying to keep an impartial eye on visitor reports, and the vast majority of reports from NYC visitors on Slanted Door have been positive. Most of the negative reports from visitors have been from people coming from areas with bigger Vietnamese populations and good neighborhood Vietnamese restaurants. The view is definitely a plus.

            1. I would stick with Slanted Door, since it will add more variety to your schedule.

              In the daytime, the neighborhood around Dottie's is not that bad, especially if you're from NYC. Maverick's in the Mission takes reservations for brunch, which might be a nice alternative for a party of 6.

              If you are on the Sunset side of the park, there is Arizmendi's, which is a popular local bakery. There are also plenty of restaurants. For example, South Sea which has decent dim sum. There is also Yummy Yummy, if you wanted to compare high end Vietnamese to a more down to earth Chinese-Vietnamese place.

              South Sea Seafood Village
              1420 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

              Yummy Yummy
              1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

              Arizmendi Bakery
              1331 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA