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Jul 31, 2009 02:28 PM

He loves Taco Bell... I'm hoping for a bit more

My husband thinks that the best food is Taco Bell, Kraft Mac& Cheese and Outback. And while some of that isn't bad, I'm hoping for a little bit more during our SF trip (vacations being one of the few times he is forced into being adventurous). So can you please help me satisfy both of us?

We are big folks, who like large portions. :) The cheaper it is, the happier I am. We are vacationing, but most of the cash went for activities, so I need most of the meals to be $25 or less for the two of us. However, there is a little wiggle room for a $50 meal or two. We don't have to do app, entree and dessert- just an entree is fine so long as its filling. And we don't drink with dinner usually.

We love seafood (he esp loves Dungeness Crab), BBQ, burgers, Mexican and steak. He doesn't like Italian, pizza, sandwiches or veggies.

We won't have a car while in SF, so everything needs to be within a few blocks of the Muni/Bart. And in a decent area of town (the Tenderloin scares me).

Our schedule is as follows:

Sat 8/8 Giants game at 12:45
Fisherman's Wharf (yes, I know)
Dinner afterwards

Sun 8/9 Muir woods in the morning
North Beach (Coit, Lombardi, etc)

Mon 8/10 (will have car this day)
Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Lunch and Dinner?

Tues 8/11
Ferry Building with Lunch at Farmer's Market
Bay Quakers Tour

12:45pm Giants game
Slumber Party at AT&T park

Options I'm considering so far include: Louisiana Fried Chicken/Happy Donuts, Joe's Cable Car, South Park Cafe and Tadich.

Thank you so much for all your help! Courtney

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  1. There's an In-N-Out in the Wharf area.
    steve h. says it best:

    In-N-Out Burger
    333 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      We have been to that In&Out and its great, but we have those here as well. And I'm trying to avoid chains for this trip since that's all we ever do.

      1. re: contemporaryscarlett

        No home town in your profile so I thought I would give it a shot.

        1. re: wolfe

          I appreciate it. Its definitely a better option for most tourists at the Wharf than anything else out there.

    2. Are these price points with or without drinks?
      And if the Tenderloin is scary, how do you feel about the Mission?

      Lunch before the Giants game: Primo Patio - cuban / carribean, jerk chicken, snaps&fries and lots more. A family fav.

      Lunch in N.Beach: Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store. Great cafe, lots of atmosphere.

      Santa Cruz: Brutal. I got nothin for ya. Get ye away from the boardwalk! You can probably get a decent burger in the downtown pedestrian mall/street. But I'd be interested in what others say.

      2 Replies
      1. re: BernalKC

        The price points are without drinks. And I'm okay with the Mission, we've been there before and it was fine. I'm from Arizona, crummy Mexican joints are our thing. :)

        Just had a bad experience staying at a seedy hotel in the Tenderloin once, and then another trying to walk to AsiaSF from around the Capitol another time that made me leery of SF after dark. Ended up going to AsiaSF the next time, but made sure to get there while it was light and took a cab back!

        1. re: contemporaryscarlett

          OK, for Mexican our long-time family fav is Puerto Allegre on Valencia. Nothing mind blowing about the food, but the atmosphere is great and it fits the budget. Numerous good taco options near 24th & Mission BART - Tacqueria San Jose is right there.

          And for a only-in-San-Francisco dinner option, check out Mission Street Food on Saturday night. They are only open Thursday & Saturday nights and the menu changes every time - they post it blog-style on their site which you'll probably want to check before going since sometimes it get's out there -- for instance, a few Saturdays back the menu was "Mission Stoned Food" he he he... Just tell him he gets to eat Pringles and don't mention the foie french onion dip! (Not that it will be on the menu when you're there.) $5 corkage, so BYO. The tab will probably land between $25 and $50. Totally unique and highly recommended.

      2. Maybe $20 is a lot for a burger, but Epic Roasthouse has the most delicious burger I have had in along time and they have a burger, beer, brownie deal for $20.

        The location is great since you sit in the bar area and have a view of the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge. The burger is huge and the fries are good thick-cut fries. You can also substitute a soda or iced tea for the beer, although they will not adjust the price. The only catch is that you have to be there before 5:00 pm to place your order. Also, if you like your meat medium then say rare-medium since I think they might overcook the burgers a bit, but they are still juicy.

        For the same price you will dine at Joe's and Joe's Cable Car is not worth the trek on a bus or BART + bus to the Excelsior.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Near the ballpark, consider Primo Patio, jerk bbq chicken and a patio. South Park Cafe is nice, but may be above your budget. I don't recommend LFC/HD for a vacation meal (its ok if you're desperate), although some donuts to take into the park aren't a bad idea. Grabbing a brat at the game is my normal plan as a seasonticketholder. There is also Red's for basic burgers, joe, breakfast and a great view.

            3 Replies
            1. re: sfbing

              Donuts for the park sound like a nice change from the overpriced G fudge sundae. Inside the park for meals, its Cha Cha bowls all the way.

              1. re: sfbing

                Reds Java House is a good idea for a basic burger near the ball park.

                Pier 23 Cafe is kinda similar but with a full bar. It's on the Embarcadero closer to the Warf.

                For more of a splurge, go to Tadich for an old-school seafood meal -- crab or sole.

                You could trying a place in Chinatown -- Hunan Homes is an old stand-by of mine.

                And you can get some nice family style Italian in North Beach -- Capp's Corner is a good example.

                Hunan Homes Restaurant
                622 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                Tadich Grill
                240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                Capp's Corner
                1600 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                Reds Java House
                30 San Pier, Francisco, CA

                Pier 23 Cafe
                The Embarcadero and Union St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                1. re: Calvinist

                  "He doesn't like Italian, pizza, sandwiches or veggies. " OP
                  And you can get some nice family style Italian in North Beach -- Capp's Corner is a good example.