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Tad's Steakhouse???

I was browsing the restaurant.com listings and came across Tad's Steakhouse (est. 1955). I don't remember ever seeing it referenced here. It seems to be one of those "stuck in a timewarp" places that might be cool or might be a good example of why things have changed. Any experiences?

Tad's Steakhouse
120 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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  1. Yes, a few times back in the early 90s. My friends and I thought it was a great deal getting a full steak meal for under $10 while in college and walking around Union Square. IIRC, cafeteria-ish -- grab a tray, tell them what you want, pay and grab a seat.

    Looks like it's gone up to about $13 now, doubt much has changed -- except I probably wouldn't go now if given the choice.

    1. I remember eating at Tad's when we came into the city from Berkeley around 1968-69. Steak dinners were like $1.99 or something like that. It was cheap, filling and for stoned, hungry teenagers a decent enough meal, then off to the Fillmore for a night of music.

      Great memories and though I walk by Tad's sometimes when visiting, I'm not inclined to stop in to eat. Guess for me it's a place stuck in the past and better left there. But thanks for asking and bringing back those days for me.

      1. Thanks for the reports. Actually, it looks like the chicken fried steak might be decent.

        1. Baked potato is good. There is more variety underneath Westfield Center, but a Tad more expensive.

          Tad's Steakhouse
          120 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          1. My Tad's memory is a bit older:

            On a high school trip to NYC in the early 60's we ate at Tad's 99 Cent Steaks. Yup, $0.99. I think the baked potato was a bit extra. The steak, as I recall, was adequate, grilled over some kind of fire in large quantities, had a bit of gristle near the end, was was a lot better bargain than a slice of pizza.

            1. When I was in the Navy, stationed at Mare Island Vallejo in 1955, I'd drive down to San Francisco on my day off, sometimes I'd go to Tad's, at times, there were long lines.

              A steak dinner was only 99 cents. It included a baked potato, salad, and dessert. The steak was damn good, but that was then, and today my inclination toward a Tad steak have changed, even though I pass by Tad's every time I visit San Francisco.

              Agree with therealdoctorlew about the gristle.

              1. So it looks like Tad's of San Francisco *is* related to the Tad's that was in New York City. It's long gone as far as I know, but I recall the $1.99 steak dinners. Maybe in the late '70s it was $2.99.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: toitoi

                    Thank you toitoi! I can't believe there're *any* Tad's left in NYC, much less three of 'em!

                    In your google search I also found this:


                    Scroll down a few paragraphs. It turns out the Times Square Tad's was (maybe still is) a pretty horrible place.

                    I'm torn. I'm very much into re-visiting comfort foods from when I was younger. Could there be a Tad's meal in my future? Perhaps.

                1. I remember when Tad's opened, I used to eat lunch there, often chatting with Tad. It was a relatively new concept...tenderized lower grade steaks. The steaks were all bone-in NY cut, marinated in a liquid enzyme tenderizer. There was a bit of gristle, and sometimes the steak was a bit tough...but for $.99? I think Tad's was about the only such place that survived with any success, based on consistency.

                  1. When we come to the "City" to Christmas shop, we often stop for a Tadburger at lunch. It comes with the salad and baked potato. There's not much Christmas shopping in SF anymore, so my Tadburger days may be limited. The double-parked limos and big fur coats are gone. When I was little, Macy's took the big display windows out at Stockton and O'Farrell for Santa.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BN1

                      Now they have adorable and cuddly kitties and puppies - nothing wrong with that.

                    2. I think ordering anything other than Tad's special cut steak or burger might be asking for trouble.

                      I walk by once in a while and the steaks look and smell just like they did the last time I ate there, which was probably when the Chronicle still had Count Marco.


                      1. I loved Tad's when I was a little kid in NYC. Something about the little piece of chewy steak and the baked potato and the green stuff all on in its little section of tray. I feel nostalgic every time I walk past the one on Powell St., but not nostalgic enough to actually eat that food.

                        1. Tad's started out as a screamin' deal steakhouse. That was its claim to fame and the reason for its existence. Now I see their mystery steaks are $13.79 which is no longer a mind-boggling bargain. Plus they've added various other items to the menu. Looks like they are going mainstream and losing their uniqueness.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Sharuf

                            I haven't followed the ups and downs of Tad's, but as I pointed out earlier, iy was predicated upon lower grade beef well marinated. A friend of mine tried a commercial venture marketing such NY steaks, without success. I would guess that whoever owns Tad's now has found that the SF public wants better quality steaks. I don't think there is any problem in that location making it, with a well-cooked NY steak.

                          2. I don't think prices have gone up too much more than inflation plus the major increase in the price of beef.

                            Per the NYT, the marinade is or was originally papaya juice. I doubt the eponymous Tad ever cooked in the SF branch.


                            1. 2008 Topic with, oddly enough, almost the exact same title

                              Tad's Steak House....??

                              1. Just thought I'd note, for what it's worth, that Tad's is one of the new listings on Restaurant.com, with both $10 and $25 certificates (both currently sold old).

                                1. I peered into Tad's Steaks the other day expecting a dive, a blast from the past. I was surprised to see...a place that looks just like a Crepevine. I mean, exactly like a Crepevine, down to the big colorful chalkboard menu behind the counter. Has it ever been confirmed that Crepevine, Tad's, Squat and Gobble, etc. all have the same ownership? Or do they just all share an interior decorator?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bigwheel042

                                    The ABC registration shows that Tad's is owned by Tads Inc., and the license query system doesn't find any other licenses for that corporation.