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What's your latest food quest?

Weekday only activites

lrealml May 24, 2011 12:39 PM

So we recently find ourselves in a unique situation (at least for us)...
I was laid-off (but with a really really sweet severance package, so no need for pity), and my SO is at home working on starting his own business (so he can work any hours 60 hours he wants). I never thought that we would be in the situation where we both do not have fixed work obligations (at least not until we are very old and retired). Recently it occurred to me that we could do things on weekdays that we could never do before, like drive up to the city for lunch or happy hour (I was working in San Jose, so even doing dinner in the city on a weekday was near impossible before).

So what are some foodie things we should do in the greater Bay Area (we are game for long day trips) that you can only do during the week? Weekday only lunch, happy hour, dinner specials and things like that? Gourmet stores with no weekend hours?
We are interested in all things food and drink (I eat anything and everything).
The things I have so far:
- Tour the Anchor Steam Brewery (I've been wanting to do this for years!)
- Lunch at Jai Yun (since they are only open for lunch on weekdays and they are really $$ for dinner).
- Thursday morning Ferry building market

I want to compile a list now, so I make sure we don't miss anything b/c I don't expect us to have this opportunity again (at least not for a very very long time).


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  1. majordanby May 24, 2011 12:56 PM

    off the grid food truck events. Big one is in fort mason center Friday 5-10 pm.


    4 Replies
    1. re: majordanby
      Ruth Lafler May 24, 2011 01:04 PM

      Although technically not exactly what she was asking for, I think this probably qualifies since all of the reports suggest you should get there as early as possible.

      1. re: majordanby
        lrealml May 24, 2011 02:23 PM

        I forgot about off the grid! Thanks!
        I do have some hesitation though because of some of the recent reports of insane crowds and long waits.

        1. re: lrealml
          majordanby May 24, 2011 03:00 PM

          i went to the friday one recently. no problem, as long as you come early.

          1. re: majordanby
            Windy May 24, 2011 03:36 PM

            Yes, and no need to get there before 5. The food isn't ready.

      2. steve h. May 24, 2011 01:11 PM

        Pack a gourmet picnic basket with food and wine sourced from the Ferry Building, take the ferry to Angel Island, climb to the top of Mt. Livermore and enjoy the food/booze/views. Claim the very last picnic table at the end of the trail as your own.

        Climb the Filbert Steps from the Embarcadero side (coffee and muffins at the Ferry Building before setting out), enjoy the views atop Telegraph Hill, go to the top of Coit Tower. Walk down the steps on the other side to North Beach. Grab drinks and a pizza at Tony's.

        Walk the Golden Gate Bridge just before dawn. Watch the sun rise. Go find a cool breakfast afterwards, maybe the buffet at the Palace Hotel. Try not to clothesline any bicyclists on your journey.

        9 Replies
        1. re: steve h.
          Robert Lauriston May 24, 2011 02:11 PM

          Have you been to Angel Island since the 2008 fire?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            steve h. May 24, 2011 02:20 PM

            I've been to Angel Island several times since 2008. Did you see the fire? Were you able to take pictures?

            1. re: steve h.
              Robert Lauriston May 24, 2011 02:27 PM

              I saw photos and it looked pretty desolate.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                steve h. May 24, 2011 02:37 PM

                The place was a tinderbox, bound to happen. Nature, however, is very forgiving and quick to heal.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston
              lrealml May 24, 2011 02:21 PM

              Is it not worth going any more? Was planning to take my mom there when she visits...

              1. re: lrealml
                steve h. May 24, 2011 02:41 PM

                Go. Climb to the top. Bring good food/wine/beer. Don't share! Carry the garbage back down to the base and dispose of it there. Take plenty of pictures.

                1. re: lrealml
                  Windy May 24, 2011 03:37 PM

                  Angel Island is fantastic. And most people never even leave the ferry landing. Gorgeous easy walk (there's a single climb, the rest is flat).

                  1. re: Windy
                    lrealml May 24, 2011 11:58 PM

                    Good to know... Mom has a bad back and is no spring chicken anymore...
                    I am sure it will be great!

                  2. re: lrealml
                    mariacarmen May 24, 2011 11:12 PM

                    my girlfriend and her family went and camped there for Mother's Day weekend and had a wonderful time, said it was beautiful.

              2. d
                dordogne May 24, 2011 01:13 PM

                Hog Island Oysters in the Ferry Building has 1/2 price oysters (chef's choice) and wine and beer specials at Happy Hour, Mondays and Thursdays 5-7pm.

                1. pane May 24, 2011 01:39 PM

                  Welcome to the fold! I have the same location-flexible schedule as your SO.

                  I like neighborhood lunches out in places that don't tend to draw office crowds, like Outerlands out by Ocean Beach. Toronado hamburger Tuesdays are a good bet. Plenty of coffee shops that are crazy busy during rush hour are fun places to kick back when it isn't--like the Linden Blue Bottle in the late afternoon and Sightglass. Contraband on Larkin is a good place to hang with a laptop if you're searching for the next thing--and the baked goods there (which they get from Mission Beach Cafe as well as a local husband-and-wife empanada team) are great.

                  Oh! The Blue Bottle inside SFMoma is also fun during the middle of the day on weekdays.

                  Mission Beach Cafe
                  198 Guerrero St., San Francisco, CA 94103

                  Blue Bottle Cafe
                  66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                  1. m
                    Mola May 24, 2011 01:39 PM

                    Ooh, congratulations! Now you can go to San Francisco and eat lunch at The Sentinel (closes at 2:30 pm) or The Golden West (closes at 2 pm). Both are only open on weekdays.

                    The Sentinel
                    55 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105

                    Golden West
                    8 Trinity Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104

                    1. Robert Lauriston May 24, 2011 02:14 PM

                      Warm focaccia from Liguria.

                      Visit Le Sanctuaire. http://www.le-sanctuaire.com/directio...

                      Lunch at Plum.

                      Le Sanctuaire
                      315 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                      Liguria Bakery
                      1700 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                      2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        lrealml May 24, 2011 11:54 PM

                        Le Sanctuaire looks fancy/expensive... I think I will have to wait until I accept a job offer; then use it as an excuse to buy myself a present.

                        I loved Coi, so I am definitely interested in trying Plum... I may try dinner first though. How pricy are they for lunch vs. dinner? Can't find any recent menus...

                        Le Sanctuaire
                        315 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                        1. re: lrealml
                          mariacarmen May 25, 2011 07:43 AM

                          Plum's menu isn't online (well, there is one, but it's a sample) as they change it daily. I called and asked when we were supposed to go.

                          1. re: mariacarmen
                            Robert Lauriston May 25, 2011 09:00 AM

                            This is a sample Plum weekday lunch menu, pretty close to yesterday's:


                          2. re: lrealml
                            Robert Lauriston May 25, 2011 08:59 AM

                            I'm not sure I've ever bought anything at Le Sanctuaire, but it's fun to browse. Some of the spices aren't expensive.

                            Le Sanctuaire
                            315 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                        2. v
                          vulber May 24, 2011 02:35 PM



                          tour speakeasy brewery (4pm fridays)

                          the sentinel


                          will think of more, i was in this siutation for a while

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: vulber
                            steve h. May 24, 2011 02:54 PM

                            A decent day could revolve around taking the bus out to Golden Gate Park and spending some quality time in the morning at the botanical garden or the rose garden or the Japanese tea garden, whatever. Maybe pick one. The payoff is the bus back to the Haight. Perhaps a beer and a burger at Magnolia Pub?

                            Edited to add: On a lazy morning, take the ferry to Sausalito. Hike/bike along Bridgeway to FISH. Order inside, eat outside. You're on the water. Cash only. Maybe check out the Bay Model on the return (maybe renovations going on. Call ahead).

                            1. re: vulber
                              Ruth Lafler May 24, 2011 03:15 PM

                              Might be fun to do Dine About Town lunch at Spruce.

                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                steve h. May 24, 2011 03:46 PM

                                Oysters and martinis at 2:30 p.m. at the (dining) bar at Tadich always works for me.

                            2. artychokeasana May 24, 2011 07:33 PM

                              Day Game at ATT Park...pick a sunny day-buy cheap tickets...get a Sheboygan with grilled onions from the grill cart on the 3rd base side of the promenade or go big and have a crazy crab sandwich and split of champagne from the crazy crab stand in scoreboard plaza...bask like a lizard in the sun and watch the boys to their thing.

                              1. Glencora May 24, 2011 08:49 PM

                                I just today went to the Steins Collect exhibit at MOMA followed by happy hour at B Bar and Restaurant across the street in YB gardens. Sit outside above the fountain and talk about art. Pretty nice.

                                1. mariacarmen May 24, 2011 11:15 PM

                                  Have lunch in Belden Place outside, in the sun, order some appetizers from B44 with a bottle of wine and people watch. you can sit for hours. (Plouf is good too.)

                                  44 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

                                  Belden Place
                                  44 Belden Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104

                                  1. l
                                    lrealml May 24, 2011 11:37 PM

                                    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! I am adding a lot to my list.
                                    A few questions/observations:

                                    First I have a recent observation/complaint about SF: When we travel, we often go to fancy restaurants for weekday lunches b/c it is much cheaper and the menu is very similar or just as delicious looking as the dinner menu. By doing this we have been able to eat at many fancy/Michelin starred restaurants that we wouldn't be able to afford otherwise (mostly in NYC and France).... Unfortunately, this strategy is not an option in the Bay Area. I checked practically every high end/fancy restaurant in the area and all of them except for a few are closed for lunch. Of the very very few that are open for lunch, I see their lunch items at a similar price as their dinner items, and/or the lunch menus are nowhere near as mouthwatering their dinner menus (both Bix and Spruce are guilty of a combination of both of these).
                                    Boulevard and, to a lesser extent, The Village Pub, are the only two restaurants I have found that are exceptions. Any one have any ideas as to why this is? Is it cultural in some way? I am very surprised by this...

                                    I should mention that I am in RWC and have never attempted SF on a weekday (non holiday), so I assume some of the morning activities would be difficult due to traffic... (and one of the great advantages of not working is not having to sit in rush hour traffic :) ). How hard/expensive is it to park in SF on a weekday (or should we take BART or Caltrain)? Also, does anyone know when rush hour ends/starts?.

                                    So much food to try! I'm going to have to find another job before I get too fat! (the fact that all I've done is cook since I've been at home isn't helping either... need to find more hobbies :) )

                                    Thanks Again!

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: lrealml
                                      mariacarmen May 25, 2011 12:03 AM

                                      i think someone above mentioned Dine About Town: http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                      At least for the first 2 weeks in June you can get some deals on some good (not all high end) San Francisco restaurants. Places I like or have heard good things about: Absinthe, Anchor & Hope, B44, Campton Place, Cliff House (mostly because you'd get a view), Comstock, Marlowe, Mochica, One Market, Plouf, Sociale (love this place!), Spruce, Waterbar. These are all participating at lunch.

                                      937 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                      44 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

                                      One Market Restaurant
                                      1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                      3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

                                      40 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

                                      Campton Place
                                      340 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

                                      Anchor & Hope
                                      83 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                        lrealml May 25, 2011 01:05 AM

                                        Maybe someone should start a DAT thread for this year.... Anyway, I am going to go ahead and get off topic and give my 2 cents on DAT..
                                        We've done a lot of DAT dinners and weekend lunches in the past and often were disappointed by very limited or boring DAT menus and/or mediocre food (the Cliff House's is food was inedible, the views were great though).
                                        Also, they are not always good deals. One year I actually did a spread sheet with the restaurants and how much it would cost to eat the DAT menu with the regular prices vs. the DAT price, and I found that most of the time DAT was not saving us much if any money. In some cases ordering the DAT menu was actually more expensive than the regular prices. In the cases where we were saving money, it was normally no more than a few dollars.
                                        Anyway, this is not true for every restaurants, and I haven't done the analysis this year (maybe it would be good to start a thread)... but we decided that most of the time we would rather not do DAT and instead order what we want.
                                        Exceptions in the past have been Campton Place for lunch and Foreign Cinema for dinner.
                                        The best DAT restaurant by far was lunch at Vitrine, but alas, they are not participating anymore.
                                        Btw, I would love to try Sociale... a quick analysis of their DAT menu shows that I wouldn't really save much money (maybe a few $)...but at least the DAT menu sounds good (unlike a lot of the others), so maybe we will give it a go.

                                        1. re: lrealml
                                          Melanie Wong May 25, 2011 01:16 AM

                                          Here's the thread in progress for DAT:

                                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                                            lrealml May 25, 2011 09:06 PM

                                            I missed that thread... must be going blind... I'll post there.

                                          2. re: lrealml
                                            mariacarmen May 25, 2011 07:47 AM

                                            you know, even though i suggested DAT, i have to say I agree with you. And also with Campton as being the only place i truly enjoyed thoroughly and felt i got my $$ worth during DAT. I guess I was thinking that so many other people on this board like DAT, and if you hadn't been to many of the restaurants (i didn't think you got into the City as much as you do) that it would be worth a shot. But I do agree with you, I don't do DAT anymore myself. That said, Sociale is worth a try, DAT or no DAT!

                                            3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

                                        2. re: lrealml
                                          Windy May 25, 2011 12:08 AM

                                          If you're driving to the city, you're having a very different experience than living here. So yes, park at BART and try going to different stations.

                                          CalTrain is fast in the morning, but really only convenient if you're going to South of Market.

                                          There are parts of the city that are better by car, especially the Richmond and Sunset. But even then, leave the car for a couple of hours and walk. It's the only way to get to know the area.

                                          And save the high-end restaurants. The real gems on weekdays are places like Local Mission or Yummy Yummy, not Ame and Campton Place. Spend some time in cafes.

                                          Yummy Yummy
                                          1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                                          Campton Place
                                          340 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

                                          1. re: lrealml
                                            ceekskat May 25, 2011 07:00 AM

                                            I recommend you take 280 into the City (either all the way or try switching over to 380)...leave home after 8:30.

                                            Take advantage of free days at the SF museums & explore nearby eats. Kids are getting off school early this year so I'm planning on a MOMA trip on Tuesday the 7th. Thinking about Zero Zero for lunch; kids would love Sentinel, but alas, no place to sit. 5th/mission garage has reasonable rates.

                                            Zero Zero
                                            826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                            1. re: ceekskat
                                              mariacarmen May 25, 2011 07:48 AM

                                              you could easily walk your sentinel sandwiches over to the yerba buena gardens...

                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                ceekskat May 25, 2011 08:50 AM

                                                Good suggestion, will keep in mind. Hope to have some Summer weather by then!

                                                1. re: ceekskat
                                                  grayelf May 25, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                  We've done that, fab people watching with all the area workers doing the same. Fantastic corned beef sandwiches survived the journey unscathed :-).

                                                  Also even though you live in the Bay Area, don't forget the one, three and seven-day Muni passes. If you had a full day planned in the city, a one-day one might save you $ and definitely would save hassle of carrying change for bus etc. Plus unlimited cable car rides are included so you could pretend to be a tourist for cheap :-).

                                              2. re: ceekskat
                                                artychokeasana May 25, 2011 08:33 AM

                                                This commuting advice is spot on. 280 N until at least 380 or until the 280 101 split after Allemany is key. Leaving after 8:30 generally works-depending on where you are coming from and prevailing traffic conditions. I don't like to get to the San Jose exit before 9 am as things snarl up just after it.

                                            2. alanbarnes May 25, 2011 08:34 AM

                                              Second the recommendation for Dennis Leary's sandwich shops (Sentinel and Golden West). Speaking of Leary, Canteen serves an outstanding prix fixe dinner on Tuesdays. The weekday "early bird" special at Chapeau! is a bargain. And if Incanto is going to do the summertime "Cucina Povera" dinners this year, that's a great option for Monday night.

                                              As far as driving into the city, I almost always ditch the car at a Park-n-Ride. Perhaps it's just an over-reaction to the suburban sprawl of Sacramento, but I love being able to get where I need to go using public transit and the occasional taxi. There are some areas that are a bit of a schlep, and I'd probably take the car for a day trip to, say, the Richmond District. But generally speaking a set of wheels is more of a hindrance than a benefit.

                                              Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
                                              1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                                              126 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                              817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                              The Sentinel
                                              55 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                              Golden West
                                              8 Trinity Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104

                                              1. scarmoza May 25, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                Cheeseburger Tuesdays at Rosamunde on Haight.

                                                Rosamunde Sausage Grill
                                                545 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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