HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Dinner near Bart stop in SF - one foodie and one meat & potato eater

I am meeting an old friend in a couple of weeks in SF - I will be coming in on Bart. She works near the Civic Center but I think she may be willing to take Bart elsewhere. I so rarely get to SF and would love the chance to try something interesting - preferably ethnic, especially anything Asian - but she is truly a meat & potatoes kinda gal. I also don't think she will be willing to spend a whole lot and I cannot afford to be the hostess. One friend suggested I meet her at the Ferry Bldg. if she is willing to take Bart. Any and all suggestions appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Your best bet for cheap ethnic eats would be in the Mission: either the 16th or 24th Street stops. Not a lot of good Asian out there other than perhaps Mission Chinese and Sunflower (okay Vietnamese), but the other options are endless. I would probably go with Poc Chuc for homey/earthy Yucatan food and the best tortillas on the planet. It is a one block walk east of the 16th Street stop.

    -----
    Poc Chuc
    2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

    1. Ethnic plus meat & potatoes plus inexpensive is a challenge.

      I wouldn't normally recommend it, but for this particular purpose, maybe the food court at the Westfield Mall. There are a few places that have gotten good reports, notably Ajisen Ramen. They also have American stuff such as Bistro Burger.

      Maybe Gyro King? Good Turkish / Middle Eastern.

      Has Burmese Kitchen (formerly Larkin Express) dropped all the American stuff like turkey and roast beef?

      -----
      Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
      452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

      Gyro King
      25 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

      Ajisen Ramen
      Westfield San Francisco Centre, 865 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      8 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Easing up on Westfield in your old age.
        "I didn't find anything else there more than a step above crap."
        Robert Lauriston on Jan 07, 2011 01:32PM

        1. re: wolfe

          Yeah, and it is mostly crap there, but then the discussion turned to Ajisen:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/758113

        2. re: Robert Lauriston

          The reason to go to Westfield would be Out the Door, which has table service and isn't bad.

          -----
          Out the Door
          845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

          1. re: Windy

            Yeah, Out the Door would be a good choice, especially since it's just steps from BART.

            -----
            Out the Door
            845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

            1. re: Windy

              Except Out the Door is not in the food court, it's a restaurant, so no burgers or anything like that for someone who won't eat Asian food.

              -----
              Out the Door
              845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                But it is in the Westfield Center, if not the food court, but it certainly isn't inexpensive.
                http://www.outthedoors.com/downloads/...

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Except that they serve plain grilled chicken and grilled bavette steak.

                  And whether it's in the food court or not is a matter of where you draw a line. Perhaps we can let the OP make up her mind about what her friend will and won't eat.

                  1. re: Windy

                    If they serve plain grilled chicken or steak, maybe OTD would work, but those are not on the menu.

                    http://www.outthedoors.com/downloads/...

            2. Turtle Tower? On the one hand, pho ga is basically chicken noodle soup, and to me, not scary at all. But definitely no "meat and potato" options here.

              Inkas Restaurant is a favorite of mine. The Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken is great and extremely accessible even for conservative eaters, and there are some more unusual items on the menu for you to explore.

              I haven't tried it, and it could be pricier than what you want, but: Namu purportedly makes a great burger (it gets mentioned in various best burger discussions), but the rest of the menu is Cal-Korean. Not near BART, though - you'd have to bus it.

              -----
              Inkas Restaurant
              3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Turtle Tower Restaurant
              631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

              Namu
              439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

              8 Replies
              1. re: abstractpoet

                Namu makes a great burger, but the Korean / fusion dishes didn't impress me at all.

                -----
                Namu
                439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Then you are harder to impress than I...
                  I have been there a few times... once with friends. We all loved everything we had.
                  Although I will admit that the burger is awesome (but it is made so impart by Kimchi so it is fusion)... and I am near impossible to impress with burgers.

                2. re: abstractpoet

                  If you're going to do Vietnamese near Civic Center, then Bodega Bistro is the best bet. The atmosphere isn't as bare bones (scary to some people) as Turtle Tower, and they have bo luc lak (aka shaking beef, aka steak cubes) that's very good and unscary. But if the friend works in the area she may have her own ideas about some of these places.

                  Otherwise, I think Barbacco is a good idea.

                  -----
                  Bodega Bistro
                  607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                  Turtle Tower Restaurant
                  631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Bodega and Pagolac (up the same block) are both good bets for a meat eater. Pagolac has a great beef 7 ways that's very inexpensive, and it's pretty once you're inside.

                    Both much better than Turtle Tower, I think.

                    On a weekday, Brenda's is also a good option on Polk also in the Tenderloin, for New Orleans style food (beignets, shrimp and grits, solid eggs and salads).

                    -----
                    Pagolac
                    655 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                    Turtle Tower Restaurant
                    631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                    Brenda's French Soul Food
                    652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                    1. re: Windy

                      GREAT suggestions re: Bodega and Pagolac. The steak choice at Pagolac is to die for. And so affordable. A steal actually.

                      -----
                      Pagolac
                      655 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                  2. re: abstractpoet

                    I am a big fan of Inka's too, but it is not very close to BART.

                    -----
                    Inkas Restaurant
                    3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1. re: Civil Bear

                      Yeah, it's a bit of a hike (so probably out, given the OP's clarification on that point), but that's how we always go - one time it was in the pouring rain, and when we got there we found out that lunch started an hour later than we'd thought. That wasn't fun.

                    2. re: abstractpoet

                      I love Namu, but they're not open for lunch on weekdays or anywhere near BART.

                      However they are at the Thursday Ferry plaza market, which is a good option if you're meeting on a Thursday.

                      -----
                      Namu
                      439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                    3. Heaven's Dog is near civic center, with modern cocktails and Asian food; not especially inexpensive, but tasty, convenient and fun.

                      Not Asian, but very well regarded and well located, Barbacco has an accessible, not too expensive Italian menu, and everything on it is great.

                      I am guessing you do not want Mexican food, even if it's Mayan...

                      -----
                      Heaven's Dog
                      1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      Barbacco
                      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: foodeye

                        Correct, not looking for Mexican food!! I forgot to mention that this person also cannot walk very far . Someone else mentioned Turtle Tower - I will google it and see how far it is for her to go. Heaven's Dog sounds like fun - would there be a hot dog for her?? Maybe Barbacco is the answer, although oddly enough we have pretty good Italian food in Todos Santos. I think one of these will work - thanks so much. I'm going to google all of them and see which is the closest to her work place. I have another question for another meal and will post it separately.

                        -----
                        Turtle Tower Restaurant
                        631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                        Heaven's Dog
                        1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                        Barbacco
                        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                        1. re: Mariana in Baja

                          Almost everything at Heaven's Dog is quite definitely Asian. The steak is the only thing on the menu that might not be.

                          http://www.heavensdog.com/main/HD_Men...

                          -----
                          Heaven's Dog
                          1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      2. Barbacco yes - very affordable if you don't drink or do dessert. There's always Osha Thai - the one off Embarcadero (more upscale environment) and the other off Powell Street. Why yes, it's a chain, but there's a reason they've managed to expand successfully over the years...

                        -----
                        Barbacco
                        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: MeredithR

                          Does Osha Thai have anything for someone who won't eat Thai food?

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            This posting did not say her guest "won't eat Thai food". In fact she specified "anything Asian." And "meat and potatoes" people will do well with their many meat dishes. I know, because I'm a meat and potatoes kinda gal who loves me some duck pan fried noodle and steak salad.

                            1. re: MeredithR

                              I think you missed the "but she": "I so rarely get to SF and would love the chance to try something interesting - preferably ethnic, especially anything Asian - but she is truly a meat & potatoes kinda gal."

                              Note also Mariana's question about whether Heaven's Dog serves hot dogs.

                              -----
                              Heaven's Dog
                              1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                You got it, Robert. She would think the Olive Garden was just fine - does that still even exist? The anything Asian was for me - I crave all Asian food but this is my only night in SF and I am with this dear friend who I want to see but there is the food challenge. I do get a couple of nights in St. Helena and a couple in Healdsburg - I know, poor me!! I looked up the Westfield and figured out what and where it is - seems like a bit of a walk from the Civic Center. She is a very heavy woman and cannot walk much distance. Maybe the steak at heaven's dog would work. Another friend suggested I ask her to take Bart to the ferry building and meet me there. Now I know I could find many things I would love - ummm oysters - but for the meat & potatoes girl????

                                -----
                                Olive Garden
                                24688 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545

                                1. re: Mariana in Baja

                                  If the Westfield is too far, it would help to know the intersection where she works, and how she gets there. If she takes BART to work, presumably someplace between the two is fine.

                                  1. re: Mariana in Baja

                                    I think the ferry building is a good idea. There is an Out the Door there, as well as at Westfield Mall. Your friend could get a burger from Gott's.

                                    -----
                                    Out the Door
                                    845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                    1. re: Mariana in Baja

                                      Westfield (with a basement food court and Out the Door) is accessible via the Powell Street station.
                                      The Ferry Building is accessible via the Embarcadero Station.
                                      Turtle Tower, Bodega, Heaven's Dog, etc are accessible via Civic Center Station, some with longer walks slightly uphill.

                                      If walking is going to be a big issue, I probably wouldn't choose the places near the Civic Center Station.

                                      The most easily accessible is the Westfield mall's food court--you don't have to necessarily go outside. Be aware that there are two separate food courts-- one in San Francisco Center (containing Ajisen) and one in Westfield (which contains Out the Door and Beard Papa) which are in two neighboring buildings.

                                      Westfield is a good option: you could pick something Asian and she could pick up something else that suits and you could share a table at the food court. Alternatively, if the menu suits, you could eat at Out The Door--the food is quite good if a little expensive for a food court. There is table service so you can sit and chat outside of the din of the mall.

                                      Alternatively, if she is ok with a short walk (it is probably about 2 blocks on flat land) and you are ok with giving up the Asian food, the two of you could get a simple dinner at Cane Rosso which is very meat and potatoes with a Ital-Cal flavor. Gott's is very American burgers and shakes (I'm not a fan, but it is there) Asian food at the Ferry Building: Delica, Out the Door, Imperial Tea Court.

                                      -----
                                      Turtle Tower Restaurant
                                      631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                      Imperial Tea Court
                                      1411 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                      Delica
                                      1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA

                                      Out the Door
                                      845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                      Heaven's Dog
                                      1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                      1. re: Mariana in Baja

                                        Yes, there are still Olive Gardens. In that direction, you might try the Cheesecake Factory.

                                        -----
                                        Olive Garden
                                        24688 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545

                              2. How about Taylor's Refresher (is it called Gott's now?) at the Ferry Building? Great burgers and shakes. Not ethnic in any way, but they have an ahi burger that's pretty good. I don't know if they stay open late though.

                                Another thought would be to head towards Union Square -- Grand Cafe and Daily Grill are both reliable. Or towards the Castro -- Chow and 2223 are both very good.

                                As for Westfield -- the Powell Bart station actually comes out in front of the mall entrance (underground) and it's only one stop from Civic Center -- barely any walking! Ajisen is pretty good but you kind of have to eat there -- it's a Chinese/Japanese fast food noodle restaurant. You can get noodles with delicious pork on it (quite generous portions) but definitely not a "meat and potatoes" kind of place.

                                -----
                                Daily Grill
                                347 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sfwork

                                  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO to Cheesecake Factory thanks!!! She works in one of the government buildings in Civic Center. I am thinking either the Westfield Center or Ferry Building - either one would be fun for me and it sounds like we could both find something we would like. Thanks for all the great suggestions - now I'm going to post my East Bay request.