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Jan 21, 2012 11:10 AM

Restricted diet, eating out in San Francisco

I have a chance to go to San Francisco (I would leave on Tuesday, real soon now), but am concerned about eating out because I am on a restricted diet. I was wondering whether anyone in a similar position has any experience s/he could share?

I cannot have
- sugar, honey, etc. & sweet foods - including fruits & vegetables like corn, peas, sweet bell peppers, squash
- carbohydrates
- dairy
- nuts

I am trying to avoid legumes, to see whether they bother my stomach.

I mostly eat poultry (but do not like white meat) & seafood, but not beef, veal, or pork.

It's similar to the Paleo Diet, with additional restrictions! I've given up Asian food (there seems to be sugar or some other sweetener like mirin added to just about everything; we discovered that even the fish sauce we had in the cupboard had sugar in it), Mexican/Tex-Mex, pizza, sandwiches …

When I go out at home, I usually have mussels or duck confit for lunch, salmon or bouillabaisse for dinner.

In San Francisco, I would probably have breakfast in the room, hard-boiled eggs from Trader Joe's with tomatoes, carrots, olives, maybe a salad.

I'd go to Haight-Ashbury one day, Japantown another day, & the Mission on a third day; our hotel is in North Beach.

I don't eat grilled, deep-fried, or roasted …

Thank you for any help you can give!

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  1. Almost any seafood restaurant will accomodate steamed fish and serve it with a salad.

    if you can eat bouillabaisse you can probably eat cioppino. Tadich Grill has a good version.

    Hog Island Oyster in the Ferry building has well ... good oysters. So does Zuni, and given you eat duck confit at home they might have something on the menu for you. They are known for roast chicken, but it has stuffing. HOWEVER, it is baked to order, so maybe you could ask them to bake it plain. Or does that count as roasted? How are you eating chicken if not roasted or grilled? Poached?

    There is a small Tuesday farmers market at Ferry Plaza.

    Can you drink?

    3 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Thank you for your ideas & recommendations! I love cioppino, too. I just have to remember to ask when I order whether any sweeteners are added, and whether there is red bell pepper or corn or squash in the soup.

      I should have been more clear about roasting. I don't eat anything charred, so I don't order roasted vegetables or anything grilled.

      At home, we pan-fry or poach chicken thighs & salmon on top of the stove. (Because of the flour, I don't order battered chicken or fish when I go out to eat.)

      We like the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building. I think I can get an omelette there on Saturday morning. Hog Island Oysters could probably steam clams very simply for me.

      You asked "can you drink?" Do you mean alcohol? That's forbidden, too, but I hardly miss it, compared to carbs, dairy, fruit, & sweets!

      I really appreciate your help. Thank you.

      1. re: gorwell

        You may want to give up pan frying, too, as that's on a continuum with charring. It's less, not different.

        I suspect some of the dressings, soups and sauces you get have added sugar, even if it's only a teaspoon or two for a pot, since it's an extremely common way to round out flavors, especially if a given component, like tomato, is too acidic. Do you eat tomato? There's another high sugar fruit, even if they're pretty sour sometimes.

        1. re: twocents

          Pan-frying at home, we never use high heat, but I take your point. Scallops in restaurants, for example, are always a little charred. When we tried cooking them at home, at medium-heat, they came out watery, rather than crisp.

          Thank you for mentioning sugar added to sauces & soups, as well as tomato as a sweet fruit. That's the thing about eating out - you can never be absolutely sure, can you?!

    2. You'll get more responses if you list what you can eat and what you like instead of make people decode things. Sorry to sound rude but that's a complex list and there's just too many variables.

      1. In North Beach, maybe a calamari salad and fish soup at Macaroni Sciue Sciue. It's on Columbus, but a block and a half below Broadway.

        Tadich grill (a fish house) should be able to take care of you. Can you eat asparagus? I always get a cold asparagus side with mayo as a salad.

        Does "no grilled" rule out yakitori (chicken) in Japantown?

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          Thank you for your suggestions!

          I love asparagus! I've given up vinegar, which is an ingredient in mayonnaise, but I'm sure olive oil & a squeeze of lemon juice would be just fine.

          Japanese food is out, unfortunately, because there's a little sugar or sweetener of some kind in just about _everything_.

          Thanks again.