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Good red meat place in SF

homereker Apr 3, 2012 10:45 PM

Coming into SF for a weekend's stay and we're looking for restaurants with a good selection of red meat, excellently prepared. Yes, red meat as politically incorrect as it might be. No Morton's, no Ruth Chris, etc. type of steakhouses and meats do not need to be dry-aged. Some place on par with Nopa or Incanto or Izzy's. Steak / Chops / Seafood entree priced around $22-27 or less with nice conversational level ambiance. I guess trendy would be okay too, but prefer to avoid it. Definitely no Alfred's, Tadich or old SF eatery styled restaurant. Some place fun and close to Bart (nice, but not a requirement) would get extra points! Any suggestions from my fellow hounds?

  1. c
    calumin Apr 8, 2012 12:50 AM

    At (or very near) your price range, and near BART, I'd suggest Lark Creek Steak. It's in the Westfield Mall. I wasn't expecting much when I went there but was pleasantly surprised. There are a number of steaks / chops right around your price range. I had the Kobe-style ribeye which was significantly more, but was very good.

    1. s
      Saxby Apr 6, 2012 07:26 AM

      I haven't been to Epic, or Alexander's, but I hear that Alexander's is the best steakhouse in SF However, I like think that Bobo's has THE best steak in SF. While not the best overall steakhouse, it has THE best steak.

      Bobo's sides and apps can be hit and miss, free valet parking in front of restaurant, seating can be awkward if you are not in a booth, cocktails are expensive, but you can find a good wine for a very reasonable price on their list, all but one of the servers there are great, restaurant layout doesn't scream STEAKHOUSE atmosphere. BUT, I have been to several steakhouses and I have NEVER had a better steak than I the steak that I have had at Bobo's. But, prices aren't $22-27.

      Try Tad's.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Saxby
        Civil Bear Apr 6, 2012 08:33 AM

        Tad's as in Tad's $13 cafeteria steak with all the fixin's? On par with Nopa, Incanto, and even Izzy's? I guess I had better suggest Palace Family Steakhouse as well!

        1. re: Civil Bear
          ChowFun_derek Apr 6, 2012 02:05 PM

          Would HOPR (House of Prime Rib) fit the red meat category?

          ...and for a totally different experience (and near BART) there's the Brazilian Steakhouse

          Espetus....here's a link...


          1. re: ChowFun_derek
            goldangl95 Apr 6, 2012 03:09 PM

            HOPR definitely qualifies as red meat. However it is also an "old SF eatery styled restaurant"

            1. re: ChowFun_derek
              Robert Lauriston Apr 6, 2012 03:16 PM

              The only selection at House of Prime Rib is S, M, L, and XL. And the fish of the day.

              1. re: ChowFun_derek
                Civil Bear Apr 6, 2012 04:58 PM

                Espetus is an interesting choice, particularly if the OP has never been to a churascaria before. I believe the cost is outside the OP's range, but comes with all you can eats meats and salad bar.

                1. re: ChowFun_derek
                  Robert Lauriston Apr 7, 2012 11:50 AM

                  What are the prices at Espetus these days? The only thing I find on their Web site is a press release from two years ago, when it was $50 at dinner and $24 at lunch.

                2. re: Civil Bear
                  Saxby Apr 6, 2012 05:06 PM

                  Nice sarcasm. At least at Tad's you can get a steak plus sides for $22

                  By the way my favorite steakhouse, Bobo's, just got top ten steakhouses in USA Today!! Right up there with Peter Luger's.

                  1. re: Saxby
                    Civil Bear Apr 6, 2012 05:09 PM

                    I believe at Tad's you can get the steak and sides for about $14.

                    1. re: Civil Bear
                      Saxby Apr 6, 2012 05:11 PM

                      Maybe that includes a tip too.

                      1. re: Saxby
                        Civil Bear Apr 6, 2012 05:14 PM

                        ...and you get what you pay for.

                3. re: Saxby
                  goldangl95 Apr 6, 2012 05:39 PM

                  I've been to both Alexander's and Boboquivari's (Bobo's). Granted Alexanders' was on a holiday evening so maybe it was an off night, but I thought in terms of the steak itself Bobo's blew Alexander's out of the water.

                  Alexander's however has all the trimmings for a nice meal. The atmosphere is very classy (Bobo's is more eclectic/kitschy), wine list is great, very professional service etc.

                  1. re: goldangl95
                    Saxby Apr 6, 2012 05:51 PM

                    Yes, I agree, it is a great steak. You can really taste the nutty flavor of the dry aged steaks, but you have to like it on the rare side.

                4. Ruth Lafler Apr 4, 2012 08:06 PM

                  Most of the places people have mentioned are out of your price range. I think any "steak/chophouse" is going to be or not going to be the atmosphere you seem to be looking for. I was thinking you might be happy with places like Blue Plate, Serpentine, Wayfare Tavern, Town Hall, Coco500, Grand Cafe....

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    homereker Apr 4, 2012 11:36 PM

                    It's been awhile since we did the SF food scene and it appears the pocketbook needs to be ..uhmm.... refreshed. There were some great ideas above in addition to yours. Town hall is the only one we're familiar with but we're excited about exploring the menus of your other picks as well. Thanks to all Hounders who generously donated their time and suggestions.

                    1. re: homereker
                      Ruth Lafler Apr 5, 2012 12:53 PM

                      Prices really went up the last couple of years, and that's not including the surcharge a lot of places are tacking on for Healthy San Francisco/City Mandates.

                    2. re: Ruth Lafler
                      Joan Kureczka Apr 5, 2012 09:33 AM

                      I'd also suggest Chez Papa (Bistro). Hadn't eaten there in a while, and was extremely pleased with the meal we had last Saturday. Some of the best food I can recall from that kitchen in several years. Excellent steak frites but there's also several other red meat offerings on the current menu.

                    3. c
                      chocolatetartguy Apr 4, 2012 05:37 PM

                      Getting this topic back on track. Is Harris' Steakhouse still good? I enjoyed the last time I was there many years ago. Wasn't the creamed spinach good?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: chocolatetartguy
                        wolfe Apr 4, 2012 06:00 PM

                        Don't know about the San Francisco store but the roast beef I had at the ranch in the middle of nowhere was delicious.

                        1. re: chocolatetartguy
                          Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2012 06:44 PM

                          Thanks for reminding me to post my report:


                          1. re: chocolatetartguy
                            melvin Apr 6, 2012 01:06 AM

                            Went to Harris' two weeks ago. Still great. Best of breed in SF.
                            Beyond the desired price range however.
                            The Blue Plate is a really nice place that always has worthy red meat offerings.
                            It's American food done the way most Americans rarely experience.
                            Another subtly wine obsessed place that has good food too.
                            Funny how that works so frequently around here.

                            1. re: chocolatetartguy
                              Saxby Apr 6, 2012 07:27 AM

                              yes it is

                            2. m
                              ML8000 Apr 4, 2012 11:46 AM

                              Isn't Incanto serving its snout-to-tail dinner right now? That's about as red meat as it gets if you ask me.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ML8000
                                Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2012 12:12 PM

                                Incanto's head-to-tail dinners were last week, and I'm not sure the menu included any red meat.


                              2. c
                                chocolatetartguy Apr 4, 2012 11:43 AM

                                Not in SF, but accessible by BART - Cafe Rouge in Berkeley. Meat doesn't get any redder than that (or plus rouge).

                                22 Replies
                                1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                  Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2012 12:05 PM

                                  Yeah, Cafe Rouge was the first place I thought of. Is there another restaurant with its own butcher counter? It's a mile from North Berkeley BART.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    Caitlin McGrath Apr 6, 2012 04:23 PM

                                    If that's too far, one can take the 51B bus from University and Sacramento (2 blocks from North Berkeley BART) to University and 3rd St. (3 blocks from Cafe Rouge).

                                  2. re: chocolatetartguy
                                    wolfe Apr 4, 2012 12:07 PM

                                    I wasn't really impressed with my 16oz ribeye at $34 nor were there that many red meat choice entrees.

                                    1. re: wolfe
                                      chocolatetartguy Apr 4, 2012 12:33 PM

                                      I haven't had many steaks there, but the "other red meat" (pork) is the one I order. Their chops are the best I have had. When I have looked there have always been a couple of meat entrees and some sort of stew/pasta with meat. I wonder if you can just go pick something out of the meat case and ask them to fry it up.

                                      It's not too long a walk straight down Delaware. You could also walk over to University and catch a 51B

                                      1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                        wolfe Apr 4, 2012 12:39 PM

                                        I guess I have been indoctrinated by the Pork Board to think of it as the other white meat.

                                        1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                          Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2012 12:41 PM

                                          The current sample menu is pretty typical: pork chop, roast beef, goat mixed grill (chop and sausage), plus the ribeye steak-frites and burger that are always on the menu. Often the pork plate is a mixed grill, if there's not goat there's usually lamb, sometimes they have a hanger steak in addition to the ribeye. There are cheaper places to eat meat but none that source more carefully.

                                        2. re: wolfe
                                          chocolatetartguy Apr 4, 2012 12:38 PM

                                          Your link shows 3 beef entrees, 1 pork and 1 goat (w Merguez sausage. The sides include meatballs, ribs, beef marrow.

                                          I hate 4th St nowadays (Used to like 4th St. B&G and Bette's farmers scramble). Cafe Rouge's pork chops and the bulk olive oil and frozen soup at the Pasta Shop are the only reasons I go there and I live 4 blocks away.

                                          1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                            sydthekyd Apr 4, 2012 04:36 PM


                                            1. re: sydthekyd
                                              chocolatetartguy Apr 4, 2012 04:44 PM

                                              Bar & Grill. I think they may have predated Bette's on 4th St. and were the 2nd salvo (after Chez Panisse)in the Alice Waters/California cuisine campaign.

                                              1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                wally Apr 4, 2012 04:52 PM

                                                It was Mark Miller's, I believe. Before he moved to Santa Fe and then to DC. That was a long time ago.

                                                1. re: wally
                                                  chocolatetartguy Apr 4, 2012 04:59 PM

                                                  It was a long time ago. My extended family often went there. I remember being taken there for my birthday in 1980. It was a new style of cooking back then.

                                                  1. re: wally
                                                    homereker Apr 4, 2012 11:10 PM

                                                    Might have been Jeremiah Tower's (if we're talking about the old Santa Fe "B&G" on University?). Mark joined later after leaving Chez PP and before moving to New Mexico to start Coyote Grill along with a string of other eateries promoting southwestern cuisine.Tower of course went on to Stars in SF, etc, etc. and more fame

                                                    1. re: homereker
                                                      Robert Lauriston Apr 5, 2012 08:56 AM

                                                      Mark Miller left Chez Panisse to open Fourth Street Grill in 1979. He opened Santa Fe Bar & Grill in 1981, Jeremiah Tower (then at the Balboa Cafe) took it over when Miller moved to New Mexico to open Coyote Cafe.

                                                      Fourth Street Grill lasted a long time, eventually it was bought by Elephant and Castle which kept the name but served bad food and failed quickly, so they brought in Bruce Cost to make it over as Ginger Island, which was good for the short time he was there.

                                                  2. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                    Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                    Mark Miller opened Fourth Street Grill in 1979, Santa Fe B&G in 1981, Bette's opened in 1982.

                                                    1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                      Ruth Lafler Apr 4, 2012 06:34 PM

                                                      I think you mean the Fourth Street Grill ... in the space that has had several incarnations since then and is currently Zut!

                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                        sydthekyd Apr 4, 2012 08:29 PM

                                                        What was the name of the restaurant after FSG? It was very popular and successful.

                                                        1. re: sydthekyd
                                                          Ruth Lafler Apr 4, 2012 09:26 PM

                                                          It was Ginger Island, and it was Eccolo before it became Zut! but was there something else either before or after Ginger Island?

                                                  3. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                    Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2012 05:16 PM

                                                    If you haven't been to Cafe Rouge for a while, you might give them another shot. We've eaten there a lot in the last few months, I think they're in the best form they ever have been.

                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                      chocolatetartguy Apr 4, 2012 05:29 PM

                                                      And their butcher counter remains as good as ever. It is the only place I buy meat if I can help it. Lunch is a good option if you want to be economical.

                                                    2. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                      sydthekyd Apr 4, 2012 05:23 PM

                                                      I don't see the Farmer's Scramble on Bette's online menu.

                                                      1. re: sydthekyd
                                                        chocolatetartguy Apr 4, 2012 05:31 PM

                                                        They don't make it anymore, along with my other favorite: smoked pork chops with corncakes. The FS was sausage (linguisa?), potato, onion, green pepper? scrambled in egg and served in a big bowl. The also used to have little 50 cent cookies on the to go side.

                                                  4. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                    homereker Apr 4, 2012 11:17 PM

                                                    oh yeah... i completely forgot Rouge, thanks for the reminder! their meat positively dripped hemoglobin and was quite tasty if i recall.

                                                  5. d
                                                    DavidT Apr 4, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                    While it does fall into the category of "old SF eatery styled restaurant," you might want to consider the newly re-located, re-opened Original Joe's. It ticks all your other boxes.


                                                    1. g
                                                      goldangl95 Apr 4, 2012 08:47 AM

                                                      Not next to BART, but Boboquivaris may work. Atmosphere is fun and not traditional SF old school (and not trendy either). May be above your price range.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: goldangl95
                                                        Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                        Well above the stated price range.


                                                      2. Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2012 08:33 AM

                                                        Hayes St. Grill does not have a huge selection of meats but they do them well (the place was conceived as a modern take on Tadich).


                                                        Izzy's is a big step down from Nopa or Incanto.

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