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Is waiting in line at the Tadich Grill worthwhile ? [San Francisco]

robinbernie Apr 8, 2012 10:17 AM

I'll be visiting SF next week. I like the history and the feel - via website images - of the place ?
Do people have strong opinions about best dishes at Tadich Grill ? Lunch vs dinner ?

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: robinbernie Apr 8, 2012 10:20 AM

    If you want to skip the line, go for a late lunch or early dinner. Best dishes discussion:


    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      chocolatetartguy RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 9, 2012 12:54 PM

      I've gone recently on a couple of Saturdays around 2. Both times I got one of the last seats at the counter. Seemed like there were empty tables across the way too.

    2. Ruth Lafler RE: robinbernie Apr 8, 2012 11:35 AM

      If it's one or two of you, you might be seated faster if you will sit at the bar, which is also a fun San Francisco.

      1. n
        nocharge RE: robinbernie Apr 8, 2012 12:21 PM

        I don't find it worth waiting in line at Tadich because it's not necessary if you can avoid their peak hours. The serve the same menu throughout the day without closing between lunch and dinner. I usually go there after 8:30 when there's rarely much of a wait. They discuss the wait in their FAQ.

        1. grayelf RE: robinbernie Apr 8, 2012 01:09 PM

          We went to Tadich in Nov 2008 (seems like yesterday) for the same reasons and having already tried Sam's where you can reserve at dinner. Though it was a Thursday night at 8 pm and there was a long queue, we were seated after only 10 minutes (maybe luck, maybe not). I barely had time to sip my Tom Collins! Here's a link to the writeup if you are interested: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5738...

          1. p
            pauliface RE: robinbernie Apr 9, 2012 02:54 PM

            Even when there is a wait, it's fun.
            Sometimes, when a place has a wait, you feel like everybody is just sitting around hating each other and wanting people to hurry up and finish. Kind of like the play "No Exit" or something. Tadich Grill is not like that. It's boisterous and fun; they make a good martini to drink during the wait; the crowd is friendly and it's easy to strike up a conversation with someone else waiting.

            And then, when you are done waiting, the food is definitely worth it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pauliface
              wolfe RE: pauliface Apr 9, 2012 03:22 PM

              And sometimes you get to see someone "famous" who is not used to waiting waiting , just like normal people.

              1. re: pauliface
                hill food RE: pauliface May 5, 2013 02:51 PM

                I love a good Sartre reference.

              2. letsindulge RE: robinbernie Apr 9, 2012 03:39 PM

                I've wondered the same thing as the OP but now that I know that they don't close between lunch & dinner I'm definitely going!

                1. g
                  GH1618 RE: robinbernie Apr 9, 2012 04:03 PM

                  Yes, if you won't have another opportunity to go when it's less busy. However I always go alone and sit at the counter, where there is rarely a wait. The counter is a big part of the attraction for me.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: GH1618
                    annabana RE: GH1618 Apr 10, 2012 01:25 AM

                    "The counter is a big part of the attraction for me."

                    Me to. Also the "Seafood Bombay:" fresh diver scallops and prawns in a light but succulent creamy curry sauce with a side of garlic sauteed string beans, rice pilaf, mango chutney and a glass of good north bay sauvignon blanc. The efficient and amenable servers make lunch at the Tadich counter a lovely experience.

                  2. m
                    Malcolm Ruthven RE: robinbernie Apr 9, 2012 09:10 PM

                    I take all visitors there if they're never been. It looks and feels like what it is, a great piece of SF food history and the food is (usually, not always) very good. The last friends I took there have eaten at great places all over the country for a lot of years and they thanked me tor taking them there.

                    1. d
                      Dustin_E RE: robinbernie Apr 10, 2012 10:01 AM

                      yes, tadich is great. worth the wait. i've been going a lot recently (~5 times in the past couple months) and these are my favorite dishes:

                      crab cakes
                      a fish dish -- maybe sand dabs
                      side of pasta with meat sauce (or side of ravioli)
                      apple galette or berry cup for dessert.

                      other dishes that are commonly mentioned i'd rank:

                      lobster thermidor > cioppino > "hangtown fry" > oysters rockefeller

                      but i like a simple cooked fish dish more than any of these.

                      1. c oliver RE: robinbernie May 5, 2013 02:34 PM

                        A couple of friends of mine are going to the city in a few weeks and are planning dinner at Tadich. He said they plan to sit at the bar to avoid the line. I was under the impression that the wait was kinda one and the same. No? Also is a couple likely to snag two seats together at the bar when it's busy?

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: c oliver
                          GH1618 RE: c oliver May 5, 2013 02:40 PM

                          I almost always eat at the counter and get a seat when there are people waiting for a table. I don't go at peak dinner hours, though, so don't know how full the counter is then.

                          1. re: GH1618
                            c oliver RE: GH1618 May 5, 2013 02:46 PM

                            Just you by yourself?

                            1. re: c oliver
                              GH1618 RE: c oliver May 5, 2013 02:51 PM

                              Yes, at the counter.

                          2. re: c oliver
                            nocharge RE: c oliver May 5, 2013 02:45 PM

                            During peak hours, there is likely to be a wait for counter seating as well. Best way to avoid the wait is to go there during non-peak hours. I usually go around 8:30 or later when the worst part of the dinner rush seems to be over. Going there in the middle of the afternoon should work, too.

                            1. re: c oliver
                              Robert Lauriston RE: c oliver May 5, 2013 02:47 PM

                              I think at peak dinner hours you have to wait in line for counter seats and there's no food at the bar the way there is at lunch.


                              If you don't want to wait in line, make a reservation at Sam's Grill. Very similar menu, slightly slower prices, maybe slightly better food.


                              1. re: c oliver
                                c oliver RE: c oliver May 5, 2013 04:29 PM

                                Thanks. Good info and tips. Just one more question. If it's not midafternoon or later evening, are a couple likely to be able to sit together at the counter?

                                1. re: c oliver
                                  Robert Lauriston RE: c oliver May 5, 2013 04:32 PM

                                  After waiting in line, they'll be seated together.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    c oliver RE: Robert Lauriston May 5, 2013 04:35 PM

                                    Thanks, Robert. I'm passing all of this along.

                                2. re: c oliver
                                  Dustin_E RE: c oliver May 6, 2013 09:47 AM

                                  i've been to the counter many times during peak hours. wait isn't nearly as bad as it looks. max 30 mins iirc. this is as a single diner, but i think as a couple it would be about the same.

                                  1. re: Dustin_E
                                    c oliver RE: Dustin_E May 6, 2013 09:59 AM

                                    Turns out that our friends are planning on drinking at the bar while waiting for a table so they should be fine.

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