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Apr 11, 2012 04:30 PM

Veg and Not Veg for Memorial Day Weekend

Looking forward to a birthday weekend in SF with my family over Memorial Day weekend. Dtr and I are veg (no fish, pls, but we do love our meals), son is open-minded but adventurous, and the other young man is a carnivore of the Mid-west variety, i.e., exotic doesn't play in Peoria. (He does like tacos, but who doesn't?)

I've been to two of the Chinese veg places in SF , and have no great interest in going back (but prob will - I'm hard-wired to eat at veg Chinese restaurants, altho' most prove to be a disappointment).

I have res for Barbacoa for my son and I Thusday night.

Presidio Social Club for Sunday/birthday (mine!) brunch.

We're staying at the Argonaut (Fisherman's Wharf).

I have been toying with trying to make a res at Chez Panisse and Green's. Panisse's website seems to imply a set menu (am I wrong?) which is not nec veg friendly. Also, it's not that convenient, but it is iconic. Greens could be a good choice.

I would love to hear from anyone who can help.

I was so pleased and grateful when, at the last minute, I posted a query for a place for my son's 21st birthday and, within minutes, had fabulous suggestions. We enjoyed a memorable dinner (just wish I could remember the restaurant, but I'm waaay over 21).


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  1. Epic Roasthouse is quite vegetarian-friendly, oddly enough.

    Downstairs at Chez Panisse is a set menu, but they can accommodate vegetarians on request. Upstairs is a la carte but there are lots of places in SF with similar menus done as well or better.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Would greatly appreciate it if you would share comparable alternatives to Panisse. Would like to visit farm to table type places within SF, but would like to avoid fussiness. I don't mind paying, I just mind getting dressed up.
      Much obliged.

      1. re: mrsdebdav

        Menus similar to the upstairs Cafe at Chez Panisse in SF, I'd say Cotogna.

        Farm-to-table in general, good grief, there are so many and I haven't been to half of them. My current favorites in SF are Bar Tartine, Incanto, AQ, and Zuni.

        A substantial fraction if not a majority of SF foodies never get dressed up. Dressed up for me is a sweater and wrinkled Dockers, and I think the last time I was the worst-dressed person in a restaurant was 2001.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Just checked out the Cotogna menu. Robert, you are so spot on. Very appreciative and will check out the rest of your recs. Can't thank you enough!

    2. I'd go with Chez Panisse Cafe (upstairs) over Greens. I think they can make a vegan option for you as well and like Robert said they are a la carte vs. the main restaurant that has a set menu. I enjoy eating there and like their food and do like it for a special occasion too. I'm not fond of Greens. Also Chez Panisse Cafe is casual enough and is friendly and comfortable not at all stuffy, and no need to dress up (depending on your definition of dress up, I guess). I've always had a great experience and would gladly take a visiting guest there. I think it's "special" without being stuffy. I always leave there happy and think the food tastes amazing every time.

      1. If you do end up going the CHinese vegetarian route again, the only decent Chinese veg food I've had in SF is at Enjoy Vegetarian. I usually end up eating the lunch special at Enjoy, since it's a pretty good deal and close to the office.

        1. By "Barbacoa" you mean Barbacco? It's very vegetarian-friendly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Pretty funny typo! You are absolutely correct, Robert. Its veg friendliness is why I picked it. I will check out the recs you made, and thanks so much!