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narrowing down meal choices

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what do you think of these restaurants? Only have 2 days.
Lunch Nob Hill Cafe ---Friday

Breakfast Mama's or HRD Cafe Shop---- Saturday Morning

Lunch Slanted door in ferry blg. (is there more than one?) ---Saturday

Dinner choices for Friday night only in 1 night for dinner.

25 Lusk, Marlowe, Townhall or Zarzuela


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  1. There's only one Slanted Door, the same chef owns four other places.

    1. What do you like in a breakfast? If you want more of a regular sit-down breakfast with omelets and such, Mama's is more for you, whereas if you are feeling adventurous and would rather try a slightly greasy but very tasty kimchi burrito in a dumpier atmosphere, HRD is for you.

      1. I had lunch at The Slanted Door last weekend and really enjoyed it. The BBQ pork spareribs and the chicken claypot were my favorites.

        1. I think breakfast at Mama's and Lunch at Slanted Door is a bad idea for a Saturday. If you're going to go to the Ferry Building on Saturday then you should go for the farmer's market (see multiple threads about what to eat there). If you go with plans to for lunch at Slanted Door, then you'll not get the best of either. If you insist on a traditional sit-down breakfast then you should get to Mama's EARLY (or spend a lot of your scarce time standing in line) before heading off to the farmer's market. But I really wouldn't bother. The Saturday morning farmers market is the biggest "can't miss" foodie destination in San Francisco.

          If you want to eat at Slanted Door, I'd suggest lunch on Friday (rather than the fine but nothing special Nob Hill Cafe).

          Only one dinner in San Francisco ... Townhall and Zarzuela aren't particularly "San Francisco" -- of those four, I'd go with 25 Lusk.

          1. Honestly, all are solid spots. You can't go wrong with any of them.

            1. OK, completely Overwhelmed with the farmers market posts. Some were old posts but, wow! My dh and I we're taking advice from foodnetwork Guy Ferreri, Anthony Burdan and our concierge. It really seems like the market is the way to go.
              My dh loves havoes rancheros so I saw Primavera was great for that. Maybe getting a to go lunch for Saturday afternoon is best as we are going to Twin Peaks, Alamo Square ( Painted Lady Victorians ) and one of the districts to shop, mission, castro or haight. Not sure which one yet. Although I'm sure we could have lunch in one of those districts that day.
              I still don't know where to go for lunch and dinner on Friday. The concierge is really pushing nob hill cafe. Twice I asked for ideas and he said this is it. I thInk he is getting annoyed with me.
              What does it mean when someone said my dinner ideas were not very San Francisco? Also I am not stuck on any one restaurant. We just want a good one :).
              I guess I should have stated we do not eat pork. I've noticed a lot of pork, sausage, ham ideas throught the board. Thanks! Looking forward to more ideas.

              1 Reply
              1. re: teachermommy

                As a tourist myself, I remember being overwhelmed by the idea of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. The reality is you can walk around it in under an hour, presuming you do not dally at every single stall :-). Your idea to hit Primavera for breakfast on Saturday is excellent -- I'd just go there first. Their food is really delicious. I particulalry enjoy the chilaquiles. Do be aware that there is some but not a ton of uncovered communal seating, otherwise you need to find a bench, in case you have bad luck with the weather. Even on a nice day the wind can be nippy off the bay so layer up! The lineups can also be long especially if you go later in the morning. Unless they've moved, they are in the zone along the back of the building towards the Bay Bridge -- these awesome directions will make sense when you are standing in front of the Ferry Building, promise! Go around the building to the right and you will see some stands there, but keep walking until you get past the building.

                I don't know if your concierge is giving you the best or the closest restaurant advice. We stay on Nob Hill about half way up and there aren't too many good restaurants in the immediate vicinity, plus we are rarely "at home" at lunch time, rather out and about exploring. Cotogna was a superb lunch on our last trip and really not far from Nob Hill if that is actually a criterion for you. There are so many other great lunch places that are not hard to get to it's hard to know where to start, especially if you end up going to the Mission for your shopping experience. Perhaps you could describe what kind of food you are looking for (it's not evident from your initial list)?