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Looking for good food at a good price near Canteen

hychka Oct 13, 2012 04:27 PM

We have five days in the SF area early next month, which coincides with my birthday. Thank you! Thank you! And, we have leased an apartment about three blocks from Canteen on Sutter. We have tried the $300+/person experiences and they don't do it for us. But, we really do like good food prepared well and served well. We plan to wait for places at State Bird Provisions and maybe do both a brunch and dinner at Canteen. What else do you recommend?

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  1. l
    lmnopm Oct 13, 2012 04:27 PM

    For inexpensive very tasty and ultra causal dining, I think Sweet Woodruff fits the bill.

    1. CarrieWas218 Oct 13, 2012 08:22 PM

      Walk down to Belden Place; the mussels at Plouf are great, I love Sam's Grill for old world San Francisco seafood, and B44 has decent tapas.

      2 Replies
      1. re: CarrieWas218
        c oliver Oct 15, 2012 09:19 PM

        I like all your recs!

        1. re: CarrieWas218
          mariacarmen Oct 16, 2012 02:16 PM

          I second Plouf and B44.

        2. Cynsa Oct 13, 2012 08:31 PM

          Ala Turka is nearby at 869 Geary at Larkin
          http://www.alaturcasf.com/

          forage far and wide: San Francisco is 7x7 - we're a small town, hychka
          Bar Tartine
          A.Q.

          1. s
            sugartoof Oct 15, 2012 03:01 PM

            I don't think Canteen is doing the brunches, and they were just standard diner fare anyway. You would be better off at Dottie's.

            No reason to limit you meals to nearby Canteen but you might look into Sons and Daughters, or Bouche nearby. No personal experiences with either.

            6 Replies
            1. re: sugartoof
              Robert Lauriston Oct 15, 2012 03:24 PM

              Yeah, Canteen dropped brunch, now it's dinner only Tuesday through Saturday. http://www.sfcanteen.com/

              1. re: sugartoof
                grayelf Oct 15, 2012 06:20 PM

                The Chupacabra, standard diner fare??

                If the OP is going to try Dottie's it's only fair to warn hychka about the lineups, which occur every day and are crazy long. We went uber early one weekday morning, still had to wait 30 minutes, and found the food so so -- a daily special was just meh, for example. But dang, it's popular. We liked our breakfast at Cafe Bean (800 Sutter) much better, FWIW, no wait and a nicer ambiance but this was a few years ago now so things may have changed.

                1. re: grayelf
                  s
                  sugartoof Oct 15, 2012 06:44 PM

                  Wasn't the Chupacabra just scrambled eggs on black beans with salsa?

                  They weren't offering anything fancy, or innovative in the way of breakfast fare. It wasn't what I expected of an Award Winning chef, and it wasn't even as interesting as what you find at Zazie or Dottie's.

                  If they were planning on Canteen's brunch, they probably aren't turned off by lines.

                  1. re: sugartoof
                    grayelf Oct 15, 2012 09:12 PM

                    We'll have to agree to disagree about Dottie's and Canteen's breakies. I prefer a brunch place that takes reservations AND makes good food, two reasons I was very sorry to see Canteen's morning offerings go.

                    1. re: grayelf
                      s
                      sugartoof Oct 16, 2012 01:13 AM

                      Fair enough, I always thought of it as more of a leave your name on the list kind of place, and never found breakfast remarkable there, butt was always popular (the Art Institute kids would fill it up alone).

                  2. re: grayelf
                    Cynsa Oct 15, 2012 11:13 PM

                    Also, Canteen's big pancake was more than just a big pancake - beyond the realm of deliciousness and of course, I loved the Eggs Benedict as best ever. Sad that it's just another memory to be regaled.

                2. hychka Oct 16, 2012 02:03 PM

                  Thanks for your comments to date. I am checking into each place mentioned.

                  And, now we have guests visiting wanting dinner. Again, avoiding that $300/plate "art as an eating experience," what would you recommend anywhere in SF for vegetarians, who will occasionally eat exceptional fish and fowl?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: hychka
                    hychka Oct 16, 2012 05:51 PM

                    How about Woodhouse Fish Company? Get better ideas?

                    1. re: hychka
                      CarrieWas218 Oct 16, 2012 09:56 PM

                      Woodhouse isn't really anywhere near downtown; one is in the Castro and the other on Fillmore... I like it, but if you are going to travel for food, there are certainly better choices, especially for seafood (although I adore their fried clams).

                      1. re: CarrieWas218
                        Cynsa Oct 17, 2012 09:48 AM

                        thanks for the tip - I love fried clams.

                  2. c
                    ceekskat Oct 17, 2012 11:30 AM

                    Not far from Canteen is Grand Cafe in the Hotel Monaco. It was recently featured on Check Please: Bay Area. Worth a look may be for Happy Hour.
                    http://blogs.kqed.org/checkplease/2012/09/12/grand-cafe-reviews/

                    As for a restaurant with veg/seafood/fowl options...Barbacco.
                    http://barbacco.eattap.com/files/2012...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ceekskat
                      r
                      RBofSF Oct 22, 2012 12:51 PM

                      I like the bar at Grand Cafe for a group, it's a fun atmosphere. The main restaurant - not so much - the service & food just aren't there for the price point in SF (except if you're going to a show and need the meal to be paced fast...)

                    2. hychka Oct 20, 2012 04:55 PM

                      Our first night is going to be at Canteen and after that I really don't know....

                      1. r
                        RBofSF Oct 22, 2012 01:02 PM

                        For weekend brunch these days, I like Andalu in the mission - because it takes reservations & the food is always good & they give you beignets - and then you're in the Mission and you're fed and you're in the perfect spot to wander, window shop, and nibble all day. Very good dinners recently with my veg friends - Bar Agricole, Lolo (harder for veg but worth it either way), Dosa on valencia, Firefly. Weekday brunch/lunch - I haven't tried the new reincarnation of Mission Rock - but the view is just great, so relaxing, good review. (sorry none of these are near canteen but they are easy to reach and with 5 days you'll be in all the neighborhoods)

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