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Good But Not Expensive Restaurant in South San Francisco

Canthespam Jun 1, 2013 05:03 PM

We have friends who will be staying in So.SF for one night only. They are on a tight budget (not a starvation budget). So the restaurants we would normally pick in that general area are out of the question.

What recommendations do you have, no problem driving elsewhere .. pizza, Chinese or something similar. A major requirement is that it has good food and service. I'd take them to Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, but that is over their limit. I have three days to find something nice.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. o
    ola RE: Canthespam Jun 1, 2013 05:18 PM

    Basque Cultural Center still there?

    3 Replies
    1. re: ola
      Canthespam RE: ola Jun 1, 2013 05:26 PM

      Yes, I sent them the menu to see if it is in their price range. I think that would be nice, but it is up to them.

      I've lived San Francisco almost all of my life and I have never eaten there, how is it?

      1. re: Canthespam
        pamf RE: Canthespam Jun 2, 2013 12:05 PM

        The Basque Cultural Center is a solid spot that caters to families and groups (you didn't specify how big your party would be). It's a great value, in that soup and salad and sides are included with the meal. The daily special includes soup, salad, two entrees, and ice cream for dessert.

        It's good for hearty eaters that like traditional French meat dishes. Although they always have a fish of the day that's nice too.

        House wines, usually Spanish, are fine and inexpensive.

        It gets crowded at times, so make a reservation. Service is good, sometimes rushed, but always professional.

        If you want something a little different, a more casual place in San Bruno, is Cafe Grillades. They serve French crepes (buckwheat if you choose) and North African cous cous and kebabs, as well as a range of American sandwiches and other dishes. It's quite casual, in a mall next to a business park. No alcohol.

        They are also popular with people just coming in for the dessert crepes and gelato.


        1. re: pamf
          Canthespam RE: pamf Jun 5, 2013 09:09 AM

          Thanks so much for your help. They stubbornly held out for Chinese and wanted to go to the Grand Palace on Grand Ave.

          Actually it was surprisingly good. Excellent service - but the restaurant was practically empty!

          Their looooong menu was the most difficult menu I have ever seen. Hard to read.

          Would I go there again ...maybe IF I was in the neighborhood.

    2. Sarah RE: Canthespam Jun 1, 2013 05:42 PM

      What about Bertolucci's right in SSF just north of SFO -- or Boulevard Cafe on J Daly Blvd -- haven't eaten here but it's supposed to be a good value -- then there's good ole Westlake Joe's further up the street...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sarah
        poser RE: Sarah Jun 1, 2013 05:52 PM

        Daly City is much more out of the way than say, San Bruno, where there are many choices on San Mateo ave alone.

        1. re: poser
          Sarah RE: poser Jun 1, 2013 06:32 PM

          But then so is Half Moon Bay...

        2. re: Sarah
          Canthespam RE: Sarah Jun 1, 2013 06:59 PM

          We have eaten at Boulevard Cafe in Westlake. The service was good, the food was kinda 1950's as is the decor and the prices are very reasonable. For an inexpensive meal, it is a good place ... not THE Boulevard in SF of course!

          1. re: Canthespam
            Melanie Wong RE: Canthespam Jun 1, 2013 11:26 PM

            A bit closer would be Jack's in San Bruno owned by the same family that runs Boulevard Cafe. More info here,

        3. w
          W42 RE: Canthespam Jun 1, 2013 06:32 PM

          How about Radio Africa Kitchen in Bayview? The food isn't really "pan-African," but more just reflects the chef's years as a server in many of San Francisco top fine dining spots with just a hint of his Ethiopian/East African heritage:

          1 Reply
          1. re: W42
            Canthespam RE: W42 Jun 1, 2013 06:57 PM

            Thank you all for the great recommendations. I have forward the menus etc.. to our friends and will let them make the final decision ... they will love me for that :-)

          2. c
            calumin RE: Canthespam Jun 1, 2013 11:59 PM

            I like Xiao Long Bao Kitchen on Grand Avenue. I have always had excellent shanghai dumplings here - I would say better than all the places I've been to in the Sunset & Richmond.

            1. s
              Shibi RE: Canthespam Jun 2, 2013 10:29 AM

              Izanami is a new Japanese restaurant on Grand Ave. We haven't tried it yet but the owners (Cindy & Tom) have had a few other Japanese restaurants in SF (one was Sawaii on Kearney and another Sawaii on Irving. The other... ah the name escapes me... but I think that it was on Clement(?) I do not remember). We hope to try Izanami soon.

              Izanami may be more than you want to spend, but I thought that I'd toss it out there for you.

              ~~~ (are we still posting addresses, in this manner?) ~~~
              257 Grand Ave
              South San Francisco, CA 94080

              2 Replies
              1. re: Shibi
                Canthespam RE: Shibi Jun 2, 2013 10:51 AM

                Thank yo so much. This is something that we will save for ourselves unless I can talk our friends into going.

                1. re: Shibi
                  little big al RE: Shibi Jun 2, 2013 11:55 AM

                  A funny non food story here. IZANAMI was once the name of Larry Ellison's second biggest yacht (a mere 240' or so) until one day someone not acquainted with Japanese mythology noticed that spelled backwards it was "I'm a nazi."He had to change it to RONIN.

                2. Robert Lauriston RE: Canthespam Jun 2, 2013 12:01 PM

                  I've eaten at Basque Cultural Center a bunch of times. It's good, a bit old-fashioned but not too. Pretty much what you would expect from the menu.

                  Villa del Sol used to have good Argentine food, I haven't been there in a few years.

                  Bertolucci's is good old-school Italian-American.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    Canthespam RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 2, 2013 12:27 PM

                    There will be four of us. Until I hear back from them, regarding their exact budget, I am leaning towards Boulevard Cafe, Jacks or The Basque Cultural Center.

                    If it were my choice I would to Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay - my husband would kill for their ice cream sandwich!

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