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Food Tour for New Yorkers coming to SF

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We're looking for a full locally sourced California dining experience. Our travel takes us to SF, NAPA, and back to SF. Here are our plans - please let me know of any thoughts, comments or advise. Thanks!

Night 1: Sons & Daughters
Night 2: Ballpark food at AT&T Park
Night 3: Slanted Door
Night 4: Brix
Night 5: ?
Night 6: Bachon
Night 7: Ad hoc
Night 8: Redd
Night 9: ?

I'm trying to get a spot at Chez Pannise for Night 9. And Farmhouse Inn for Night 5 (or 6 instead of Bachon). Otherwise, we're waiting on Lazy Bear to open spots.

We're disappointed that State Bird Provisions is closing for renovations. French Laundry seems too expensive.

Thoughts?

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  1. The food in AT&T Park is significantly better than it was at the old Yankee or Shea Stadiums (I haven't been to either new facility), but it's still not good enough to waste a meal on, in my opinion. You could squeeze in Slanted Door before a game if you go when it opens and perhaps miss an inning or two, although I suspect a lot of people will try to dissuade you from dining there (it's past its prime).

    Nopa is a good choice for a typical California resto.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dunstable

      I don't think Slanted Door is past it's prime unless you go back to the original Valencia St. location. The Ferry Building incarnation has had the same pros and cons since day one.

    2. Replace Brix with Goose & Gander or Terra and consider Zuzu or Angele in downtown Napa.

      And it is Bouchon - not Bachon.

      1. if you're looking for a predictable and fairly generic meal, Farmhouse Inn (Forestville,unless you're referring to somewhere else) would be suitable, but it really isn't close to the Napa valley environs of some of your other picks.

        1. Thanks for the replies.

          As for AT&T Park, we're definitely going to try the garlic fries. As per your advice, aside from the fries, we'll prob look for something outside the stadium - either before or after the game.

          Another must-try is In & Out burger. We don't have them out east.

          I'm looking into Zuzu and Nopa now.

          More opinions are appreciated. Is Sons & Daughters worth the $100+ per person? Is Brix worth keeping? Is Ad Hoc worth going to, since we can only get 5pm reservations? What about Redd and Bouchon?

          Thanks guys!

          7 Replies
          1. re: KangarooCourt

            The garlic fries at the ballpark are shamefully bad, like everything else at the vast majority of the concession stands. The exceptions to the rule are behind the left-field bleachers and all the way to the other side on the top ("view") level.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Some people raved to me about the Original Joe's hamburger ($9) at the ballpark. They were very familiar with both old and new locations of this restaurant and said it was the best thing to buy there.

              1. re: walker

                Original Joe's doesn't have their own concession, though I'm not sure of the arrangement (or more importantly, if it's good), it appears they've just been licensing names of old places and figures (like Edsel Ford Fong).

                1. re: walker

                  Inside Scoop reported that the new Original Joe's stand is at Promenade 136 and also serves lamb burgers and hot dogs:

                  http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    They added hamburgers to one of the existing Derby Grill hot dog stands, and hung a sign on the side.

              2. re: KangarooCourt

                Brix is not worth it - many, recent bad reports.

                Ad Hoc is hit-or-miss depending on the daily menu; if you don't like what is being served, it isn't like you can order something else.

                I'm a fan of Redd and think Bouchon is overrated for what they offer. I prefer Bistro Jeanty for French in Yountville.

                1. re: KangarooCourt

                  The food at AT&T is standard sub-par stadium food at best. It's easy to get the wrong impression there are gourmet options. Like all balpark food, you have to scope out what people are carrying, and if it looks good, go directly to the exact stand they got it from.

                  The garlic fries are usually limp, undercooked.

                  You're better off bringing in your own food.

                2. I second Carriewas218 on Bouchon. Gee, you're from New York--you can get much better French food over there!

                  I liked Farmstead in St. Helena very much, and had a couple of very good meals at Bottega.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: pilinut

                    Thanks all. I've made some changes based on your suggestions.

                    Friday: Nopa or Rich Table
                    Saturday: Baseball Game
                    Sunday: Slanted Door
                    M: Brix or Ad Hoc
                    T:
                    W: ZuZu
                    R: Ad hoc or Farmhouse
                    F: Redd
                    S: Sons and Daughters

                    Thoughts? Thanks again, much appreciated.

                    1. re: KangarooCourt

                      For the third time, dump Brix...

                      Other Napa valley notables worth considering:
                      - Goose & Gander (St. Helena)
                      - Terra (St. Helena)
                      - Cook (St. Helena)
                      - Angele (Napa downtown)
                      - Bistro Don Giovanni (Napa mid-valley)
                      - JoLe (Calistoga)
                      - Solbar (Calistoga)

                      1. re: CarrieWas218

                        Thanks again. We're cutting out Brix and Bouchon.

                        Not sure about Ad Hoc. It seems they can't do substitutions? And we have some dietary restrictions…..

                        Nopa has, so far, been difficult to find an open table.

                        I've entered into the Lazy Bear lottery - and hope to get a spot there.

                        I haven't heard any opinions on Sons & Daughters. Any good?

                        Thanks!

                        1. re: KangarooCourt

                          Have you tried calling Nopa? Open Table doesn't have everything.

                          1. re: wally

                            Thank you. I called Nopa and was able to get a spot.

                          2. re: KangarooCourt

                            I know there have been some mentions—including my own—about Sons & Daughters on this board. Search. But basically, yes, I do think it's very good, but there is a lot of competition at the same price point and level ambition (it used to be cheaper with a menu half as long).

                            Nopa: go for odd hours (it's open late if that helps). It's deservedly really popular.

                            1. re: KangarooCourt

                              Ad Hoc is very weird about substitutions. They make a set menu every evening and MANY have reported that dietary restrictions are not substituted; i.e., you eat what they have and the possibility of one alternative, but nothing else -- they don't make each dish to order (it is all family style) so the evening's menu is set.

                              You can call ahead to inquire about dietary restrictions, but they may not be able to accommodate everyone.

                              1. re: KangarooCourt

                                we loved Sons & Daughters.

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8946...

                            2. re: KangarooCourt

                              In case you don't end up getting food before the game, the Sheboygan brat, heavy on the onions, kraut and mustard, is by far my favorite item at the Giants stadium.

                              1. re: KangarooCourt

                                For the ballgame, think about Marlowe nearby. That's been our go-to spot for before a game. When we have to eat at the ballpark, I always do Public House (much better food and beer) and sneak through the restaurant's passageway to the park.

                            3. Thanks again to everyone who has replied. We've taken all advice into serious consideration.

                              At this point, we have reservations for Redd, Sons & Daughters and Nopa. We are looking forward to all three.

                              We may hit Slanted Door for an early meal before the baseball game. And may try ZuZu when we are in the area.

                              I'm still trying to get a spot at Chez Panisse, but so far none have opened. And I haven't won the Lazy Bear lotto, yet.

                              Thanks again for all the recommendations. We fly out in two days.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: KangarooCourt

                                Depending on what day/time the baseball game is, there are probably a lot of better options around the Ferry Building instead of the Slanted Door (search this board—it's all been discussed many times).

                                1. re: W42

                                  Slanted Door gets overly anti-hyped, IMO.

                                  1. re: Civil Bear

                                    I agree. Slanted Door's food is very good and different than what anyone else does, plus the wine list is fantastic, the cocktails are first-rate, and there's a bay view. I think it's perfectly reasonable for tourists to go there, even though as a local I'd go to Out the Door on Bush instead.

                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9038...

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      And NYC tourists seems to love it. The water aspect is favorable, not so much to locals.