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Category Archives: Inexpensive $

Tacko

 

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 Tacko – Marina

Tacko is both flavorful and reasonably priced (for the Marina). They’ve got your standard fare like Carne Asada tacos, quesadillas, an assortment of beers. Tacko really stands out for their California burritos in my opinion. Not sure what a Califrornia burrito is? Well, it means they add french fries to your burrito! It’s amazing, but the only downside is that you get very full, very quickly. Be sure to devour the behemoth with a healthy dousing of their freshly made green sauce (mostly cilantro and lime).

 

On this particular trip, I had some chips and salsa to share with friends. They were good, but the chips are always on the saltier side. Be sure to eat this order quickly, as it does get soggy.

 

I almost forgot to mention, the fish tacos are so good that by the time you finish, you’ll consider ordering two more. Just the right amount of cilantro, paired with guacamole, greens, and fresh fish to top it all off. The food is so good, you might not notice this restaurant is a little slice of Nantucket, Massachusetts. There’s a plethora of artwork and knick-knacks adorning the walls that give the location a very sea-worthy feel. Grab a Nantucket Nectar and hit up Tacko before the crowds arrive around 6PM!

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Bite

Bite

Bite – Nob Hill

Tired of Ike’s Sandwiches? Okay, so maybe you aren’t (What kind of San Franciscan tires of Ike’s?). Maybe you’re too far from a noteworthy sandwich shop or maybe you just want to try something new. Bite may be a small storefront, but it packs a lot of amazing options.

Bite isn’t just a sandwich shop. It doubles as a deli. If ordering varieties of meat and cheeses by the pound is your thing, they’ve got a decent selection at this pint-sized deli. Bite is mainly known for their rotisserie chicken. They’ve usually got 6 of the birds rotating right next to the cash register. There’s a reason for this! The rotisserie chicken is easily their best meat. Not only can you buy a whole chicken for dinner, but you can also get it on your sandwich!

To date, I’ve tried the Day After Thanksgiving, Moshe Moshe, Firecracker, Gouda Good, Kookooroo, My Ex, Chickenapolis, and Porky’s Revenge. They’re all good. This place is definitely on par with Ikes, but the sandwiches with the rotisserie chicken standout from the crowd. If you only have one chance to visit Bite, I’d suggest you order the Kookooroo, My Ex, or Gouda Good. They’re my go-to sandwiches when I’m not trying to cross every sandwich on the menu off my list.

In addition to their deli, sandwiches, and drinks, Bite offers wraps and salads. I’ve only tried one salad, but it really wasn’t anything to write home about. Whatever you decide upon, there’s a good amount of seating right outside the front door. Bite will also give you plenty of napkins AND a free lollypop (They just can’t escape the comparisons to Ike’s!). Check them out if you’re ever around NobHill. Never stop eating!

 

 

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El Rancho Grande

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El Rancho Grande – Lower Pacific Heights

Located at 855 Divisadero St., they’ve got everything you’d expect and a little more. What I mean by that is, they have free (with purchase of something else) grilled peppers to go with your food! I didn’t notice until the second time I visited El Rancho Grande, but I’m so glad I did.

I ordered a super burrito con carne. I may be a little stuck in my ways, but I can’t help but order super burritos. Maybe it’s because they’re always delicious and super filling for a great price. And just as predicted, El Rancho Grande delivered!

image_2 The super burrito con carne was awesome! It was larger than my head and only cost me ~ $8! I HAD to get some hot sauce to go with it, because super burritos are never spicy by default (but they really should be). In addition to the hot sauce, I added plenty of lime, which is a must.

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I was very pleased with El Rancho Grande. Quick service, cheap Mexican cuisine, and free grilled peppers. I almost thought I was in The Mission district for a second! Seriously though, what more can you ask for from a taqueria?

 

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Holy Dog

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Holy Dog  –  Western Addition

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Modern hot dog joint, located at 1552 Fillmore Street. I didn’t know what to expect when walking into this small establishment. My co-worker had suggested that it was a great place to obtain some Kimchi hot dogs. I wasn’t exactly sure what Kimchi was, but I was starved and more than willing to find out! For those of you who also don’t know what Kimchi is, it’s spicy pickled cabbage and just so happens to be the national dish of Korea.

We all ordered our Kimchi dogs and decided to eat them upstairs, because there really wasn’t too much room to do so on the bottom floor.  On the second floor there’s ample seating, a pretty cool mural (pictured right), and an open window to the bottom of the restaurant. I have to say it was pretty weirdly designed restaurant.

image_31When the dogs came, I thought I recognized a ton of mustard on top of them (Not that I have anything against mustard). But, as I picked it up to take a bite, I realized that it wasn’t actually mustard, but rather something more along the lines of nacho cheese. It served as a good combo to the Kimchi, which has a little bit of spiciness to it in addition to tasting pickled. The dog itself seemed pretty standard albeit a tad salty, but the topping really made it worth the $6.

Holy dog sports a a fair amount of beers at a really cheap price. I didn’t get to partake in their awesome deals like the $1.50 Sapporo everyday, because I had other obligations. Next time I’m in the area, I’ll definitely be stopping by for a dog and a beer.

 

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Spice Kit

image_1Spice Kit – SoMa

Serves up Asian street food over at 405 Howard St. in the SOMA. They stick to a select few dishes like the Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) and Ssam (Korean wrap). They have salads and three different sides to choose from, steamed pork buns, lotus chips, or ginger-peanut slaw. I didn’t order any sides during my visit to Spice Kit, but instead opted for a reliable Bahn mi to appease the hunger gods.

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It was your standard roasted pork bahn mi containing pickled carrots, daikon radish, cucumbers, jalapenos, the roasted pork, and cilantro, all inside a toasted baguette. When I got the sandwich, I noticed the cilantro was a little wilted. I’m sure it was a fluke, but I’ll have to go back just to be sure. Regardless, I more than happily scarfed it down. It was still a damn good sandwich for just 8 bucks. My coworkers enjoy going here, so I’ll probably have another experience with them in the future. If and when I do, I’ll be sure to update this post!

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Fresh Roll

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Fresh Roll – SoMaimage_2

Modern Vietnamese restaurant located right next to The Metreon. They’ve got a variety of cheap (by SF standards of course) foods as seen below on the menu (from their Facebook)

I wasn’t in the mood for Pho, but I couldn’t resist the allure of a Bahn Mi. I walked in to find the place had a rather familiar yellow and green motif everywhere. It was almost like they were endorsed by Sprite (Coca Cola Co.)! I kept my thoughts to myself and ordered a Lemongrass Pork Bahn Mi to go. It had all the standard veggies –  letimage_3tuce, bean sprouts, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapenos, and a little pineapple.

The bread was fantastic, which it should always be, considering bahn translates to bread in Vietnamese.

They put on more than a healthy order of Lemongrass Pork on the sandwich, as so it was overflowing! When someone makes a sandwich OVERFLOWING with awesome ingredients, it makes me a very happy camper.

It might be because I was starved after working, but this seemed to me like the best Bahn Mi I had in SF so far. There was just the right amount of tangyness, more pork than you could fit in a sandwich, enough jalapeno slices to make the sandwich spicy without overpowering the other flavors, and the perfect amount of cilantro (I love lots of cilantro).

It was only $7 and some change. If you want a quick + cheap bite and you’re in SOMA near the Metreon. Go grab a sandwich at Fresh Roll!Freshroll on Urbanspoonimage_1

 

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Chaat Cafe

image_3Chaat Cafe – SoMa

Indian restaurant located on Third and Howard.. It’s fairly close to Pazzia and since so many people on Yelp were raving about the Chicken Tikka Masala, I figured I owed them a visit.

I wanted something filling and boy did I come to the right place. Chaat Cafe has a huge selection of dishes, which for the most part are around $10 a pop. They’ve even got pictures of the dishes in case you’re like me in having no idea what Malai Kofta, Samosa Chaat, or Paneer Pakora are.

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I went in on a weekday evening; there were only a few customers, but they had around 8 people working there at the time. This made for great service, don’t get me wrong. However, I’m not sure if it was economically sound.

But I digress; The meal was pretty tasty. I don’t eat Indian food that often, so I wasn’t sure of the best way to tackle my Chicken Tikka Masala, or what the dish was comprised of for that matter. I decided to ladle the dish onto my plate of rice. This worked out very well and seemed like the best way to handle it. I discovered that the dish contains house roasted spices, tomatoes, onions, cream, and a little fenugreek after asking my waitress, who brought me my food very quickly.

image_2Good food & even better service at Chaat Cafe!

Chaat Cafe on Urbanspoon

 

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GoodFella’s Pizzeria

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GoodFella’s Pizzeria – North Beach

This infamous pizza place is located on 377 Bay St. They’ve got an awesome menu, which includes a ton of options that you may not be used to. In addition to almost any pie imaginable, they’ve got Calzone, Stromboli, burgers, salads, and even hot dogs.

Tony’s and Golden Boys are some of the top pizza places in North Beach. Some people say Goodfella’s doesn’t hold a candle to either restaurants. They’re menu is a little more diverse, which might compromise quality. However, judging solely by the pizza, I’d say they stand toe to toe.

image_2My cousin and I ordered this pie to go from Goodfellas around 7PM on a Sunday evening. There were a handful of other customers waiting for pizzas, but we got ours in ~25 minutes. I’d say that’s pretty darn good turn-around. We ordered a pizza complete with black olives, pepperoni, and sausage. However, the sauce was the most notable part of the pizza. It was a sweet, yet salty combo that made you want yet another slice.

All in all, it was good pizza. But, I’m going to have to make a point to start ordering specialty pizzas from now on. Anyone can make a savory run-of-the-mill pizza pie, but specialty pizzas are a different breed. The pizza wasn’t anything to write home about, but I’d never turn down a slice from Goodfellas.

Goodfella's Pizza and Pasta on Urbanspoon

 

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El Gran Taco Loco

El Gran Taco Loco – Bernal Heights

Yesterday I attended the Red Bull Flugtag AND Journey to the End of the Night. In short, I was extremely tired and hungry!

I was a little lost in the mission area, but El Gran Taco Loco caught my eye like a beacon of heavenly goodness. It may have been the exhaustion or the fact that my eyes were used to spotting people in the night, but this place was lit up like the fourth of July.

In my stupor of fatigue, I ordered an asada super burrito con todo (beef burrito with everything). My friend had the same thing and was kind enough to spot me on the bill. Thanks again! We both received paper boats over-flowing with tortilla chips that had been kept warm under a heat lamp. We tested out three different kinds of El Gran Taco Loco’s salsas. They were all delicious and I decided to utilize them all, but they were a little too spicy for my friend. Then, right as we were nearly finished with our chip and salsa tasting – we were bestowed with burritos that were larger than our shriveled stomach. My stomach  must’ve been so small, that my eyes were literally larger than my stomach. In other words, neither of us were able to finish what we had started.

This wasn’t to say that the super burrito was lacking in any way, shape, or form. It hit the spot and was definitely super. It continued to keep hitting the spot until I was forced to throw in the white flag (or rather a white to go bag). I felt a little defeated, but knew that there was still hope if not for the battle, but for the war. I’m quite happy that I still have a good chunk of this baby in my fridge at the moment.

 

 

 

If you’re ever in the mission looking for a lat night snack, check out El Gran Taco Loco. Sure, there are plenty of places with awesome burritos in the mission, but this one is sure to hit the spot and then some!

El Gran Taco Loco on Urbanspoon

 

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What’s Up Dog!

What’s Up Dog – SoMa

This hotdog joint has 5 separate locations in San Francisco. Recently, they’ve expanded their horizons with their latest establishment in Moscow! Instead of buying a plane ticket and a warm jacket, I had to settle for their location on Beale street.

They’ve got so many dogs, you won’t know which one to choose. Take a look at all those dogs on their menu! Most of their hot dogs are under $5 too! I couldn’t decide. It was pretty cold, so I decided on something spicy. I ended up ordering their Louisiana hotlink.

It might not look like much, but there was a lot of flavor packed in here! I’m not entirely sure what type of bread it was, but it was filling, fancy, and fresh! I admit I did go a little overboard with the toppings, but I have no regrets! I’ll definitely be back again for their signature dog or just to say, “What’s up?”

 

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Brass Knuckle

Brass Knuckle – SoMa

I was walking around downtown one day, when I noticed a ton of people ducking into an alleyway somewhere around 528 Mission St. San Francisco, CA .

There are usually two to three food trucks parked in this particular alleyway. Pictured above is Tandoori Chicken USA with a burger truck behind it. Sadly, I didn’t get to check out since I was running a little late. The truck I decided to grab a bite from before work, was non other than, Brass Knuckle. Their website states that they’ve even been featured on The Food Network! I don’t subscribe to TV anymore, but I figured that it was a good sign that this place was good!

I decided I was going to ask someone in line (hopefully a regular costumer) what I should order. I had done this before at Sushrrito, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the results. I figured if I actually asked for a recommendation, it might go a bit better. So I explained to some random guy that I had never been to this food truck before and that I wanted to get his opinion on what to order. He told me that one of their best items was the “Fryin’ Maiden”. It was at the top of their menu, so I figured this guy must know what he’s talking about.

   I got my food fairly quickly considering there were around 10-15 people waiting in line at the Brass Knuckle food truck. I decided to find some shade and eat my sandwich in peace since there really wasn’t any place to do so in the alley.  I opened up the box to find what looked like Coleslaw on top of some friend chicken.

It may be hard to make out, but the sandwich I got is at the top of the menu to the left. It’s described as having Buttermilk Fried Chicken with apple jalapeno slaw.

I didn’t taste any jalapenos in the sandwich, which would have been nice, because I usually like a little bit of kick to my chicken. The chicken itself was definitely the best part of the sandwich. It seemed as if it had been shredded and then fried. It was far from dry and even had some sort of awesome rub on it.  The apple was apparent, but it was counteracted by the presence of far too much mayo. Luckily, the truck had bottles of sriracha, which I used liberally.

I’m not sure if the chicken sandwich was the best choice, but it was decent. I saw someone order the “Occupy SF Fries” and they looked amazing. I can’t say that I blame the guy who recommended the chicken sandwich to me. It just sounded a little more extravagant than it actually was… *EDIT* I wish it would have looked a little more like Patricia Suh’s fryin’ maiden.

Since this food truck is usually so close to my work place, I’ll definitely have to come back and give another one of their items a try and when I do I’ll update this post!

 

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Dos Equis – The Most Interesting Food Truck

Dos Equis‘ latest and greatest idea has arrived in the form of… Filipino food?? I got the heads up from a friend of mine that HapaSF had created the menu for this particular food truck. The Most Interesting Food Truck is making its rounds across San Francisco, offering free and interesting food to any old schmuck that’s willing to try their ‘interesting’ food. 

I was a little nervous about their menu. They had Duck Egg Itlog na Maalat, Chicken Feet Adidas Atchara and Pig’s Head Sisig. I decided to only get 2 items off their menu, the chicken foot, and the Pig’s Head Sisig. There were a couple of people waiting in line to order, but I certainly didn’t mind taking a couple of minutes to chat with the traditional Filipino dancers.

 

 

It was only few minutes before I was gifted with the Sisig and my lucky chicken’s foot. I wasn’t entirely sure how to tackle the chicken foot, so I asked one of the kind ladies who was working there.

She instructed me to start from the top of the foot and then to spit out all the little bits of bone. The first bite I took, I got a ton of tiny bones and very little meat. It was quite a bit of work to actually get at any of the meat. The small amount that I could get to was good though.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, nevertheless it took a little getting used to.  In addition to being one of the most difficult bites I’ve found thus far in San Francisco, there was a pigeon that kept following me around. He was obviously planning out some sort of revenge. He must’ve thought that I was gnawing on one of his brethren. All in all, it was good, but I don’t know when the next time I’ll eat a chicken’s foot might be. Also, not so surprisingly, it did in fact taste like chicken.

I didn’t get to try the duck egg, because it looked pretty mundane and I didn’t want to seem like a pig by taking all three dishes! Now if they had some Balut, I definitely would’ve tried it!

 

The Pig’s Head Sisig seemed like something you might find at a taqueria. It was served with rice and lime, which was a nice touch, but it made me want to wrap it in a burrito. I really enjoyed the Pig’s Head and I’m not even entirely sure which part of the head it was!

If the Dos Equis food truck is ever in your town, you should stop by for a minute or two. Even if The Most Interesting Man isn’t there, you’ll be sure to find some most interesting eats!

 

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Sushirrito

Sushiritto – SoMa & Financial District

has been a busy place ever since it opened. This is partly due to the restaurant’s small size and short open hours. However, it’s mostly, because of the great food! It’s so small that they’ve usually got a line winding outside of their small establishment onto the sidewalk. They’re only open Mon-Fri 11AM – 3PM! I’d usually rather go out for dinner rather than lunch, but Sushiritto gave me no choice.

I got to Sushiritto a little after noon. I had no idea what to get, so I decided I would simply order whatever the person in front of me was ordering.

It was a little hectic in there to say the least. I suppose it was everyone’s lunch hour at the time, but Sushirrito did a good job at keeping the line moving in a somewhat orderly fashion. When I was finally able to see their menu, I considered ordering the Salmon Samba. But, I decided to keep my word and just order whatever the guy in front of me was ordering.

The guy in front of me ended up ordering the Porkivore, which didn’t even seem to have any fish in it. I love me some good roasted pork, so I didn’t mind this fellow’s order. I got my food about 5 minutes after I had ordered and I took it outside since there really isn’t any in-house seating available. It was a beautiful day and the burrito itself was just as full of beauty.

The Porkivore was pretty damn greasy though. The tasty kind of greasy, probably some sort of oil, but I couldn’t put my finger on what type. The burrito could have benefited with a bit more cilantro, but then again..  I like an oddly large amount of cilantro on my foods.

Soon after I finished with my burrito, I was back at work and I told my coworkers of my experience. It appears that another one of my coworkers had been to Sushiritto and ended up ordering the chicken roll at one point (not pictured on the menu above). He said the chicken roll had also been pretty greasy…

I’m determined to go back and visit Sushiritto again. Judging by the way my last burrito went, it will certainly be delicious. But, I have to order another roll with fish in it to find out if it’s just as oily as the meat. I’ll update this post next time I visit!

 

UPDATE

I made it back to Sushirrito two days ago and was finally able to try out the Salmon Samba. It turns out that the Salmon Samba was indeed oily, but not nearly as oily as the Porkivore had been. Maybe the oil is to make sure that the roll isn’t dry, but I feel like it’s a tad unnecessary.

I definitely preferred the salmon to the pork roll. I would like to go back and try their other items on the menu. Sushirrito is probably not something you should be eating everyday, but for a quick lunch it’s a good bet and a delicious one at that. This is what makes the establishment so successful with the white collared crowd on their lunch breaks in SOMA. If you have’t already, go check out Sushirrito for yourself!

Sushirrito on Urbanspoon

 

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Taqueria Guadalajara

Taqueria Guadalajara – Excelsior

I was doing a bit of grocery shopping in the Excelsior, when I realized I was buying a lot of food I didn’t really need. This was due to my mistake of grocery shopping on an empty stomach. NEVER shop for groceries on an empty stomach!

Now there are a lot of different taquerias on Mission Street. This one was close by and seemed like a good way to quell my hunger. My friend had told me that he had been to this particular establishment before and that they had some really good fruit salsa.  I ordered a super burrito asada con todo (steak super burrito with everything) and a water to wash it all down. I wasn’t really thinking straight when I ordered everything on my burrito, because I’m really not a big fan of sour cream. But, it didn’t ruin the burrito for me. We sit down, they bring us our food and complementary chips. The burrito was great. Yes, it did have a lot of sour cream, which isn’t particularly to my liking, but I figured I could simply put some of this famous fruit salsa on it and everything would be A-OK. My so-called “friend” told me to try some peach salsa that he had found. I soon after realized that it wasn’t peach at all, but rather the ever-spicy habañero!

I love spicy food, so this wasn’t actually a bad thing at all. Although, I’ll definitely have to get back at my friend for trying to dupe me into burning my mouth. All and all it was a great stop. If you like a little bit of spicy flavor, check out Taqueria Guadalajara!

Taqueria Guadalajara on Urbanspoon

 

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Dinosaurs #2


Dinosaurs #2 – Sunset

I’m not 100% sure if the first Dinosaurs died out or if this is simply its offspring. This one is located on Ocean Avenue between 19th Ave and Junipero Serra Blvd.

My Vietnamese friend wanted to try this place out, because he had heard good things about the restaurant Dinosaurs. This place is really tiny and is housed in a
small shack. I was tempted to ask what the rent was on the place, but I figured they wouldn’t know.

I ordered the sandwich special of the day, which contained three different types of pork, carrots, jalapenos, cilantro, and a little onion.

It was only $5 and I have to say it was worth every penny. All the ingredients super-fresh and delectable. I was especially impressed with how fresh the bread was. It’s the staple of any sandwich, but it’s too often an afterthought.

Overall the food was great, the price awesome, and the service impeccable. I was offered water and Sriracha, twice at no extra charge. My buddy got the same sandwich and equally enjoyed it as much as I did. I will definitely be coming back here again for a cheap yet scrumptious sandwich.

 

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