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Patxi’s

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Patxi’s Chicago Pizza – Marina

Arrived starving.

Waited 40 excruciating minutes for a deep dish.

Ordered a few drinks, then appetizers.

And you know what? It was totally worth the wait!

 Patxi’s (pronounced ‘pah-cheese’) boasts four separate locations in SF alone (there’s another 8 more in Colorado). I had thought my co-worker was making a joke when he pronounced it : “Patchy’s”, but the waitress assured us, that’s how it’s pronounced!

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I’ve tried a lot of the appetizers here and a couple different pizzas. Of course the main attraction are the deep-dishes. They’re amazing, but require around 40 minutes to cook. If you’re starving beware of the wait. Though you can always order a few appetizers like we did! It should be noted that there are also thin-crust pizzas, which arrive considerably faster.

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We ordered a salad (not pictured), which was good, but wasn’t exciting. Though, if you want to blow your socks right off, I would suggest ordering the Artichoke Dip: two cheese, roasted red pepper, jalapeno, and plenty of miniature toasts for dipping. I’ve had it twice now and each time it really hit the spot.

Hats off for the Antipasti served here. I don’t usually splurge for cured meats, but it’s totally worth it.

Finally, the pizza arrives. We ordered the “Favorite”, which consists of Zoe’s pepperoni, fresh sliced mushrooms, and black olives to top it all off. My hunger had been curbed quite a bit by the appetizers, but that didn’t stop me from ravenously devouring every bite of this delicious pie.

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Pasta From My Past

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Ti Piacera  –  Nob Hill

This cocky restaurant is named Ti Piacera, an Italian phrase which literally means – You will like! I wanted to put this place to the test, but ultimately I decided to get something I knew I would enjoy. I ordered something simple, yet elegant: Fettuccine con salmone $18. I ended up loving it.

The simple dish was made with fresh ingredients. That’s what really made this plate of pasta stand out from the crowd. I haven’t tried any other dishes here yet, but I think they should rename the restaurant – Amerà (You will love).

 

brixtonThe Brixton  –  Marina

More pasta from my past, Alfredo spinach tagliatelle & a pint of lagunitas for $22. The Brixton isn’t known for their cheap deals, but my place of work is nearby. It was delicious, but slightly overpriced. Make sure to come go during happy hour M-F 11AM – 7PM. They serve a pretty tasty lunch. I enjoy the Avocado and Chicken Salad Sandwich $13.

 

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Little Star Pizza

                                                                 Little Star Pizza – Western Addition

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Located at 846 Divisadero St. is just one of their three locations. There’s one in NOPA, Mission, and lastly one in Albany across the bay. They serve up everything you’d expect a pizza joint to, from deep dish pizzas and thin crust pies to spicy chicken wings and even Caprese salads.

As the clock struck 2 P.M, I realized I was starved (as usual). So, my colleagues and I decided to grab a bite to eat. Everyone was very indifferent as to what and where we would eat. We made a last minute decision to come here and everyone was pretty happy that we did.

We walked into Little Star Pizza and were immediately seated. We decided to go all out by ordering the spicy chicken wings and a deep dish pizza complete with mozzarella, pepperoni, mushrooms, and anchovies. What a combo! I had stated that I really didn’t mind whatever toppings my workmates wanted to throw on the pizza, but after I heard what was actually going on the pizza I was a little hesitant.

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image_3The wings came very quickly while we waited for our Smörgåsbord of a pizza. Earlier, it had been foretold that the wings were superb and thus we had to to try them. And they were cooked perfectly. The meat was practically falling off of each chicken bone, making it a cinch to pick them clean. The wings came with some baby carrots and blue cheese dressing. The blue cheese was the perfect match for the slightly spicy chicken and carrots. The wings really didn’t need it, but it was nice to have nonetheless.

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Just before we could even finish our wings, the pizza had arrived. It looked a little unconventional and tasted much the same. Not to say that unconventionality is necessarily a bad thing! Although I was initially hesitant about the anchovies, they were used sparingly and actually added a nice touch to the pie.

The crust was amazing and possibly my favorite part. It was crisped on the outside, but only to such a degree where the inside of the pizza was still insanely fluffy. This worked very well with the heaps of tomato sauce, pepperoni,and mushrooms.

Little Star Pizza is a classy establishment that knows how to fill their niche and do it well. How classy are they? Apart from the modern decor, they were even so classy as to charge a mere 25 cents for the use of their in-house ATM. I don’t know how often you get that price at your local ATM, but 25 cents is unheard in regards to most ATMs in San Francisco (they usually charge a dollar or even two). Overall, it was a great experience. You stay classy Little Star Pizza!

 

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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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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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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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Pazzia

image_1Pazzia – SoMa

Everything seemed very authentic – the menu was in both Italian and English and they had a wide array of Italian dishes from Gnocchi Pomodoro to Chicken Marsala. We were even served a bit of roasted bread and given some oil to tide us over before ordering.

I was feeling rather full from a few beers I had been drinking earlier, so I ended up splitting the pizza del giorno with my partner in crime. While the name of the “pizza of the day” eludes me – due in one part alcohol and one part to exhaustion – it was expertly made with fresh prosciutto, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. The crust was thin and crispy, even cracker-esque. It was a very fundamental pizza, but the simplicity forced you to concentrate on the quality individual components of the pizza – in this case, a very good thing.

The atmosphere was great. There were a lot of people laughing and having a good time. The lighting was dim, but not so dim that you couldn’t see what you were eating. The restaurant was pretty packed around 8PM on a Wednesday night, but we were served very promptly even without reservations. I would definitely come back here just to get try another one of their pizzas! I can’t vouch for any of the other dishes, but Pazzia knows pizza. Ciao image_2

Pazzia Caffe and Trattoria on Urbanspoon

 

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Sudachi -CLOSED-

Sudachi – Polk Gulchimage_1

My buddy ended up turning 21 last night and he wanted to try out some sake bombs…

Sudachi has beer and sake for a mere $2 on Saturday nights, so it seemed like the perfect place to kick the night off. The restaurant was packed with a young crowd. I can’t say I was surprised, considering it was $2 sake night. Sudachi has specials every night of the week. Monday is All you can drink sake for $10. Tuesday is all you can drink draft beer and Saturday is $2 Sake bombs! 

I believe we came on the right night! There were two projectors and two televisions so that everyone had a line of sight to a screen at all times. This might seem distracting, but it really didn’t detract from the experience. Even though it was extremely busy and there were multiple TVs on, the noise wasn’t bad.

image_2 I wasn’t quite sure what type of sushi I was going to order. I wanted something that I don’t usually have when I go out to sushi. I was also trying to expose another friend of mine to different types of sushi. I ended up deciding on two rolls, the octopus and the sea urchin.

The rest of the gang ordered a myriad of sushi rolls, rice plates, and katsu. We received our food in a very random order. It worked out alright. However, my roommate got a plate of beef katsu just as everyone was finishing so he had to rush to finish it. The general consensus was that everyone enjoyed their food, which was the important part!

At last, my food arrived after 2 sake bombs. I was more than ready to chow down! I started off with the octopus tentacle. It was chewy and seemed fresh. Although I couldn’t tell you what old octopus tastes like; I have to say, it was the best Cephalopod I’ve had in some time.

Next came the sea urchin. To my knowledge, I have not tried sea urchin before this occasion, so I really had no idea what to expect. I thought it might be a little chewy like the octopus. Boy was I wrong! The sea urchin had the texture of…a melted marshmallow. It tasted a little salty and a little fishy. I didn’t mind the taste at all, but the texture was very strange. My friend that tried it with me said she liked it, but I couldn’t tell if she was lying or not! I’d be more than willing to try both rolls again, but I think I’ll start off with the sea urchin next time.

I’m really glad that we celebrated at Sudachi. It was the perfect venue. Great food, good company, and a great sushi bar atmosphere. If you don’t want to knock elbows with a bunch of “kids’, try going here on a day without any specials.

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Sudachi 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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Joe Convenes at Town Hall

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Town Hall is a very fancy restaurant in the heart of San Francisco. It may be the fanciest place I’ve been to yet.

Their menu is rather limited. But the taste behind each dish definitely makes up for it. The setting in and of itself is pretty spectacular. ‘Bon Appetit’ magazine had this to say about the restaurant in their June 2004 edition, “Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio has become a veritable culinary college, and the latest three to graduate are the Rosenthal brothers, Mitchell and Steven, and cohort Doug Washington. The trio recently opened Town Hall in an old ship engine manufacturing building in the South of Market neighborhood. ‘It resembles a New England schoolhouse, redone stylishly with fanciful light fixtures,’ says Sens, who likes the menu’s wide range of American regional cooking, particularly the southwestern gumbo.”
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Even the SF Chronicle’s Michael Bauer got up in arms when Town Hall first made it’s move into the culinary world of San Francisco. He was impressed with everything (like I was), from the chefs, the location, and even to the same dessert that I had, “The most memorable is the layers of butterscotch and chocolate in a pot de creme topped with a thin blanket of butter crunch”.image_2

Now let me tell you, my meal was amazing, almost every aspect of it was perfect, but the pot de creme just wasn’t my cup of… mousseyness. I was already quite full before dessert came, and wasn’t really feeling up to it (which may be the reason why I couldn’t fully enjoy it). When the butterscotch and chocolate in a pot de creme came to our table, I knew I was not going to be able to finish what I was about to start. It was one of the richest desserts I’ve had in some time, which is saying something. It did have what I thought might be a redeeming quality in that it had some toffee stuck lightly into the top layer of the mousse, but it wasn’t nearly like mom used to make.
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Overall, everything was pretty nice as most other reviews concluded with Town Hall. I got the soup special of the day, which was a sweet corn soup.
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It was decent, I don’t really ever have corn soups at restaurants. SF Magazine said, “This food come from our memories. It’s what we grew up with and what we’ve learned over the years as cooks”. I guess my childhood was vastly different from this writer, because this soup and all of the food in general is nothing like any mother I knew ever cooked! Not to say it wasn’t delicious, but much of this was Greek to me!
I happened to be with my boss, who got the Lemon Cucumber and Heirloom Tomato salad, Feta Cheese, Nicoise Olives, Tomato Crostini, and Lemon Vinaigrette to start off with. She said she was quite pleased with her starter. I was pretty happy with mine as well. They both went great with the whole grain bread that they brought out as an appetizer (although it could have been warmed. Who doesn’t like warm bread?)
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For my entree I got the Beeler Farms pork chop, fingerling potatoes, Fuji apples, peanut tasso butter, and apple cider jus for a mere $27. This was probably one of the best dishes I’ve had in San Francisco yet, and definitely the best pork chop I’ve ever had in my life. They even utilized applesauce, which I didn’t seem on par with the classiness. Maybe they wanted to do it more like Mom did (I know mine did) by using  applesauce on their porkchops. They even threw in some Fuji Apples, which was a great choice.

Everything was great. To top it all off, when they brought the check, they brought it in an old book. Many other people who had previously been to the restaurant had written all in the pages with some crazy, some nice, and some pretty down-right odd comments. Before I left, I was sure to leave my unrefined mark in the first few pages, where hopefully it will serve to entertain the socialites that frequent Town Hall.

Town Hall on Urbanspoon

 

Posted by on in Expensive $$$

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Cafe Museo

Cafe Museo is a fairly small cafe over on 151 3rd Street. It’s connected to the SFMOMA, so people will usually stop by the cafe after their long walks through the museum exhibits. Their website makes such boastful statements as, “We specialize in edible art created with the finest local ingredients”. image_2 (1)

Now I know the MOMA is a very refined place, with many quality pieces of artwork housed inside, but when I traveled to the cafe with a friend, we found something entirely different.

We arrived with almost literal black holes in our stomachs (I had only eaten a blueberry muffin from Costco earlier that morning). So, we walk inside and glance over the menu, trying to decide which fancy plate might fancy our taste buds. My friend decided on the sweet corn gnocchi, while I myself was feeling more like the roasted chicken Panino.

I made both the orders and I was surprised to find, right after I ordered my $11 plate it was ready to go… This made me wonder where my sandwich had been sitting moments before it magically apparated in front of me. It was warm, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t sitting under a heat lamp, or had not just been nuked in a microwave. Contrary to the website’s claims, my food did not look the least bit like art.

Funny enough, single guy chef, a fellow blogger, came to the same sentiment in his his critical review of the cafe, “The space is a nice environment with the jazz music flowing, but the food, while decent, doesn’t match the same sophistication as the art on the walls.”
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However, maybe I’m being too hard on the Panino. It wasn’t that bad, just not nearly $11 good. Many other people both on yelp and other restaurant review websites say that the prices are quite ridiculous for what you get. For example here’s one reviewer’s take,  “If I didn’t have to pay $20 for a turkey burger for lunch, this would have been a 4 star. I guess you have to expect a high tag with museum fare..” & “$2.25 for a micro-sized coffee? Are you out of your fucking mind? Too late, you already poured it, and I paid because I was too lazy to haul my ass to the Peet’s on the corner, and then I’m so bored with that stupid piece of foccacia I could only choke down two bites”.

Cafe Museo needs to liven up their menu to keep their food on par with the artwork!

 

Posted by on in Expensive $$$

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My First Review, Scoma’s

Often times I’ll be trying to find the cheapest and most delicious places in San Francisco to eat. This entry however, goes against that outlook, because Scoma’s is definitely not cheap, however it does adhere very well to the later part of my usual requirements. Scoma’s has a great location overlooking the bay. They even have a virtual tour of the premises on their website here. Be sure to check out the “AutoDrive” feature that automatically takes you in and around the restaurant. 
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I wasn’t quite sure what to order when I first sat down, I was too entranced by all the famous people that had their pictures adorned on the walls. Once I had got past the setting, I took a deeper look at the menu. Now, I love clam chowder, but I didn’t want to get something so simple at a restaurant so elegant. I decided instead on the Lobster Ravioli. I’m glad I decided to get something I normally wouldn’t, because it was no less than spectacular. Considering the pricing at Scoma’s, each and every plate should be up to par with mine. I had a cup of clam chowder as an appetizer and I believe it lived up to the pricing as well. The portions were a great size. Occasionally restaurants and in particular the fancier ones like to short you on food to better their presentation.Luckily,  they make sure you won’t go hungry Scoma’s! I was full of the lobster ravioli before I could see the bottom of the plate.

I would have to say Scoma’s is one of the best seafood restaurants I’ve been to so far in San Francisco. If it’s a nice day and you’ve got the money, I would recommend you check out this famous San Francisco landmark.

 

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