San Francisco – Day 1

We’re here! And so excited to be…It was a little rainy when we landed but the sun came out a few hours later (par for the course).

First Stop:

The Grove
2250 Chestnut St
(between Avila St & Scott St)
San Francisco, CA 94123

We took a little walk around the neighborhood we were staying in (The Marina – hello, thank you fancy pants) to find we were very close to some pretty great places.  I used to frequent The Grove at the Fillmore location and loved the BLT’s.  It’s a perfect SF quick stop for lunch.

We had the French Onion Soup (which perhaps was an odd choice but we were distracted by it when the waiter brought it to the next table), a BLT and a Tuna Melt (after we were told they were out of the Cubano).

Second Stop:


2030 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123-4121
(415) 929-8855

Later last night we met Lexi and Dan for some pre-dinner drinks and quick bites at Betelnut.  This place reminded me of a Shanghai hideaway in the 1930s. Their website explains that “for hundreds of years in the bustling cities and fragrant harbors of Asia, a favorite and familiar place to savor distinctive local dishes has been the side street beer house, or pejiu wu”.

We sat at the bar, caught up with some nice Napa Cabernet and ordered glazed pork short ribs with thai basil & garlic (win!) and Mongolian hoisin pork, hand pulled with grilled pancakes.

Third Stop:


817 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 928-8870

We had made reservations for the 8 PM seating at Canteen a few months ago. I chose Tuesday night for the prix fixe tasting menu.  I was VERY excited about this place as I’ve been hearing about it for years. There are usually three seatings a night and the seasonal menu changes weekly. It’s very small, with only 4 tables and the countertop (has an upscale diner feel) so reservations are necessary. People rave about the brunch and maybe we should have heeded that suggestion.  Although it was very good (a solid 7 out of 10) none of us were wowed.   Maybe if we’d gone on another night with some options we would have changed our minds.  Don’t be nervous that the bathrooms are located in the youth hostel attached next door and are shared with the SF Academy of Art students dorming in the building.  The best part of the meal (besides the company and the VERY good dessert) was the bottle of Parusso Dolcetto D’Alba , Brussa IT 2008 (the horror! We ordered Italian wine in CA – but it came recommended).

The menu:

Amuse Bouche – Crab cole slaw over cocktail sauce:

Appetizer: Asparagus Salad with breadcrumbs and hollandaise

Dinner: White Seabass with braised savoy cabbage, white beans puree and bacon

Dessert: Hazelnut and Rubarb Vacherin.



Filed under Food Anecdotes, Review, San Francisco, Travel Spot

2 responses to “San Francisco – Day 1

  1. cia

    I love this post! Can’t wait for the next one…

  2. Kate E.

    Ooooh, there is so much great food in SF!! I often went to the Grove on Fillmore pretty much exclusively for their mac and cheese which was in-sane.

    I went to Betelnut once and really enjoyed the food. My vegan friend went there a lot because she found them to be really accommodating, and they always managed to bring her something she could eat that was also delicious. Only downside in my opinion was the seating layout, at least where we were sitting, which was kind of cramped up really close to the tables on either side of us. It led to some now-funny (then-painfully awkward) situations involving loud drunk guys who kept sending bottles of wine and other things to our table (and we were so damn close we couldn’t ignore them). So it sucked because we definitely cut short our dinner and left in a hurry just to get away from those clowns.

    But otherwise that’s a great place! Never got to Canteen, though I heard great things (and daaaayum that dessert looks beautiful). Can’t wait to see where else you go!

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