By no means are we locals, food experts, nor did we eat at every location in SF. This is just a catalog and review of the food we enjoyed while on our anniversary trip to San Francisco.
Also, be sure you are not hungry when reading this… 🙂
Donairo’s Pizza. 6905 Geary Blvd. Sorry, I don’t have a photo. We ordered the combination pizza, but substituted mushroom for pineapple. We hadn’t eaten pizza in a while, so we may have enjoyed this much more than normal, but we thought it was very good! The crust was thin, just how we prefer it (similar to 3rd Street Pizza in McMinnville), and finished with a slight sweet flavor, which was surprisingly delightful.
The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. There are two locations, but we went to the South Park location. I must say, I was greatly looking forward to eating a breakfast sandwich here. In fact, that’s why we picked this place – to try the breakfast grilled cheese sandwiches. Unfortunately, they stop serving breakfast at 11am, and we arrived too late. However, we ordered two sandwiches and shared them between us: the Turkey Club Grilled Cheese and the Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese. (Sorry, no photo!) The Turkey Club had turkey, bacon, avocado, and (obviously) cheese. It was quite good, but David and I both agree that the Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese was far superior. It is literally a couple scoops of baked mac & cheese grilled between two toasty pieces of bread. Fabulous! Also, we were surprised to see a few strawberries set on our plates. Summary: get there before 11am, or order the Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese.
Pier Market. This is located on Pier 39. We shared a bowl of clam chowder (which was fantastic!!), as well as a glass of Hard Strawberry Lemonade (it was not what the menu said it would be). David’s meal was the Pier Market Mixed Grill, which consisted of grilled salmon, shrimp, and swordfish. David had never tasted swordfish before, but he said it was his favorite part of the dish. I tried a bite of it, and we both think it has flavor like a grilled steak. Pretty tasty. I enjoyed some fish and chips, which I tend to order at a lot of seafood restaurants. This fried cod was nothing special. In fact, it was a bit dry, but I still enjoyed my meal. Keep reading for some fish & chips that you’ll want to try yourself.
Mama’s. This restaurant is located on a corner across from Washington Square (a nice park on Columbus). We read the reviews on Google, which mentioned a long line of folks standing outside the front door. The reviews also made remarks like “best breakfast in San Francisco.” We decided that we MUST see what this is all about. It turns out that the owner of the restaurant stands outside the front door to talk to guests in line and help them choose items on the menu. We stood in line outside for about 45 minutes before being seated. Actually, when you walk inside, you order at the counter and sit down to wait for the food to arrive. David ordered a customer favorite: the Monte Cristo. It’s a big ham and cheese sandwich covered in an egg mixture and fried like french toast. It is served with a side of tart raspberry jam. David said it was fantastic dipped in the jam. The fresh fruit provided was awesome. I tasted his sandwich and I agreed. 🙂 I couldn’t decide between french toast and banana pancakes, so I asked the man behind the counter who, without hesitation, said, “Banana pancakes.” Done deal. (Also, I had been craving banana pancakes for a couple weeks.) It was so satisfying! I tried some raspberry jam on them as well, but maple syrup is my thing. We greatly enjoyed this meal, and rank it among the top meals of our anniversary weekend. We HIGHLY recommend that you try out this restaurant next time you’re in SF.
Sodini’s Green Valley Restaurant. Italian food on the corner of Green Street and Grant Avenue. They do not have a website that we can find, so I just linked the Google search results. This restaurant was so busy when we arrived that the only available seating was out on the sidewalk (with heaters). We sat down and were pleased with the great service we received. I ordered the Gnocchi with Pesto. I enjoyed it very much, and I would be interested in trying the Gnocchi with their red meat sauce as well. David ordered the Chicken Parmigiana, which came with a small bowl of minestrone soup before the main plate. This is not your mama’s minestrone. This soup was thicker, creamier, and tastier. The secret, we learned, was to puree up some green beans with tomato sauce and add that to the soup. I tell you, it was perfection. Both of us raved about it. David considered the rest of his meal to be awesome – nice and flat as it should be, lightly breaded, and the flavor was excellent. The pasta and sauce were also excellent. Overall, we had a great meal at Sodini’s. You should go there! (And get the minestrone.)
Z Cioccolato. This is a chocolate shop that had a booth at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival. We had tested a piece of their fudge and thought it was fantastic. We actually walked right past it on our way to find dinner, so we stopped in to buy a couple squares of fudge. If you find yourself online and craving some chocolate, go to their site and BUY SOME. David’s favorite: the Cookies & Creme fudge. Casey’s Favorite: Dark Chocolate fudge.
Player’s Sports Bar. This is located at the end of Pier 39 on the main level. We experienced possibly the worst service we’ve ever had. We went to watch the Cowboys game Sunday evening. We ordered a couple drinks, but looked at the menu for a bit longer. Our waiter didn’t return to take our order for nearly an hour. When he finally came, we ordered Potato Skins as a starter (potatoes with bacon bits, cheese, and green onions), and bowls of clam chowder after. The potato skins were good (but I was also just really hungry). The chowder, however, was not good. It was nothing special. In fact, don’t go there. When Player’s comes up in your Google search, an article mentions “one of the best places to get clam chowder.” Don’t believe it. 🙂
Ghirardelli. We stopped at the Ghirardelli Chocolate On-The-Go shop for ice cream. I ordered the Midnight Reverie, which is “Ghirardelli® Chocolate ice cream layered with handmade dark chocolate hot fudge and Ghirardelli® Mini Dark Chocolate Chips topped with whipped cream and an Intense Dark 72% Twilight Delight® chocolate.” FABULOUS, if you like chocolate. 🙂
The Flying Fish Bar & Grill. This is actually located in Half Moon Bay. We found it on our way out. It was around noon and we realized we were hungry. I searched for a place to eat, and all the reviews on The Flying Fish Bar & Grill were too great to pass up. We sat down and ordered appetizers: garlic cheesy bread (which I thought were incredible) and a bowl of clam chowder to share. THIS clam chowder was possibly the best we had the entire weekend. It was thick, flavorful, had BACON in it, and didn’t skimp on the clams. David ordered the Salmon BLT sandwich, which was full of salmon, bacon, onion, tomato, avocado, and more. I ordered – you guessed it – Fish & Chips, which were fluffy, crispy, and tender. I would rate this fish in the top 2 category of fried fish that I’ve ever had. (The only other outstanding fish & chips I remember having was on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.) To top it all off, they really outdid themselves with the coleslaw. I know, right? Coleslaw?? It was your typical coleslaw, BUT it had chunks of pineapple in it AND topped with a small handful of dried cranberries to make it way more original and unique (and yummy). Needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed with this place. I felt the atmosphere was almost too casual for the quality of food. If you ever find yourself near Half Moon Bay, YOU MUST visit this restaurant. I know I took a photo of our food, but I just can’t find it.
Now that your mouth is probably watering, go make yourself something to eat and savor it. Enjoy!