Eat your way round San Francisco
San Francisco Ferry Terminal
There's no shortage of good food in San Francisco. All you need do is avoid obvious tourist traps and eat where the locals eat.
If you ride the F-line all the way to its Castro terminus, you more or less fall into Orphan Andy's, within yards of the streetcar terminus, where I ate a classic burger and fries for a little over $10, including a properly made pot of English Teatime tea.
Another time I tried the memorably named and nearby Squat & Gobble [http://www.squatandgobble.com] which offered good food (corned beef toasted sandwich) at a very reasonable price served with wit and panache. If I lived in Castro I'd go there for brunch.
It turns out that there's a London branch of Squat & Gobble on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia (ie, near the Post Office Tower): the menu looks thoroughly English rather than a Californian import. I wouldn't wear the T-shirt, though.
I ate Kobe (having first had to ask what it was) at the Market Bar [http://www.marketbar.com], at the magnificent Ferry Terminal on the Embarcadero. Kobe, so Juan Carlo the waiter told me, is a special breed of cattle which the Japanese raise in idle luxury so that the animal does not develop much muscle: apparently, they also massage the animal's buttocks (while it's still alive). Once dead it is indeed exceptionally tender.
Wikipedia tells me [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_beef] that Kobe beef is from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle, though in the USA it is usually crossbred with Angus to suit the American taste for darker meat.
Market Bar is a splendid lunch venue for people-watching and listening, in my case to a ball-busting lady executive laying into a male colleage in high-pitched staccato: when she left it was, as my Yorkshire friends say, "like t'mill stoppin'". The restrooms are a long walk across the food hall, however: when I nipped out to take precautions during a kitchen delay, an over-zealous waiter cleared my table and had to lay it again, to his embarrassment.
I also fancied, but did not have time to try, Butterfly [http://www.butterflysf.com] at Pier 33 on the Embarcadero, right next to the Alcatraz Cruise terminal. This is not a recommendation, but a suggested alternative to the perfunctory, cheap and cheerful Alcatraz Landing Café, where I dined with a persistent pigeon that resisted the waitress's attempts to drive it out with a water-pistol.
My adviser about Italian food in San Francisco, John Rozatti, recommended I eat at the Molinari Delicatessen [http://maps.google.ca/maps/place?oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF8&q=molinari+deli+san+francisco&fb=1&gl=ca&hq=molinari+deli&hnear=San+Francisco,+CA,+USA&cid=15255183613653254552&z=14] on Columbus Avenue. When I went looking for it, after dark, I missed it because it closes at 5.30pm and I ended up instead people-watching in the front window of Pinocchio [http://www.trattoriapinocchio.com/about.html], eating an excellent fettucine con salmone with a glass of Montepulciano, an attractive red wine I hadn't previously heard of.
John would no doubt still vote for Molinari: he says, "order a number 8 (Renzo's Special – request imported meat). You will leave there (1) content and (2) full." I trust John: he has Italian ancestry and a sister who lives in San Francisco.
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