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Old 08-27-2018, 09:58 PM   #1826
JoeC2012
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Schroeder's is perfect for this if that location is OK for you.

Closer to GGTR: I forget, can you fit 10 in the upstairs area at Hopwater? If so that's a great pick. Jillian's just reopened, rebranded as Tabletop, but it's been getting killed on Yelp so I won't recommend that.
Ended up at Hopwater tonight and can confirm that bringing a group of 10 would be really tight, Schroeder's is my final answer
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Old 09-01-2018, 04:40 PM   #1827
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Some great advice in this thread, all. It's really helped me narrow my options down.

I've emerged from posting retirement because a momentous occasion has arrived. I can finally tap into the forum knowledge for an El Diablo Bespoke Bay Experience™.

(OK, just a few recommendations/confirmations from any opinionated souls will do.)

Rundown:
I'm attending a conference near Union Square in October. It's my first trip to California.(!)

Traveling alone for work I'm rarely in the mood for fussy, refined dining experiences.

In fact, because I live in a food desert these days, I want to eat good, weird things I rarely get to have as opposed to just fancy ****. Tried to be specific in my choices for that reason. I also have pretty limited time so trying to keep the list tight. It was not easy.

Goofball's day sounds from late 2017 is just about perfect for the vibe I'm going for on my few days to explore. Just being in a large city is its own amusement these days for me.

The List:
I've already added and struck a few places from my list based on recent posts ITT but now I'm looking specifically for recommendations on:

A solid savory breakfast joint or diner option. The Bird is on my radar.

Northern Thai or uncommon Viet cuisine. (i.e., not run-of-the-mill bún chả, phở, bánh mì or similar) I've researched the Slanted Door, seems OK but leaves me cold for some reason. I guess I'm looking for more regional street food, something more casual. Considering Hawke Fare, Farmhouse Kitchen Thai (I know I said northern Thai but the Hai Yai fried chicken will bring back memories of youth) or Kin Khao (khao soi 4--->).

Bars. I particularly like bubbles, bourbon and beer. Thinking: The Riddler, Trick Dog and True Laurel. Stuck on beer joints. While I'm familiar with Churchkey from time living in D.C., didn't see much posted about it here. Black Hammer, Mikkeller and Cellarmaker seem good options, too, especially due to their proximity to Union Square. Places with good people watching are extra welcome.

State Bird vs. The Progress. An assessment on which is better for a solo diner is appreciated.

Japanese: seeking yakitori. Leaning to Rintaro.

Any can't miss dessert places? Ice cream doesn't do it for me and cupcakes can blow me. Japanese desserts, classic yeast doughnuts and pie spots are more my speed right now.

Museums. Exploratorium is on my list and luckily a work function has me there one night. That leaves one day to choose either SFMOMA or California Academy of the Sciences. This seems like a challenging decision.

Much appreciated!
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Old 09-01-2018, 04:49 PM   #1828
JoeC2012
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Hey Octopi--

Churchkey in SF is not affiliated with the one in DC (I wish it were! I used to live by the DC Churchkey and its amazing). Cellarmaker is great, Black Hammer sucks, Mikkeler is hit or miss for me but others seem to like it more.

My favorite 3 beer bars in SF are Toronado, Crafty Fox, and Zeitgeist, in roughly descending order. I've been to a bunch of them, let me know if you have specific questions about other ones.
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:26 PM   #1829
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Don’t know about the other questions but State Bird over the Progress for sure.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:52 AM   #1830
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Traveling alone for work I'm rarely in the mood for fussy, refined dining experiences.


A solid savory breakfast joint or diner option. The Bird is on my radar.
The Bird is really good, but it's not exactly in the Union Square area (I guess it depends, the "union square area" is pretty vague). It's a pretty easy walk, mostly flat around there.

If you want to stay closer and just want standard greasy spoon stuff, Pinecrest is perfectly cromulent. Sears Fine Food also has a very good breakfast (and the best broiled grapefruit I've ever had).
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:56 AM   #1831
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

SFMoma is fantastic (plus a lot closer to Union Square than Academy of the Sciences). If you've got a free morning, you could hit the Bird then you're just like a block from SFMOMA. If you're really into that stuff, don't miss the Isaia store on maiden lane, it's a Frank Lloyd Wright building and a couple of the salesguys in there are pretty knowlegable about the history of the building and don't mind tourists. It's got a spiral ramp to the 2nd floor that was effectively the prototype for the Guggenheim, and all of the original FLW cabinetry is still intact.
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:02 AM   #1832
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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The Bird is really good, but it's not exactly in the Union Square area (I guess it depends, the "union square area" is pretty vague). It's a pretty easy walk, mostly flat around there.



If you want to stay closer and just want standard greasy spoon stuff, Pinecrest is perfectly cromulent. Sears Fine Food also has a very good breakfast (and the best broiled grapefruit I've ever had).

Dottie’s is one of the best breakfast spots in the city and not far from
Union Square. It’s on a very sketchy block however.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:09 PM   #1833
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Cheers y'all. Excellent advice and I appreciate you making an overwhelming city a little more doable.

Especially grateful for the Isaia tip, pvn. I am indeed into that "stuff."
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:20 PM   #1834
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

octopi,

I think you would dig the Morris given what you've outlined. As an FYI on the Riddler, it's a small spot that can get busy fast. Zuni or Absinthe would also be great options for bubbles as well (I love both of their bottle selections) if the Riddler is too busy.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:33 PM   #1835
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Got dinner at El Buen Sabor on Saturday night and noticed something interesting. On the one hand, the carnitas was out of this world. Best I've had in SF and possibly best ever. As im writing this, I am realizing that I'm almost certainly having Buen Sabor carnitas for dinner tonight.

On the other hand, though, the carne asada was completely pedestrian. I'm not sure I could distinguish it from the steak at Chipotle.

Anyone else have go-to taquerias for a specific meat?
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Old 09-19-2018, 02:33 AM   #1836
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Re: San Francisco Bay Area: Your favorite things to do or places to go

that is spot on re: buen sabor. their chicken is also good if you're not in a carnitas mood. I like the carne asada at el farolito a lot if that's what you're looking for
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