Check, check – My SF Restaurant List

So anyone who knows me, knows I love food – buying it, cooking it, baking it, reading about it, finding new places to enjoy it, and of course, eating it! So much so that my friends often ask me for recommendations when they need to find a restaurant to go to for a date, a special event, or just some place tasty in SF. And boy are there a lot of amazingly delicious places – it’s hard to keep track! So I created a spreadsheet to refer to or share with friends when it’s time to find a yummy place to eat. And I’d like to share it with you – my San Francisco Restaurant List!

I add to it when I hear of new restaurants from friends or read about new places in dining guides (currently loving Eater SF). For each restaurant, I include the neighborhood, type of cuisine, entree cost, notes (like whether or not the restaurant takes reservations or if it’s cash only), and a link to Yelp. This allows for easy sorting and food discovery. 😉

I also include a column for whether or not I’ve dined at the restaurant before so I can make it a point to try new places. With the start of 2015, I’ve challenged myself to start checking places off of my list. In the last couple of weeks I went to two restaurants on my list – The Progress (something hot and new) and Mama’s (something tried and true). Check and check! Felt good to knock a couple off my list. So did they live up to the hype?

The Progress

I was so excited to eat at The Progress (State Bird Provisions’ new sister restaurant) after my delectable and inspired meal at State Bird. And to snag one of the large tables on the mezzanine with set menu?!?! Score!!

IMG_3453
Set menu – lots of courses served family style!

Given that we got the later ressie, I was already hangry {hungry + angry}. Then we were seated late, and it took them awhile to get things going with drink orders and “snacks.” Once we had a few small bites, I felt better. The snacks were presented well and were tasty – especially the fried mussels and the potato croquettes.

A couple of the pre-dinner "snacks"
A couple of the pre-dinner “snacks”

Sadly, the rest of the meal was disappointing and slow. The concepts were exciting on paper and beautifully presented. Here are some pictures of the food…

Yuzu & olio nuovo marinated raw tuna with watermelon radish
Yuzu & olio nuovo marinated raw tuna with watermelon radish
Pecorino 'roti' with black truffle buttermilk
Pecorino ‘roti’ with black truffle buttermilk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
But sadly most of the food were poorly executed. Something was not quite right about each course. I didn’t even finish most of them. At one point, I even thought – “Well, I needed to go on a diet, anyway!”

Each course took about 30 minutes. After 4 courses, my friends and I joked that we were never going to get to leave. Luckily, they served the last 3 savory courses at the same time so we thought – we might make it out before midnight!!

But then it was 45 minutes before the desserts were served. Several of us were so tired and the food was so mediocre that we thought about leaving to go to bed. Which is just so sad because delicious food is worth the wait. Just not this time. And for what we paid? Definitely not. You get more bang for your buck at State Bird Provisions.  And it doesn’t take 4 hours!

My advice: Skip The Progress and stick to State Bird.

Mama’s 

I’ve lived in San Francisco for over 7 years in total, and Mama’s has been on my list forever. But the long lines have always kept me away. Are eggs and pancakes really worth an hour+ wait? I finally had to find out!

Luckily, my good friend Vanessa was willing to be my partner-in-crime one morning. We both ended up working from home on a rainy Friday. Since it was a weekday and raining cats and dogs, we hoped that the line might be shorter. We ended up being right. After only 20 minutes of waiting outside under our umbrellas and peering at the diners, drooling through the window, we made it inside! It was so fast that we didn’t even know what we wanted to order. (You order at the counter before you are seated.) We wanted it all – the Monte Cristo, the French Toast Sampler, an omelette, pancakes! Then we remembered we were a party of two so we got one savory entree and one sweet one.

Lemon Blueberry French Toast with Berries
Lemon Blueberry French Toast with Berries
The Californian Omelette - Crispy Bacon, Avocado, and Monterey Jack Cheese
The Californian Omelette – Crispy Bacon, Avocado, and Monterey Jack Cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both were delicious! The omelette was a really good egg dish and the potatoes were solid. The French toast was delectable. But what put the meal over the top was the homemade jam. The server suggested that we enjoy it on our French toast. YUM! Vanessa and I decided that we would put it on everything – even drink it with a straw. Our server was kind enough to humor us and our love for the jam, that he gave us containers to take some home with us. LOL.

Do you have restaurants that you think should be on my list or that I should try? Let me know!

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