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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category


Joe’s Ice Cream begins anew

After 51 years in the neighborhood, the Richmond District’s best know ice cream shop has moved to a new address. Joe’s Ice Cream recently opened for business at 5420 Geary between 18th and 19th Avenues, just a half block from their original location.

I wasn’t the only one who stopped in tonight to check out the new and improved Joe’s. I had to squeeze by a line of parents with their kids that stretched from the ice cream counter out to the sidewalk.

The new Joe’s still has a separate ice cream area and “Joe’s Grill” counter just across the room where you can enjoy hot dogs, sandwiches, a slice of pie, and of course, milkshakes.

Thanks to the reuse of many artifacts from the original Joe’s, the new space retains a lot of the charm of the original location. You’ll find the same peghole menu up behind the ice cream counter, the decades old neon signs in the window, and a hodge podge of chairs at the inside tables.

And for those of you that enjoyed watching life go by from Joe’s windows while you ate, you can do the same in their new location. All under a charming black and white striped awning.

Still no word on what will take over Joe’s old space, whose windows are now covered over with brown paper.

Congratulations to Joe’s Ice Cream on their re-opening! With their new location and large crowds, I think it’s safe to say they’ll be serving their homemade ice cream to many more generations of San Franciscans.

Sarah B.

The ice cream counter which is on the right when you enter

Joe’s Grill, with its original sign overhead, sits across from the ice cream area

A view from the back of Joe’s

The original menu board is still there!

7:22 pm | Posted under Food | 8 comments

Penny pinching at New May Wah Market (video)

From the Sushi Taste on a Ramen Budget blog comes a short video of former college student Jeff Bautista talking about why he chooses to shop (and save) at New May Way Market (707-719 Clement Street).

Forget the budgeting advice in the video. Check out Jeff’s adorable dimples…

Sarah B.

8:36 pm | Posted under Food, Shopping | 7 comments

Vietnamese restaurant Quan Bac delights the Examiner

Last week, SF Examiner food critic Patricia Unterman gave high marks to Quan Bac, a Vietnamese restaurant located at
4112 Geary Boulevard between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Quan Bac was opened by by owner and head chef, Sarah Le, who has other small pho spots in the city. But Unterman says Quan Bac is Le’s “defining moment as a businesswoman and a chef.”

She devotes the first two paragraphs just to describing Le’s Vietnamese chicken salad, which she calls “one of the culinary masterpieces of San Francisco.”

Imagine a multicolored haystack mounded high on a white plate, the pale green of slivered cabbage, the orange of carrots, the pink of red onion, the beige of grilled chicken, interwoven with dark-green threads of kaffir lime leaf, cilantro and basil.

Unterman also praises Quan Bac’s lotus-root and jellyfish salad and says that the restaurant’s food is as authentic as any she has eaten on the “low plastic stools on the sidewalks of Hanoi.”

One of Quan Bac’s pork dishes got Unterman very excited:

Le’s Bun Cha Ha Noi ($8.95)… This bowl of juicy little charcoal-grilled pork patties, so moist and fragrant, and thin slices of charcoal-grilled pork chop comes with the same setup as the crepe, but with cold, rice vermicelli topped with chopped peanuts.

The pork, hot off the grill, is splashed with dipping sauce, which migrates to the bottom of the bowl and picks up the meat juices. Be sure to spoon this rich sauce into your lettuce rolls.

Read the full review at sfexaminer.com

Quan Bac is open daily from 10:30am to 10pm with dish prices ranging from $6.95 to $14.95. Unterman’s top recommendations: Pho ga, cha gio, Vietnamese crepe, chicken salad, lotus-root salad, fish cake, Vietnamese barbecue chicken.

Have you tried Quan Bac? Leave your review in the comments.

Sarah B.

10:15 am | Posted under Food | Comments Off

A restaurant name inspired by the Governator?

I can’t help but think of Arnold when I pass by “Cali Pho Nia” at Clement and 11th Avenue. ;)

Sarah B.

11:27 am | Posted under Food, Photos | 4 comments

New eatery on Geary & 15th: Lou’s Cafe

After a couple of people had recommended I try their sandwiches, I headed to Lou’s Cafe at 5017 Geary (near 15th) today to try it for myself. Lou’s Cafe opened its doors a few weeks ago after nearly a year of readying the former hair salon for the cafe.

Lou’s Cafe is run by the Brodeth family. Mom Ramana worked in catering at Andronico’s Deli for 19 years and runs the cafe together with her sons, TJ and Mark.

The menu has a nice variety of salads, soups, sandwiches (with Boar’s Heads meats) and espresso drinks featuring Illy brand coffee. I haven’t tried it yet but their hot chocolate uses Ghirardelli…mmm.

I had the turkey cranberry which came on toasted bread with a special homemade, pesto aioli sauce. With chips and a bottled water my total came to just under $10. The cafe also has a sandwich club – get 9 stamps on your card and the 10th sandwich is on the house.

Lou’s also offers free WiFi for customers and there is some seating on the sidewalk. Their website at louscafesf.com is not up yet, but TJ tells me it should be live in a few days. In the meantime, you can check out their sample menu below.

Welcome to the neighborhood Lou’s!

Sarah B.

3:36 pm | Posted under Business, Food | 7 comments

Strong show of support for Louis’ Diner

I stopped by the “Friends of Louis’ Diner” event today. The restaurant, which has been run by three generations of the Hontalas family for 73 years, is facing possible closure as their lease is up for renewal.

According to federal law, the business, which sits on federal land, is open to other bidders. The diner will submit a bid to the National Park Service, which includes improvements to the property and a request for a multi-year lease.

The diner invited supporters to come out to show their support and enjoy free hot dogs, IT’S IT ice cream, and Louis’ Coney Island clam chowder. They also held a free raffle for diner t-shirts and sweatshirts.

A couple of hundred people dropped by, many of them patrons that have been going to Louis’ Diner for many years, some for decades.

I met one married couple who have been eating at Louis’ since the 1940s. They remembered ice skating at Sutro Baths down the block and then coming to Louis’ afterwards.

Sutro Baths historian Tom Bratton, who eats there about once a week, was there to show his support. He said his father was a manager at Sutro Baths and when the Hontalas family first opened the diner, his father used to come to the restaurant to help them with their English lessons.

I asked Tom what the best strategy was for securing the prized corner booth at Louis’, which overlooks the ruins of the Sutro Baths and the blue Pacific. He laughed and said “Good luck!” But then he told me they open at 6:30am so perhaps if I was first in line, I’d get it one day. ;)

If you’d like to show your support for Louis’ Diner to stay in business, you can sign the online petition, or email a story, memory (even a sentence!) to louisrestaurant1937@gmail.com which they will include with their bid to the National Park Service. If you prefer, mail in your words of support to: Louis’ Restaurant, 902 Point Lobos Road, San Francisco, CA 94121.

The Chronicle also had a nice article today about Louis’.

Sarah B.

6:13 pm | Posted under Food, History | 5 comments

Morph opens today

After waiting for his prized Rosenthal and Steelite plates to arrive, the owner is finally ready to debut Morph to the neighborhood.

Morph is a new Japanese-Thai fusion bistro at 5344 Geary (between 17th and 18th Avenues). Grub Street SF reports that it will finally open tonight (5:30pm, closing time 10pm).

The restaurant has been transformed from its former life as a noodle house into a 49-seat, clubby Thai fusion bistro, serving wine, beer and maybe soju cocktails. Check out the photos of the interior – very spiffy!

If you’re one of the first to eat there, leave your review in the comments!

Sarah B.

10:01 am | Posted under Food | 2 comments

Reviews for Nibs Bakery, Brother’s Korean

Recently, outer Richmond resident Brian McGowan decided to forego his usual stop at Simply Pleasures Cafe on Balboa and instead tried Nibs Bakery & Cafe, located a few blocks down at 3717 Balboa (near 38th).

Brian writes that Nibs “has excellent scones, pastries, and coffee” and that “the scones are usually fresh and warm right out of the oven.”

He also praised the coffee, which is from a local artisan roastery. “The coffee that they sell is from Due Torri Coffee. They have 4-5 different flavours (blends, whatever) from which to choose. I had the Ethiopian today. It is a medium-roast, but was actually very strong and full of flavour.”

Brian says that Nibs is also dog-friendly but you’ll have to catch their tasty scones in the AM only. Nibs is only open for breakfast seven days a week.

Last Wednesday night, SFWeekly was wet from the rain and in the mood for Korean BBQ, so they headed to Brother’s Korean at 4014 Geary near 5th Avenue. They passed on the grill-it-yourself options and instead ordered up a variety of menu items.

“…short ribs, or kalbi ($23.95), spicy crab soup with tofu and glass noodles ($11.95), and rice sizzled in a stone pot with beef, vegetables, and raw egg ($17.95). Between lettuce-wrapped morsels of grilled beef, alternately chewy and tender, we sucked down nibbles from the eagerly anticipated banchan array ? including kimchi of cucumbers, cabbage, and radish, miso paste, tiny dried fish, seaweed, and limp fried tofu.”

But the evening’s topper was an entrée of seared squid with green onion spears, mushrooms, and zucchini half-circles slicked with a robust red sauce heavy on chile paste and sesame, which the reviewer says “was sweet, slightly smoky, with just enough bite.”

Sarah B.

6:30 am | Posted under Food | 4 comments