Monday, September 19, 2005

Bargain Bites of San Francisco


Bargain Bites is one of my favorite editions of the San Francisco Chronicle magazine. This year it is even better than it's been in the past. There are tons of great places to eat where you can find "a good-tasting entree for $10 or less." Some of the places listed are already favorites (such as Shanghai Dumpling Shop and Naan 'n Curry), others I'm dying to try (such as Tajine Morocccan and Pagolac). These are places where 90 percent of the menu is $10 or less; and two people should be able to eat dinner for $30 or less.

While I think the Chronicle did a great job, as to be expected I don't completely agree with the choices (there is at least one horrid place on the list and a few more that are lackluster). Many of what would have been my top picks got left off the list this year or have never been reviewed by the Chronicle. Here are my top picks that for whatever reason, didn't make the cut, all are in San Francisco except one place in San Rafael.

Bodega Bistro
607 Larkin St.
921-1218
Some of the best Vietnamese food in the City

Caffe Museo
151 Third St.
357-4500
Fabulous sandwiches and soups

Darbar
1412 Polk St
359-1236
Really wonderful Indian place with friendly service and tasty food

El Patio
3193 Mission St
826-4639
Good Mexican food but the pupusas are the real star

Gourmet Carousel
1559 Franklin St.
771-2044
Bargain rice plates and noodles at lunch and full menu for dinner

Happy Garden
815 Clement St
387-4011
Great neighborhood Chinese restaurant with fantastic seafood

Home Plate
274 Lombard St.
922-4663
Terrific breakfasts, scones and potato pancakes with most every meal

Lichee Garden
1416 Powell St.
San Francisco
397-2290
Very fresh dim sum and cheap

The Mandalay
4348 California St.
386-3895
For exotic Burmese food

Mo's Gourmet Burgers
1322 Grant Ave
788-3779
For delicious burgers and the best fries and milkshakes

Picante
485-6050
340 Bellam Blvd
San Rafael (Marin County)
Taqueria with huge portions and tiny prices

Sapporo-Ya
1581 Webster St Japantown Center
563-7400
Fabulous miso ramen

Taiwan Restaurant
445 Clement St.
387-1789
For all kinds of noodles and dumplings plus all the veggie dishes

Tommy's Joynt
1101 Geary
775-4216
The tastiest deli sandwiches this town has to offer, really