Review: The Plant

It’s so sad to me when people hear the names of restaurants like Plant and say something like, “Ugh, does that mean there’s nothing good on the menu?” When did plants become bad to eat? Why do meat eaters have to eat meat with every meal ever? I digress (and kinda apologize; you do what you want).

Plant is not a vegetarian restaurant. It is sorta healthy-ish, doesn’t have anything deep fried, and doesn’t have meat other than seafood and poultry. In fact, their website tells me they serve: all organic produce, all free range poultry, and sustainable seafood. Sounds good to me. And yes, they do have many meat-less dishes and some veggie-adventurous items (tempeh, anyone?). And it’s great! I love this place.

Inside The Plant on Pier 3.

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Review: Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery

Ok, I realize that writing about Specialty’s in San Francisco is kinda like writing about a Seven Eleven in a lesser city. That’s an exaggeration. But still, Specialty’s is sort of the San Francisco version of your average bakery and deli. There are a handful of them scattered around downtown, a few elsewhere in the bay area, and a few out of state. But I write about them because I find them to be utterly amazing.

What do you eat for lunch if you live in a regular city? Like Subway or something? Pish posh. I work in San Francisco and I order a Specialty’s sandwich at least once a week. Here is my favorite:

Specialty’s Mediterranean sandwich.

It’s called the Mediterranean. (Try spelling that without spell check. I dare you.) The Mediterranean: Fresh mozzarella with kalamata olives, spinach, tomato, basil, red pepper pesto, basil pesto and balsamic vinaigrette on toasted thyme focaccia. Two types of pesto! Olives! And fine, I’m all snooty about it and I swap out the focaccia for ciabatta. Which is so easy to do with their online ordering system whereby I choose what I want (and sub in/out any ingredients!) and then go pick it up at the store 15 minutes later. It’s amazing…. 

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Review: Ironside

Atmosphere: 4/5  ♦  Service: 3/5  ♦  Food Quality: 4/5  ♦  Value: 3/5
Times Visited: One  ♦ Will I Return?: Sure

Ironside is a hip little restaurant on Second Street between Townsend and Brannan in San Francisco. It’s one of the (great many) places that makes SF what it is in terms of food and ambiance. The decor is a sort of modern wild-west: heavy timber framing (the stairway landing is a 4′ cube of solid wood pieces!) and steel connectors and accents fit in with the polished concrete floors and steel-railed mezzanine. Like other top SF restaurants, it looks great.

The order-at-the counter style adds a bit of casual-ness to your lunch (though they are also open for dinner, and brunch on the weekends), and the paper menu has lots of tasty things to choose from. The list itself is nothing particularly fancy: soups, salads, pizzas, and sandwiches; but the execution is key.

Inside Ironside

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Review: The American Grilled Cheese

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value:4/5
Times Visited: A Few  ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes!
 

This super-cute, San Francisco-worthy restaurant can be found serving up gourmet grilled cheese every day of the week just next to South Park at 2nd Street in SOMA. When a friend of mine first heard that I was going to be working in SOMA and that I’m a veggo, he promptly took me to The American. And for that, I am grateful.

The American is in a cute homey place with framed photos adorning the walls, lots of counter stools, and outdoor seating. They specialize in grilled cheese and make ‘em better than mom used to (sorry mom, but they’ve got Gruyère cheese, you know?). I love specialty shops like this that serve one thing and serve it with pizazz. And I love the word pizazz, just to let you know…. 

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Review: Lettuce

Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value:3/5
Times Visited: Once  ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes!
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Lettuce RestaurantI wish someone would just make a restaurant with affordable, healthy, delicious salads, soups and sandwiches. Lettuce: you have read my mind (or, my previously typed words). Order at the counter, fresh, made-to-order salads with sandwiches, homemade soups and daily pasta dishes? Sign me up.

I’ve really been looking for Lettuce all my life. Failed attempts include Fresh Choice, Sweet Tomatoes and other salad-based restaurants. Those places aren’t doing it right; Lettuce is…. 

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A Scrumptious Weekend in Marin

For Mother’s Day this year, broccoli and chocolate took a voyage with mom to Point Reyes in Marin County.  Though only about an hour and a half away from the East Bay, the Marin coast is as rural and beautiful as just about anywhere in the world.  We had a fabulous time and mom was glowing.  But, back to the point—we had some excellent food that B&C needs to know about.

First Stop: Marin French Cheese

Forget Google when you want good cheese—she will only mislead you when you get directions to Marin French Cheese Company.  Using the directions on the website, find this lone establishment in the rolling greenery of Marin County.  … 

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