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Beach Chalet - San Francisco, CA

Beach Chalet  

Categories: American (Traditional), Breakfast & Brunch
Neighborhood: Great Highway 

7/23/2008

I've always been a fan of this place.  Started out as a destination spot after a long walk through the park, and the reward was one of the best stouts I've ever had (Fleishacker) and maybe some appetizers whilst overlooking the ocean.  Then my company hosted an Xmas party there, which went very well, and eventually I started bringing my GF there, and found it to be a very nice, low-key, unpretentious dining experience.

I really like the vibe of this place.  It's borderline upscale, due to the prices and setting, but the brewpub vibe kind of cancels out any pretentiousness out of the place.  On the weekends, it's usually pretty packed, with the Park Chalet out back usually hosting some live music, and by night it turns into a low-key, casual romantic dining experience usually with a little live jazz band playing.  It's a cool place.

Only negatives is the menu is fairly pricey, the food isn't amazing, and the portions are generally pretty small.  But, again, the vibe is cool, and you're paying for the setting, so I guess that makes it worth it. So whether you're beach combing and could use a healthy, frothy homebrew, or you're looking for a uniquely unpretentious setting for a nice romantic evening, Beach Chalet is the spot.

8.0/10

Beale Street Bar & Grill - San Francisco, CA

Beale Street Bar & Grill  

Categories: Dive Bars, American (Traditional)
Neighborhood: SOMA 

7/23/2008

I like this place.  More of a working class bar & grill, which isn't easy to find in downtown SF.  On nice days you can chill outside and enjoy a drink and some quality bar food.  Their burgers (particularly the "I'm A Hog For You Baby") always do the trick, and their menu in general is very reasonably priced.  This is a great place to grab some lunch if you've got the time, but it's best to check it out after work to unwind. On Fridays, they have karaoke upstairs, so that's always fun.

Good place, good food, good times.

Oh, and nice Niners memorabilia.  Nice touch guys.

8.0/10

Blue Jay Cafe - San Francisco, CA

Blue Jay Cafe  

Categories: Diners, Breakfast & Brunch
Neighborhood: Western Addition/NOPA 

7/22/2008

I usually go to this place when I can't get in at Eddie's.  When I think about it, this place is overall probably better than Eddie's, or at least the food is.  It's not a diner vibe, and certainly not solely a breakfast place, but that's usually why I go there.  It's got an artsy/bohemian vibe, with the walls always decorated with the new abstract art for the month.  Always interesting to look at.  Main problem with this place is the service consistently is pretty bad.  Granted its usually pretty crowded every time I'm in there, and the waitstaff seems overwhelmed, but they also seem unconcerned with the fact that their service is weak.  This is the case the majority of the times I've been in there.  If they can get it together service-wise, wouldn't be a bad place to frequent on a regular basis.

6.0/10

Elephant & Castle - San Francisco, CA

Elephant & Castle  

Categories: British, Pubs
Neighborhood: Financial District 

7/23/2008

I have mixed feelings about this place...

The pros: The Nachos!!!  Honestly, that's the main reason I go here, also due the proximity to my work. But man, their chicken nachos are the best I've had.  Fresh melted cheese, black olives, hot peppers...they're good...reeaalll good.  They won't change you life or anything (they're just nachos) but they always hit the spot.  Oh, and their wings aren't bad either.

The cons: Overpriced, lame atmosphere, TERRIBLE music, and lame crowd.  The average age of the crowd is probably 44 (sorry if you're old) the atmosphere is usually pretty stale, which might have to due with the fact they're constantly playing Tears for Fears and Taco and other dreadful 80s music on a regular basis, which in turn, draws a generally lame crowd.

But man, their nachos keep bringing me back.

Oh, and I knew there was something else I liked about the place...Trivia night...which I believe is every Wednesday, or Tuesday, I forget...that's always a good time.  The trivia host fellow reminds me of Simon Cowell, so that's entertainment enough!

Overall, like any place, has it's pros and cons, so check it out...it's hard to find a decent place to get drinks after work north of Market (that's not excessively overpriced and pretentious) so give this place a shot.

7.0/10

Eddie's Cafe - San Francisco, CA

Eddie's Cafe  

Categories: Diners, Soul Food, Breakfast & Brunch
Neighborhood: Western Addition/NOPA

7/22/2008

This is a cool, funky little diner on Diviz.  It's definitely worth checking out to get some quick, fairly inexpensive breakfast.  It's like any other diner really, except for the abundance of punk-rock stickers and decals that decorate the interior.  Also lots of cool little antique coffee cups, etc that line the counter area. The place has character.  The food, however, could use a little work.  Their scrambled eggs are consistently scabby (too well done), hashbrowns aren't great, and their bacon tastes like they heated it up in the microwave.  Not bad food by any means, but on the lower end of the many breakfast places I've frequented in the City.

7.0/10

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