I've figured out a few 'tricks' in The City (see below), but I'd love to find an affordable-but-nice restaurant or even cafe that has selections a paleo could enjoy.
My wife is a "let's go out tonight!" addict. It seems like we're going somewhere several nights a week. I actually hate this - the cost, the food I can't eat, served by people who don't give a shit about who I am (even if the menu says "made with love"), in kitchens I know nothing about, for several hours at a time. Hell.
It was fun, oh, a dozen years ago... If were up to me I'd go out a LOT less and have it be a Special Thing once in a while, something to look forward to. But I learned long ago that to avoid a horrible fight (and end up going out anyway), I need to come up with some appealing options I can enjoy too.
So - any restaurant suggestions?
If I go to a cafe I find that they usually have hard-boiled eggs available, and that works in a pinch. The only restaurants I know are pricey - House of Prime Rib (YUM!) comes to mind, and Incanto looks really good but also is 'up there'... Pacific Cafe has been a favorite forever (omg I went there in my twenties!) but it's getting very expensive too - and I can only drink so much wine while waiting in line (mmm - now I'm thinking of going).
When I'm winging it, I'll sometimes have a salad and/or an egg dish, or try to get a vegetable instead of mashed potatoes. One 'trick' has been at La Corneta, a Taqueria in Glen Park: when getting burritos for the family I can get a 'side' of just meat - and it's pretty good!
What are your 'tricks' in SF? And if you're not in SF what sneaky tricks have you invented to get more paleo while 'out'? Is this two questions??
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The Plant Cafe, a few Peruvian resaturants (meet and ceviches), Squat & Gobble and the Grove have good salads w/meat
I made a Dinevore list of places I like: http://www.dinevore.com/lists/12592/paleo-primal-in-the-sf-bay-area
Korean food works well if you're not too much of a stickler when it comes to what they put in the marinades. You can order the BBQ meat dishes or the whole fish without the side of rice. My favorite is to order Bi Bim Bap without the rice. A bowl of grilled meat and pickled vegetables topped with a fried egg is pretty much my ideal meal. But the potential for msg and other additives keeps me from doing this most of the time. Also Japchae is made with yam noodles.
For all the reasons you mentioned above, I haven't eaten out much since going strict paleo. I feel like it's too expensive to risk all those variables and end up with only half a dish of food.
not sure how affordable it is, but I've always wanted to eat at Incanto in SF. Chris Cosentino loves offal and you'll definitely find it on the menu. Should be plenty of paleo options and maybe some goodies you've never even tried before to test out! If you get enough people together, you can do a whole pig dinner. He also has a very good blog called "Offal Good"
The popular Australian restaurant chain of "Outback" has a little known gluten-free menu! Many of the items there are Paleo. I have to specifically ask for that menu, but it exists!
i recommend super duper burger (grass fed meat!) you can get a bunless lettuce wrapped burger there. i also LOVE hog and rocks they serve bone marrow, duck heart, bacon wrapped oysters. it's paleo heaven. B
Gordo's Taqueria in Outer Richmond (http://www.yelp.com/biz/gordo-taqueria-san-francisco-2) uses real lard for their carnitas, which are incredible. You can get a triple serving for about 7 or 8 bucks. Tortillas are corn if you're only concerned with avoiding wheat.
There are multiple locations across the Bay.
If you are willing to drive 20-30 minutes down to San Mateo or Palo Alto, I have a couple for you.
1) Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in San Mateo. This is your best place for fresh lamb, which you is brought raw to your table and you cook in a hot pot.
2) Pampas in Palo Alto has a 16 course meat menu (16 varieties of meat cooked on a spit). This is as Paleo as it gets and they serve some offal sometimes. I had chicken hearts as one of my courses.
I believe San Francisco has a Harry's Hofbrau. They have a cafeteria set-up with lots of meats and salads. Easy to leave off the starches. Runs fairly cheap, too. Usually a meal for 2 with non-alcoholic drinks runs me $25.
You can always go to an Indian Restaurant and have Lamb Boti (kebab) and a salad with raita. I've done this at Urban Curry, not the best place but open until 3am so good for a meal after a night at a club.
Try Roam Artisan Burgers on Union or Fillmore! You can get a lettuce wrapped grass-fed beef burger with a wide variety of toppings and they've got incredible sweet potato fries. A full meal's around $10
NomNomPaleo.com is a foodie blogger who reviews restaurants on her blog. She lives in the South Bay but does come up to SF from time to time.
We're going to Greens for our anniversary dinner next weekend (going to see the Girl with the Pearl exhibit at the De Young, first). I know it's vegetarian, but looking at the menu it seems like I'll still be able to find grain-free food--hopefully it will work out because Saturday nights there is a prix fix menu, so choices are limited. I did the reservation on Open Table, and put in a special request for grain free options. For one night a year I don't worry too much about what oils are used. I'm also LC, but I'll "indulge" in more than the usual "safe starches" if necessary.
Roam!! grass fed, organic...amazing!!!!
Richmond district focused:
Roadside BBQ on Geary and 2nd Ave. I usually get a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs and double veggies (cooked in butter). For sides, they also have sweet potato fries, coleslaw, mixed green salad, etc.
Eats on Clement & 3rd. All the omelettes can come with a mixed green salad. There's a Bacon, Avocado, Tomato omelette. Salads are OK, but I'm assuming that you're able to get a salad w/ meat anywhere.
Layaly on clement & 26th-ish. Mediterranean kebabs. Skip the rice and double up on veggies.
Hard Knox Cafe on Clement & 26th-ish. Awesome fried chicken for your wife or if you're having an "open" meal or whatever. They also have spare ribs, BBQ chicken, blackened catfish on the menu. Also, some paleo-friendly side (collard greens, stewed cabbage, etc.)
Beach Chalet out on Great Highway. A couple of steak entrees, a couple of fish entrees, etc.
Also, Thai food in general, just skip the rice if you're not doing rice. I like Bai Som on Clement the best.
Across the park in the Sunset: Pacific Catch has huuge salads with fish. There's usually a grilled fish as a special, as well.
Cleo's in San Bruno is a Brazilian steakhouse that's cheaper than Espetus in the City. Pricy, but you can basically have an all-meat meal. :)
For Peruvian - Limon Rotisserie, S.Van Ness & Fresca, 3 locations, I go on Fillmore
For Korean BBQ - I go to Brothers on Geary
Burmese - Burma Tea Leaf on Clement at 9th (I get green papaya salad and cashew chicken, may be a little sugar in the chicken sauce, but it's paleo enough for me)
Salads - Cafe Venue in the financial district (loaded venue salad with chicken bacon and avo, prob. my favorite 100% paleo option in sf). Pluto's is ok. Mixt is overrated, but ok.
Beautifull (3 locations: laurel heights, inner sunset, and castro I think) - this place is very paleo friendly, but the food is flat out bland. Still eat here frequently because they have so many paleo options. I get the half chicken with 2 sides and I make them give me salad for both of my sides so I end up with 1/2 chicken and nice sized salad. The turkey meatballs are also legitimately great (but don't feel very lean in my belly)
Home Plate (on Lombard) Great brunch destination. Not really paleo friendly, but very accommodating. I get the roasted chicken omelet with no cheese/toast and a salad instead of hash browns. It is definitely a will power test though, they give everyone house made scones and house made jam with their meals. If you can stay strong this place is great.