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??
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"
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.
I made a Dinevore list of places I like: http://www.dinevore.com/lists/12592/paleo-primal-in-the-sf-bay-area
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.
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.
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.
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.
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