People eat out more in New York. Sure, there are many people that eat out a good amount in San Francisco too, but due to busier lives and smaller apartments, more people eat out more often in (and around) NYC. This fact has spawned a class of rarely unheralded yet fantastically delicious, comfortable (not too expensive) and reliable restaurants, and one of the things I miss most about my home town.
In my previous post I bemoaned this “city’s” dearth of yummy eating establishment with $12 – $14 entrees. A place that you could comfortably go two or three times a week (even in this challenging economic time).
The good news is that there are a few, very good, “New York Style” restaurants: small (wonderfully verging on cramped), well lit (although you don’t quite need to use the light of your cell phones to read the menu), yummy and very reasonable priced. First up, (with no relationship to this blog I assure you):
2193 Mission Street (at 18th)
Located in a funky, East Village Circa 1985-ish stretch of the Mission, Weird Fish is a small, warm and welcoming enclave. Their are a dozen or so tables made of encased tin ceiling tiles surrounded by vaguely nautical accoutrement’s and a few images of mermaids. The decor is tastefully done, being authentic with a perfect hint of we-don’t-take-ourselves-too-seriously nonchalance.
They do, however, take their relatively simple food seriously. Being in San Francisco, Weird Fish of course boasts locally grown vegetables and sustainably farmed fish and they also have a blog, which I’m pretty sure is a law here (although, to their credit, it’s not updated much, which perhaps means they’re spending more time in the kitchen?).
They make a kick-a** fish and chips giving you an option of 2 or 3 pieces of perfectly fried talapia for $10 or $13 respectively. My favorite is the dijon-almond encrusted rainbow trout (only $9!!!) and they also make great fish tacos with all the fixins for five bucks. All the sides are great and only cost $4. I really haven’t been disappointed with anything on the regular menu. I have been less impressed with their signature dish, the Suspicious Fish. A gimmicky, nightly changing entree. They won’t tell you what it is, but will give you hints. I’ve had it a few times and never been blown away.
Since the place is small and good and has a cool vibe there’s often a wait, but the attentive staff does their best to get you in quickly and keep in you realistically abreast of the wait. There’s a small but adventures wine list with some nice options and draft beer is available by the pint or expensive Belgium beers by the bottle.
Really impressive food at a great price in a fantastic neighborhood environment, what more could you ask for? How about a small satellite kitchen located in the back of a fun bar a few blocks away? They serve the same Fish and Chips and Fish Tacos, but have added fried pickles, sandwiches and even a burger. The satellite is open Tuesday – Saturday from about 6pm until the cook is done. Typically about 11pm or midnight…crazy late night for San Francisco! How weird…