Lunch Spots in San Francisco - April 2014 Edition

San Francisco Style Red Lox

I'm running a bit behind on posting due to some projects I'm working on, which goes without saying that April has been super busy for me! While things are a bit crazy (in a good way), I've been eating at some wonderful places and encountered fun experiences.

I will admit that while I am not a fan of commuting to San Francisco, there is one thing that I look forward to - reconnecting with friends and co-workers that work in the area over lunch and trying out the many restaurant options available. Here's a quick list of the new food and/or places that I've encountered, followed by reviews and photos: 

  • Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke @ FERRY BUILDING, SF
  • Brenda's French Soul Food @ TENDERLOIN, SF
  • Blue Bottle @ FERRY BUILDING, SF
  • Sarku Japan @ UNION SQUARE, SF
  • The Sandwich Stand @ FiDi, SF
  • Gold Club @ FiDi, SF
  • M.Y. China @ UNION SQUARE, SF - tbc in a separate post
  • Anchor & Hope @ FiDi, SF - Reviewed for May 2014

Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke Menu

Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke @ FERRY BUILDING, SF

On a Thursday, we head over to the Ferry Building to check out the food vendors at the weekly market. I settled on getting a "San Francisco Style Red Lox" open-face sandwich at Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke consisting of lox, Meyer lemon slices, pickles, and their own cream cheese. Most ingredients are sourced from sellers at the farmers market - Acme Bread, Everything Under the Sun, Dirty Girl, and others. The lox was very nice and paired very well with thinly sliced Meyer lemon slices. The cream cheese was silky and light, not heavy feeling like the cream cheese you get in the stores. 

The sandwich overall left me still hungry and is on the pricey side at $10 but for the quality and care it took to craft this entire thing holistically and present it beautifully on a paper plate is no easy task. I would go back again the next time I'm hankering for lox and looking for a light meal. 

Pork Belly Cheesy Grits & Poached Egg

Brenda's French Soul Food @ TENDERLOIN, SF

Co-workers and I decided to do breakfast instead of lunch one day and went to one of my favorite breakfast joints in the area, Brenda's French Soul Food. Patrick and I frequent this place and I'm in love with their catfish eggs benedict. Unfortunately, I couldn't get that order because it's only served on weekends. I settled for a dish I've had before - Pork Belly with Cheesy Grits and a Poached Egg. The grits and eggs were perfect. The pork was very nicely seasoned but had a bit of a porky smell and taste that I slightly disliked. It was super decadent and rich; it left me in a food coma for hours and I skipped lunch and dinner but it was so worth it.

Brenda's French Soul Food Beignets Sampler

We also ordered the beignets sampler, which I would highly recommend because you get all four varieties: chocolate, apple, crawfish, and plain. 

Blue Bottle Waffle


I was accompanying a co-worker on a trip to Blue Bottle and had been curious about their Belgium waffles. I ordered it and my god was it delicious. It was the hunkiest waffle there ever lived. It's nicely crisp outside and overall had a nice manageable well-balanced sweetness. It was pretty outstanding. I will definitely be back. 

Sarku Japan

Sarku Japan @ UNION SQUARE, SF

The mall isn't the typical place to enjoy Japanese food, but here we ended up. To my surprise, I actually really liked it. I ordered the combination box with teriyaki chicken stir fried noodles, California roll, and tempura. It was made to order using fresh ingredients and cooked before our eyes. It was quick, comforting, and delicious. The tempura batter was crispy but used a non-panko crumb batter that made it a bit too thick. The meal overall was loaded with flavor and tasty. I had a hard time focusing my energy after that meal. 

Du's Sandwich Banh Mi

The Sandwich Stand @ FiDi, SF

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the banh mi at The Sandwich Stand is really damn good and one of the cheapest meals you can possibly find in the area. It's loaded with meat and pickled veggies - no lie. It's a true piece of art and the bread is nicely toasted, soft inside and crunchy on the outside. 

Gold Club @ FiDi, SF

This is my second visit to the strip club for fried chicken. When I went the first time, it was pretty empty, but maybe that's because we went on an earlier weekday. This time we arrived on a Friday right at noon to find it completely packed and lucked out with the last table available upstairs. The view wasn't as nice from where we were seated, but I'll take a $5 fried chicken buffet and a topless show any day. You can read about my full experience here: fried chicken breast and thighs at the gold club (strip club) in sf.

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