Thursday, September 24, 2009

One Alley - Eight Restaurants

Many of my guests prefer not to make advance reservations for dinner and can't decide what type of food they want. I usually suggest they visit Belden Place, a block-long alley, not far from Union Square and Nob Hill, that is home to eight restaurants. Here you can find restaurants serving American, French, Italian, French seafood, Italian seafood, Mediterranean, and Catalan food. Most of the restaurants feature both indoor and outdoor dining. Don't worry too much about the cold as the alley blocks the wind and heat-lamps keep the tables warm.

As you walk down the alley, friendly staff will be quick to show you her/his restaurant's menu and encourage you to have a seat. Take your time and check out the menus of the restaurants that most interest you. My favorite has long been Plouf as I love mussels and fries. I also have had good meals at Brindisi, B44, and Taverna. I have not yet eaten at Trademark, which is relatively new. Most of the restaurants are open for lunch from Monday through Friday and for dinner from Monday through Saturday. Most are closed are Sunday. For each restaurant's hours, visit Belden Place's website. Belden Place runs between Bush and Pine Streets, just east of Kearny Street.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Peruvian Food in the Mission District

Peruvian food is quite popular in San Francisco and is easily found in San Francisco's Mission District. I fell in love with Peruvian food when I learned that French fries on rice is a staple. A true delight for a lover of carbohydrates.

A good, casual spot for lunch or dinner is Limón Rotisserie, sister restaurant to the more upscale Limón Restaurant. Here you can dine on an array of hold and cold small plates or barbecue chicken. We recently lunched here and had terrific ceviche, a nice green salad, lomito (a traditional stir-fry of steak, onions, peppers, and other spices that is served with fries), and tacu-tacu (Peruvian rice and bean balls). We accompanied our meal with reasonably priced wines by the glass. We saved a little room for dessert so shared a Mil Hojas (thousand leaves), a pastry with mango cream.

The Mission is a great part of San Francisco to visit. You can see interesting stores and lots of murals. So head out this way and stop by Limón Rotisserie for lunch. You'll find it at the corner of 21st Street and South Van Ness Avenue. If you want to take a private tour of San Francisco that includes a visit to the Mission District and lunch at Limón Rotisserie, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or