Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tunisian Food in San Francisco

San Francisco has restaurants serving food from all over the world.  My mechanic is from Tunisia so, being the good foodie I am, I asked him if there is a good Tunisian restaurant in San Francisco.  He said Cafe Zitouna, on the corner of Sutter and Polk Streets, is the best.  I tried going many months ago but showed up on the one day of the week the restaurant is closed - Monday.

Today, I finally had a chance to sample Cafe Zitouna's food.  The menu features a variety of Tajines (stews), which the owner said are similar to Moroccan tajines, and couscous dishes, which he said are like those made in Algeria.  I tried the Loubia Tajine, a lamb stew with white beans in a saffron sauce.  The meal was simple but tasty.  Accompanying the tajine was a chunk of baguette to sop up the saffron sauce.  The iced Moroccan mint tea was a refreshing accompaniment to the meal.

The menu also includes a variety of appetizers and salads, kebab sandwiches and plates, and even breakfasts that combine North African and western ingredients.  Being Halal, no alcohol is served.

The decor at Cafe Zitouna is simple, and the prices very reasonable.  The location is not one visitors are likely to find themselves, so you'll need to seek out Cafe Zitouna if you want to try Tunisian food on your visit to San Francisco.  The restaurant is open Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.  On Friday, the restaurant opens at 2:00 p.m.  If you are planning to dine after 7:30, call first to make sure the restaurant has not closed early for the day.

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