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Oakland to SF


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#1 jeffperez62

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 07:14 PM

I'll be stuck at one of the Oakland airport hotels on a Mon. night in February with a empty night to kill before an early morning flight. Is there a casual, great restaurant in hte area I can go to or is it possible to get to SF from Oakland on mass transit??? If I drove, how far is it (timewise????)

If I do go to SF where should I go? In the past I've been to Delfina which I really enjoyed.
If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!??

#2 marie-louise

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 08:36 PM

I'll be stuck at one of the Oakland airport hotels on a Mon. night in February with a empty night to kill before an early morning flight. Is there a casual, great restaurant in hte area I can go to or is it possible to get to SF from Oakland on mass transit??? If I drove, how far is it (timewise????)

If I do go to SF where should I go? In the past I've been to Delfina which I really enjoyed.

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You can take BART right on up to Chez Panisse! Monday night is "locals night"-a cheaper, more casual menu downstairs. Or Oliveto or Pearl (at the Oakland Rockridge station)

You can also take BART into SF, of course.

Driving time from Oakland airport to downtown SF is anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour, depending on just when you call dinnertime.

Don't even think about eating anywhere near the airport...

#3 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 10:00 PM

Marie-Louise is right on the money. If you can't get Chez Panisse reservations, consider Rockridge BART exit. Besides some lovely restaurants, there is a great local market, wine bar, and just a wonderful neighborhood for wandering.

As it is a Monday night, you might want to check to see if Pearl is open (some restaurants aren't open on Mondays). Recently, in the 'where do locals eat' thread, some have sadly explained that the nearby Grasshopper has gone down the hill, which is quite sad. I also recently ate at Tachibana, barely a block off the BART station. Quite decent Japanese food with a really expansive menu (sushi, yakitori, noodles, you name it....)

And eating near the airport? Not if you value your health and your stomach....

#4 tanabutler

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 11:44 PM

If you doubt Marie-Louise, we will have to come and forcefeed you with Denny's.

Thank goodness you asked in the right place.

#5 Carlsbad

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 09:49 AM

You could also consider the Chez Panisse Cafe upstairs. There is also Cesar right next to Chez Panisse for tapas.

#6 melkor

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 10:04 AM

Given that you've got the whole night to spend I think you'd do better going into the city. I'd recommend L'Osteria del Forno in North Beach for a great casual dinner.

#7 jschyun

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 10:13 AM

The Oakland airport area is slim pickin's. I actually think the food inside the airport is better than what you'll get outside. I fly into Oakland frequently.

Depending on the hotel, if you can't take the hotel shuttle to the BART station, then maybe you can pay cab fare to the station. It's not all that far. Then you're free to go wherever you want. I think Chez Panisse is a good idea, but it's another cab ride or a long walk from the downtown Berkeley BART station. It's about 10 or so blocks, I think.

Just remember when BART stops running which is around midnight. You can check the BART website (www.bart.gov) for more details, schedules, etc.
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#8 MsMelkor

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 10:39 AM

The Oakland airport area is slim pickin's.  I actually think the food inside the airport is better than what you'll get outside.  I fly into Oakland frequently.

Depending on the hotel, if you can't take the hotel shuttle to the BART station, then maybe you can pay cab fare to the station.  It's not all that far.  Then you're free to go wherever you want.  I think Chez Panisse is a good idea, but it's another cab ride or a long walk from the downtown Berkeley BART station.  It's about 10 or so blocks, I think.

Just remember when BART stops running which is around midnight.  You can check the BART website (www.bart.gov) for more details, schedules, etc.

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There's a bus you can take from the Oakland airport to the BART station.
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#9 jschyun

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 11:38 AM

Hmm, I've taken the AirBART bus from the airport to the BART station, but I don't think they make stops at any of the hotels, but I could be wrong.

--oh wait, do you mean take the hotel shuttle to the airport and then AirBART to the Coliseum BART station? That would probably be the cheapest solution.

Edited by jschyun, 29 November 2004 - 11:40 AM.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.
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#10 Lexica

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 07:20 PM

You can take BART right on up to Chez Panisse!

Mm, Chez Panisse is a bit of a walk from the BART station (I used to do so regularly, as my acupuncturist is two blocks farther up Shattuck). It can be a pleasant walk, depending on the weather, but still a walk. However, as far as I know there are taxis waiting outside the Berkeley BART station all day and all night - certainly during the hours that BART runs.
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#11 Hest88

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 08:29 PM

If you hop on BART, you can get to downtown SF just as easily as Rockridge. In fact, given that you'll need to make a transfer to get to Rockridge, downtown SF might even be a faster trip altogether. There are sooo many options around the Embarcadero and Montgomery St. stations that I'm blanking!!!! (Plus I was in jury duty all day today and my mind is really fuzzy.) Someone help!

#12 melkor

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 08:36 PM

There are sooo many options around the Embarcadero and Montgomery St. stations that I'm blanking!!!! (Plus I was in jury duty all day today and my mind is really fuzzy.) Someone help!

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Bocadillo's (this would absolutely be my first pick)
Town Hall
Boulevard (I'm not a fan, but other people like it)
Farallon
Michael Mina (again, I'm not a fan)
Acme Chop House (a bit of a walk, the steaks are less than stellar, but the braised dishes are good)
Gordon Biersch (Brew Pub, loud, decent burgers & fries)

#13 milla

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 08:52 PM

Bocadillo's (this would absolutely be my first pick)
Town Hall
Boulevard (I'm not a fan, but other people like it)
Farallon
Michael Mina (again, I'm not a fan)
Acme Chop House (a bit of a walk, the steaks are less than stellar, but the braised dishes are good)
Gordon Biersch (Brew Pub, loud, decent burgers & fries)

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I second the motion on Bocadillo's... :smile:

#14 tanabutler

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 01:44 AM

Bocadillo's (this would absolutely be my first pick)
Town Hall
Boulevard (I'm not a fan, but other people like it)
Farallon
Michael Mina (again, I'm not a fan)
Acme Chop House (a bit of a walk, the steaks are less than stellar, but the braised dishes are good)
Gordon Biersch (Brew Pub, loud, decent burgers & fries)

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I had one of the better meals of my life at Farallon, which included perfect service, perfect food, and an introduction to the Gruner Veltliner wine when requesting "something different." And oh, is it a beautiful room.

However, I disagree completely about Gordon Biersch being anything to recommend to anyone who enjoys food like we seem to here on this forum. GB is like an Olive Garden with darker décor: there is nothing impressive or memorable there at all. When I say this, it's because I believe I taste industrial restaurant supplies like "vegetable oil in 55-gallon drums from Cisco (or Ledyard, who whoever the supplier is)." It is the opposite of food that tastes like it has been touched by people who truly care about the food.

I think anyone who has sullied their hands in a hack joint like TGIF, as I did for four years, would be able to identify industrial compound foods by taste or smell. I'm pretty sure of that. I was at the GB in downtown San Jose twice (one day, one night, months apart). It was exactly what I would expect from One of the Better Chains. But a chain, no less.

Don't stoop: go for something unique to this area.

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#15 melkor

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 08:18 AM

Bocadillo's (this would absolutely be my first pick)
Town Hall
Boulevard (I'm not a fan, but other people like it)
Farallon
Michael Mina (again, I'm not a fan)
Acme Chop House (a bit of a walk, the steaks are less than stellar, but the braised dishes are good)
Gordon Biersch (Brew Pub, loud, decent burgers & fries)

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I had one of the better meals of my life at Farallon, which included perfect service, perfect food, and an introduction to the Gruner Veltliner wine when requesting "something different." And oh, is it a beautiful room.

However, I disagree completely about Gordon Biersch being anything to recommend to anyone who enjoys food like we seem to here on this forum. GB is like an Olive Garden with darker décor: there is nothing impressive or memorable there at all. When I say this, it's because I believe I taste industrial restaurant supplies like "vegetable oil in 55-gallon drums from Cisco (or Ledyard, who whoever the supplier is)." It is the opposite of food that tastes like it has been touched by people who truly care about the food.

I think anyone who has sullied their hands in a hack joint like TGIF, as I did for four years, would be able to identify industrial compound foods by taste or smell. I'm pretty sure of that. I was at the GB in downtown San Jose twice (one day, one night, months apart). It was exactly what I would expect from One of the Better Chains. But a chain, no less.

Don't stoop: go for something unique to this area.

(Suggestions above.)

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Gordon Biersch is an SF institution - its clearly not haute cuisine, but it is far better than your the countless restaurants that simply defrost whatever the sysco truck drops off. If you found the place so fundamentally flawed how did you end up there more than once?

#16 Rebel Rose

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 09:18 AM

Gordon Biersch is an SF institution - its clearly not haute cuisine, but it is far better than your the countless restaurants that simply defrost whatever the sysco truck drops off.  If you found the place so fundamentally flawed how did you end up there more than once?


Some people, and I'm guessing tana is one of them, have friends who drag them out for a night of beer, grub scarfing, and camaraderie at a joint that everyone can afford. :cool:

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#17 melkor

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 09:31 AM

Some people, and I'm guessing tana is one of them, have friends who drag them out for a night of beer, grub scarfing, and camaraderie at a joint that everyone can afford.  :cool:

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I've managed to successfully avoid the olive garden/tgi fridays/etc for years without offending my friends or causing them any financial strain - If Gordon Biersch were offensive to me I'd go to the 21st Amendment across town. There are always alternatives. I however have never been to the GB in San Jose that Tana referred to earlier, so I can't comment on the quality of the food there compared to the SF location. Besides, from the list of places I made, I'd only pick GB if I were craving brewpub food - it only made my list by being right in the area Hest88 pointed out and different from the others on the list. I think the Pyramid in Berkeley is slightly better than GB, as is the Black Diamond in Walnut Creek.

#18 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 09:53 AM

If you found the place so fundamentally flawed how did you end up there more than once?


Some folks will give a restaurant the benefit of a the doubt -- if they had a bad experience the first time, it could have been an off night for the chef, the servers, or perhaps the consumer him/herself was just out of sorts.

Going back to a restaurant a second time could prove enlightening and one could discover that a real gem exists that would have otherwise been dismissed.

Edited by Carolyn Tillie, 30 November 2004 - 09:54 AM.


#19 jeffperez62

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 06:29 PM

what I'm really looking for is a casual, nice dining experience similar to Market or Cindys Backstreet in Napa where I can get (or bring) a good bottle of wine and have a good meal (maybe with some good people watching thrown in for good measure!!)
If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!??

#20 melkor

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 06:49 PM

what I'm really looking for is a casual, nice dining experience similar to Market or Cindys Backstreet in Napa where I can get (or bring) a good bottle of wine and have a good meal (maybe with some good people watching thrown in for good measure!!)

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Town Hall would likely be your best bet. Another good option would be Blue Plate in the mission.

#21 jeffperez62

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 05:39 AM

OK then....in a nutshell can someone give me the route I should take (which BART to take where, switch where etc..) Is taking a cab an option??? If so, how much might it cost? Or if I drove is it a HUGE pain in the butt? (7:30 reservation)

PS.....I'm staying at the holiday inn at Oak airport

Edited by jeffperez62, 01 December 2004 - 05:40 AM.

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!??

#22 chaud-froid

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 07:01 AM

OK then....in a nutshell can someone give me the route I should take (which BART to take where, switch where etc..) Is taking a cab an option??? If so, how much might it cost? Or if I drove is it a HUGE pain in the butt? (7:30 reservation)

PS.....I'm staying at the holiday inn at Oak airport

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Take a cab from the Holiday Inn to the Oakland Coliseum/Airport BART station. It is even likely the hotel will have a shuttle to take you there. Use the BART website to plan your BART trip. Note that they have a PDA version of the schedule for downloading here. When you get back, either call the hotel for the shuttle or take a cab back to the hotel.

Oliveto (or the Cafe downstairs) at the Rockridge BART station is a very good bet for what you are looking for. Another good bet is Boulevard which is a five minute walk from the Embacadero BART station and has very good food, people watching and an excellent wine list. If you don't mind waiting for a seat at the bar, The Slanted Door in the Ferry Building is a three minute walk from the Embarcadero station.

#23 Malik

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 05:33 PM

Gordon Biersch is an SF institution - its clearly not haute cuisine, but it is far better than your the countless restaurants that simply defrost whatever the sysco truck drops off.  If you found the place so fundamentally flawed how did you end up there more than once?

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Count me among the people who have eaten at Gordon Biersch multiple times and who hate it. Mostly it was because friends dragged me there (usually the Palo Alto location, where there aren't exactly a ton of good food places open late anyway), but I absolutely refuse to eat at the SF location again given how many great restaurants there are around. OK, the beer is decent, and if you absolutely have to eat there the pizzas are edible, but then again you could go by BART from Oakland Airport to Berkeley downtown, cross the street and have better beer and better pizza at Jupiter's.

#24 Malik

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 05:33 PM

Bocadillo's (this would absolutely be my first pick)
Town Hall
Boulevard (I'm not a fan, but other people like it)
Farallon
Michael Mina (again, I'm not a fan)
Acme Chop House (a bit of a walk, the steaks are less than stellar, but the braised dishes are good)
Gordon Biersch (Brew Pub, loud, decent burgers & fries)

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I second the motion on Bocadillo's... :smile:

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I third the motion on Bocadillo's.

#25 Malik

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 06:50 PM

OK then....in a nutshell can someone give me the route I should take (which BART to take where, switch where etc..) Is taking a cab an option??? If so, how much might it cost? Or if I drove is it a HUGE pain in the butt? (7:30 reservation)

PS.....I'm staying at the holiday inn at Oak airport

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If driving is an option for you, that's probably going to be the easiest thing, and parking in Berkeley/Oakland or in the financial district in San Franciso on a Monday night will not be too hard. BART is also really easy, so it would be a good option, check out the links that chaud-froid posted (I recently downloaded the BART planner on my PDA and I think it's one of the best applications on my Palm).

As to where to go, it really depends on whether you're going to have other opportunities to be in the Bay Area in the near future or not. If you're not here often, you might be better off going to San Francisco and checking out one of our unique restaurants. Bocadillos (Basque tapas) would be a good choice, Zuni Cafe (California Cuisine) is near the Civic center BART station and is quintescential SF (though one could argue you might as well check out Chez Panisse instead), Limon (modern Peruvian) is very close to the 16th St/Mission BART station, as is Delfina which you mentioned you liked a lot, and which is always worth a second visit.

If you are going to be in the Bay Area again, then I'd recommend staying in the East Bay and heading to either Berkeley or nearby Rockridge. In Berkeley, Chez Panisse and Cesar (Spanish tapas) that were already mentioned are good choices, and I also like Fonda (Latin American tapas) and Rivoli (California cuisine) on Solano (though that's harder to access by BART, you'd need to drive). But Rockridge might be a better option, as there is a lot more variety available within a short walking distance from the station. Olivetto and Pearl are right next to the station. I'm not personally a fan of Olivetto, but a lot of people like it, check out the threads discussing it and decide for yourself if you want to go there. I haven't been to Pearl yet but have heard many good things about it. A couple of blocks away, there's A Cote (along with it's older sibling Citron), which is very good and serves French inspired small plates. Grasshopper (Asian inspired small plates) is also close to the BART station.

For something really different, skip the Rockridge station and keep going all the way to Walnut Creek stop. Not too far from the station, in downtown Walnut Creek, you'll find Ephesus Kebab Lounge which serves wonderful Turkish food in a very nice decor. Despite the name of the place, I particularly recommend the appetizers, both cold and hot, over the kebabs.

#26 MsMelkor

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 08:38 PM

If you are going to be in the Bay Area again, then I'd recommend staying in the East Bay and heading to either Berkeley or nearby Rockridge.  In Berkeley, Chez Panisse and Cesar (Spanish tapas) that were already mentioned are good choices, and I also like Fonda (Latin American tapas) and Rivoli (California cuisine) on Solano (though that's harder to access by BART, you'd need to drive).  But Rockridge might be a better option, as there is a lot more variety available within a short walking distance from the station.  Olivetto and Pearl are right next to the station.  I'm not personally a fan of Olivetto, but a lot of people like it, check out the threads discussing it and decide for yourself if you want to go there.  I haven't been to Pearl yet but have heard many good things about it.  A couple of blocks away, there's A Cote (along with it's older sibling Citron), which is very good and serves French inspired small plates.  Grasshopper (Asian inspired small plates) is also close to the BART station.

For something really different, skip the Rockridge station and keep going all the way to Walnut Creek stop.  Not too far from the station, in downtown Walnut Creek, you'll find Ephesus Kebab Lounge which serves wonderful Turkish food in a very nice decor.  Despite the name of the place, I particularly recommend the appetizers, both cold and hot, over the kebabs.

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I haven't been to Oliveto, although it does get very mixed reviews. I've had some very good meals at A Cote.

With regard to Walnut Creek: I haven't found many other interesting choices there aside from Ephesus....
allison

#27 Malik

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 12:01 AM

With regard to Walnut Creek: I haven't found many other interesting choices there aside from Ephesus....

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Walnut Creek is not exactly a culinary hot bed. The only other place that sounds interesting around there is Va de Vi, which has gotten decent press, but I haven't gotten around to trying it yet.

#28 tanabutler

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 12:28 AM

Gordon Biersch is an SF institution - its clearly not haute cuisine, but it is far better than your the countless restaurants that simply defrost whatever the sysco truck drops off.  If you found the place so fundamentally flawed how did you end up there more than once?


Some people, and I'm guessing tana is one of them, have friends who drag them out for a night of beer, grub scarfing, and camaraderie at a joint that everyone can afford. :cool:

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As Joe Bob Briggs would say, "El wrongo." I am way too strong to have anyone drag me anywhere. More to the point: I don't like beer (except for perhaps two days in the year here when it's damned hot and there is no access to filtered water.)

I don't eat barf food (bar food? Ba rfood? Barrrrffffood?). The idea that I am young and stupid enough to be dragged anywhere is so cute and flattering that I could just bar. F.

My two instances at Gordon Biersch involved:

1) A high school friend (who had done exceedingly well) inviting me for a birthday trip to Cirque du Soleil and lunch. She chose GB. Surprise to me: rich Palo Alto friend thought going dutch appropriate on my birthday. She, being a sensitive, quasi-vegetarian sort, selected the place. To me, it placed her roots squarely back in redneck Georgia, our homeland. I'm still irked that she was wealthy and so ignorant of decent food.

Fries ensued, and no other memories impressed. Wait, I think she had a Chinese Salad. No actual Chinese were harmed in the making of her salad.

BELIEVE ME, I wanted to be impressed. I needed one good memory of the meal to carry away.

2) Second verse, same as the first.

Went to Gordon Biersch for food on the opening night of Tres Gringos, in which Bob's nephew is an owner (that would be the Canadian, eh, the tall one in skates). We ate at GB because we could. We knew the zoo next door would be bonkers, and we avoided it.

There was nothing at GB that was remotely like "dining," though "eating" would suffice.

As I say of McDonald's: "It's not eating, it's caloric entertainment."

I have better things to do with my time and money. Neither are plenty. And as Malik says, no way would anyone coming to San Francisco need to go to Gordon Biersch. With all that food? What are you, beer nuts?

#29 melkor

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 12:57 AM

I have better things to do with my time and money. Neither are plenty. And as Malik says, no way would anyone coming to San Francisco need to go to Gordon Biersch. With all that food? What are you, beer nuts?

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Not to get too far off track here, but I've been happy at GB for the same reasons I find myself happy at In & Out burger. When I'm traveling and from time to time when I'm in town I crave a simple greasy meal, there is nothing more to my suggestion than that. GB and countless other places provide that. The burger I had at Kelly's Burger in the mission tonight would serve the same purpose - though with a completely different view for people watching and far fewer beverage options.

#30 Rebel Rose

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 09:08 AM

Tana, my apologies. I didn't mean to offend. I was trying to extend a compliment, actually, from my personal experience. I find myself occasionally going along with a hungry crowd of friends to the nearest burger/pizza/Mex joint for some grub. Sometimes we're just in the mood for grub, not a 'meal.' And I must say, I enjoy those evenings as much, and sometimes more, than a fine meal if the company is lively and fun. I do not think that being urged to join friends makes one by extension young or stupid. It takes several Tequila shots to do that.

Melkor, I'm with you on the In 'n Out Burgers.

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