Although we aren’t always their biggest fans (ahem), 7×7 Magazine asked us to contribute to their ‘Best 10 dishes under 10‘ web series with our picks from our neighborhood/s. Since they asked nicely (and yes, we are whores) we ended up compiling the two lists and they ran them today here. It ended up being really hard to write as there are way more than 10 excellent cheap dishes in this neighborhood (although we also discovered that some of our favorite ones are actually a little over $10). Since it took us a pile of time to do it, we thought we’d share them with our local Tender Readers in case you don’t go check out the “49” all that often. So here are our picks for the upper Tenderloin aka Tendernob aka Tenderloin Heights, in no particular order. As usual, be sure to share your thoughts.
1. Any burger from Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers
When the burger is calling, it should be calling from Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers. You really can’t go wrong and they offer so many different types of meat (even buffalo!) as well as add-ons that pretty much anyone is going to go away happy and mighty full. Starting at $6.49. 708 Post St.
2. Crimini Mushroom and Goat Cheese Omelette from Canteen
While the dinner menu at Canteen is adventurous and glorious (not to mention well above the $10 price range), their weekend brunch menu offers all the creativity of Dennis Leary’s culinary mind at an early morning price we can afford. Such as the Crimini mushroom and goat cheese omelette. $9.75. 817 Sutter St.
3. Bangan Bhartha from Maharani
Fire-roasted eggplants with a special blend of spices in a tomato-based house sauce, called Bangan Bhartha, is one of the many favorite dishes from Maharani that makes us consider it one of the best Indian restaurants in the whole city. The decor is eclectic, especially in their aptly named Fantasy room where you can sit barefoot on fancy pillows, but both the portions and quality of this favorite establishment will leave you going Naan n’ What? when you walk out. There’s a reason why huge Indian tour groups dock there regularly for sustenance. $8.95. 1122 Post St.
4. Housemade Quiche from farm:table
While their morning crowd whirls in and out to sit around the single table, or outside enjoying the elusive San Francisco sun on Post Street, those who go to farm:table know that Kate puts together a great menu that rotates daily. When the house-made quiche pops up (check on their Twitter), you should take it upon yourself to make the trek from wherever you are as it’s one of the best this side of the Left Bank. $8 with a side of salad. 754 Post St. Cash only.
5. Salteh from Yemeni’s
Salteh is Yemen’s national dish and the one from Yemeni’s is delicious. It’s a hot boiling spicy stew with vegetables, eggs, potatoes, and a green, bubbly broth. Traditionally eaten with Tanour flat bread it provides you with a conversation piece that you can eat readily and happily. $5.95 with vegetables, $8.95 with lamb. 1098 Sutter St.
6. Pupusas from Olivo’s (pictured above)
Olivo’s is the only place in the Tendernob (and even the Tenderloin) area who serves those delicious Salvadorian filled savory pancakes, pupusas. The choices are cheese, cheese & beans or cheese & pork. Two for $4.25, with rice & beans $6.50. 1017 Larkin St. Cash only.
7. Nasi Goreng from Borobudur
This is probably Indonesia’s best known dish which is a combination of: fried rice, egg, onion, and a choice of meat or mixed vegetables. They also have their own house version with anchovy paste and a super-hot version with spicy shrimp paste. $9.95. 700 Post St.
8. Lunch Special from Sanraku
We have friends that come from far and wide to dig in to the lunch special from Sanraku. It’s served with miso soup, salad and a main that changes every day– such as their spicy tuna roll or Genmai Chirashi (sliced fish over rice). Monday to Friday only. $10. 704 Sutter St.
9. The Gouda Good sandwich from Bite
It is their most popular for a reason: it’s a heavenly combination of their rotisserie chicken with Gouda cheese and special pepperhouse sauces on Dutch crunch. In fact, any sandwich with chicken in it is a sure bet, and they have many to choose from–including a build your own option. Plus they’re open late (2am!) to roll on by while you’re gettin’ your drink on in the neighborhood. $7.99. 912 Sutter St.
10. Breakfast from Golden Coffee
Golden Coffee is known as one of the cheapest and tastiest greasy spoon breakfast places in San Francisco, where you watch your food being made while trying to get over last night’s hangover. Although they have many breakfast options to choose from (and even Chinese food), you can’t go wrong with their classic scrambled eggs with corned beef, hash browns and toast. $5.50, add coffee for $1.35. 901 Sutter St. Cash only.
Photo of Olivo’s pupusas from Coffee Pencil Knife