Cheap Date: Parada 22
At Parada 22, the two-and-a-half-month-old Puerto Rican spot wedged between bustling Cha Cha Cha and divey Murio’s Trophy Room in the Upper Haight, the menu is small and simple. You can’t go wrong with a classic Cubano—roasted pork, ham, pickles, mustard and Swiss served on a pressed baguette—but the entrees give you more bang for your buck. The pernil asado, a generous portion of slow-roasted pork leg, marinated in garlic and sofrito, and the chicarron de pollo, seasoned fried chicken, are Parada 22’s two standouts, both served with rice, beans, maduros (sweet plantains) and greens. For your meat-abstaining friends, there are plenty of vegetarian dishes, which favor yuca marinated with onion, garlic and olive oil mojo. Eat off compostable dishware at picnic tables in the turquoise dining room while admiring the relics of old San Juan decorating the space, then order a can of ice-cold Café Bustelo to go, and consider your Puerto Rican experience complete.
1805 Haight St., 415-750-1111, parada22.com