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Ladies (and Gentlemen)-Who-Lunch: At Their Desks


Caramelized Fennel, Baby Artichoke and Goat Cheese Crostata.

I eat a lot of lunches at my desk. It’s the sad reality of the working world in America—no leisurely al fresco lunches, wine glass in hand, few power lunches, two martini style. Instead we have desk lunches, computer lunches, hot soup in mug holder of mini-van lunches.

I’m not encouraging anyone to eat at their desk, but if you must, then I’ve found you a new spot: Split Pea Seduction. It’s on a pretty crummy stretch of sixth street (at Minna), but they’re asking folks to come help them rejuvenate the ’hood with “good food and good vibes.” And the food is good—really good. The menu changes daily, and happily, it’s not one of those places downtown (no need to mention names) where the menu sounds better than the food actually tastes.

They have an assortment of crostata—savory open-faced pastries topped with exciting toppings (the day I visited they had one topped with bacon and eggs, another with fennel, artichokes and goat cheese and a third, a dessert-style version, topped with mascarpone and strawberries), and a whole bunch of salads. I had the little gem Caesar salad (the “it” green of SF, I think, a Bibb/Romaine hybrid), topped with shavings of pecorino romano and pieces of roasted chicken. The dressing was salty and anchovy-y—just right. Good work, split pea.


Little Gem Caesar Salad with Chicken

Soon they’ll have some stools at a small counter so you can eat in, but I’d encourage taking that lunch, walking to the green grass at Yerba Buena, and indulging in a (work) free lunch. Tell your boss I gave you permission.