Even if you don’t live in the Dogpatch neighborhood, here are five oh-so-delicious and easy-on-the-wallet options that will hopefully inspire you to embark on a lunch (or dinner) adventure.
There’s a new weekly pop-up in Just for You Café that’s all about homemade Italian dishes made with heart. Couple Derek Burke and Stephanie Magalhaes prepare seasonally inspired dishes that are meant to go easy on your pocketbook, from spaghetti and meatballs to handmade pastas like ravioli, or tagliatelle with ragu. Main dishes include hearty chicken parm or pan-roasted pork chops. There are also Italian wines, candlelight, and Italian music playing. Molto charming (and cash only). Wed.–Fri. 6 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
The sandwiches here are almost too good—really. There’s sometimes porchetta, or corned beef, or the famed Dogpatch Millionaire made with fried chicken, garam masala honey, spicy slaw, and fresh coriander. The sandwiches change daily and often run out, so don’t plan to saunter on over at 1 p.m. and get the crazy-popular sandwich that day. It’s worth noting Kitchenette is on a loading dock, but you can post up on a bench or schlep that sandwich back to your desk where you can snarf it in the privacy of your cubicle or own home. Follow their Twitter feed for updates on the daily specials. Cash only.
Marcella's Lasagneria and Cucina
On a quiet corner is this tiny and nondescript café that sells panini, soups and salads, and little pizzas. But the main event is their list of lasagne, six in all (try the Bolognese), which you get a whopping 14 oz. serving of for only $8.50. The six layers of pasta are ultra thin—so delicate, and they’re slathered with a wicked combination of bechamel sauce, mozzarella, and Parmigiano Reggiano. A perfect (and decadent) thing to warm up for dinner on a busy night (you’ll want to keep a couple in the freezer—it’s called smart hoarding).
Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
This corner ice cream shop serves more than just unique and well-made ice cream (a recent visit featured flavors like honey graham, plum preserve with sweet cream, and champurrado, a rich chocolate with spices and brown rice). If you look on the counter, you’ll also espy the peanut butter malted milk balls, which will quickly become your next bad habit. After the ice cream, of course.
The New Spot
The Mission is not the only place where you’ll find first-rate pupusas. This friendly Mexican and Salvadorian taqueria makes them fresh to order, so hopefully you’re not in a rush (they take 10–15 minutes). The pupusas are delicate and delicious—try out a special of the day. While there are burritos and tacos, the homestyle dishes like the enchiladas are also muy tasty, and everything is made with quality and fresh ingredients.
Marcia Gagliardi is the contributing food editor for 7x7 and author of the weekly Tablehopper e-column and book The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and read more at tablehopper.com.