Three final destinations in the Excelsior:
Joe's Cable Car:
Mission at Silver. Hamburgers compete with the 7 courses of beef for an enjoyable means of environmental desecration, and when one feels the urge to have a cow, man, Joe's is an excellent alternative to Burger Joint, Whiz Burger, Hot and Hunky and other board favourites. Fries are unmemorable but the burger itself is excellent and one must spring for a competent shake to get the complete experience. A little pricey for Low End Theory's taste. Bright neon proclaims that "Joe Grinds His Own Fresh Chuck Daily", avoid if seeking flattering ambience.
Mom Is Cooking:
Geneva at Naples. Low End Theory's favourite homestyle (?) Mexican restaurant, and not a taqueria. Astroturf seating - yeah. Variable service - also encouraging. Autographed picture of Bobby McFerrin, the greatest jazz singer working today and surely a savvy eater. For the indecisive and very hungry, the Potpurri Mexicano can't be beat, but experienced chowhounds will want to construct their own combinations to fully exploit the uniqueness of Mom's way with mais - tlacoyos, sopas and especially bollitos are wonderful variations on the tortilla theme. Like all the burritos, the mole is served unfoiled and mojado with an incomparable chocolatey sauce. Tamales are also of surpassing texture and flavour with fillings piled on top, even the vegetarian ones are beyond category, as Duke Ellington used to say. Probably the best restaurant in the neighbourhood.
Low End Theory considers 99.9% of San Francisco pizza like "relaxed fit" jeans, a pusillanimous, neither this nor that option for diners unschooled in the crispy New York (akin to a rock star tight cut) or deep Chicago (think of the hip-hop, size 60 leg) styles. And there are those who would boast that their trip to Napoli was only true pizza experience. It's a sorry showing by Bay Area bakers, the worse for its ubiquity. Naples Pizzeria probably makes terrible pies, but Low End Theory will eat there some day, if only to say that he went to the pizza place at the corner of Naples St. and Geneva.
With these Excelsior wanderings, Low End Theory hopes to have fulfilled his debt to the board for some useful recommendations. Most Chowhound posts are of course far too high-end for the ordinary graduate student, so here's a plea for some affordable spots that are within the reach of Muni and BART. And with that, an ungrammatical "Enjoy!"