Hi everyone. I've never posted before, but I've been reading posts for about a year now, and I've enjoyed many incredible meals as a result. Thanks chowhounders! Thus, I knew where I could go with this dilemma.
For a number of reasons, I have decided to reintroduce "land meat" (for lack of a better word) into my diet. I already started eating seafood about a year ago, and I was vegetarian for about 10 years before that. Growing up, food was not a particularly important thing in my family (I love my parents, but gourmet they are not). Meat was never something I really enjoyed because it was never very carefully prepared, and thus it was not at all difficult to give up. But now that I live in the Bay Area, where food is lovingly prepared, and one can get meat that is not a product of factory farming, I am willing to take the plunge. But now my question is, where should I do it?
I'm not yet ready to prepare meat myself, so I thought it would be good to eat at restaurants that prepare it well to establish a standard. I'm not quite flush enough to go really high-end, but mid-range suggestions would be great (I've enjoyed Lulu, Canteen, Range, Limon, B44, but always veg or seafood). We live in Oakland, but SF is fine as is anywhere accessible by a reasonable public transit trip. I prefer a restaurant that takes seriously a commitment to sustainability and fair treatment of animals, although I imagine most restaurants in the Bay Area do this without necessarily having to announce it. Any cuisine is okay, as long as it's not too spicy (I am a spice wimp).
So, please, suggestions for where to get:
1. Fabulous meat entrees (maybe separate suggestions for beef, pork, chicken other meats?)
2. Bacon (This is the only meat product that ever really tempted me when I was vegetarian, so I think it deserves a separate experience)
3. Other cured meats (in a restaurant or in a deli)
Sorry for the verbose post. Thanks in advance!