I recently stumbled on to this website and instantly fell in love. Let me preface this post by saying first, sorry for the lengthy nature of this post, and second, I love living in San Francisco, and I think the cuisine here is awesome, however...I grew up in Fairfield County, CT. and went to college out here at UCSB. While I love the West Coast and the Bay Area, there are three, staple, food items that I grew up on that I find myself craving and have been unable to find. I'm sure you are all sick of hearing people from the east coast gripe about how much better the food is back there but indulge me for a second, and maybe even recommend some places I might try.
1) Italian Deli Sandwich. Nothing is better than an italian combo on Sunday and watching the football game. I have found this to be a serious problem on the west coast b/c I can't find anything that is equivalent to what you may find at various establishments on the east coast. I have tried Molinari's and Lucca's and they just don't do it. I am looking for one one a good roll (soft, but chewy, shouldn't be sourdough), with all the necessary cold cuts and provelone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, oil and vineagar and peppers (very important, not the overly sweet pickled kind, just roasted or sauted bell peppers) The two best that I have ever had are from Genoa Deli (called "the godfather"), in Ridgefield Ct. and Mangialardo and Sons, in Southeast D.C. If you have ever had one of these sandwiches you know my pain.
2) Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich. I grew up eating one of these just about every morning and for some reason no breakfast place around here serves them. You can get this at just about every diner on the Atlantic Seaboard, and, mostly, it comes on the a la carte menu. It's very simple, a fried egg, two slices of bacon and american cheese on a hard roll (round roll w/ poppy seeds). Perfect food for the morning after a "big" night. The bread soaks up the leftover booze and the grease coats your stomach. Most places around here microwave the egg, and I'm not even sure they make hard rolls out here. Are there any real diners in SF? I know there are great breakfast places, but I'm looking for an actual diner that's open late and serves everything.
3) Pizza. This isn't as much of a concern. I generally like Za on Hyde and the Front Room too. I also love Zachary's and eat it every chance I get. I was just wondering if anyone else had a suggestion? I heard Arinell's is good but haven't tried it.
4) Also is there a Mexican restaurant in this city that is better than Chava's? I am in love with Chava's and would love to try something if you thought it was better. I'm talking about restaurants, like Chava's and Los Jarritos, not taquerias.
Thanks very much for putting up with my rambling and I appreciate any insight you can give me.