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Restaurants & Bars 3

Carmen's Filipino Food near Pac Bell (SBC) Park

Stanley Stephan | Dec 23, 200205:38 PM

The old Pier 40 Roastery about a block from Pac Bell Park on the Embarcadero re-opened in October as Carmen's.

Carmen's started out on Pier 24 and has been shooed out of that and three other locations since it first opened in 1957.

Carmen's makes average Filipino and American food and probably has the cheapest prices in the neighborhood. These people are competing with Red's Java Hut price-wise.

What I love about the place is that it's so out of step with the current neighborhood. Here's this Filipino joint in the middle of yuppie heaven. The tables have blue vases with artificial pink roses that don't even pretend to be real.

The food is decent enough, reasonably priced and definately not gourmet. There's a view of the bay and some outdoor picnic tables for warmer weather.

There are daily specials and regular week day specials.

Today you could get grillsd salmon with french fries and macaroni salad for $9. There was catfish that was priced by size.

I had the rice plate special ($6) which was Kare Kare (oxtail), vegetables and adobo (pork stew). The usual peanut sauce did not accompany the two pieces of oxtail. I also took home the vegetarian lumpia ($6 for seven pieces). The lumpia wasn't too greasy and was wrapped round succotash, water chestnuts and potatoes.

The beer is icy cold, the bottles covered with frost. My favorite temperture for beer.

I'd stick with tea, soft drinks or beer and avoid the coffee unless you know the pot was just made.

Carmen's is open 6 am to 9 pm. You can get American breakfast or Filipino breakfasts. The Filipino breakfast has rice, eggs and a choice of adobo, tapa (marinated beef), tocino (marinated pork), fish dang bangus (salted fish). Prices are $5. American breakfasts with homefries are less expensive. You can get a cheese omlette or pancakes or french toast for $3.Eggs with bacon, ham, or sausage are $4.

For some reason, Carmen's has quite a few cuts of steak available with eggs. You can get rib-eye, t-bone or teriyaki steak and eggs ($10).\

Hamburgers and hot doges are $3. Garlic fries are $2.50 and regular fries a buck less.

Other filipino dishes are:
Tuesday: egadu, dinuguan
Wednesday: ginger beef
Thursday: mechado,pancit
Friday: sinkutyar, sinigang

Service can be slow, but gazing out at the bay with a cold brew is not an unpleasant wait. The staff is pleasant and really seems to care if you enjoy your food. He seems to have a number of regulars that he knows by name.

There's parking galore on non game days. Not worth a trip but an inexpensive change of pace if you are in the area.

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