I was born and raised in Oakland, but I will be going to grad school in DC this fall. I know the food scene there isn't totally wretched, but I don't think it's likely to be anywhere near what I'm used to here. (I visited a friend there earlier this year... she suggested we check out "this great Mexican place" -- it turned out to be Baja Fresh.)
But this isn't about DC; this is about SF & environs. What do I just have to try before I go? I eat everything and am very adventurous, but I don't have a lot of money, so don't all tell me to go eat at French Laundry. Holes-in-the-wall are more my style, although I will allow myself a few well-planned splurges.
Thanks for helping me to shore up great memories of the Bay Area!