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Best places for food-to-go?

Christine DiBona | Jun 25, 200206:45 PM

Hey, SF chowhounds, we're looking for your favorite take-away foods!

Here's the gig: a couple of times a month, my husband does a segment on TechTV. Since we live in a small town more than a couple of hours away from SF, his company gives him a budget for expenses, meant to cover a hotel room, parking and meals. Even with nice hotels in SF being at near-bargain rates these days, we usually have only about $40-$50 to spend on food. On top of that we're travelling with our one year-old, who will rarely sit still for more than twenty minutes at a stretch.

All those things combine to make eating dinner in the hotel room the best thing to do. The baby can toddle and play, and us adults can lounge and enjoy showering with the endless hot water. But what about food? Room service is pretty uninteresting, and ordering just two salads will put us over budget.

We've tried this plan for a couple of meals already : Acme Chophouse (Larry packed us a couple of sandwiches and salads, and a few desserts to sample - very nice), Chow (pizza and salad - pizza was pretty underdone and soggy, salad was just tired. Maybe they undercooked the pizza thinking we'd be throwing it in an oven to reheat when we got to wherever we were going?? I used to really like eating at Chow when I lived a couple a blocks away - kinda sad), Nob Hill Cafe (This was because we got an AMAZING rate at the Mark Hopkins last weekend, and I didn't want to drive after a whole lovely day of walking in the fog. Pizzas, salads, a ganache dessert. Pizzas were nicely done - good color on the crust. Salads fine. And yes, dessert really was two scoops of chocolate ganache...with a little whipped cream. I was not the person who ordered this.)

So what do you recommend? Though you wouldn't know it from what we've had so far, we'd really like to eat what we can't when we're at home: GOOD Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese etc. We have a pretty decent taco place here, so not so interested in Mexican, though if anyone has a favorite Peruvian or Salvadorian spot, please speak up. Price counts - we are trying to keep to a budget of around $40 for dinner. Kid-friendly isn't much of an issue right now - the baby has her own pouch of food I know she will eat, so whether or not she likes what we're having for dinner she won't go hungry.

Location isn't an issue for us, as long as it's within city limits, 'cause I'll be driving, but parking tips are always appreciated ;)

Thanks in advance for your suggestions

Christine DiBona

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