When I ran the second edition of the half-marathon for the SF Marathon today (GG Park to the Ferry Bldg,) I had no idea it would be a great way to visually spot quite a few places mentioned on these boards (the restaurants along the Haight and the plethora of places around 16th & Mission, for example.) I'm only familiar with the area surrounding my SoMa workplace, so this made an already scenic run even more pleasurable.
I never got to carbo-load at a restaurant the day before (simply not enough time - I just boiled some pasta at home), but I did treat myself after the race to the basic banh mi from the Sunshine Bakery in Vallejo, which my dad had recommended. Overall, it was pretty decent - not too bready (the ends of the roll seemed more bready than the middle portion) and the ingredients all seemed crisp and fresh. I had it made spicy; however, the spiciness seemed to almost overwhelm on some bites, while being non-existent on others. Still, for less than $2, it's not a bad pickup at all, and makes me want to try the banh mi offerings nearby my workplace soon.
Sunshine Bakery makes pretty good special occasion cakes too, if you need something like that.