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About 5 dollars

February 15, 2011

*Updated on February 23, 2011

I often lunch at the Ferry Building on Thursday. It’s a quick walk over from California Street where I spend my very early mornings convincing extra tall branches to stay in place. Even if I bring my own lunch from home (avocado, pear, cheese, red cabbage salad) as I frequently do, I love sitting on the front benches soaking in the sun and watching the crowd shop for produce.

On Thursdays past, I’ve happily taken the communion that is the Porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti. It’s truly an experience for about 10 dollars.

Yes, it’s truly unforgettable. No, I can’t eat it once a week. Though I want to. Really, really want to.

I’ve also had the great pleasure of sampling the ramen at Hapa Ramen on several a chilly day.

The Fried Chicken ramen bowl is exceptional as is the Miso Market bowl with a slow cooked egg. Both are also about 10 dollars (incl. tip).

On a recent lunch I wanted  to sample the 5 dollar options.

Here are two that I discovered:

Inside the Ferry Building at  San Francisco Fish Company you can get a cup of Seafood Gumbo (“Award Winning”) for 4.50$.

Best eaten on a bench in the sun. It’s full of rich flavor and generous amounts of seafood and sausage. Not bad for about five dollars. I’ll certainly have it again.

On the same day, I wanted a little something to accompany my cup of Seafood gumbo.

If you can manage to attract the attention of the empanada clerk (at times in deep personal conversation) try one of the flaky empanadas at El Porteno. I’ve tried the Carne (beef, olives, raisins, eggs) in the past and it’s delicious when warm.

On my last visit I tried the Champinones (mushrooms, shallots, cheese, cream fraiche). As you might have guessed, all the ingredients used by El Porteno are local. The empanadas are also about five dollars. This went well with my gumbo.

I’m actually looking forward to my next lunch at the Ferry Building. I’m confident there are more lunch options for about 5 dollars.

And just last week I found another one. The 5$ dollar hot dog at Prather Ranch.

Hot dog at Prather Ranch with mustard, relish, sauerkraut

While browsing the Ferry Building looking for gifts to bring to Houston, I was distracted by this hot dog. I also picked up some Heirloom Tomato salt. The hot dog was perfect on that cold and rainy day.

 

I also wanted to include this:

This is lunch for under five dollars. But not at the Ferry Building.

Taco de Tripe and Taco al Pastor for 3$

Tacos from Mi Pueblo in San Rafael for under five dollars. Each taco is around 1.50$. Mi Pueblo is similar to the Fiesta stores I’m familiar with in Texas. This place is happiness in a box. Mariachi music plays overhead and vibrant pinatas hang from the ceiling. I really feel like it’s a place where nothing bad could ever happen. Goya products line the shelves and everyone seems exceptionally happy to be here. Happy grocery shopping? Why, yes.

I enjoy shopping at Mi Pueblo and eating in their bustling food market afterward. They also boast quite a large case display of cooked pork products (for all your needs, including the ones you didn’t know you had). And how much do you think a bundle of Chicharrones are? Yes, about five dollars.

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