El Metate for Lunch and Mission Mini’s for Dessert

On day 2 of my cheap eats tour of San Francisco I returned to the Mission where I walked far off the beaten path (or at least it seems like it to me) to find El MetateMexican Restaurant, a sprawling place on the corner of Bryant and 22nd streets in a quiet residential section of the Mission.

Everyone orders here.

My friend who lives here in SF joined me for lunch and took a lot of these pictures (thanks Kurt!).  Here I am about to dig into my fish Quesadilla.  Kurt had a chicken Quesadilla and a Coke in a bottle.  Both plates came with guacamole, salsa fresca and sour cream plus a bag of corn chips.  Inside the main dinning room is a salsa bar with more bottles of hot sauce then you could imagine and a small selection of homemade salsas and pickled jalapenos peppers.  I got there early and was able to nab a great table outside.  The weather has been warm and sunny.

The entire lunch was $14 and change.

This isn’t terribly scientific but what I am beginning to learn on this cheap eats tour of SF is that the key is all the food so far is really filling.   Part of the value is that not only is it cheap, but it also keeps you full for a long time!  That is until you come across Mission MinisCupcake store…

The bakers:

On our long walk after lunch Kurt and I decided just a little something sweet was in order.  The selection of cupcakes at Mini’s is extensive and they are small and only cost a dollar so you can try several without too much guilt.

The one with the pecan on top is carrot cake while the other one is vanilla with some fancy icing (it was Kurt’s and I was too preoccupied with my own to listen in on what he ordered – Kurt helped me out here…)

They used an iPad as there cash register.  How cool is that?

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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