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MerchantCircle: As seen on TV

Byways Cafe in Portland, Oregon was on the Food Network show DIners, Drive-ins and Dives. Apparently they specialize in expensive-looking organic fancy breakfast foods. Looks great. Hash browns and pancakes got special highlight.

South Side Soda Shop in Goshen, IN. Famous for grilled liverwurst and bacon sandwich, and award-winning chili.

Taylor’s Automatic Refresher is an often-hyped burger place but they do super fancy burgers. Apparently the Ahi Tuna sandwich is the good stuff. There is a Taylor’s in the Ferry Building in downtown San Francisco (at Market and Embarcadero). The bonus there? $2 Pabst!

MerchantCircle: A smattering of Pizza places in the Bay Area

Simple classics

Arinell Pizza in the Mission (16th and Valencia) is hands down the best slice of pizza I’ve had in San Francisco. Basic New York style slices – cheese or pepperoni.

Four Star Pizza at Lake Merritt near the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland is very similar to Arinell in texture and quality. I probably like Four Star a little better but since my buddy doesn’t live in Lake Merritt anymore I don’t go there anymore. It’s fucking great pizza. Also a Basic New York style slice.

Chicago style

Zachary’s Chicago Pizza gets a lot of hype around the area on TV, newspaper, and magazines. It is well-deserved and this place serves up sweet-ass deep dish. Only good occasionally otherwise you’ll have a heart attack.

Patxi’s Chicago Pizza is another Chicago-style. Pretty good, but not as good as Zachary’s but there aren’t any Zachary’s in San Francisco. Since it’s in Hayes Valley you get a little of city attitude — meaning I just don’t feel appreciated. Take in contrast places in the Mission; the good Mission eateries are incredibly busy but as a patron I just feel like they want me to be there and they want me to come back. I don’t get that feeling in Hayes Valley.

Decent if you walk by it and you’re hungry

Escape From New York Pizza on Haight is one of those Pizza places that likes to put a lot of stuff on their slices like goat cheese, basil, etc. It reminds me of New York Pizza Depot in Ann Arbor, MI. NYPD is better. I don’t like my pizza over-jazzed like they do it here. Plus I don’t trust the hippies. Who knows what those guys are doing with these things while they’re screwing around.

Skip’s Place Pizza in Los Altos is a decent place for work lunch. They have really good deal with the 2-slice + salad combo. Added bonus: the slices you get can be Supreme or Hawaiian at no extra cost! Skip’s Place sausage is awesome too. Added bonus again: this place is run by Asians — possibly Chinese! Hell yeah! Prosper, my Asian brethren!

Spot: A pizza place is another Los Altos pizza place. Their pizzas are decent and they have a salad + slice deal also but it isn’t as valuable as the Skip’s deal. However, I think the actual pizza dough they use at Spot is a little better. The interior of the restaurant is also more spacious and inviting. Although this is a pizza article, among my co-workers Spot has reputation for having a great meatball sub that is better than the pizza. Don’t be surprised if they’re sold out of bread for the subs, they’ve been out of bread twice in the 3 times I’ve tried to get the meatball sub.

MerchantCircle Highlights: Daly City

Today’s focus is on non-chain restaurants around Daly City. Although I live in this foggy working-class Bay Area city, I don’t often go out to eat. When I do go out I try to eat at neighborhood places. And no, I don’t consider Applebee’s a neighborhood place.

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