Cheap eats by SFO Airport

Jan 19th, 2009, 02:17 PM
  #1  
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Cheap eats by SFO Airport

I don't want fast food - but I am heading to SFO for a meeting at the airport Marriott. There are 4 of us who are helping to coordinate the meeting and we will have 2 nights on our own.

I know that right now the "Dine around Town" is going on, but I would like some recommendations on the huge amount of choices.

We like any food, though we tend to all agree on Italian.

We are not opposed to taking BART, especially since it is so close.

All feedback is appreciated!
cfntmpn is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 03:51 PM
  #2  
J62
 
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There are a couple of places you can walk to from the Marriott. The Elephant Bar and El Torito are both bad and best to avoid.

Benihana is on the waterfront and is ok - but it's still just a Benihana.

There's also a steak place just a few blocks further south but the name slips me now. Better quality but also $$.

The good news is that the hotels in that area run a free shuttle to downtown Burlingame where there are a lot more restaurants. Chez Alexander is quite good, but it's expensive French, not cheap. Ditto for Broadway Prime - also $$$.

There are a couple of little places right on Broadway that I've stopped into - can't remember the name. One was a good soup & sandwich place and the other served crepes. My memory is stretching thin - some of these trips go back 5+ yrs. There's (or at least was) a good Italian place in Burlingame, but my memory is fading.

If you have a car then you can greatly expand your options to include the area on El Camino in Burlingame or Millbrae. I like Hong Kong flower lounge on the corner of El Camino and Millbrae ave. Excellent Chinese food.

Sorry - I've rambled more than I've helped you I fear.

Airline crews frequent those hotels and they often hop on the free shuttle - I've asked them for rec's before.
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Jan 19th, 2009, 03:57 PM
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Are you looking for SF ideas close to BART? Or just right near the airport?
mztery is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 04:22 PM
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If you ask a taxi driver to take you to downtown Burlingame, or ask the shuttle person to tell you when to get off at downtown Burlingame - they will most likely drop you off on Burlingame Ave - not Broadway ave like J62 mentioned. There are LOTS & LOTS of restaurants on Burlingame Ave. At least 20 - many more than on Broadway.

Here are the most popular for "inexpensive"

-Il Fornaio on Lorton & Donnelly - 1 block north of Burlingame ave. Italian, & handles large groups. Stick to Pasta if you want inexpensive.

-Straits - corner of Burlingame & Calif - Asian/Singapore. Tab may become high if you don't watch out. Handles large groups.

-Steelhead brewery - Across the street from Il Fornaio & also entrance on Calif St. Beer, burgers & more, fries, nice atmosphere. Large groups OK.

-Crepevine - on Burlingame ave . Carbo heaven. Outside dining terrace.

IMO, if you want cheap food, taking BART into SF will add about $12 to the cost of dinner.

Stu Dudley

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Jan 19th, 2009, 04:28 PM
  #5  
J62
 
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Thanks for the clarification & filling in the names Stu.

Here's the hotel/Burlingame trolley I take when I'm there.

http://www.commute.org/shuttle_burlingame_free.htm

J62 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 04:43 PM
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My father dines at Chez Alexander frequently and swears by it. It really is quite good.
TTess is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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Hit "send" too soon. My sorority meets at Il Fornaio for reunion luncheons every year. It's a fun place, too.

Stu, I can't think of the Italian place that's been in Burlingame forever...do you remember it?
TTess is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 04:57 PM
  #8  
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Thank you for the info for the free trolley to Burlingame. I had no idea! Can you tell me approximately how long it takes to get there?

Originally I wanted something close to the Marriott - I just mentioned the BART, since I believe it is very near the hotels. However, after I went to the website and saw that it costs $10 RT that will add $40 to our meal!! (4 of us).

So, I would like to contuning exploring the Burlingame restaurant idea ~ if anyone has more recommendations, keep them coming!
cfntmpn is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 05:07 PM
  #9  
J62
 
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Here's the trolley schedule. Apparently it doesn't stop at the Marriott - I thought it did.

The Hyatt is the closest hotel on the route and it's not really close to the Marriott just to walk over.


http://www.commute.org/shuttle_burli...e.htm#schedule

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Jan 19th, 2009, 05:11 PM
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TTess

La Scala

cfnmpn
If you tell us what your budget is, what kind of atmosphere you are willing to accept, and what type of food you like (Chinese, Thai, mexican, burgers, pasta, Japanese, Sushi, etc), then we can narrow it down.

There is a Taqueria on Burlingame Ave just off of Lorton. Not much atmosphere, but cheap. Same with a Noodle bar on Howard ave (1 blk south). There is a wine bar with food. There are about 20 other places which where appitizers are $8-12, and main courses 18-28.

If you want lots of "basic" food, good atmosphere, fun place, nice decor, good bar, and cheap to inexpensive - go to Steelhead.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 19th, 2009, 05:13 PM
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I've seen lots of hotels run shuttles to Burlingame Ave. e-mail your hotel.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 19th, 2009, 06:57 PM
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Stu - that's it! Near the train, right? Wow, it's been years.
TTess is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 06:59 PM
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Oops, I just noticed the OP said cheap eats. Chez Alexander wouldn't fit that. There are Chinese places on El Camino Real that would fit the bill.
TTess is offline  
Jan 19th, 2009, 07:02 PM
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We've enjoyed Stella Alpina Osteria at 401 Primrose Road in Burlingame (across from Burlingame Library). Described as "rustic Northern Italian cuisine from the Alps."
Here's their website which includes the menu:
http://www.stellaalpinaosteria.com/

cats53 is online now  
Jan 19th, 2009, 07:11 PM
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I LIVE in Burlingame (around the corner from Stu, in fact) and have never heard of Chez Alexander, but when I eat out "nice", I tend to do it in the city!

That said, I've heard very good things about the new La Boheme on Burlingame Avenue (bakery/cafe by day, restaurant by night). My own personal opinion is that Rocca on Broadway is better than Il Fornaio and La Scala. Both have nice atmosphere, I just don't like the food much. I like Alana's on Burlingame Ave. for simple, not very expensive American food. Mingalaba on Burlingame Ave. is a newish Chinese/Burmese place that is very very good and always packed (when it was King Yuan, just Chinese, there was never anyone in there). I can vouch for the Palatha, and the chicken and asparagus, among other things.

http://www.mingalabarestaurant.com/

http://www.ristoranterocca.com/index_home.htm

http://www.alanascafe.com/burlingame.html

http://labohemerestaurant.com/menu_d_app.html
sf7307 is online now  
Jan 19th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Hi SF!

My father LIVES in Burlingame, too. You ought to LIVE a little and try it sometime.
TTess is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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>>That said, I've heard very good things about the new La Boheme on Burlingame Avenue <<

We dined there just before Christmas, and it was excellent!!! I'm worried that they might not be around that long. I think the locals prefer Italian and perhaps more "dumbed down" food (compared to The City). La Boheme is having Jazz two nights a week - which is usually the sign that their revenue flow is in trouble & they are trying to attract customers. La Boheme is a bargain price for the menu that you get, but I would not call it cheap.

We dined at the "new" Clementine in The City the next week, & it was better. We also dined at Ecco in the Burlingame Ave area during Christmas (for about the 20th time in the 28 years we've been here). I thought la Boheme was better - especially considering the price.

La Scala is two blocks west of the train station. It've had some really horrible/sloppy meals there. At Il Fornaio too. Rabbit that was way overcooked and as hard as a rock.

Also for cheap, there is Hola - Mexican on Burlingame ave - west end.

Is Alana's open for dinner??

Stu Dudley
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Jan 20th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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The Chinese places in Burlingame are, regrettably, not memorable.

The only really good Chinese restaurant in the area that I know of is the Hong Kong Flower Lounge in Millbrae.

Have not tried Mingalaba yet.
easytraveler is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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I so agree EasyTraveler - HKF Lounge in Millbrae is the one I was thinking of.
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