Sammy's Aloha: A Hawaiian-Style Pop-Up on the Bay

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Anastasia Crosson
Sammy's Aloha ahi poke bowl with Thai black sticky rice, topped with a poached egg, salmon roe and garden fresh fixings.
San Francisco's cool bayside breezes may be far from the sunny shores of "the big island," but that doesn't stop lines from forming outside Sammy's Aloha (no website). Occupying a curbside corner of the takeout window at Butterfly on Pier 33, this casual Hawaiian-style pop-up that took the place of Pan Grill serves a unique take on the usual suspects, like kalua pork and loco moco.

See Also: Dispatch from Guam: Prubechu Aims to Please Your Inner Chamorro

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Dive Bar Bites: French Onion Sandwich at The Galley

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Ferron Salniker
Justin Navarro at his pint-sized kitchen inside Clooney's.
When I walked into Clooney's Pub at noon no one at the bar turned around to check the door. The regulars had long since taken their seats at the bar, the baseball game was on, and the guy playing pool by himself under the illumination of a Budweiser light was focused on his shot. The stools, with green carpeted backs, looked grimier than BART seats. If we weren't in the heart of the Mission, it would be an unexpected place to get a really good sandwich.

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Find Under $5: An Ode to a Dynamic Donut

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Alexis Katsilometes
Like many of the grey-hewn mornings before it, you groggily wake to the gentle patter of the rain against your window. Normally, you grab a thermos of barely-passable coffee and a slice of toast while running out the door to catch the bus ... but not today. Sunday is your day to languidly read the paper over a proper cup of coffee and a truly delicious pastry.

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Find For $5: Herbed Garlic Knots at Presidio Pizza Company

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Alexis Katsilometes
Admittedly, nothing about this makes much sense. The Presidio Pizza Company is located at Pine and Divisadero, a location that cannot, by even the furthest stretch of the imagination, be considered the Presidio. And while it does indeed sell pizza (and very good pies in fact), the reason we went was for the garlic knots.

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Find Under $5: A Snack We Can't Get Enough of at Nopalito

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Alexis Katsilometes
It's Saturday night, and the craving for Mexican food hits you. But this is no Mission burrito type of craving. You want to sit down and languidly enjoy a margarita (or two); you want knowledgeable service and food that won't sit in your stomach like a brick all night ... you want Nopalito.

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Find Under $5: A Slice of N.Y. on Mission

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Alexis Katsilometes
Slice of Neaploitan style cheese
Dough, sauce, cheese, and the optional meat: a recipe so simple in principle but one that has proven incredibly difficult to expertly execute. While we can't seem to go a San Francisco block without some by-the-slice joint promising a taste of the East Coast, we are all too often left with nothing but a grease-stained napkin and an unsatisfied craving to show for it.

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Find Under $5: A Trip to New Orleans in the Dogpatch

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Alexis Katsilometes
Just For You's Beignet
Those who have had the good fortune to visit New Orleans know the power of a good beignet. And while the landscape of San Francisco bears little resemblance to the streets of the French Quarter, some of our spheres of fried dough dusted in powdered sugar come awfully close to the best examples from the Big Easy. For more than 20 years, Just For You Café in the Dogpatch has been serving some of the city's best. Adorned with vintage, neon-hued posters and a giant marlin that keeps a constant, watchful eye on the dining room, the small but bustling breakfast and lunch spot is a favorite for those seeking amiable and attentive service, a good, strong cup of coffee, and most of all, absolutely delicious beignets.

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Find Under $5: Papusa Paradise on 16th Street, a Late-Night Lifesaver

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Alexis Katsilometes
Pork papusa
It's 1 a.m. on Saturday. You stumble bleary-eyed out of the Mission's Elbow Room, seriously questioning your decisions of the previous five hours. As you contemplate whether that fourth gimlet was indeed necessary, one thing is clear: You need something to eat. You want something good, something close, and something that is going to soak up at least a little bit of the gin that is sitting like a kiddie pool in your stomach.

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Find Under $5: There's More Than Meets the Name at Dumpling Kitchen

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Green Onion Pancake
As the name not-so-subtly suggests, Dumpling Kitchen specializes in just that. The Taraval Street restaurant offers very good versions of varities such as Shanghai-style crab and pork, Beijing-style pork and chive, steamed vegetable, and pork in chili oil: a selection so plentiful that choosing among them presents a very real, albeit welcome, challenge.


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Find Under $5: An Affordable Trip to Spain

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Roasted Local Sardine and Avocado Toast
Last Sunday evening, I ventured tentatively out of my Mission bubble and headed to Contigo restaurant. For the next hour and a half, I sat languidly at the chef's counter, sipping on a glass of Perucchi red vermouth, and snacking on tapas. And at $5 or less, they were a taste of Spain that I could actually afford.

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