The Chairman

When I touched down in San Francisco I was starving. I didn’t know where I would end up, but I trusted the success rate would be high, considering all I had heard of the touted scene. On arriving to my hotel I was told I wouldn’t be able to check in until 3, so I set out for lunch.

Finding my self in the little Saigon neighborhood where I was staying was good. A quick tour around the avenues near my hotel and I had already eyed several packed venues. Still starving I decided I wanted something quick, so I walked into The Chairman.

The Chairman is a Chinese bun spot boasting many options, and some unique takes. You can get each option on steamed buns, or upgrade to a baked option with larger portion on a roll. I decided I wanted to try a few of the offerings, and I’m a sucker for steamed buns, so I went with three of these. I chose two pork and the one beef option, though they also have chicken and vegetarian to choose from as well.

The classic pork belly was enjoyable, garnished with pickled daikon, and glazed with red miso. Next was the short rib, braised with horseradish mayo and fennel slaw. This was great, but I liked the third bun a little more, and found it to be more filling. Coca-Cola braised pork, cabbage, mustered seed, and garlic mayo. All said and done an exceptional place for a quick bite.

La Palma

La Palma Mexicatessen sits in the myriad blocks that make up the Mission District in San Francisco. My first time in SF, I’d heard over the years that the Mexican food in the Western part o f the Country is that much better. And while I can’t attest to that, and will likely never cede to this argument, La Palma would make a great case and point.

Wondering off the cool street into this Mexican Deli I was immediately aware of the vast array of authentic Mexican goods. Past the counter the back looks to stretch on forever, though it is limited by square footage I’m sure. The store not only sell tasty Mexican staples but also produces products on site. The most stand out would be the stacks of tortillas.

I ordered a couple of items after quickly deliberating. I decided I wanted a taco, and something I had yet to try. I went with the pupusa…. is this the same as the Salvadoran food that shares its name? I wondered… and then looked it up on Google… it is.

It took about ten minutes for my food to be prepared, I believe to prep the pupusa mostly. As I waited I noticed they also had an item that I probably would have ordered had I noticed. It was a torta, where the bun is submerged in salsa, giving it a completely red color. Pambazos its called, and I have to admit I had some degree of regret not ordering this, however, c’est la vie.

I finally got my order, and made way to the outdoor seating area. The pupusa was rich and delicious, and the taco with pork soaked in salsa, was milder, and the same. I’ll definitely be back.