A few years ago Man vs Food used to be my guilty TV pleasure. I wasn’t so much a fan of the challenges at the end of the programme – they always seemed grotesquely extravagant – but I loved seeing all the mini reviews of each American city’s best ‘pig out’ spots. Not exactly high brow I know, but what can I say? Seeing a slice of pizza the size of small child makes my mouth water.
Naturally, when I found out that we were moving here, I may have TiVo’d the Man vs Food San Francisco episode and watched it once or twice, not to mention scribbled the address of each participating establishment in our SF guidebook.
Blogging is about nothing if not documentation so I figured it was my duty to road-test each MvF eatery in the Bay Area. Here’s a mini review of San Francisco’s ‘best pig out’ spots, according to Adam Richman…
Ike’s Place / Sandwiches
The holy grail of sandwiches, I remember the queue snaking around the block for this unassuming sandwich shop on the show, and IRL it was exactly the same, both times we visited. The 10 minute wait was so worth it though – Ike and his crew know what makes a good sandwich. Both our sandwiches were epic in size and flavour and Ike’s has become one of our favourite lunch spots if we’re in the Castro. A word to the wise; make sure you’re really hungry before visiting – the portion sizes are huge!
Ike’s Place, 3489 16th St, Castro
Taqueria La Cumbre / Mexican
I was really looking forward to trying this mexican Mission joint, known for it’s supersize burritos, and although friends had said it had gone downhill a bit since the show aired, I was still eager as ever to try a (regular sized) burrito. Unfortunately the veggie burrito I plumped for (with refried beans, rice, salsa, cheese and guacamole) was distinctly average and nowhere near as nice as some of the other mexican delights I’ve had in the city. For want of a better word it was sloppy and lacking in flavour, so unfortunately Taqueria La Cumbre gets a thumbs down from me.
Taqueria La Cumbre, 515 Valencia Street, Mission
The San Francisco Creamery / Ice Cream
Technically in Walnut Creek, the home of the ‘kitchen sink’ challenge is east of the Bay, about an hour away from San Francisco. We stopped here after spending the day hiking up Mount Diablo so two huge scoops of ice cream (with hot fudge sauce and cookie dough pieces) felt like a very worthy treat indeed. While there I actually saw several sweet-toothed customers attempting the challenge MvF’s Adam took part in, and not one came close. I wish the SF Creamery was closer to the city as the ice cream selection is huge, there’s a great atmosphere in the restaurant (which serves savoury foodstuffs, too) and the staff were so friendly and helpful – letting us dithering Brits try as many flavours as we wanted from the ice cream bar.
San Francisco Creamery Co, 1370 Locust Street, Walnut Creek
Please tell me I’m not the only one with a thing for Man vs Food? We’re off to New York next month so I may have to revisit the MvF New York episodes…