Faves and raves by Robert Strouf (Click on the picture to see Robert's faves)
Years in The City: 16
Neighborhood: Potrero Hill
Occupation: Self-employed number cruncher
Self Description: Proud father of two four-legged fur babies, a self proclaimed “foodie,” plays the flute in the San Francisco Freedom band, and loves shiny objects
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET A CUPCAKE
WHERE: 3249 Scott St., at Chestnut Street
WHAT: Delectable goodies made from local ingredients
INFO: (415) 563-2253 or www.karascupcakes.com
Kara’s makes the best cupcakes in The City, and I’ve tried them all. Get the “Sweet Vanilla” — it is a vanilla cupcake with sweet Madagascar bourbon vanilla frosting. One bite and you will be hooked.
FAVORITE VIEW OF THE CITY
WHERE: Mason Street, at Lyon Street
WHAT: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Most people think the best views in The City are up high, but the views from Crissy Field really give you perspective. Look up at the Golden Gate Bridge, then turn around and gaze at the enormity of The City. This is also a great place to bring dogs.
FAVORITE PIZZA PLACE
Escape From New York Pizza
WHERE: 508 Castro St., at 18th Street
WHAT: A taste of N.Y. in S.F.
INFO: (415) 252-1515 or www.escapefromnewyorkpizza.com
The best place to get New York-style, super-thin-crust pizza. Normally I’m a pepperoni kind of guy, but their pesto pizza is wonderful, so I get the best of both by ordering a half and half.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET JEWELRY MADE
The Bead Store
WHERE: 417 Castro St., at 17th Street
WHAT: Jewelry-making supplies, custom-made jewelry
INFO: (415) 861-7332
The people that work here are great — very friendly and helpful. I saw a pendant in the window attached to a gal’s necklace. They sold me the pendant and made a very cool and masculine leather necklace that looked great, all for under $50.
FAVORITE ‘TREAT YOURSELF’ DINNER
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
WHERE: 1601 Van Ness St., at California Street
WHAT: Fine dining in a warm atmosphere
INFO: (415) 673-0557 or www.ruthschris.com
Being a country boy from Nebraska, I know steaks, and this is the best place to get one. It’s also got delicious food and exemplary service. My favorite dinner is a chocolate martini, Caesar salad and petite filet with shoestring potatoes. It can be pricey, but worth it.
FAVORITE DOG PARK
St. Mary’s Park
WHERE: 95 Justin Drive, in Bernal Heights
WHAT: A hidden jewel of a park
This is a specified dog park that is completely gated and landscaped with a water fountain. You can enjoy off-leash play with your dog or just sit on the benches and watch them romp around. My dogs love to go here and socialize.
FAVORITE PLACE FOR BRUNCH
WHERE: 501 Hayes St., at Octavia Blvd.
WHAT: Comfortable all-American food
INFO: (415) 241-9011 or www.stacksrestaurant.com
Either I go here too much or the staff is just really friendly, because they always talk to me like they just saw me. I get the same thing every time: the Monte Cristo sandwich, topped off with berry jam. Heaven!
FAVORITE PLACE FOR A WALK
WHERE: 50 Stow Lake Drive, in Golden Gate Park
WHAT: A beautiful place for taking a walk in The City
You can rent bikes or paddle boats to go around the lake, or simply just walk the trails. I’ve been there many times and notice something different each time.
FAVORITE SANDWICH SHOP
WHERE: 503 Irving St., at Sixth Avenue
WHAT: Hole in the wall with great sandwiches
INFO: (415) 681-5652
Their sandwiches are made to order on large rolls with fresh meats and cheeses, then toasted to perfection. They also make these amazing potato chip-style French fries. Great place to pick up a sandwich before heading to Golden Gate Park for a picnic.