Another One Bites The Dust in San Francisco

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About Pickle: Eat like a local! Pickle makes the world yummy again by allowing everyone to share the food spots they love through photos, not lengthy, pretentious reviews.

Another one bites the dust as an apartment fire destroyed a favorite local watering hole and Mexican restaurant. San Francisco is a unique case of gentrification because, along with several other reasons, we also only have a given amount of space, causing a supply and demand issue. Because of this so many people have been displaced and we’ve lost countless local restaurants that felt tied to our San Francisco identity. We wanted to take this tragedy and opportunity to remember our favorite spots and remind everyone of all the great places that are still here. Here is a list of local landmarks and an ode to the foodie destinations we have lost over the years and suggestions on alternative local eats so your money can stay in the community.

PLAYA AZUL

546 Valencia st, SF

It’s hard to talk about this place in past tense because it happened so recently, but alas it’s true, the five alarm fire on 29th and Mission on Saturday destroyed 9 businesses and displaced 58 people from their homes. This was a part of Mission street that still had so much local flare. Most of the businesses here were family owned and have been established for over 15 years or more. Playa Azul wasn’t just a taqueria, it served full and heavy portions of fried calamari, fish tacos, and margaritas that could start your engine. It was always the perfect spot for brunch after a long night at El Rio. You will be missed Playa Azul, but on those long summer nights when you’re feeling nostalgic and need family style enchiladas, go to Puerto Alegre, another Mission favorite that has stood the test of time.

LIVERPOOL LIL’S

COW HOLLOW, SF

In this sleepy part of Cow Hollow, nestled up against the Presidio was Liverpool Lil’s. If you never got the chance to try their breaded Mac ‘n Cheese, you truly missed out on a historical moment. Always packed with locals, especially during Fleet Week, Lil’s was a neighborhood favorite, the closest thing to the Cheers bar this side of the pond. Their Facebook page reports that after the fire they planned to rebuild but given soaring rent prices in the area, the landlord decided not to renew their lease. The magnitude of loss really hit home in February when the iconic sign that swung over the doorway for nearly 45 years, was taken down. Thankfully they have a sister restaurant close by called the Brazen Head. Order a double cut pork chop or a pub style burger, have a few beers, and never forget the legacy of Liverpool Lil’s.

EL PEROL

Mission District, SF

El Perol was in one of the most colorful and lively places in the Mission at one time. In the back of several restaurants and other little shops, instead of having dumpsters and a forgotten back alley, it opened up into a small marketplace where there was often live music and you could buy all types of different food, jewelry, nic nacs, toys, and lucha libre masks. In the center of it all, El Perol was serving up the best Peruvian food in the Mission and possibly all of SF. Their empanadas were made fresh daily and their fried pork sandwich would have you feeling like you could date a sandwich. Tragedy struck last year when an electrical fire broke out and engulfed the entire market place, 3 other business and two apartment buildings. Landlords would only rebuild and renew leases with a rate increase way out of range for business owners who have been there for over 20 years. The owner of El Perol reopened in San Mateo, but if you need a local Peruvian spot, Cholo Soy is your new home.

ANTOJITOS SALVADORENOS AMINTA

Outer Mission, SF

This place used to be like an actual teleport machine to El Salvador. When you walk in patrons sat at the bar on little red stools and ordered fresh squeezed orange juice or coffee and perfectly stuffed pupusas. We can’t even put into words how much we will miss the shrimp and cheese pupusa, it was a masterpiece. Thankfully you can still get bomb ass pupusas but you might have to walk a little further than before. In the outer Mission, Balompie is serving up fresh pupusas on a daily and you can watch soccer while you burn your mouth on the cheese because you couldn’t wait for it to cool down.

About Pickle: Eat like a local! Pickle makes the world yummy again by allowing everyone to share the food spots they love through photos, not lengthy, pretentious reviews.