Today, I'm excited to turn the blog over to my friend and co-worker, Brodie Brazil. Brodie's "cube" at work is right next to mine, and when we're both actually in the office at the same time, we often talk about food. If you've seen his tweets on the subject, you know that the extent of his cooking skills includes PB&J. But what he lacks in the kitchen, he makes up for in his writing. So when he enthusiastically asked if he could write about his favorite restaurants, I of course happily obliged. Thanks Brodie!
By nature, I am a lazy eater. My decisions for lunch or dinner are often based on how fast I can get food from my hands to my stomach, instead of the prospective quality of the meal itself. Make a chicken dish in 30 minutes, or make a Salami sandwich in 30 seconds? I'm sorry Jaymee Sire, but my choice is that simple 99% of the time. I am not particularly proud of this trait, which I thoroughly blame on the rushed nature of my profession.
Going to a (very nearby) Mexican restaurant would also seem to fit this "lazy" trend, however thankfully for me, Tropisueño in San Francisco's SOMA district…is also an excellent choice in terms of food quality, quantity, and atmosphere.
Every meal at Tropisueño begins with warm/fresh tortilla chips, and 3 varieties of salsa. There is traditional red, which has the tomato taste with a medium spice. The green is everything you'd expect from a verde, and is the least mild… which comes in handy. That's because the third offering is queso, and the cheesy blend will leave your mouth ablaze… in a good way. I often find myself in a consistent rotation of the 3 sauces, but a word of caution: save some room for the main course! Way too easy to fill yourself on the preamble.
I've enjoyed several different main course choices at "The Trop", but lately I am fixated on Tampiqueño. It's a healthy dose of Niman Ranch beef (2 large slices), accompanied by beans, rice, tortillas, guacamole, and a beef barbacoa enchilada. Most eaters won't be able to leave the plate clean, however I have taken claim to that accomplishment once or twice. Simply said: it's a lot of food… good food.
The centerpiece of the dish, is the steak. Often times, I've had beef where the texture or the temperature is the highlight… but in the case of Tampiqueño, it's the seasoning. You will definitely need the additional knife provided to cut through the hearty meat. But the punch it gives, is worth the extra effort.
In terms of the enchilada and all the other simple sides: it's hard to do them wrong. And on that note, Tropisueño does them all right.
The atmosphere of this restaurant is another huge plus in my book. It's a self proclaimed "Mexican kitchen" which has a very homely feel, considering it's placement just 100 yards from the busiest street in downtown San Francisco. There is booth and table seating, and either way, you will enjoy a good meal in a great atmosphere, at a respectable price. The menu is no greater than 2 pages, but provides plenty of good options between seafood, chicken, or vegetarian dishes.
Tropisueño is technically located in the San Francisco Marriott building, with it's facade on the walkway connecting Market Street to Yerba Buena Gardens. Do yourself and look it up on Google Maps before you walk or drive there. The lunch menu is more of a cafeteria-service, and there is a small but worthy bar which holds happy hour Monday through Friday.
For as rushed as I might ever be: I always make time to enjoy a lengthy meal at Tropisueño!