Traditional recipes

Jeff Mauro’s Favorite Cheap Dining Spots Slideshow

Jeff Mauro’s Favorite Cheap Dining Spots Slideshow

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (New York City)

Mauro likes to order a slice of double dough artichoke pizza ($4.50) and the Sicilian slice with vodka sauce ($4) at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, a trio of pizzerias founded by best friends Francis Garcia and Sal Basille in New York City.

Tofu Ya (Los Angeles)

To find cheap eats, Mauro likes to frequent the Japanese and Korean restaurants in Los Angeles. He likes to order the tofu seafood soup ($8.99) at Tofu Ya, which comes with banchan, small side plates like kimchi and fermented tofu.

"You might be disgusted with yourself," said Mauro of the unlimited helpings of banchan that the waitstaff happily refill.

Argyle Street (Chicago)

When the Sandwich King is in need of a tasty but inexpensive sandwich, he heads to Chicago’s Argyle Street for Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches at shops like Vah Li.

Al Pastor (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)

Around 11:30 a.m. each day in downtown Puerto Vallarta, taco vendors begin setting up and serving Mexico’s quintessential street food.

"Nothing beats a $0.75 street taco made with expertise and love," said Mauro.

When he wants a sit-down taco feast, Mauro heads to Al Pastor where the pork is grilled on a vertical charcoal spit before being stuffed into $1 tacos.

Tierra Caliente (Chicago)

Yelp / Araceli R

In the back of a Mexican grocery store is a taqueria where Mauro goes for inexpensive tacos al pastor. The messy tacos are loaded with all the fixings for $2 each.

Gene and Jude’s (River Grove, Ill.)

Conveniently located between Mauro’s home and the airport, Mauro stops by for the Chicago Depression-style hot dogs that have hand-cut french fries thrown on top before they are wrapped up.

"You have to get like three hot dogs," said Mauro who spends roughly $5 for his hot dog trio.

You won’t find ketchup here, notes Mauro, who said the McDonald’s in the gas station next door sells ketchup packets at a premium. Mauro explains that the true Chicago hot dog comes with onions, "normal a** relish, not that neon green stuff," two sport peppers, mustard, and a bun.

Gooey Looie’s (Philadelphia)

Yelp / Jaime J

"Steak was just pouring out of it," said Mauro of the mammoth cheesesteak sandwich fir for two or even three diners at Gooey Looie’s. "It was so big!"


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


San Francisco chefs reveal their favorite meals in the Bay Area

Click through the gallery to see what San Francisco chefs dine on around the Bay Area.

4 of 53 Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer, Marlowe Park Tavern The Cavalier)

8 of 53 Russell Moore (Executive Chef of Camino The Kebabery)

13 of 53 Rogelio Garcia (Executive Chef, The Commissary)

(Continued from previous slide) "The chickens are roasted whole on the rotisserie after being brined so they stay really succulent. They throw some fresh herbs on the chicken and you can pick your favorite dipping sauce I like Douglas Fir sour cream."

RT Rotisserie, 101 Oak St, San Francisco. (415) 829-7086.

Locanda, 557 Valencia St, San Francisco. (415) 863-6800.

49 of 53 Sara Hauman (Chef de Cuisine, Octavia)

50 of 53 Jeffrey Hayden (Chef de Cuisine, Del Popolo)

Aji tataki from Kappou Gomi

San Francisco has established itself as a true foodie city, offering up some of the most unique (and delicious) culinary creations in the entire country. Behind every dish that has earned a cult following in the Bay Area is a mastermind chef, who has to live and breathe good food.

While chefs are often asked about their own creations, they seldom talk about their favorite dishes crafted elsewhere. We contacted chefs from a variety of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants and beyond to pick their brain about what dish they find themselves returning to again and again in the Bay.

"Us chefs, we're pretty simple when it comes to food . there are places you go over and over again and only want to get the same thing. When you get something you don't usually get, it's really fun," says La Folie Executive Chef Roland Passot.

From comfort food to upscale dining, this list provides the hidden gems of the SF restaurant scene. For those of us who take food bucket lists seriously, if one of these chefs suggests a dish, we'd better listen.


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