Florida Street Cafe
710 Florida St
(between 19th St & 20th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
I had heard about FSC and how it was a restaurant run by the Latino Cuisine Culinary Academy, which is a program offered at the Mission Language and Vocational School around the corner. They’re only open for lunch on weekdays, so plan accordingly.
The doc and I visited this place and we weren’t disappointed. It was a little different than I expected, as this place made the list of the Chronicle’s Bargain Bites. This was no dive operation — it’s a larger simple space, with clean wooden chairs and tables. We arrived a little bit before noon on a Thursday and there were more than enough tables to spare.
The chips were standard mass-purchased, multi-colored ones…I had kind of wished they’d be more of the thick corn variety. Salsa was ok, too. Fresh and balanced flavor in a puree-like consistency, not spicy or chunky. We were able to ask for some secret spicy sauce and got a bright orange habanero-looking paste that definitely had some kick in it.
There are some traditional meals on the menu (including Cuban sandwiches, yum), but I opted for the grilled snapper special of the day. Served on a pesto-esque mound of mashed potatoes with some sauteed spinach on the side, the two fish halves were enough to get me stuffed. The doc had Argentinian beef skewers with salad, and heartily devoured it all. Both the beef and snapper were flavored just right, and cooked tenderly.
The prices weren’t exactly grub-esque, but more typical or below average for a regular sit-down restaurant. My snapper was $12.95, and the doc’s steak was about $9.95. I figured, the price went to a good cause and it made my stomach happy, so that’s the real bargain (aww).