Valencia Pizza and Pasta

801 Valencia St. @ 19th
San Francisco, CA 94110
phone: 415.642.1882
hours: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, 5-9:30pm, Sat 9am-3pm, 5-9:30pm, Sun 9am-3pm
Italian, Pizzeria
Wine and Beer

This place is misnamed. Though I'm sure they serve pizzas and pastas galore, in my half a dozen trips there, I've never had either. This sit-down restaurant is dirt cheap, so I call it a bargain.

One more point of interest: weekend brunch out in this city is practically a circus. You wait 45 minutes, get distracted service and pay $15 a head. This joint is one of the only places that you can show up for Saturday breakfast, get seated immediately, buy two omelets, 2 coffees and pay under $15 including tip.

The Ambience:
Seems like I'm only going to dives these days, but once again, I gotta say they don't have it. This itsy bitsy Mission corner restaurant has managed to pack a dozen or so tables in, but except for the enormous flower painting wrapped in chili pepper Christmas lights, there's not much going on here. "Open kitchen, plastic tablecloths, a couple booths, some tiny tables and a big ole chalkboard jam packed with specials. Now we're talking.

The Menu:
It's all there. I hardly remember the physical menu, but the chalkboard has everything from pork chops to NY strip to pasta dishes to mad salads, all for under $10. The breakfast menu is equally vast with all your morning favorites under $5. It's a perfect fit for the ravenous and cheap.

The Food:
Well, there's dinner and there's breakfast. Dinner is fare, loaded with vegetables and rather bland. It serves its purpose, and the portions are mighty. Breakfast, well, maybe my standards are lower, but the hash browns are crispy, the egg dishes are huge, and everything is tasty. So hit it during the daylight hours.

The Service:
Non-descript. They have two people for the 10 tables, so your waitresses are present, but they are somewhat invisible to us and we're strangely invisible to them. Ships passing in the night. We might have difficulty getting our beverages, others might have difficulty getting their checks and everyone forgives it because this place is just so cheap.

Reservations: Nope

Overall: B-
The food isn't worth it, but immediate seating and cheap food sort of make up for it.

Reviewed : Jan 2004

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