300 19th Ave., SF. (415) 752-9274, www.tiamargaritasf.com
CATHEAD'S BBQ'S DANDELION GREEN POTATO SALAD
When we asked Richard Park if anything on his menu was derived from a family recipe his immediate response was, "oh yeah, basically all of it." Park and his wife Pam Schafer are the owners of Cathead BBQ in the SOMA. Specializing in some good 'ole Southern cooking, it seems almost impossible that the menu not include strong familial influences.
Giant buttery breads and Coca-Cola soaked meats are Down South traditions but as far as heritage dishes go, Park recommends his dandelion green potato salad — a fresh spin on one of his German family's favorites. The dish, often made by her mother and grandmother, is traditionally a piping hot mix of mashed potatoes and dandelion greens. To compliment the finger lickin' barbeque Cathead is known for, Schafer transformed his childhood favorite into a cold potato salad made with Yukon potatoes, creamy buttermilk, green onion and vinegar dressing, and fresh dandelion greens.
1665 Folsom, SF. (415) 861-4242, www.catheadsbbq.com
AN THE GO'S GARLIC NOODLES
Track down this bright red food truck parked somewhere in the city and expect to find an impressive line. What's everyone waiting for? The truck's signature dish: a generous serving of garlic-inflected noodles topped with a skewer of your choice (beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, or veggie). The recipe for these chewy noodles belong to the An family, who opened up one of San Francisco's first Vietnamese restaurants Thanh Long back in 1971.
The technique involved in cooking the fresh and doughy noodles with a pungent garlic kick is a long-kept family secret. William Norling, who helps run the An the Go food truck, says "everyone always says 'I tried to make it at home but I can't make it taste same.' They're a funky texture."
Self-billed as the purveyors of the first garlic noodle on the West Coast, the An family restaurant empire hinges on its family recipe. Maybe secrets don't make friends, but it sure seems like secret recipes make plenty.
(415) 665-1146, www.facebook.com/AnTheGoSF