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Cafes, cantina, delis for Democrats or anyone near Moscone Center.

The electoral frenzy of 3,000 participants in the Democratic National Convention--to be held July 16 through 19 at San Francisco's Moscone convention Center--will undoubtedly generate some energetic appetites. You may not be a Democrat, but if you're going to an eveng at the center (see list on page 62) or planning a visit to the burgeoning South of Market area, you'll want to know what to do, routes to walk (for ideas, see the April 1982 Sunset), and places to eat.

Dozens of cafes and restaurants have opened in the area in the past several years. Some have taken over spaces that once held typical South of Market industries: a handbag warehouse is now a Mexican cantina; a former junk shop is now a fashionable cafe; a bus garage now parks a pasta restaurant.

We list nine moderately priced places within 1,500 feet of the convention center where you can get something good to eat. There's ample parking nearby; try the inexpensive city-owned garage on Mission Street near Fifth Street.

1. Bloom]s New York Cafe and Deli, 198 Second street; open 7 to 4 weekdays. No hot food after 2:30; deli food until 3; desserts and beverages until 4 Empire State delegates can get a back-home nosh here: pastrami, kosher salami, picked tongue, and various hot plates (blintzes, potato latkes, knockwurst with sauerkraut), along with cold plates, soups, and salads. Also Saturdays 10 to 2:30, deli only.

2. Cadillac Bar, 1 Holland Court; open 11 to 11 Mondays through Thursdays, 11 to midnight Fridays, 5 to midnight Saturdays. Borrowing the cusine of the original Mexican restaurant of the same name in Nuevo Laredo, the Cadillac is a lively, sometimes raucous cantina. Reservations are not taken and the wait can be several hours on Friday or Saturday. Hunger pangs can be quelled with nachos or quesadillas at the bar. Specialities include mesquite-griller steak, fish, and chicken. If asked, waiters will show you how to build your own burritos and soft-shell tacos. Top with guacamole, lime juice, or a special pico de gallo (rooster's beak) sauce. A guitarist plays at lunch and dinner.

3. Crisps, 168 Second Street; open 7 to 4 weekdays. In a lofty space banked by two walls of windows, you can orchestrate your own salad from than 40 containers of fresh fixings. Soups, sandwiches, fresh French bread, or a "cup of shrimp" will roudnd out your lunch.

4. Elsie's Caffe & Deli, 299 Second Street; open 6:30 to 5 Mondays through Fridays, 7 to 3 Saturdays. This is a cozy corner cafe, with marble tables and fresh flowers. For breakfast, there are Italian pastries, steamed eggs, brioches, and crumpets: for lunch, you're offered sandwiches or quiche, plus coffee drinks.

5. In-Joy, 657 Mission Street; open 7 to 5 weekdays, Bombard your sweet tooth with ice cream, Italian tortardi cioccolata, cappuccino cake, Grand Marnier cake, or other rich selections; also specialty coffees. Daily lunch specials range from quiche Lorraine and spinach frittata to stuffed croissants. Different homemade soups are offered daily.

6. Natoma Cafe, 145 Natoma Street; open 7 to 4 weekdays. Hidden away from the crowds, this small features Italian coffees, quiches, soups, salads, and desserts.

7. Opts, 489 Third Street; open for breakfast 7:30 to 10:30 Mondays through Fridays, for lunch 11:30 to 4 Mondays through Saturdays, for dinner 5:30 to 8:30 Tuesdays through Fridays. The dubious view from the rear of the convention center looking down Third Street should not discourage the curious. You'll be pleasantly piqued by the "California cuisine" combinations dreamed up here. The space is bold and somewhat high-tech; the pink, cranberry, and forest green walls hold neon and artwork, which changes monthly. The menu changes weekly. Wine bar.

8. Pastaria, 715 Harrison Street; open 11:30 to 2 weekdays. beneath the ceiling lights and mirrored ball in the Harrison Street Theater (a dance club Thursday through Saturday nights), you can feast on fresh pata. The lofty, sunlit space is punctuated by lots of plants and large green umbrellas. Pasta choices include fettuccine (ribbon), buccatini (hollow spaghetti), or fusilli (spiral), all offered 10 different ways from Florentine (cream sauce with Swiss cheese and spinach) to carbonara (with egg yolk, sausage, bacon, butter, and cream). Ravioli, sandwiches, salads, and meat and fish entrees round out the menu.

9. Windows West, 814 Folsom Street; open 8 to 5 weekdays. Banks of windows expose South of Market activity while you sample sandwiches, soups, and salads or a daily specialty (often Greek). Finish with espresso or cappuccino and frozen yogurt. What's coming at Moscone Center

Here are upcoming events open to the public:

Home and Garden Show, October 5 to 14.

San Francisco International Auto Show, November 17 to 25.

Winter Fest '84 (ski show), December 7 to 9.

San Francisco International Boat Show, December 28 to January 5, 1985.

For a look into South of Market's past and future, you can take free Saturday walking tour, starting August 4. Sponsored by the Friends of San Francisco Public Library, the 1-1/2-hour tours depart from the front entrance of the Moscone Center at 1 P.M. For more information, call (415) 558-3770 weekdays.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 1, 1984
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