Hidden gem offers nice meal for under $10


The restaurant is on one of the busiest corners in the city. It's on 4th and Mission right across from the Metreon theaters and just a few doors down from the Westfield Mall. It's called the Educated Palate.

At the Educated Palate it is hectic during the lunch hour. There is organized chaos in the kitchen as workers prepare sourdough bread, chopping vegetables, and frying chicken. The restaurant, which features an American menu, quickly fills up with hungry customers.

"Desert for 53 coming in the elevator," said Maureen Kelland, the chef instructor.

Customers are often surprised when they see the prices.

"Jake and I, when we were walking in thought we were going to be paying about $30 a plate. So to be paying under $10 is awesome," said Carl Parisi, a restaurant patron.

This restaurant is the brainchild of the culinary arts and hospitality studies department at City College of San Francisco. Each one of the cooks and wait staff is a student in the culinary skills and training program. Chris Johnson is the school's management instructor.

"Some people have eaten here for months, even years and don't seem to realize that they are students," said Johnson.

The restaurant is a laboratory for students to sharpen their culinary skills. Customers we talked to all gave it a passing grade.

"It's a nice surprise, actually. The food is wonderful and I think this is a great way to support the community," said Ken Kavanaugh, a restaurant patron.

Kavanaugh just moved to the city so this the say we interviewed him was his first time at the restaurant, but many others are repeat customers.

"My gosh. I come here almost like two or three times a month," said Jim Ferrer, a restaurant patron. "For the price, it's very good. For the quality, excellent."

The prices are certainly an attraction, but the school thinks the unique ambiance adds to the restaurant's appeal.

"Customers love to be in the middle of a classroom setting while they're dining," said Johnson.

The Education Palate is only open for lunch and special bookings during the fall and winter semesters. The restaurant is closed at the beginning of each semester to allow time to train the students. So check it out while you can.

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