I’ve taken my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter out for pho and even a couple of beers in Oakland for $50. Here a restaurant opened that is supposed to be very good, but a single bowl of pho used to be about $20 and I’d probably need to get a part time job to afford it today. The pho to be found at Asian fusion restaurants is like a weak memory of good soup.
This is what you get when the wine tourist industry arrives. Expensive restaurants and expensive boutiques and expensive wine. You are left with about four affordable family restaurants, without exception Mexican, and a Walmart. Fortunately the owners are all from Jalisco or Michoacán, so the food is really good and identical to, sometimes better than what I’ve eaten in Jalisco or Michoacán. We have some excellent butcher shops, which helps. Although I’m now vegetarian. I cheat about once a month, usually at Mi Pueblito.
You could not buy a taco with a hard shell until Taco Bell arrived. Not saying their food is bad, it’s generally mediocre, and cheap, but the things you can order seem like they were dreamed up by drunken and stoned frat boys. Deep fried tacos inside deep fried burritos? Hard shell tacos made from Doritos? (Those were kind of good, really.) Corporate food.
I like this topic. Love to read family food traditions. And restaurants if yore.