Convenience can be king, especially on those evenings when everyone seems to have a different schedule, and there’s no time to cook. Now Marina and Cow Hollow residents have two nearby options to pick up comfort food that should please the whole family. Plate on Pierce Street offers 8 healthful entrées and 12 sides six days a week that can be ordered online, via a smart phone app, or by phone. And not only can you choose what time you want to grab your meal, Plate offers curbside pickup, so you don’t have to park. Founded by Dylan Walker, a marketing and management pro, and Benjamin Seabury, an experienced chef and restaurateur, Plate prepares its food daily with a specific emphasis on local, organic produce, and hormone- and antibiotic-free meat. There are a variety of well-marked vegan, gluten-, dairy-, and nut-free options as well as Paleo selections; spicy dishes are also noted. True to its name, Plate serves all its meals on square ceramic plates that are microwave, dishwasher, and oven safe. Because you can either reuse the plate or return it to the eatery for $1 off your next order, Plate boasts that its packaging is beyond 100 percent recyclable and compostable.
A typical day’s menu at Plate includes a fish entrée, such as broiled lemon-dill salmon, several meat dishes like Argentine chimichurri-marinated steak or pot roast with veggies; a chicken dish; a pasta such as turkey lasagna; and two vegan entrées that may include tofu enchiladas, asparagus risotto, or a quinoa-stuffed pepper. Sides vary but usually include cauliflower “rice” or mash, a potato dish such as Yukon gold mashed potatoes or rosemary red potatoes, brown rice, and a variety of other veggies such as broccolini, Brussels sprouts, and roasted balsamic tomatoes. Side salads are available as are kids’ plates, which include favorites like cheese quesadillas, pasta with red sauce, and baked chicken nuggets.
Plates include one main and two sides or four sides and come in three sizes: a fit plate for $14, an ultra plate for $18, and a kids plate for $6. The ultra plate has about 50 percent more food for a hearty appetite or those looking to share. Dishes can also be ordered à la carte, but because the food is prepared in advance, specific menu items cannot be altered (3251 Pierce Street, 415-567-5283, platesf.com; Sunday–Friday 2–10 p.m.).
A different sort of comfort food can be found at The Italian Homemade Company on Union Street, the second outpost of a North Beach standby. Everything on the menu is homemade and features a variety of piadina, or sandwiches, made on yeast-free flatbread; cassoni (closed sandwiches); and fresh pasta with a wide selection of sauces. Mattia Cosmi and his wife, Alice Romagnoli, along with business partner Mirco Tomassini and several investors, own Italian Homemade Company. Romagnoli makes all the pastas in North Beach, and Cosmi’s brother Gian Marco Cosmi and Andrea Golinelli are the chefs on Union Street, so it really is a family affair.
Italian Homemade features a long counter with wood accents and Italian scooter seats on the barstools. Italian goods such as jarred pasta sauce and olive oil for purchase are displayed along one wall, and a refrigerated case shows off the selection of fresh pastas. The sandwiches ($10–$12) offer loads of meat and cheese combos such as prosciutto di Parma with stracchino cheese, arugula, and speck; Gorgonzola and eggplant; and vegetarian options such as a caprese sandwich with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. The cassoni are cooked on the grill and served hot. Favorites include Italian sausage with peppers, onions, and mozzarella; and spinach, potatoes, and mozzarella.
Pastas ($9–$13) range from fettuccine, gnocchi, meat and vegetarian ravioli, and tortellini, and you can select sauces ($1.50–$3) such as Bolognese with beef and pork, pesto, marinara, white with béchamel cream and butter, and meatballs. Specialties ($11–$12) include meat or vegetable lasagna, a gnocchi roll (gnocchi pasta dough filled with spinach and ricotta), and meatballs with flatbread. Several salads are also available ($6–$12).
Plans for a beer and wine license and fresh gluten-free pasta are underway and breakfast service recently began as well (1919 Union Street, 415-655-9325; daily 11 a.m.–9 p.m.).