Best Cheap, Healthy Fast Food - 2004
Asqew Grill - CLOSED
The city's smallest fast-food chain is also its most wholesome, with fresh fruits and vegetables the common currency and grilling, not frying, the kitchencraft of choice. Sound ... uninspiring? Think again, burger boy! Asqew specializes in flame-licked skewers of meat, veggies, and seafood edged in multiethnic, end-of-the-continent touches. The results are distinctive and delicious. One skewer features chunks of smoky pork, apple, pear, and red onion doused in a sultry barbecue sauce; another alternates juicy blackened prawns with yellow squash and Roma tomato; artichoke hearts, crimini mushrooms, and pesto-marinated chicken breast star in a third. (There are 17 skewers in all.) Accompaniments include a grilled mascarpone-ribboned polenta; a salad of arugula, Gorgonzola, and grilled pear; a wide variety of grilled greenery; and, for dessert, a grilled-brownie hot fudge sundae. Your food arrives in a matter of minutes, and the price is right: $8 or $9 gets you two skewers with a starch or salad, pricey by Clown standards but a bargain considering the quality. The Haight location is very Hashbury, with rustic wooden beams, myriad knickknacks, and Southwestern-style orange terra cotta producing a casual, hip vibe.