Best Takeout San Francisco 2004 - Whole Foods Market
399 Fourth St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
The newest outpost of this well-known organic-food chain features an overflowing cornucopia of prepared foods. There are multiple steam tables devoted to differing "flavors": Asian, Latin American, Indian, Middle Eastern. Another hot bar is devoted to comfort foods: quartered roast chickens, garlic mashed potatoes, mac 'n' cheese. There are two big deli counters attractively stocked with large white platters filled with cooked meats and fish (rosy red flank steak slicked with chimichurri sauce, chile-dusted chicken breasts, poached salmon, skewered shrimp) and side dishes (grilled vegetables, rice salad with minced greens, garlicky pasta), available by the pound, as well as calzones, lasagna, and casseroles that can be heated there or at home. If you can't be bothered with ordering, there are prepackaged hot rotisserie chickens (prepared eight different ways, including barbecue and tandoori) and sides, kept warm under a lamp and labeled "Grab 'n' Go." Individual baguettes are thoughtfully stacked near the two hot soup stands, featuring everything from Lebanese vegetable to lobster bisque. Or you might graze among the half-dozen fresh-chopped ceviches; the cooked lobster, crab, and shrimp; the impressive array of smoked fish; the excellent packaged sushi. There's an olive bar, dozens of cheeses, and a tempting bakery. Your biggest problem? Deciding what you want to eat.