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Food & Drink

Best Free Lunch 

Gino & Carlo

548 Green (at Columbus), 421-0896

Although it's true that there's no such thing as a free lunch, at one time in our gilded past the saloons of San Francisco would lay out bountiful noontime feasts of oysters, caviar, baked ham, and other salty, thirst-whetting treats, all for the price of a nickel beer. One of the few modern-day exponents of this sorely missed tradition is Gino & Carlo, where on a given 49ers, Warriors, or Giants Sunday the staff will lay a tablecloth across the pool table and set up a buffet of pasta, sourdough, and all the fixings for the pleasure and nourishment of patrons. The penne's al dente, the sourdough's brushed with garlic, the salad's fresh and green, and the Anchor Steam makes everything taste even better. (You never know when the game will warrant the groaning board, so call ahead to avoid disappointment.)

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