627 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA 94122, (415) 753-8867, open 11 am to 10 pm every day, plutosfreshfood.com
Pluto’s is a casual neighborhood restaurant on Irving Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in the Inner Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco.
I like going there and getting one of their big salads. It makes me feel so virtuous! I’ve been trying to eat healthier, and when I walk out of Pluto’s I feel as if I have gotten most or maybe even all of my five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, all in one fell swoop.
The restaurant is cafeteria style. You pick up a check, and hand it to one of the food servers behind the counter, who punches out a star next to your order. When you’re all done ordering, you give the check to the cashier.
When you get a salad, you get to choose seven toppings. Choices include sweet walnuts, roasted red peppers, various other veggies, chopped apples, mandarin orange pieces, and other goodies. Sometimes they have strawberries, but not always. A food server puts the lettuce mix, your seven chosen toppings , and your chosen dressing into a huge metal bowl and tosses it vigorously.
You can also get a serving of meat on your salad. You can get turkey, chicken, sausage, or my favorite, tri-tip beef right off of the grill.
Prices are good. A main salad, which is huge, with the seven toppings is $5.40. Add in meat, and it’s $6.35. A side salad, which is smaller but still pretty big, with the seven toppings is $4.40, and with meat, it’s $5.25. You can add a thick slice of fresh sourdough bread for a quarter.
They also have sandwiches and a variety of side dishes. I always get the salad, so I can’t tell you how the sandwiches and side dishes taste, but they do look and smell delicious. The curly garlic fries look/smell particularly good. I think I’ll have to get them next time! Sandwich prices are $4.05 to $5.75. Garlic fries are $2.00.
It’s a comfortable place to go by yourself. There’s usually a newspaper there to read, and there’s a counter-like table in case all the individual tables are taken. There are tables for two and for four. I’ve also seen larger groups come at an off hour when it wasn’t too crowded and push a bunch of tables together.
Although this place, with its outer space theme, looks like a quirky one-of-a-kind restaurant, it’s actually part of a little chain. They have other branches on Chestnut Street, and in San Jose, Palo Alto, Davis, Sacramento, Roseville, and Chico.
Delicious, healthy food, and reasonable prices — I give Pluto’s four out of four stars.