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For the most part, food writers and restaurant critics operate in a vacuum. Or, at least they should. Nothing good - or at least honest - can really be gained from journalists offering opinions on eateries and dishes powwowing together and sharing/poisoning the well with their opinions. Sure, it happens from time to time, but in an effort to keep my views and judgments untainted and 100% my own, I pretty much keep to myself.

All that said, this is a small community and nearly every food writer in town knows one another. We even bump into each other from time to time. Not surprisingly, that occurs in a restaurant setting. When that happens, you can rest assured the site of our unexpected convergence is pretty good.

Recently, I was completely wiped from a long day of laboring and, up for little more than crashing on the couch (where I’d later write two articles), I decided to treat myself to some take-out. I drove my weary (and admittedly somewhat lazy) bones to North Park’s Canada Steakburger, where I promptly ordered my good old standby—their tasty gyro sandwich with an extra serving of tzatziki sauce—then took a seat with the scores of other spit meat seeking customers packing the joint.

About 15 minutes in, I looked up from my iPhone to see another local food writer enter. We exchanged pleasantries and a shared love of this hole-in-the-wall haven for all things Greek, greasy and guilt-ridden. As it turns out, she goes there all the time, too. Unlike me, she’s smart enough to know that calling ahead is the only way to go.

Take it from not one, but two food writers (plus all of the other resto journalist-types who’ve sang this place’s praises over their many years gracing NoPa before it went and got all trendy and what not), this is a little local biz that’s not to be missed. Just be sure to call ahead! Canada Steak Burger is located at 3604 University Avenue...and their phone number is (619) 283-4345.

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