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Krys Stanley

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  1. The Chronicle mentioned today that the first retail branch of the Della Fattoria wholesale bakery opened in Petaluma. It is called Della Fattoria Downtown. Anyone tried it? I don't ever think I knowingly tried Della Fattoria. What are your favorite breads?
  2. I agree with you. Actually I was only half serious. Part of me thinks that a childrens tasting menu is over the top. On the other hand it is great because the restaurants listed are not ones that I would think of as child friendly, so it is nice that thay are making an effort to welcome children at these places. The parents get a good meal and the children get exposure to good food and and hopefully quality food. I know I saw a box once upon a time about why a post was edited. I don't seem to find it. Anyway edited for being too flip.
  3. In the SF Chronicle's What's New section today, there is a mention of restaurants that are offering Children's Tasing menus. Restaurants include: Viognier, San Mateo Foreign Cinema, San Francisco . Chez Panisse Cafe, Berkeley Puccini & Pinetti, San Francisco (make your own pizza) Yankee Pier Larkspur (special events). Tuesdays at Chenery Park, San Francisco It is thinking like this that makes me love living in the Bay Area.
  4. Pamela, Thanks so much for the tip. I may be down that way tommorrow and will check this place out. I'm really surprised and happy about the response to this post. I don't cook well, but I shop well. So my gift to my Guatemalan fiance is to haul home some of the best tortillas in the area.
  5. I do not sell flavored tortillas!!!! <<gasping for breath>> There aren't any flavored tortillas at the ferry building that I know of. Rancho Gordo (machine made from corn, water, lime, nothing else, made the evening before) and Primavera, which are the very thick hand made tortillas. These are excellent but very thick and different than the more common thinner ones. I don't know of any flour tortillas available. In Marin, it's Rancho Gordo (as above) and what I think you might be thinking of, Santa Fe tortillas. These are flour tortillas flavored with chipotle, lime, tomato, etc. La Palma has handmade tortillas but I think they are inedible. Far too thick and heavy. But it is fun to watch the ladies make them in the back. But be sure and pick up some of their freshly rendered manteca from the carnitas drippings. You will thank me!!! Casa Lucas down the street is a busy place and has all the local brands in one place if you want to try them. I used to like a brand called Gran d'Oro but I don't know if they're still around. ← That's right, Santa Fe Tortillas. I'm insterested in seeing the reaction of my Guatamalan fiance when Ibring home some of these. Thanks for your take on La Palma. I had a highly inedible pupusa there. Thanks for the tip on the manteca. Rincon Latino has a pretty good manteca also. Can I interrupt this thread briefly to fawn. I LOVE your stand. This is not a solicited endorsement, no bags of free chips show up secretly on my doorstep at night. I no longer frequent the Ferry Plaza Farmers market. but I have shopped at your stand at other markets when I was doing a tour of farmers markets. I just looked at your great website What I really like is that you educate people about what your products are and how to use them. I worked in Mexico City for a year and was lucky enough to do some touring in the area. There is an amazing untapped world of eating experiences that have nothing to do with Tex Mex. I think that people would embrace the exciting dishes of Mexico if they knew more about them. I know Rick Bayless does some of that. However, thank you for making some of the ingrediants available to a wider audiance that might not explore that little Latin Market. Also it is nice to have a source of unique top quality products that you couldn't find at those markets. I haven't tried your tortillas yet. Either you were not making them at the time or they were sold out by time I got to the market. That is highly unlikely as I get to markets with the vendors before the good stuff is sold. The Diablo article on the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market linked on your site made me smile. The writer starts his shopping at 9 am. No, you get to the market at 7 am and wait in anticipation as they unload the boxes. Anyway, when is the cookbook coming out? How about the restaurant. The Bay Area could use a Mexican restaurant that offers more diverse dishes. If you saw my post on menudo, I'm in constant search of a good pozole. Maybe I'll be brave and try your recipe. Not being much of a cook, I hate to do that to your beautiful hominy. It never occurred to me that your eGullet name had to do with the Rancho Gordo products. Duh. Ok. Official end of rave. Back to talk of tortillas.
  6. I'm looking for places that sell store made tortillas. Actually any good tortillas would be ok. I kind of like those flavored yuppie tortillas they sell at the Ferry Plaza Market and the San Rafael Civic Center. I'm blanking on the name. The best tortilla place I've found so far is Rincon Latino on Mission at Geneva. The handmade corn tortillas are hot off the grill (1/4 inch thick and 4 inches wide). They also have the best pupusas I have tried in SF. For any pupusa to be worth while it must be hot of the grill, so do not do take out. Back to tortillas, I keep meaning to try La Palma on 24th st. And a recent post will have me checking out Otaez on International Ave in Oakland. Are there any other good fresh tortillas?
  7. You reminded me that there is a Chinese shopping area on the corner of Mission and Warm Springs Road in Fremont. It has a Lion supermarket. I spent a month in the area and didn't explore much beyond the Sogo Bakery in that plaza and the food court in the same room. The food court had the best sesame balls in the entire Bay Area. I always make a special stop when I'm in the area. But this isn't about restaurants. At SOGO, a Taiwanese bakery, I especially liked their flakey taro pastries filled with taro paste. Subtle in taste and the lovely pastel purple and white exterier is very attractive. There is almost a raw dough taste to them, so if you like uncooked cookie dough, you will like these.They have clever little cookies wrapped beautifully like gifts. They also make a delicious mango pudding with slices of mango sitting on top of a white gelatin-like pudding. They have good white breads like the coconut bread.Although I am not a fan of walnut breads because the walnuts are bitter, I loved the walnut bread at SOGO. There are some beautiful cakes. I tried the Japanese cheese cake which is lite in texture and slightly dry, similar to a Polish Cheese cake
  8. winesonoma, You seem familiar with this area. In Petaluma there are two places I've wanted to try, but haven't. Any info about J.M. Rosen's Cheesecake? I know one of the founders, Michele Rosen, just died in December. Are the cakes as good as the sound ... Chocolate over Blood Orange Cheesecake ... Lemon Marscapone Layer Cake. Is it a regular bakery or do you have to special order? I'm assuming that you can get a slice of the cheese cakes at Rosen's Eastside grill. Just what I need. Deep fried cheesecake. The other place is Divine Delights which has a retail shop in Petaluma. I know they sell a gazillion places, but I'm thinking it may be like Joseph Schmidtt and fun to visit the home site.
  9. Wow, Drewes Brothers sounds great. It's been in business for 100 years and I've never heard of it in all the time I've lived here. I always wonder why some places get all the press. I was going to include a section on wines, but I ran out of steam. Also, wine just isn't my thing. It is confusing to me and I don't have the bucks to experiment. For a buck, I can try every pork bun or pupusa in the city, but it takes an investment to play with wine. As a neophyte, I guess I like Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant in terms of helpfulness to wine idots. There is also that nice tasting section. At one time, K & L Wines was very helpful, but since the move, not so helpful. Probably the place I frequent the most is The Jug Shop for the selection and ease of parking. Although I'm more likely to do wine buying at Andronico's or Berkeley Bowl. Surprisingly, Albertson's probably has the best wine selection of the chain groceries. They have every one of the boxed wines available from the more top of the line Black Box to your cheapo Vella. Actually I've seen some boxed wines I've never seen before at Albertson's. I'm kind of liking the Voyager in the boxed wine category.
  10. Last night I cruised the bulk bins for the first time in years because the market was uncrowded. I was just astounded by the selection. I was considering those steel cut oats. I currently like an oatmeal that is only sold at Andronico's (the name is escaping me), but it is pretty pricy.
  11. Tips, hits, and misses There are so many items at the Berkeley Bowl, no one could try them all. What are your favorites and any tips you may have about shopping there? Also, this might be a nice thread to use if you find something particularly wonderful while you are shopping each week and let us know about it. This week Green cocktail grapefruit They are sweet. These are to grapefruit as Meyer lemons are to lemons. It is getting to the end of the season. The greener ones are better. I saw the first honey tangerines this week. Also bought some seasonal soft shell pecans . Just like regular pecans but you can shell them just by squeezing the shell with your fingers. Favorites Saint Benoit Yogurt is that expensive yogurt ($2) in little crocks. If you like that cream on top of Brown Cow yogurt, every bite of this French style yogurt is like that. If you look at the link to the website, you can find other stores that carry this Sonoma yogurt. I just discovered Whole Grain Natural Bread Company’s marble rye. Their oatmeal is too dry for me. The spinach parmesan is a nice bread. No really assertive flavors so you can use it to make any sandwich a little more unique. I love canned herring in wine sauce. The Bowl carries Acme herring from Brooklyn which is some of the best canned herring I’ve tried. The herring in sour cream is excellent also, Currently the Bowl is selling Crane Lake wines for $3.99 next to the register. It is a good everyday table wine. Some restaurants in SF are serving Crane Lake. Some of my favorites include the lemon chicken in the Chinese take out section. I recently had a terrific shrimp risotto from the deli. What kind of world do we live in where you have to put a sign on the olive bar that says “olives may contain pits”. I’m really fond of the little onions in balsamic . This was a great article in the San Francisco Chronicle about all those mysterious types of olives. There is an olive glossary at the end. I know other places sell it, but this is where I first tried Apple a Day juice and Sconehenge scones . I read somewhere long ago that Apple a Day squeezes the juice at the orchard and then freezes it to keep it fresh. I like to get the not quite defrosted juice and drink it on the ride home. I love the little pieces of ice in it. I think Sconehenge still makes the great pies and galettes in the white boxes. In the old bowl location Sconehenge was the great little café next door. After the move, the pies seemed to change a little. They are still good, but something seems different. Tips As far as tips, I never realized that there was a 10% discount if you buy in bulk. That flat of Chandler strawberries becomes even more of a bargain. I bought the canvas shopping bags when they first were sold years ago and they are still in great condition. What makes them so special is that the handle loops under the bag, so it never rips off. As to the best time to go, I have found that about 4 pm on weekday there are the least number of people. Close to closing, after 7 can be good too. I thought I would be clever once and show up at opening. Mistake. People sit in their cars sipping coffee, reading the newspaper and a mob forms about a minute before the doors open. Just a little background on the new location.
  12. I heard for a first time in another topic that those in Sonomo may feel a bit overshadowed by Napa's reputation. So my question to Sonomo residents is what are the restaurants that do you proud? Why should you NOT feel overlooked? I am surprised. A quick search for reviews on the Chronicle had 89 restaurants listed for Sonoma and only about 30 for Napa. There were a lot of those big names in Napa like French Laundry, but it seemed to me that Sonoma was holding it's own. I think I just read in a restaurant review that Petaluma really is starting to become a restaurant hot spot. Or as one person said, are the areas just too different. Are we mixing Gravestines and Clementines?
  13. Yes! See the world-famous chip on the shoulder of all Sonomans before venturing into Napa! Sorry. Another local joke! Seriously, I much prefer Sonoma and parts of Sonoma county to Napa in many ways but there's a self-inflicted inferioriity complex among lots of the residents. It's very odd to me as they are such completely different places. In fairness, things like Food TV's Gordon Elliot broadcasting from the town of Petaluma (in Sonoma County) announcing, "I'm here in Petaluma in the heart of the beautiful Napa Valley!" don't help. ← How about defending your area with some specifics? What is great in your area? Where do you shop? I'm going to have to assume that Napa indeed is the superior area Many, many years ago I frequented the Novato / Petaluma area and I seem to remember some good food shops. This isn't a topic about restaurants, but you folks have me curious and I'm going to start a new topic in a minute. What about bakeries and markets in Sonoma?
  14. How is the farmers market in Sonoma? Is it decent this time of year? I was in a huff about the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market new digs and have visited practically every farmers market in the area. I haven't been to many north of San Francisco though. The San Rafael Market has replaced Ferry Plaza for me. Almost all the same vendors who are selling in SF on Saturday. I think the layout at Ferry Plaza is awful. You can't easily cruise around too see what is available before buying A farmers market with no easy parking is absurd. If I want to buy a flat of something, it's too hard to lug it back to the car. Also, it is extremely handicap unfriendly. One of the regulars at the market before it moved was a lady in her 80's with a walker. She could go back to the car and rest if need be. There's not even many places to sit there. I guess this year I'l explore the markets up in the Napa Sonoma area. Also, it's time to get to know the area in general. Thanks for all the great suggestions.
  15. Thanks for the information, especially about the local harvest site. It reminded me of two places I always stop when driving along the coast from SF to Santa Cruz. Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport which was one of the early pioneers in organic farming. They sell at most of the Bay Area farmers markets but in season you can get varieties that are too fragile to make it to the markets. Also there is a u-pick option. The Chandler variety which is always available is my favorite. They also have a bakery. Do not miss, DO NOT MISS the best strawberry shortcake in the state at Swanton. Looking at the Swanton site, it seems that they have teamed up with Coast Ways Ranch, the farm that has the loganberries and sign for u-pick berries and kiwis. I’ve never been there. I’m not a u-pick kind of girl. Actually I’m not very much of a u-cook kind of girl, my reason for interest in a food forum. The other place I HAVE been is, Phipps Ranch in Pescadero which has hundreds of varieties of exotic and heirloom dried beans and peas. I kept hearing about the place, but you really have to see it to believe it. Also it has a collection of live farm animals wandering around and an aviary, among other things. Well, what the heck, if you are in Pexcadero stop by Archangeli Market for their fresh baked bread, often hot from the over. They also sell the beautiful Harley Farms goat cheese (the one with the flowers and herbs on top). You can see the Harley Farms goats grazing in the fields just down the street on the way to Phipps ranch. As you might guess from this topic, I’m a u-shop kind of girl.
  16. This is list of shops that sell the best food in San Francisco and the Bay Area. If you just moved here, it’s a starting point to getting familiar with where the locals go. Clicking on a name will either take you to the website or a review by the local press. Use this board for more opinions about many of these places. Specialities are noted like the warm, flaky egg custard tarts at Golden Gate Bakery. It’s not a list of restaurants, but markets, bakeries, cheese stores, etc. Read the excellent posts that follow for more great info about the South and North Bay which this list only touches on. I hope everyone shares more great information on the Bay Area. Theres a few shops on the list that sell across the country and not only here. Admit it. When you want your cream filled Easter Egg, you are going to Sees. This excellent SF Chronicle article has 101 reasons why the Bay Area is a culinary mecca. In the past few years, farmers markets are almost in every neighborhood. Here’s a link to find a market in your neighborhood. KQED did a WONDERFUL series about Bay Area farmers markets with background, vendor info, pictures and other farmers market links. My vote for the best of the entire region and in all categories is Berkeley Bowl. SAN FRANCISCO / EAST BAY Hard to separate because some of these places have locations on both sides of the Bay. I’m new to the East Bay so I hope posters will fill in the blanks. Bakeries and Bread Here's a great article by Patricia Unterman, one of the Bay Area’s best food writers. Acme (more), Arizmendi / Cheeseboard, Bay Bread Boulangerie, Crixa, Dianda's Italian American Pastry, Golden Gate Bakery (pork buns, custard tarts) , La Farine (morning buns) , Lelenita's Cakes, Liguria (focaccia) (more), Neldham's, Schubert's, Tartine Bakery, Victoria Bakery Coffee and Tea Blue Bottle, Caffé Roma, Graffeo, Martha & Brothers Coffee, Peet's Coffee & Tea (more) Far Leaves Tea, Imperial Tea (more), Teance (Celadon) Cheese 24th Street Cheese Co. , Cowgirl Creamery’s Artisan Cheese Shop , The Cheese Board, (more) Ethnic shops This is not my area of expertise and I hope people will post about the well known shops. There are many markets and shops in the Mission, Chinatown, and Clement Street offering fresh meat, seafood and produce at rock bottom prices. Upper Geary has many Eastern European shops. 99 Ranch Market Farmers Markets & Farms Alemany (more) (more), Berkeley Farmers Markets (more), Ferry Plaza, Old Oakland (more), SF Civic Center, Italian Delis A.G. Ferrari, Genova Deli, Lucca Delicatessen, Molinari Delicatessen Markets Andronico's (more), Berkeley Bowl (more), Bi-Rite Market (more), Mollie Stone's , Rainbow Grocery, (more), Tower Market, Whole Foods Meat and Seafood Markets The above markets all have good meat and seafood departments. Check ethnic markets for inexpensive and fresh (even live) products. This article from the SF Chronicle discusses “building a repertoire with the local fishmonger” The most farmers markets have fish and meat vendors. The Alemany market, for example, sells live chickens and you can buy a hundred small oysters from Pt Reyes Oyster for as little as $35. The Ferry Plaza Market has a number of top of the line meat vendors like Hoffman chickens and game birds. Many vendors, especially seafood, are dependant upon weather and season. They may not be there every week. Bryan's, Ferry Plaza Merchants , Guerra Quality Meats , Little City Market , Monterey Fish Specialty Boulette’s Larder (more), Yum (more) (scroll down) Sweets Recchuiti , Scharffen Berger , Schmidt , Sees, XOX SOUTH BAY This San Jose Mercury News article lists some South Bay Classics. Quite a few of the list below was culled from this article. My personal experience is limited, so I hope South Bay posters will add their ideas. The idea is not to copy what CitySearch or some other such site lists. This is meant to be a list of places that people really visit and use. For that reason, I would rather leave most of these categories blank and rely on the experience of people who live in the area to give their feedback. Businesses not located in San Jose will have the city noted. Bakeries and Bread Dick's Bakery (Burnt-almond cake) , Gayle’s Bakery – Santa Cruz , Greenlee's Bakery (cinnamon bread), Shuei-Do Manju Shop (mochi) , Wilson's Jewel Bakery - Santa Clara Coffee and Tea Cheese Ethnic shops 99 Ranch Market Farmers Markets & Farms Olson's Fruit Stand – Sunnyvale Campbell (more), Sunnyvale , (more) Italian Delis Paradiso Deli Markets Draeger's Supermarket Meat and Seafood Markets Chiaramonte's (sausages) , Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus , Race Street Foods (chicken, seafood) Specialty San Jose Tofu Co. Sweets Donnelly Fine Chocolates – Santa Cruz, Schurra's Candy NORTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE Not my neck of the woods. Here’s all I know. Hope others will contribute.: The idea is not to copy what CitySearch or some other such site lists. This is meant to be a list of places that people really visit and use. For that reason, I would rather leave most of these categories blank and rely on the experience of people who live in the area to give their feedback. Bakeries and Bread Downtown Bakery & Creamery - Healdsburg (more), Emporio Rulli – Larkspur , Sweden House Bakery (princess cake) – Tiberon Coffee and Tea Flying Goat Coffee6 – Healdsburg Cheese Tomales Bay Foods (more) Ethnic shops Farmers Markets & Farms Marin Civic Center Markets Italian Delis Markets Meat and Seafood Markets Specialty Sweets
  17. Never again for me. I did that once and it was difficult I just put the list together on this topic to get some discussion going. This way people didn't have to re-read the thru the thread. It was an easy way to see what was mentioned and what was missing. My visit to Ana Mandara had me craving more Vietnames, cheaper Vietnamese.I am SO in a soup mood. Mmmmm pho. Anyway the software on this board is so great you don't really need to do that. Great search function that works ... Well, maybe a post that had links to all the great posts SF BAY AREA DINING FINE DINING French Laungry topic link Manressa topic link etc VIETNAMESE Link to vietnamese tpics etc However it seems unnecessay. Citysearch does the list of restaurants by type. It seems to me that, for the most part, the organization of this board is such that a few topics covers many restaurants. For example, For Vietnamese, there are a few major threads like this one. THe problem with doing llists of restaurants is that they change and maintaining them is a bear. I'm still learning the board, so, although it may not be necessary, I'm putting somewhere in the Title the area and Cuisine/Type of food SF BAY AREA KOREAN SF BAY AREA MEXICAN SF Bay Area Asian Tea Rooms I'm still new here. I may do mysterious things in my ignorance. This discussion probably doesn't belong here so it's ok to delete or move to the appropriate place. Please be patient with me until I get up to speed.
  18. You are back Melkor. We meet at last (so to speak) What dishes do you like in particular at these restaurants.
  19. Not to take any business away from Bizou, but Bizou offers the DAT prx fixe lunch and dinner year round. It is usualy soup of the day or salad. There are two entrees of the six entrees off the regular menu. Looking at the menu today, I would guess it is the sea bass and pork. You can give them a call on the night you plan to go. You can select any dessert on the menu and if this is the first time, go for that vacherin. Please post back with your impressions, positive or negative. That's what makes food forums great. You get a balanced point of view. Bizou, like Chez Panisse, has people who are not impressed.
  20. I’ll briefly mention a special upcoming K&L / Bizou event before sharing my adventure with pintade. Every few months Bizou has special dinners featuring K & L Wines and a French wine region. I attended a dinner last year that featured the food and wine of Provence and enjoyed it very much. Even before K & L moved to the neighborhood, Bizou would host special events like the night Mario Batali of Babbo was the guest chef. In January you can lunch with Bordeaux Owners (and/or winemakers) from Angelus, Haut Bailly, Suduiraut, Petit Villages, Haut Bages Liberal, Phelan Segur, and Leoville Poyferre. Just a note, Bizou has a special agreement with K & L Wines. Bring your bottle of wine from K & L and Bizou will waive the corkage. K & L is located ½ block away from Bizou. Bizou is my favorite restaurant in San Francisco. I have dined there about once a month since it opened for over 12 years ago. Warm, sophisticated and cozy like a neighborhood French bistro, Bizou makes rustic Cal French dishes with Mediterranean influences I can't think of many places where the dinner is more satisfying. Restaurants and food trends have come and gone over those years, but Bizou has consistently provided great food and service. Many of the professional, friendly staff has been there since opening. They treat customers like valued friends and are knowledgeable about the food and wine. You will see customers from all economic brackets. Blue collar workers will are as likely to be found at the bar as the latest dot.com CEO. Everyone is made to feel equally welcome. I usually have dinner at the bar because I like the atmosphere there. I go to Bizou to celebrate the good times, escape for a while the bad times and enjoy the food at any time. It is my Cheers. The menu changes according to the season and Bizou uses the Bay Area's best food vendors. I suggest ordering whatever the special is. If there is squid on the menu, order it. No matter what the preparation, the squid is always outstanding. I remember one presentation that was in a tiny sizzling skillet. The tender squid was served on rice black from the squid ink. Crab appetizers are great like the Crab with Saffron Sauce, asparagus and buttered grilled bread. The braised dishes, especially at this chilly time of year, are always wonderful, warm and soul soothing. The meat, like the lamb shanks, is fall off the bone tender. I remember one lunch when I only had time for one appetizer. There were six tiny fresh sardines with a poached egg. You dipped the sardine in the egg. There was lovely hot house baked foccacia with olive oil to dip it in. That is all I had and yet I left the restaurant totally full and satisfied. That is how I always feel after a meal there. During strawberry season, I highly recommend the strawberry shortcake type desserts. Flavored crème brulee’s are always rich in flavor like a spicy pumpkin creme brulee which was as pleasing as pumpkin pie. The signature dishes,recommended by critics are always on the menu. Batter Fried Green Beans with Dipping Sauce Bizou Crisp Italian Flatbread Beef Cheek “Sainte-Menehould” with Mustard, Watercress and New Potatoes Bittersweet Chocolate and Coffee Vacherin~ Swiss Meringue, Crème Anglaise, Chocolate Sauce,Coffee Ice Cream and Candied Almonds With the exception of the Vacherin, I’ve only ordered these dishes once. The specials are always so outstanding and I would highly suggest that. That Vacherin is on my list of top ten desserts. One woman ordered Vacherin in Paris. Vacherin is also the name of a dessert cheese. When the meringue was put on the table, she looked the waiter in the eye and asked “Where’s the vache?” (cow). A lot of thought goes into selecting wines to best complement the foods. The staff is very knowledgeable about which wines best accompany each dish. There is unusually one dish with an interesting ingredient on the menu. I trust Bizou, so I have tried things I might not elsewhere. At Bizou I have had my first taste of sweetbreads, escargot, skate, octopus, fois gras, bone marrow, pork belly, beef cheeks, fiddlehead ferns and nettles, to name a few. So last week I tried pintade. Wednesday’s dinner started with an amuse of the lightest chicken liver mousse. For an appetizer I had Local Dungeness Crab Cake with Meyer Lemon Mayonnaise and Cabbage Salad...Bizou’s crab cakes are mostly crab and virtually no filler. I love when they have Maryland crab. The Dungeness has a more delicate taste. The entrée was the breast of pintade with Bloomsdale Spinach, Butternut squash Gratin and dates, a dish that was as delicious as it looked. I have never tried pheasant which is what pintade is supposed to taste like. It tasted like very good chicken to me. Dessert was Persimmon Pudding with Blood Orange and Brandy Chantilly. The warm pudding, like a small moist cake, was on top of three blood orange slices and topped with the brandy Chantilly. A nice way to finish the dinner. Michael Bauer recently downgraded Bizou, and unfairly criticized the restaurant as being complacent and having "middle-age doldrums'' The Chronicle received a number of letters of protest and printed this letter (scroll down). Considering the outrage of many diners, I think the Chronicle should include the link to that letter as well as Bauer’s current and past reviews. The kitchen is always evolving, experimenting with cured meats and house made cheese, such as mozzarella and Ricotta. Bizou started as Cal French and is broadening their scope to be more Cal Mediterranean. I strongly disagree with Michael Bauer. You can probably tell from my post that I am biased in favor of Bizou and an enthusiastic fan. As someone who is there monthly, I can only say that the food was as wonderful on my last visit as my first. It is the standard I use to judge other restaurants. When you seem me favorably compare a restaurant to Bizou on this board, that is the highest complement I can give. Some other Bizou memories: THE FOOD AND WINE OF PROVENCE This was a pleasant evening that left me with warm memories. I am not a socializer. When I heard that tables were pushed together and we would be sharing the table with other diners, I cringed. However, people who enjoy either Bizou or K & L like good food and wine, so the conversation was easy. We started as strangers and left friends. Then again, enough wine will do that to you. A woman in French country dress played French tunes on an accordion. There was a representative from France who talked about Provence. For added entertainment and drama, the power went out just before the first course was served. Fortunately it returned in five minutes. The wines from K & L were affordable and paired nicely with the food. Here's the menu: Delicious roasted almonds and Bizou's regular bread from Acme. Fried zucchini with stuffed zucchini flowers paired with Tavel Rose. My favorite dish. Nice contract in texture with the crunchy zucchini and the soft cheese stuffed zucchini. One of the better stuffed zucchini flowers I've had. Marinated local anchovies and grilled calamari paired with Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Blanc. As always, Bizou excelled with the calamari. The anchovies were a little too fishy for my taste. Sweet onions stuffed with bacon and sage paired with Bandol Rouge. Leg of lamb with tomato confit and olives. I liked the rosemary with the juicy lamb, but my friend thought it too strong. Fresh fig gratin paired with Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise. My second favorite dish. In all a highly enjoyable and delicous evening. ESCARGOT Saturday night I had escargots served with fresh English peas on a bed of greens. This is the second time I've had snails. The first time was on the East Coast and I remember a lot of butter and certain chewiness. I thought "Well, if you put enough butter on anything it will taste good". So I was surprised to see a different preparation. There was an actual flavor to the escargot themselves. I have trouble describing the dish without being unintentionally funny. All I can say is that the flavors were unique and I would order it again. I was telling my "uncouth" friends about the snails. I should have expected trouble when after saying the snails were on a bed of greens, someone asked if they were still moving. When I tried to describe the texture which was not chewy, I said they were tender. A chorus of eeewweees. I knew better at this point than to describe the delicate flavor as earthy, so I tried saying the taste was vaguely like a green garden. More moans and the comment that they were snails. Of course they would taste that way. Well, they were not there. It was a delicious dish and a whole different escargot experience.
  21. Thanks so much. What exactly is a Chinese donut? Is it sweet. I know there is a non sweet version that you dip in jook. I forgot the name of it (but it does have a colorful history). I don't think it is yiu tiao which is the Chinese donut mentioned in the Mark Carter link in my post. Could you tell me a little about what a Chinese donut is. You think after living all these years in SF with the wealth of Chinese bakeries that I would know. Lucky you. If you ever find a local version of the donuts you tried in the Netherlands, I hope you'll report back.
  22. Thanks. Gayles looks good. How's their chicken. Would this be a good place to stop to pick up picnic food for a day at the beach?
  23. Good to know GG the next time I'm in Santa Cruz. Which of these is your favorite? What should I select? Alas, my metabolism is such that I can no longer due extensive samplings of donuts. I have to select the best of the best.
  24. Where are the best places for donuts in California? IMO, donuts are not something that are a SF Bay Area thing. It seems they are more popular in SoCAL, but I may be wrong. Or are good donuts, with a few exceptions, something you can only find east of the Rockies? As a transplanted New Englander, I hope not. Searching the California board there are recommendations for BOB’S DONUTS in SF which I think are the only American donuts made from scratch in the city. Also mentioned are DESTINO’S donuts and Chinese donuts at TON KIANG. Other than French beignets, Mexican churros and Polish punski, I’m not too familiar with other ethnic variety of donuts. I hope people will tell us what other types there are and who makes them in California. Chinese donuts? This San Francisco Chronicle article discusses ethnic donuts (filhos oliebollen eappelflappen sufganiyot loukoumades sfenj bugia Bunuelos) as well as some places to buy them like THE PORTUGUESE COMMUNITY CENTER, OSO-ONO MALASADAS, and PANANDERIA HERNANDEZ (mmmm bunuelos and Mexican hot chocolate). The best jelly donut in the area is the one I had at PILGRIM’S KITCHEN in Belmont. Large, puffy completely encased in fresh powdered sugar, the raspberry jelly oozed all over. I was covered in confectionary sugar, my fingers sticky with jelly. It was like being seven years old again. I am in love with the fried to order beignets at BOULETTE’S LARDER ($7 and always on Sunday). Someone on this board mentioned that there is a difference between New Orleans beignets and classic French beignets. I never knew this and just thought that Boulette was heads above Café du Monde in New Orleans. I hear there are other good places for beignets in SF, but haven’t tried them. MOSCOW AND TBILIS BAKERY STORE on Geary have donuts that looked like Polish punski. Huge yeasty donuts filled with custard or cherries. Very good if a little greasy. North of the Golden Gate I just discovered DONUT ALLEY across from Emporio Rulli in Larkspur. Very much like Bob’s and made from scratch. I like the little forty cent buttermilk donut hole. I can get my buttermilk bar fix without all the calories. Scroll down to Day 3 for a description of Healdsburg’s FLAKY CREME donuts that will make you drool. New to Emporior Rulli’s delights, I will be keeping an eye out for seasonal bomboloni and zeppoli. What ARE the shops that sell MARK CARTER'S donuts filled with Syrah jelly or dipped in Dagoba chocolate? What is happening in the East Bay donut wise? Is Lafayette’s JOHNNIE"S any good? What about RUDY'S DONUT HOUSE in Castro Valley? Anything else noteworty? I lived in San Jose many years ago, but don’t get down to that area very often these days. This SF Chronicle article mentions malasadas , a Portuguese donut found at the PORTUGUESE BAKERY in Santa Clara. This wonderful sounding bakery is at the top of my list to try next time I get down that way. Did COPS DONUTS ever open in Freemont? I hear that LOU'S LIVING DONUT MUSEUM in San Jose and STAN'S DONUT SHOP (scroll down) in Santa Clara are the good. The best donuts I’ve had to date are up at Apple Hill. These can match any donut in the country. I always make a special stop during the fall when I’m on my way to Lake Tahoe. The apple cider donuts at ABEL’S APPLE ACRES were warm, cake-y, with a deep apple cinnamon taste. The grease factor was perfect ... not greasy but full of flavor. The exterior had a slight crispness with the light perfect interior. Only fifty cents will buy you a bite of paradise. In a dead heat with Abel’s are RAINBOW'S donuts which have a little less cinnamon. I do think Rainbow has the best apple cider in the area. The cake donuts at LARSONS APPLE BARN were moist, mildly spiced with chunks of apples. Not up there with Abel’s or Rainbow, but good. The donut’s at HIGH HILL RANCH were ok, but, IMO, not worth the wait in line. They had plain (cake), glazed, crumb and walnut varieties. The plain cake donuts had visible bits of apple but didn’t have that slightly crisp exterior that both Rainbow and Abel’s had. The glazed were too sweet and soggy. The crumb and walnut are only available on weekends (went during the week). BOA VISTA OARCHARDS had both raised and cake apple cider donuts, each type could be had plain or glazed. Both were oversweet and lacking apple. In addition they had a stale taste to them. The cake donuts at BOLSTER'S HILLTOP RANCH were a little too greasy without noticeable apple pieces. Here’s a SF Chronicle article about donut tasting and a Sunset article about some of the donut shops mentioned. Well, MAYBE there are good donuts in California, just a little hard to find. What have you found? Which of the above shops do you like and what's your favorite variety? Are some of these over-hyped? I have to tell you, if I didn't KNOW Bob's were made from scratch, I wouldn't think they were that special. I've never caught them hot from the fryer though. This ancient article was what caused me to seek out Bob’s Donuts which are described as “puffy fried versions with a thin crackling glaze, cake varieties that crumble with each bite and buttermilk bars with just a hint of tartness” I never thought that, but it did send me on a quest for the perfect donut. Thanks to the writer. What is happening donut-wise in Southern California? Are there places located in the Central Coast where I can take a break from the long SF to LA ride and enjoy a good donut, beignet or whatever?
  25. I've always felt that way about One Market too. I agree with you also about what is in the immediate area of a Bart station. However, you could catch the cable car at Market and try 1550 Hyde which I posted about. The cable car stops right in front and this is probably the best way to get there anyway as that area has maybe the worst parking situation in SF. Maybe the cable car idea would open up some of the DAT restaurants for your consideration located on the cable car routes. NOT the Terrace at the Ritz Carlton (like Seasons, outstanding service, barely average food. Don't really like the decor).
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