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Posts posted by annachan

  1. For people in San Francisco, maybe even the Bay Area, check your local farmer's market if you're looking for duck ggs. I've been able to get them for the Alemany farmer's market in the past. But you have to go to the market early as they sell out quick. I got some for my mom to make salted eggs before and they turn out ok.

  2. I am going to SF area and want to spend one day/night up in Napa. Anyone know of some of the best wineries to tour around (nice scenery; not super tourist; friendly)?

    Well, let me start with which winery you should avoid. DO NOT go to BV (Beaulieu Vineyard)!!!!!! When I took some out of town guests there, the people working at their Reserved Room were so incredibly rude. One woman literally stood in front of us with her hands stretched out to block us from going to the bar. She made sure she told us that it's $25 for 5 tasting there and the $10 for 5 tasting is at THE OTHER room. We walked out and went somewhere else.

    Anyway, there are several wineries that are nice. Sterling stands out as one of my favorite because you have to take a tram up the hill to the winery. Robert Mondavi has a wonderful and open space which is perfect for roaming around and have a picnic at. Beringer also has a very nice space you can roam around for free. Coppola was one of my favorite until the recent change, which require you to pay to enter the premise, which includes a tour. The problem I have is that you can no longer just go to the wine room to taste and buy wine for free. Domaine Carneros is great if you want to tour a sparkling wine place. It actually offers free tours if you're interested, unlike many other wineries.

    AAA actually produce a wineries map/guide. You can pick one up for free at the AAA if you're a member.

    La Toque in Napa Velley is one of my very favorite restaurant. It's not cheap, but not as expensive as FL. It will cost $100 pp for a 5 course meal, but definitely worth the price. I haven't been to FL, but have read from people who have been to both and actually prefer La Toque.

    As for restaurants in SF, it's hard to recommend without knowing more of what you're looking for. It's just that there are so many choices. Maybe more specific on the price and type of food? Even by neighborhood.

    Anyway, have fun when you're here! :raz:

  3. I saw them at Andronico's the other day and also got some....I wasn't planning to cook with them, just thought they make good snacks....But now that you mentioned it, I may get some and experiement with cooking....

  4. Great photos so far; thanks for sharing!

    Was the mexican place in the Ferry Buidling?  If so, I guess it would be Tracy des Jardins' newish Mexican restaurant, Mijita.  (One of her other restaurants is Jardiniere, a high end place a few block west of the opera house.)

    If not, it could be Pancho Villa, next to the Ferry Building....

  5. Just thought of a place in Chinatown.... Little Paris Cafe on Stockton has some good Vietnamese sandwiches and packaged entrees for very good prices. Sandwiches are generlly between $2-$3 and entrees at around $3-$4. It's not THE BEST Vietnamese food, but I like the sandwiches better than most other places I've tried.

    Also, I would imagine that you might dine over at North Beach, which is right next to Chinatown. One good Italian place I really enjoy is Panta Rei. Prices are reasonable. My favorite, green pasta w/ duck ragu, costs around $12. Caffe Triste is a favorite coffee joint in the area. I understand that you can enjoy some free opera there on Saturday afternoon.

  6. As far as budget, we're not looking to stay at 5 star hotels, but no hostels either. Maybe in the range of $100-$150 (Australian) a night? Also prefer somewhere close by public transportation, just in case the driving thing doesn't work out.... :blink: Also, prefer safe neighborhoods.

    Thanks for the food tips. We'll definitely check out the concession stands at the zoo.

    BTW, any good eats on Phillip Island? We will also be checking out the Penguin Parade.

  7. The husband and I are taking our first trip to Australia in August. We'll be spending our trip mainly visiting parks, zoos and sanctuaries. So, we need food suggestions that work well with what we have planned. I don't think we'll have a lot of time enjoying the more refined dining experiences this time around. I'm thinking that we'll most likely get food on the go or eat at quick, casual restaurants. Also, we will most likely be using public transportation, so we don't want to spend a lot of time traveling to particular restaurant but would rather eat closed by where we'll be.

    Here are the places we plan to visit:

    Melbourne - Little River Earth Sanctuary, Healesville Sanctuary, Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne Zoo

    Adelaide - Kangaroo Island (Penneshaw), Wombat Rise, Warrawong

    Brisbane - Tangalooma, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Dreamworld, Australian Zoo

    Though we're open to all cuisines, we would love to have what we can't get at home. Any regional cuisines you can recommend are wanted! I especially love some suggestions on where to get great meat pies. :wub:

    Other than at Tangalooma and Kangaroo Island, we haven't decided where to stay yet, in terms of hotel, part of town, etc. So any suggestions on that as well as transportation are welcome! (Please PM me those)

    Thanks! :rolleyes::raz::laugh:

  8. Brother's Korean has good food....but I'm not too fond of the crowded space. Seoul Garden in Japantown has a much better space and the food is comparable to Brother's. I went there with a group of friends, some of whom are Korean and suggested the place.

    Other than Chinatown, the Richmond area is also filled with cheap eats places. I don't know the bus system in the city too well, but I'm sure you can catch a bus running on California to get there. Golden Mandalay is a great Southeast Asian restaurant on California at 6th Ave. Prices are not dirt cheap, but definitely reasonable. You can get a good meal for $30 for two. Another really cheap eats place is Denny's Cafe (not the chain). It's a little Hong Kong style cafe. Breakfast (8-11am) and afternoon tea (3-6pm) are around $3. You can get a breakfast such as sausage and eggs or entree like stir-fry udon plus tea or coffee for that price. Daily and dinner specials (soup, garlic bread, entree and a drink) starts at $6. There are also hundred of items and it opens late, pass midnight.

    If this is your girlfriend's first trip, don't forget to head over to the Ferry Building.

    Oh yeah, beware of Chinatown....there are some good places, also really bad ones. Stay away from restaurants on Grant, those are mainly tourist traps. My cousin went to one last month when she visited and really regrets it.

    Have a great time here! :laugh:

  9. Beard Papas are obscenely good, but don't get fooled into buying the six packs like I do. They deteriorate very quickly and are not anywhere near as good several hours later or the next day.

    We got a six pack and SHARED. But if we didn't have anyone to share them with, the husband would've been able to finish the box by himself.....

  10. Just got back from there today. Had to wait an hour to get the cream puffs and we're only allowed to get 6 each. The cream puffs were good. The big disappointment is that they're only serving the vanilla cream puffs and will be for a while. Anyone waiting for green tea puffs, eclairs and other baked good will have to wait.... :sad:

  11. I like mine simple. Just chicken with celery and onion (prefer red), dressed with seasoned rice vinegar and lime olive oil. To dress it up, may add some herbs like chives and/or parsley. Sometimes I makea curried version - chicken, celery, onion, almond, curry powder, mayo.

  12. Thanks for the notes.

    I probably should say that we have 3 boys at and under 3 years old at home.

    That said, when we arrive, I am sure a period of decompression would be welcomed.

    I picked the slanted door to stay close to the hotel.  We get in at 11am and figured we'd probably just like to grab a bite and park it with a view for a few hours.  I figure the view for leisurely noshing and getting a few drinks in us can’t be beat there.  I'd say I chose the slanted door for it ambiance/leisure/closeness ratio.  I am sure we will stroll through the ferry building but initially we will probably just want to park it and get a little afternoon buzz on.

    Just another note about Slanted Door. It was named as one of the top 10 noisiest restaurant in SF. It may not be the best place to "decompress" based on the noise level....

  13. There was a great accumulation of Li See and beautiful jewelly on the tray.

    If I remember correctly, I had to put the jewelry I received on as soon as I got each piece.

    I think the important thing for you, sassybat, is to remember what works with your family. The traditional ways of doing things tend to be time consuming. Each person is supposed to get two cups of tea. However, I have seen it being done as Dejah mentioned that each person only gets one cup.

    Also, who to give tea to will be up to you. We did include the single, younger cousins, as well as my Godmom and some family friends. But we didn't have a big wedding and that was manageable. Since my husband's family is British, they weren't "prepared". So, my mom prepared some extra red envelopes for them to participate in the ceremony.

    Kneeling is traditional but not always done nowadays. My grandmother, if she was alive, would not want us to kneel and just bow, as she has asked for at other tea ceremonies.

    Don't forget, it's YOUR wedding. The "rules" of the tea ceremony are more like guidelines. Do what works for you and HAVE FUN!

  14. So heres the revised schedule...

    Thursday Lunch Slanted Door

    Thursday Dinner Chez Panisse

    For the price that you'll be paying at Slanted Door, I think you'll have a better experience and in my opinion, better food by eating your way through the many food places there. Here are a few thoughts in addition to Boulette's Larder:

    - cavier tasting at Tsar Nicoulai Caviar

    - house-made potatoe chips at Lulu Petite

    - bread from Acme and cheese from Cowgirl Creamery

    - Parisian macarons at Miette

    - chocolate at Recchiuti Confections

    Have a great time eating through the city! :raz:

  15. Hey everyone,

    I'm getting married in July, and I want to do a tea ceremony on the day of the wedding with my family, but I'm not exactly sure of the procedure or the type of tea used. :huh: My parents just kind of brush me off when I ask. :rolleyes: Can someone detail this out for me? Thanks!

    To be honest, the tea itself wasn't really important at my ceremony nor my relatives. For my ceremony, we just ordered tea from the hotel and held it at my suite. What was important was the procedure. Here are a few points my mom emphasized on:

    Make sure you include any elders and/or special relatives who have passed on.

    Make sure that all the family members, including the young ones are given tea.

    Make sure that tea is given in order of your family's hierarchy.

    Make sure to use both hands when giving the tea.

    And make sure the person who helps you with the tea and receiving gifts is an important family member. That person should not be your parents or grandparents. The aunt I was closed to was the one who helped me.

    That's about all I remembered. Good luck!

  16. Trader Joes sells Guittard, but it isn't the E.Guittard line.  Just the regular Guittard.  Haven't tried that, since I'm in a glut at the moment.  Store near me had it for $3.50 / lb.

    Ghirardelli bars in the grocery store are $10.96 / lb -- YOUCH!

    Trader Joes also seel Ghiradelli blocks for about $3/lb. You can also get the 10 lb block for $20.

  17. Cantonese style curry? Never heard of that....In our (Cantonese) household, we make either Indian style curry or Thai style. Other than using the different style of curry powder/paste, I usually add extra cumin to the Indian curry and coconut milk to the Thai curry. As for vegetables, onion is a must, potato is a standard for both and carrot more for the Thai style.

    Can you tell us what you put in the curry and maybe we can figure out what you may add to achieve the taste you want? I don't really go by a recipe when making curry, I just add stuff base on taste....

  18. i love e.guittard and have never liked ghirardelli very much.

    the only thing i don't like by guittard is their milk chocolate.  it tastes very "malt-y" to me and that isn't my favorite flavor.

    annachan, i'm located in the bay area, can you tell me who you buy your bulk chocolate from?  i usually use the e.guittard 61% and white and am considering buying from chefswarehouse (dairyland) based in New York.  they have started distribution on the west coast and are located in oakland.  i spoke to a sales rep and i can buy from him and pick up at their warehouse.

    maybe your supplier is better?

    I've been able to get them from Spun Sugar in Berkeley for reasonable prices. Someone also recommended to me to contact E.Guittard directly, since they're located in Burlingame. I haven't done that yet. but if you do, let me know how that goes.

  19. Don't know about Guittard, but the E. Guittard is much better than Ghiradelli. I used Ghiradelli for while because the prices are reasonable. But since I'm able to get E. Guittard couverture wafers in bulk for about $3.50/lb in the 11 lb box, I've switched over. I've used the 38% milk, 61% semisweet and 72% bittersweet and love them all.

  20. Since you're thinking about piping chocolate....what about piping some pacifier, baby bottle and/or clothpin shapes. Either several small ones or one large one in a cellophane bag tied w/ ribbon.

    Another idea would be to make some flat top truffles and paint some designs on top such as "thank you" or the baby's name or a teddy bear or any baby related thing.

    The marshmellow idea is great, since you can cut it into any shape easily. You can always dip them in chocolate. :wub:

  21. Here are several casual, low price and low key places:

    Golden Mandalay on California and 6th Ave in the Richmond area has great Southeast Asian food. Really good samosas, satays, tea salad, and entrees like smoked duck, rainbow chicken and rangoon beef.

    Hard Knox Cafe has great soul food on 3rd St by 22nd St, not far from the ballpark. I absolutely love the fried chicken and catfish. The corn muffins are served piping hot, some of the best I've ever had.

    Tangarine at the corner of 16th and Sanchez serves great brunch and dinner. The menu is Pan-Asian/Asian fusion. For brunch, we really like the zucchini latke, Thai chicken sandwich and the many different omelets. For dinner, the appetizers such as the chicken cake and corn fritters really shine. I love just getting several appetizers and making a meal out of them, like tapas.

    Los Flamingos on Noe and Henry has really good Cuban and Mexican food. I love the fried pork and plantain. Cafe Cubano and guacamole was great also.

    Old Mandarin Islamic on Vicente and 42nd has great Northern Chinese food. You'll find many specialties like dumplings, cold dishes and warm pot.

    On the Bridge in Japantown has surprisingly good Japanese curries and pastas. I love the build-your-own curry it which you choose the ingredients and the heat of the sauce and the chicken and mushroom pasta with a sprinkling of nori.

    There are some other great places in the city, but many of them are loud and crowded.

    Wherever you end up dining at, hope you enjoy your meals. :raz:

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