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Carolyn Tillie

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Everything posted by Carolyn Tillie

  1. Dunkin Doughnuts is an East Coast thing and doesn't exist here. We are a land of Starbucks, Pete's, and local mom-and-pop joints. You can't throw a dead cat in this town and NOT hit some form of a coffeehouse. I am currently exploring the joy of doughnuts on my new FriedDoughHo blog and the place I have not written up yet which is worthy of a visit is Dynamo in the Mission. Great coffee and "artisinal" doughnuts.
  2. I am big fan of Frog Hollow Farms' pastries; they make a leek and mushroom tart that I adore. Both savory and sweet... Literally across the way from Frog Hollow is Boulette's Larder; another place you should stop in at and, if you don't mind the wait, sit at their communal table (they make great fresh doughnuts!) Boccalone has these Cones of Joy (my words); paper cones filled with sliced salumi products and I'm not sure you can get better than their mortadella. For lunch, I would get some meat from Boccalone, some bread from Acme, some cheese from Cowgirl Creamy, some fruit from Frog Hollow, a
  3. I've tried twice and the wait has been in excess of 90 minutes and I am not that patient. Lisa and I have been talking about being there when they open at 5:00 just to get a counter seat (the actual tables have been booked more than 90 days in advance). Its just been too much work...
  4. You could also take the BART subway to 16th Street Mission or 24th Street Mission. The BART ride might be easier with kids. (A fast ride, cleaner, better chance of finding seats.) The MUNI buses are slower and sometimes crowded, though when I'm in SF, I take MUNI to watch people and the street scene. Thanks for reminding me of that; even living here in the city, I tend to walk EVERYWHERE, just to get exercise and see new things. I live near J-Town and once a week, I walk to the Mission - sometimes via The Castro and sometimes through Tenderloin and Downtown. I only use BART to get to the East
  5. Don't worry at all about where your hotel is; you are so far away from the the "ugly part of the Tenderloin" as to make it a non-issue. You are only a block or so away from Union Square and the Theater District, where HUNDREDS of well-dressed, well-to-do people are out walking. I am down in that area all the time at night and you will not have a problem whatsoever. For lunch, I would heartily recommend Larkin Express Deli in the Tenderloin because it is so affordable and great food. Also a few blocks away for breakfast, I would recommend Brenda's Soul Food. With three kids, you probably don't
  6. I would recommend looking at Rose Levy Berenbaum's The Cake Bible. She goes into great depth about which recipes work well for wedding cakes due to the production time. She also covers fondant, ganache, and everything involving large cake production.
  7. Ever since the team of Lori Baker and Jeff Banker took over the old Quince locale, I've been meaning to visit. Now named Baker & Banker, the space is darkly elegant, albeit a little cramped (it only seats 40-some diners at a time). My eating buddy, Lisa, had helped me through a hard day at the Cherry Blossom Festival and we were in the classic quandary of where to eat on a Saturday night. Lisa mentioned she became acquainted with Jeff Banker by occasionally sitting next to him at a mutually-favorite sushi restaurant, Koo. It was a long-shot to get a table and calling, we confirmed they cou
  8. I have not been to the new Quince yet. I did got to Baker and Banker last evening (in the old Quince space) and was VERY pleasantly surprised. I'll be writing a full report with pictures in the next day or so, but quickly, I'll say that hanging out at the bar for a quick meal will be very easy for me to do. A girlfriend and I shared a smoked trout salad, foie, pappardale with short rib and mushrooms and English peas, and jelly doughnuts for dessert. Spectacular. I think you would be happy trying some West Coast seafood and I would recommend you hit a sushi bar (if you like it raw) or one of ou
  9. Tonto, you are hitting all the "biggies" and I wonder if you aren't going to suffer from a little palate fatigue with so much haute cuisine on your list. And Quince is far from low key. The latest Ubuntu rumors is that it is just fine, but there is no new innovation; new chef Aaron London is relying on those tried and true recipes which he learned under Chef Jeremy Fox. But these are reports from people who have never been there and are impressed with the innovation of what is being done with vegetables. I'll be going back at the end of the month (probably just for lunch) to see how it is hol
  10. What else have you put on your list?
  11. Nope. We are all still waiting, with baited breath. Not even a word on location yet. But you should probably consider Commis in Oakland. The chef, James Syhabout, just won Top 10 new Chef in the country for Food and Wine Magazine.
  12. It is called Fried Dough Ho. It is not limited to doughnuts, but I will be eating and reviewing beignets, churros, and Korean yakgwa. While I know there are a handful of doughnut blogs out there, I'll be investigating the historical and cultural existence of fried dough in all its glory. I don't think there is an ethnicity that DOESN'T have fried dough in some form. Join me for the adventure!
  13. I imagine that there are some decent restaurants which offer take-out sushi, but I've never bothered with them. When I get lazy and want take-out sushi, I usually just buy it at Nijiya Market in J-Town. Not sure what to say about Rolls; I don't get those much any more since I moved out of Fairfield (I had a soft spot for Yo Sushi and their rolls). For Creative, I go to Koo and their Spoonfulls of Happiness. <sigh> Best Omakase is Kiss, but that is more than just sushi. Best Kaiseki is Kappa, hands-down. I will add that Kappou Gomi is worthy of note. They don't have sushi. But they *do*
  14. Kristin ~ the best and most prolific Mexican and South American is found in the Mission district which is a little outside the 2-mile parameter, unfortunately. But, bear in mind, the entire city of San Francisco is really only about six miles from end-to-end, so the entire city is very easily accessible by a bus or two. The Mission is about 3.5 miles from the Wharf. Also, the BEST ban minh in the city is Saigon Sandwich on Larkin, which is adjacent to the Tenderloin which some people are sketchy about walking through, but I have honestly never had any problems. VERY near the Mission (less tha
  15. Instead of Kitchen Calculator, I use Convert because it includes lots of over conversion possibilities. I am one of those freaky people who categorize my applications; I have a page for Food apps, one for travel, one for games, one for maps, one for news, one for art, one for tech, and one for communication. Oh yeah, the first page for all the other stuff. My Food Page has: AroundMe Cheap Eats Crazy Menu Epicurious Foodbuzz GoMeals GrubHub Urbanspoon iSushi OpenTable Vintages WinePrices 42Lite BigOven
  16. My first thought would be Zare at the Flytrap. Hoss Zare is one of those Middle Eastern chefs doing slightly upscale, California cuisine with a twist. I love his smoked trout and cucumber salad and I have had great solo meals dining at the bar and noshing my way through appetizers. Consider the lamb tongue... Zare Menu
  17. I would normally agree, but a visitor from another country is unlikely to want to rent a car when this is such a walkable city. They are much better off going to Larkin Express Deli for Burmese since it is only a few blocks away from Union Square. I prefer LIttle Yangon, but I would never recommend it to tourists as it involves so much travel time and a vehicle. Yes. Well, mostly. It is just horrifically over-priced for what you get (a $50 chicken????) when there is so much better in the city for the price.
  18. Patrick, that helps a lot! Do you eat oysters? When I was in Britain last year and loved how oysters from Ireland tastes so much different and you might want to consider tasting some from the West Coast (I recommend Swan's Oyster Bar). Also, yes, you might want to consider some Mexican food in the Mission. Definitely go to the Ferry Plaza on Saturday morning and just nosh your way through the whole place for breakfast and into lunch.
  19. I'm afraid that I am a Coi detractor. If you read through the entire Coi thread, my post from last year while dining with Ulterior Epicure had him loving it and me feeling pretty disappointed. Patrick, you didn't state where you are coming from which, for me, has a great impact on what to recommend. There is no way I would suggest a Mexican restaurant to someone who is visiting from Los Angeles, for example. Way better down south. What I will recommend because we seem to have cornered the market and no one else has mentioned is Burmese food. On a budget, you can't beat Larkin Express Deli near
  20. I've been a terrine maker for years and I heartily recommend the collapsible ones; just a regular loaf pan and you risk not being able to get it out cleanly. I personally don't like the Le Creuset unless it is one that I am going to serve from the pan, but the pics you provided are fully removed and would be better suited to a collapsible model. This kind has been used for years and is similar to some of the models I use.
  21. I haven't been a La Toque fan for some time and I'm not sure the move did them any good. *The* Restaurant to try when visiting Napa is Ubuntu; yes, it is vegetarian, but what Jeremy Fox is doing with vegetables is nothing short of revolutionary and I defy anyone to miss eating meat (I'm an omnivore). With very few exceptions, Ubuntu is on my Top-Five Restaurant list in the whole country. Alternately, for me, I don't see the purpose of going to Rutherford Grill. It is nothing more than a glorified Houston's and not that special compared to other restaurants in the valley.
  22. You can't go to Santa Barbara and NOT eat at La Super-Rica.
  23. Ditto on Geofrey's -- What time is your reservation? Only if it is clear and you are seated by 4:30 or 5:00 will it be worthwhile to see a sunset. If it is cloudy or rainy, you aren't going to see anything but a big, black span and not get very good food.
  24. Any body know anything about this? Lots of famous folks in attendance... Clickety
  25. I am heading to Vegas this weekend and when I was there last June, went to Alex for my "special" birthday meal (solo) but met a bunch of people at Boulud which ended up being more memorable. Alex was stunning and I had no problem being a single diner there and it was certainly exceptional. Boulud worked better with a group because the portions were large and benefited from sharing. You can search back into my blog for Boulud pics and I'm ashamed to say I never got around to writing up the Alex meal (I will soon, I promise). However, check about the status of Boulud as it is scheduled to close
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