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  1. El Poblet is less than 4 hours drive from Barcelona, and well-worth it. We loved it so much we went back the following night for another dinner. The first night's dinner was the gastronomic menu, focusing on the more avant garde side of his cuisine, and the second night we explored the more traditional side from the a la carte menu. They were both quite marvelous. Unlike at many avant garde restaurants I've been to, Quique's raw ingredients were of superb, superb quality - quite possibly the best I've tried at the so-called avant garde restaurants. L'Esguard was the single worst meal I've ever had in my life.
  2. Blogosphere is great indeed. And a large part of its greatness is how it fosters communities, not unlike the one here on eG. It's only with the help of that community, our community of food bloggers and readers/supporters that we've managed to come this far on this campaign. This is not something I could have ever managed on my own. And the WSJ called us a bunch of fools writing for imbeciles
  3. So Menu for Hope II is officially closed. Thank you eG for letting us toot our horn here. We finished at $58,156.70, a success beyond any of the organizer's dream. Now how are we ever going to top it next year? Thanks to everyone who took part, our tireless hosts, participating bloggers and generous donors. Thank you so much, and I hope you have a great holidays (whatever holidays you celebrate!).
  4. One more hour before Menu for Hope III closes. We are at $56,661.70. Less than $300 before we hit the $57K mark. There's still time to get a raffle ticket or two for any prize that strikes your fancy. The campaign closes at 6pm PST.
  5. Thanks Janet for posting the link to Menu for Hope. We are into our second day and we've raised over $7,700 already! I'm about to add a bunch of great new prizes to the raffle, among them a one day stage at Alinea, which Grant and Nick have kindly offerred. It's really exciting, since Alinea doesn't let regular people like us stage, so this is a great chance for anyone who's a fan to see the action live! The stage will finish with a bang, with a full dinner with wine in the dining room! How cool is that? Among other fun prizes is an invitation to have coffee with Thomas Keller, also to tea with Harold McGee. A chance of a lifetime for the lucky winners of our raffle. Check out the full list of prizes. Get yourself some raffle tickets and help us help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry. Thanks!
  6. Yes you are. Wrong, that is. Have you heard that SF is a bedroom community for Silicon Valley? I did that commute, SF-Silicon valley for years up until earlier last year. I lived in Pacific Heights, far further north than where Carolyn lives. And let me tell you getting to Caltrain -on the rare days I took the train to work- wasn't easy. I either had to drive across town and leave my car at a carpark near the station, or it would mean 45+ minutes bus ride to the train station. That meant something like 2 hours door-door. If your husband is planning on commuting by train to work I suggest the area near Caltrain on 4th and King. There are plenty of new lofts, if that's your style. You can walk to the farmers market at the Ferry Plaza, and a few other restaurants nearby. The street cars are pretty easy from there as well. Another community I'd recommend is south Mission of Noe Valley, the area around the 24th st. station where your husband can catch the train in the mornings. There are plenty of good food places in the Mission and Noe Valley. The area is also pretty easy for car commute as well. Commute from the East Bay to the Valley, with or without a car, is pure hell. I don't recommend it to anyone.
  7. I am just fresh from diving head first into coffee geekdom to find espresso machine+grinder combo to replace my old ones. I ended up with the Silvia and Rocky from Rancilio. I'm a happy girl. Tom at Sweet Marias has a super informative site which helped me out a lot in my research. Here's his suggestion on grinders. Poke aroudn in that site, there's whole lot of stuff there including a visual guide to troubleshooting crema problems. The guy is gooooooood.
  8. pim

    Coffee in France

    I agree with some of you here, I find coffee brewed in most cafes and restaurants in France to be nearly undrinkable. The most predominant type of beans used in the ubiquitous cafes is Robusta, or Robusta blends, which produce dark, oily, acidic nearly to the point of acrid brewn that I find almost undrinkable. Don't even get me started on the Nespresso capsules that are popping up everywhere. Most cafes also use UHT milk, the ultra-pasteurized milk, which has a certain caramel-y flavor that some people find quite attractive, unfortunately it also has a characteristic smell -stink as I call it- which I find objectionable. That's not to say that there is no good coffee to be found in Paris or in France in general. Many good restaurants and cafes use arabica beans and pull proper shots. I recommend these three: Verlet 256, rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 close on Sunday and the month of August Cafes Amazone 11, rue Rambuteau, 75004 open on Sunday Comptoir Richard 145 rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 (I wrote about this on my blog a while back. And if you go check it out, you should know that I don't use Francis! and Illy beans anymore, it's Rancilio Silvia and Blue Bottle or nothing right now. )
  9. ok, I'll bite. You are crazy All kidding aside, there is no way I could possible read Ms.Virbila's mind. I don't claim to have that power. Someone forwarded me the piece she wrote, I noticed the odd similarity, I wrote about it. That's all. Everyone is entitled to making up their own mind. I thought the coincidence was a little odd, you didn't....à chacun and all that It's not plagiarism in either case, by the way.
  10. I'm sorry but that herring is perhaps more than a little red, you think? If you looked a little more closely you will see that, among the 70 results on Google, only two of those are from sources other than (or in reference to) Chez Pim and the LA Time's Calendar Live piece. Fatguy linked to those two already, the Boise Weekly and the Phoenix News Times. Blogs get syndicated and reprinted widely, with or without our consent. Though I take issue with your conclusion about the number of times the exact phrase "The little wine bar that could" has been used, I don't claim to have invented the phrase. Yes, I got it from that little engine that could Thomas. It's entirely possible that three people in Boise, Phoenix, and San Francisco, who have no apparent reason to be aware of each other's words and writings, have indenpendently used exactly the same turn of pharse in their respective pieces, each about a different wine bar. I just found it more than a little odd that someone at the LA Times would come up with exactly the same turn of phrase about exactly the same wine bar I wrote about -which according to Google has only been used twice prior in association with this particular subject. And we all know that if Google doesn't know about it, it doesn't exists, right?. Is it possible that she came up with it all by herself, using the phrase 'The little wine bar that could' in her review of BIN8945, the exact turn of phrase I used in my blog post about the same wine bar just a month prior? YES, of course. It's not like I write for the NY Times, it's just a silly little blog. But is it more likely that she's stumbled on Chez Pim and somehow got that phrase, intentionally or otherwise, from the post on BIN8945? Call me crazy, but I say YES. And for the record, I didn't call it plagiarism. I was slightly amused, so I wrote about it, that's all. (edited for clarity)
  11. I'll go back in heartbeat. Stay over night and make sure you have the fabulous breakfast too.
  12. Barcelona based blog: Silly Disciple
  13. That hasn't been my experience. My last two dinners there were 'omakase'. I didn't order the tasting menu exactly, the kitchen just did whatever they felt like doing -largely similar to the degustation menu but with a number of different dishes. They were both fabulous.
  14. Wow, really? I've seen some attitude at the place near Madeleine, but not at that small shop. My tutor's flat was across the street from that place last summer. I used to go in quite often. I even took a bunch of photos once...unfortunately none came out well because of the weird green/yellow interior lighting. The lady there went out of her way to wrap stuff and create special boxes for me once when I was buying quite a bunch for gifts.... It can't be the same person, perhaps they have a personnel change...
  15. Le temps au temps is very cute and nice food. I had the most bizarre meal at le Bistral. Strange stuff on the menu, like some meat thing with "green sauce and red sauce". The green+red sauces were listed on the menu like that, in English. Not to mention that popcorn garnish on a weird chicken wing dish. Didn't quite know how to reconcile that stuff with the good reviews I've heard about that place. I won't be going back.
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