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Krys Stanley

SF - Boulette's Larder

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Located next to Frog Hollow in the Ferry Plaza building , Boulette's Larder seems the most original concept in a long time

First. let me give you my big tip about this place. On Sunday they make fried to order beneits that put Café du Monde’s to shame. More about this later. However, the beneits get my vote to appear on the next “best of the Bay’ type list.

Like Gregoire’s in Berkeley, you can get upscale take out food. The choices are more extensive than Gregoire. You can get casoulet to go, for example.

The concept is commercial Mis En Place, or as I like to think of it, Hamburger Helper for the upscale. Boulette does the difficult work of prepping which you can use to put together dishes that may currently elude the average home cook. As someone who needs to look up how to boil eggs every Easter, it opens up a whole new experience for me. I can certainly assemble complex dishes at home if the tricky part is done by someone else.

There are all sorts of cooking fats, stocks, spreads, dips, sauces and condiments. Move over Pillsbury, you can get upscale cookie dough ready to slice and bake. Chocolate bon bon or buckweat sable cookie doughs are some examles.

There’s gallete, tart and puff pastry dough. Spices can be roasted, mixed and ground to urder. There is the prettiest crock of preserved lemons in one window.

Boulette’s and the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s market seems like a marriage made in heaven. There you are with your pricy Hoffmann bird. Pop into Boulette for the ingrediants to painlessly put together the dinner of your dreams.

You can also order at the counter and enjoy your food at a communal table in the lovely kitchen that looks out over the Bay Bridge. Sometimes the wood burning fireplace is blazing. Boulette, an agreeable black mop of a dog, snoozes under the table. It is like sitting in a friend’s kitchen, a wealthy friend’s kitchen.

Thanks to Boulette, you can also buy house made doggie food. This is not THE Boulette, just an idea of what the pup looks like.

During the week you can get a light breakfast. Currently they are serving thick European style hot chocolate made of 70% Shafen Berger chocolate. It is almost, like a thick hot pudding.

Some of the take out is fully prepared. Other items, like the quail stuffed with roses and bulgar, need to be cooked.

For one dinner I had a melt in your mouth tender pork belly with cabbage and house made saurkraut. It far outshone any pork belly I have had in some of SF’s better restaurants. There was also a whole tasty little sausage and two stuffed cabbage rolls. It was enough dinner for two nights.

Eigth donut hole sized beneits are served with a side dish of their house made yogurt with lavender honey and candied orange peel. The hot crisp exterier is covered with powdered sugar. Bite in and the interior is rich, molten and eggy. These are worth a special trip. They are worth the money … a subject I have so far eluded.

The quality is top of the line much of it is organic. Just as you would expect to pay more in a top restaurant, expect sticker shock here.

The beneits are $7.60. I thought the expensive donut faze in the late nineties was silly. However, IMHO, these are worth the price.

There are some items that are below what you would expect to pay. The breakfast items are quite reasonable. Take out items run from $10 - $20, That casoulet was $45, but it comes in a special clay dish. During Chrismas, egg nog was $20 a liter ($10 ½ liter available). It came in a fancy Italian glass bottle. Have you started to hyperventilate yet?

While most takeout is in plastic containers, my one real suggestion would be to have an option to order items like the casoulet or egg nog with or without fancy containers.

The staff is very pleasant and helpful. The space is available for private parties after hours.

The reason I mentioned Chez Panisse was because I think the concept of commercial Mis En Place is just as ground breaking as Chez Panisse which lauched California Cuisine. Also, like Chez Panisse, there is an attempt to use local grown and organic prodcuts. You will see many of the names of Ferry Plaza farmers in the take out.

The web site does not list all that is available. A product list is available next to the register

If you have tried Boulette’s Larder, I hope you will post and describe your finds and what you think about the place.

Here's a link to one of my favorite food writers, Patricia Unterman, and her thoughts on Boulette's Larder

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Wow, thanks Krys Stanley, and welcome! :biggrin:


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Mmmm. Maybe I'll pop by tonight to pick up dinner...assuming the rain lets up.

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Mmmm. Maybe I'll pop by tonight to pick up dinner...assuming the rain lets up.

Shortrib Goulash and Ella Bella Farms Cauliflower soup are some of what is available for dinner tonight.

Your post made me think I'd pop in to pick up dinner. When I checked the website for today's menu, it had not been updated. They said they will probably have the updated menu on line by noon.

You can call ahead and have your order ready for you, should you decide to go.

Boulette's has been opened little more than a month, so there are still pieces they are working out ... like updating the menu. If it isn't updated, give them a call and they will tell you what's cooking.

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It seems as if everyone in the Bay Area who has been there is talking about the Ferry Plaza food-wine retailers. One friend of mine who is no newbie at all to Bay Area food is much taken with a rillette sandwich he gets there somewhere, and finds that it "merits a detour," to borrow a phrase.

...Boulette's Larder seems the most original concept in a long time ...

First. let me give you my big tip about this place. On Sunday they make fried to order beneits that put Café du Monde’s to shame. ...

Here's a link to one of my favorite food writers, Patricia Unterman, and her thoughts on Boulette's Larder

If I may point out for some readers who might be confused, the reference is to New Orleans and to the particular version there of a "beignet," or fritter, that happens to be popular in New Orleans, and is "empty" usually and resembles a cruller (or at the Café du Monde in particular, a pile of confectioner's sugar in which a cruller can sometimes be located, with patience). But in particular it's not the meaning of "beignet" found in the rest of the world or in French cookbooks, a fritter, generally with something else in it besides batter.

Unterman by the way for any who might not know the name was one of the longest-running food critics in the SF Chronicle, with Sesser for part of that time. (After Whitelaw, before Bauer.)

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It seems as if everyone in the Bay Area who has been there is talking about the Ferry Plaza food-wine retailers.  One friend of mine who is no newbie at all to Bay Area food is much taken with a rillette sandwich he gets there somewhere, and finds that it "merits a detour," to borrow a phrase.
...Boulette's Larder seems the most original concept in a long time ...

First. let me give you my big tip about this place. On Sunday they make fried to order beneits that put Café du Monde’s to shame. ...

Here's a link to one of my favorite food writers, Patricia Unterman, and her thoughts on Boulette's Larder

If I may point out for some readers who might be confused, the reference is to New Orleans and to the particular version there of a "beignet," or fritter, that happens to be popular in New Orleans, and is "empty" usually and resembles a cruller (or at the Café du Monde in particular, a pile of confectioner's sugar in which a cruller can sometimes be located, with patience). But in particular it's not the meaning of "beignet" found in the rest of the world or in French cookbooks, a fritter, generally with something else in it besides batter.

Unterman by the way for any who might not know the name was one of the longest-running food critics in the SF Chronicle, with Sesser for part of that time. (After Whitelaw, before Bauer.)

Thanks for the info MaxH. I never knew about the difference between the French and New Orleans version of beignets. Also appreciate clarifying some points for readers.

I love the software on this board where you can link within your posts. I was only recently introduced to the term 'Mis En Place" which is why I linked a definition. I'll be sure to do the same for things that might not be general knowledge.

Patricia Unterman also owns the Hayes Street Grill, a seafood restaurant near the Civic Center. I have yet to eat there, but Hayes Street Grill has my favorite prepared food stand at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Saturday Market. They have one of the best soft shell crab sandwiches when softshell is in season.

Unterman is also the author of the San Francisco Food Lover's Guide.

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During my brief visit to SF last month, just before Thanksgiving I shopped for a few items at Boulette's Larder. Unfortunately I was flying out the next day and could not sample the items that are their raison d'etre. But I did try two that were ready to go & eat. The cornbread and a citron-cranberry relish. The cornbread has a Mexican flavor to it and was quite pleasant when I finally opened it on Thanksgiving Day. The relish was underwhelming. A pleasant concept, but it needed a bit more oompnh in the execution. I like a bit of clove in relish to bring out the citrus bouquet more fully.

The store is still a work in progress and should be a great success. BTW BondGirl was with me on this expedition a day earlier and she bought some dog food for her corgie. I have yet to get a report on that feast.

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I have a rough draft of a business plan for a 'commerical mise-en-place' on a SCORE format that I started as a fun project about six months ago. Lack of imagination led me to call the gestating enterprise, 'mise-en-place'. I am not sure if I am pleased that I can watch it in action or annoyed that my 'creative ideas' are not really that original..however, I do wish them well..I will be watching closely!

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