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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

the BUNRAB blog spot

Do you need to answer back? You can send me comments if you want to.

If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.



January 24-31, 2007


go to next week's blogs



Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I was happy to find that they do not defribulate you awake at the Hospitel Hotel (although that might not have been a bad idea given a case of persistent jet lag.) Lots of walking around helped to work up a good appetite for dinner.

Our friend Laura recommended Le Petit Pontiose:

...which was just  a short walk from our digs. The menu and wine list was posted on chalkboards on the walls of this intimate 34 seat bistro.

I started with the tatin d’artichaut parmegiano (10 euros):

...with leeks, eggplant, tomatoes, thyme and parmesan with a flaky, rough puff pastry. This Mediterranean-influenced artichokey wedge went nicely with a lightly dressed, mesclun salad. I took this as a herald of good things to come.

Chubby got the Terrine de canard et foie gras (9 euros):

...which was capped with pickled shallots. This rich slice of duck loaf went well against the crusty bread and tossed mesclun.

My noix de St. Jacques a la Provencale (23 euros):

...came on a bed of courgette ribbons with snappy snap peas, mushrooms and a gremolata made with curly parsley and walnuts.

The shellfish plugs were perfectly seared to a moist and fresh goodness. I shellfishly gobbled this down.

Chubby got the Carre d’agneau doré  a la Provencale (23 euros):

...which arrived to the requested rare under a bread crumb crust. Supporting this nicely seasoned sheep, was a bed of potatoes, snap peas, carrots and mushrooms.

I got another upside down style tart for dessert. My tarte tatin (8 euros):

...had spiral cut ham thick slices of apple instead of the wedgier version which is my preference. The edges were crispy and went well with the caramel-striped scoop of ice cream which melded all the flavors in its cool, saucy way.

Chubby went with the tiramisu (8 euros):

This cocoa capped nightcap came in the form of the ever popular wedge. Its cream filled belly contained fingers of boozy goodness.

The service was friendly and efficient in this cramped, energetic, eatery. Due to the close proximity of tables, you are able to share in the fiery focus of your neighbor’s flambéed crème bruleé.

Nothing fancy, but it’s good, informal chow in a friendly environment.

Le Petie Pontoise
9, Rue Pontoise
01 43 29 25 20


We’re lagging on our Bunrab email, Gouramanda writes about our Bobby’s breakfast:


Bobby's is indeed cholesterol-worthy. Just stay away from their corned beef hash which contains enough tomato sauce(!) as to render it inedible - strange!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Gouramanda,

That sounds fo'c's’led-up. Even in Rotterdam, we refrained from hash.

Thanks for the tip,







Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It only takes 3 hours to take the train from Rotterdam to Paris:

...and then a quick hop on the Metro to the Dieu Hospitel Hotel (which we saw on a fellow food blogger’s site.)

This place is definitely not for everyone. If staying in on the top floor of an operational hospital isn’t your thing, you may want to consider alternative remedies for your accommodation. This crash pad is bare bones, cheap and funky:

... but clean (it's in a hospital, after all) and has the advantage of being centrally located smack dab next to Notre Dame:

Check out the hospital’s garden:

Wandering around looking for chow, we happened upon this unlabeled place at 24 Rue St. André des Arts:

They have this cool convex interpretation of the George Foreman Grill. The friendly man rolled out some dough, spread it with a za’atar mixture until it was blistered and puffed. He spread it with lebni, chopped olives, tomatoes, and mint before rolling it up and handing over my delish snack:

The sesame seeds in the za’atar spread had a nice crunch against the tangy cheese and minty goodness of this seriously tasty roll-up. If this place was near my home I would be here all the time for these hand held spirals:

This is a big week in Paris due to the new smoking laws taking effect. There will be police going into cafés and restaurants to enforce this new smoking ban. I thought that there would be rioting in the streets before there would be an enforced smoke out in the Parisian cafés, but I misjudged the Parisians.

Unlabeled Lebanese snack place
24 Rue St. André des Arts
Paris, France

The Hotel Hospitel
1 Place du Parvis
Notre Dame
Paris, France




Monday, January 29, 2007

Our Rotterdam schedule has been more about snacking than proper meals.

Check out this crazy hot dog bun:

...that is a hollowed dough chamber waiting for a hot dog bullet. If you ask for mustard, they inject a sweetened mixture into the cylinder before loading the wiener. It may not be the most tasty meat tube, but it was an interesting cultural contrast.

We had to stop when we saw a vendor preparing hot, fresh waffley disks of syrup spread rounds in this outdoor stand.

Our Goudse Stroopwafel (1 €):

...had a crispy exterior and a sweet filling, sort of like an inverted, lovingly steamrolled doughnut. Fast street sweets at their best. 

We got a note from one of the twins at Three Twins Ice Cream with a correction of our reference to their organic ice cream as “ice milk.” We stand corrected and have omitted this reference (and continue to eat their chocolate cones.)





Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hungry film festival participants:

... queued for prosciutto or fish and roe salads:

veal with tuna and caper sauce, scalloped potatoes, fettuccine with herbs, vegetables:

... and a chocolate parfait pyramid:

... (obviously part of some film festival pyramid dessert scheme.)

We ran into a friend who does the whole festival circuit and asked her how she deals with her houseplants. She replied, “I’ve switched to cactus.” 





Saturday, January 27, 2007

I watch two films
in the morning, I watch two films at night….

The 2007 Rotterdam International Film Festival is in full swing. 

Although jetlag is difficult to reconcile with sitting in a dark, warm, cinema, there are films engaging enough to hold our wakeful consciousness.

Das Fraulein was zer gut at keeping us engaged with its less than neutral Swiss anchored, display of the bleak existence of those without PPOs.

The organizers of the festival cleverly pick a frosty time of year. You are encouraged to buy tickets to pack into a warm and (hopefully) entertaining venue. Other indoor activities include heavy drinking and of course, the chronic is legal here (and not the Narnia kind either.)

The food vendors fill the need for snackage with salty spuds. What they lack in  Starbucks, they make up for in Fry bucks. Double fried starchy strips from Bram Ladage:

  fill paper cones that channel mayo, ketchup or curry through the ker-plunk reminiscent criss cross of root sticks. I got mine with ketchup and Chubby got one with curry and a squirt of the hot pepper sauce:

We both liked the ones without any saucy adornment better.

Use a fork to plow through this Atkins’ busting meal or just rip off the end of the cone to manufacture your own personal foie gras force feeding funnel.

It felt like someone didn’t watch their corporate training tape when I was not asked during my potato order if I  “wanted fries with that?”





Friday, January 26, 2007

Groot size me

After a ten hour flight, our hunger pangs take time to sync up with the local eating hours. It was between lunch and dinner and Chubby and I were stumbling around trying to find some quick fix, when we spied this little maoz that killed our curiosity.

Maoz is a chain vegetarian pita shop that originated on Amsterdam.

I requested my groot sized Maoz falafel pita (3.50 euros):

... and the counter attendant scooped the falafel balls and lowered them to their crispy, deep fryer fate.

After they got all crusty on the outside, she split open a fresh pita and tumbled the greaseless orbs into the bready cage. There is a tidy, chickpea ornamented, condiment bar:

... (which they call a salad bar) to dress your pocket to your customized taste. I gave mine a healthy dose of the tomato, cukes and onions. Not bad at all.

This was pretty impressive chain fast food. They continue to expand and even have one in the U.S.

Maoz Vegetarian
locations in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, England and one shop in Philadelphia.





Thursday, January 25, 2007

The more interesting food venues in the San Francisco International Airport:

... are situated outside of the gate areas. This means that if you worry about prolonged wanding or swabbing times, you must pass them up to take off your shoes and belt, ziplock any liquids or gels (two words that have melded together lately) and pick among three venues. Il Fornaio, The Firewood Grill or The Firewood Café.

We went with the Firewood Café.

I’m guessing that my chicken Caesar ($9.25):

... was manufactured by a large pharmaceutical company that produces antidepressants (to boost their pill sales.) But knocking airport food is low hanging, genetically modified fruit.

Chubby got the pepperoni pizza ($9.50):

... which was a rolled thin and cooked to order. It was perfectly serviceable (and forgettable) but was a better choice than the preassembled salad.

There is no Peets or Starbucks in this part of the terminal so we had to make due with Il Fornaio for caffination:

Their ‘jo was a little weak for my taste, but, to be fair, I still drank it.

If I were in charge of the captive audience concessions and I were putting three food vendors in one closed off area of the airport, I would try to mix it up a little and make no more than one a “Firewood” venue (just for the illusion of variety.) Everything probably passes through the same central kitchen anyway.

San Francisco Airport





Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Bunrab reader gave us a heads up about the new restaurant that took the place of Bamyan Afghan. Although the Bamyan signs are still up, there is a small sign in the window of El Rey-Pakal:

...the new Mayan eatery in the strip mall near Trader Joe's.

They just opened mid-month so they are still painting the murals:

...and putting on the finishing touches.

Chubby got the cochinita pibil ($12.00):

... which was a generous helping of achiote marinated pork topped with red onions. He heaped this into steamy hot corn tortillas and topped it with some salsa. This stain inducing piggy was just fine.  Also on the menu for the more budget conscious pork enjoyer, is the torta de cochinita pibil (the sandwich version) for $5.50.

My escabeche de pollo ($12.00):

...was a brothy preparation with skinless chicken and red onions. I asked about the pate-like item and was told that it was ground pork with olives. It should be noted by those non-pork enjoyers that there is pig in with the chicken.

Our lunch was pleasant and I am curious to try the weekend mondongo (traditional Yucatec tripe soup)… and not just because it’s fun to say.

El Rey-Pakal
227 3rd Street
San Rafael, CA





back to last week - January 16-23, 2007



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