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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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May 9-16, 2007


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Wednesday, May 17, 2007

Swine about Town.

Some chunky and creamy guacamole ($8.00):

...was a good warm up act for my entrée at Tres Agaves.

Watermelon radish slices:

... garnished my seriously delicioso carnitas ($15.00):

This pork was fall-apart-tender with a flavorsome salt, chile and herb rub that seasoned the succulent swine to perfection. Refried beans and rice were relegated to the chorus in this satisfying piggy lunch.

In the past, I have had hit or miss chow here, but now I know to go with the ‘nitas.

Tres Agaves

130 Townsend St.
San Francisco, CA





Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Novato Farmers Market didn’t have many customers either because it was windy or they were freaked out by the shark:

We picked up some cherries:

... before heading over for an ultra-late lunch which happened to fall at happy hour. Last time we hopped by the bar at Boca, we were greeted by a basket of tasty housemade potato chips and an almost empty room. I guess it’s no longer a well kept secret:

...that this is the spot for snacks and drinks – today it was standing room only.

The best deal in Marin is Boca’s happy hour burger ($5.00*):

This ground sirloin cheeseburger is cooked to order and topped with grilled onions, tomato, lettuce. Duck fries and a garlic pickle augment this tasty meal.

The quesadilla ($3.50*) seemed like it didn’t come out of the Boca kitchen. We have had many meals here and although there have been things that we may not have been wild about, there was nothing that was this phoned in:

To be fair, it was in the middle of an insane rush and I suspect that our order had been forgotten about, but I wouldn’t order this again.

Chubby and I have worked our way through most of the bar menu and we weren’t into the lobster corn dogs, sliders and empanadas. We have found the best bets to be the burgers, skewers, prawns and calamari.

*Happy Hour prices are in effect between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Boca Steak
340 Ignacio Blvd.
Novato, CA





Monday, May 14, 2007

We usually get a sandwich or combo plate at Sol Food:

... but today we decided to try something different.

I got the ensalada con camarones ($9.95):

... which had five pan fried prawns, a ripe avocado quarter and some slices of red tomato alongside a heap of garlic vinaigrette dressed greens. Although tasty on its own, I added a shake of their vinegar pepper sauce to add a tangy push to this refreshing lunch.

Chubby got the ensalada con pollo ($8.95):

... which is a good alternative to their heavier, nap-inducing chicken plates (with rice, beans and plantains.)
The generous portion of juicy, garlic-flavored thigh meat came with avocado, tomato and greens. I’m adding this dish to our ordering rotation.

Sol Food
901 Lincoln Ave.
San Rafael, CA

From today’s bunrab email, Ellen writes about yesterday’s Picco experience:


I absolutely LOVE PICCO-this is my new favorite place. I have not eaten at the pizzeria yet but I will soon. I find the food to be clean, tasty and artistic!!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Ellen,

When you get to the Pizzeria, check out the Zuckerman asparagus salad and save room for the Straus soft serve ice cream.






Sunday, May 13, 2007

Picco Pizzeria is open for lunch on weekends but I wish it was a mid-day option during the week as well.

My De Rosa ($13.95):

... was mosiaced with thin coins of asparagus and cloves of roasted garlic making it a pie to share (rather than create a pungent breath imbalance.)

House-pulled mozzarella and non-house, non-pulled parmesan melted into the beautifully blistered dough.

The freshness of the locally acquired green spears was highlighted in this simple and seasonal pie.


Pizzeria Picco
316 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA





Saturday, May 12, 2007

Late night coffee break

We were lucky enough to sneak in just under the wire at Coco500.

They close at 11 on Saturdays and our Vacherin ($8.50):

... craving needed to be sated.

There is something about the crisp shell of the meringue against the creamy coffee ice cream in a pool of chocolate sauce mingled with crème anglaise with the crunch of thin sliced, candied almonds that makes for a powerhouse dessert.

Even though Chubby has a serious sweet tooth, one is enough to split. Black coffee:

... sweeps away the bowled over sugar-pins to reset for another strike leaving not a morsel to spare. This concoction is never a gutter ball.

500 Brannan St.
San Francisco, CA





Friday, May 11, 2007

The wait for a table at the Presidio Social Club:

... was too long to consider so we hovered at the bar until a couple stools became available.

The barman was impressive in his ability to manage the nest of gaping mouthed baby birds waiting for a cocktail regurgitation. He had to swap glassware for the lady who refused to drink her champers out of the boob shaped glass “I only drink champagne from a flute” (I’m going to start a foundation for her tragic condition once I get Bono on board to hold a benefit concert.) He gave tranquilizing grins as he shook a constant stream of beverages:

... for the quittin’ time masses.

Our dinner didn’t take too long considering the crowd.

I got the trout ($17.95):

... with brown butter and almonds with a side of spinach. This was solid, unfussy, diner chow. It’s not something that I bookmark for re-order, but that’s only because there are other items that sound like they are worth a try next visit.

Chubby got the Berkshire pork ($18.50):

... which was slow roasted to a pink and flavorful doneness. This tender oinker was served with oyster hash which was a bacon studded rice dish with some crispy bits for textural interest.

We split some chocolate cupcakes with a frozen vanilla parfait ($10.00):

These little crispy topped, sugar dusted, cocoa stumps were cooked with just the faintest hint of a gooey molten center. The rich vanilla crème dessert was good, but it was difficult to compete with these chocobites.

They did a great job of creating a retro, Andrew Sisters-friendly setting. A great backdrop with nice people and good food means we’ll definitely come back for more.

The Presidio Social Club
Building 563 Ruger St.
San Francisco, CA





Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tonight's uber-crowded party:

... marked the end of the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival and it’s a good thing because we couldn’t keep up this pace any longer.

The closing night party was held at the Mezzanine and featured chow:


... from some of the festival sponsors.

The DJ surprised us:

... by keeping the music at the perfect volume. You could actually carry on a conversation while the dancers:

... were working it. The only thing that seemed out of place was how these gyrating performers were wearing more clothing than most of the revelers, but hey, this ain’t the Crazy Horse.

The Mezzanine

444 Jessie St.
San Francisco, CA





Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I’ve always had a problem with The Slanted Door Restaurant. Not with the food - with the name. It grazes my politically incorrect nerve. I know it’s purely my interpretation. I mean they didn’t select this name instead of the “yellow”, “good at math” or “me so horny” door, but it trips my Imus sensor like a belt buckle through airport security.

The Slanted Door takeaway offshoot in the San Francisco Ferry Building is microchip sized compared to their Out the Door at the Westfield San Francisco Centre.

Not only is there a Vegas-sized counter:

... with menus displayed on video screens, there are shelves stocked with food paraphernalia and a mammoth dining room with table service:

The prices are the same if you go in or out the door.

We decided to take a load off and get some pork over vermicelli ($9.50):

These lemongrass flavored, grilled, other-white-meat twizzlers were flavorful against the rice noodles which took on a bit of porky transfer flavor from above. They also pool some dressing on the bottom to toss in with the laver of lemon, peanuts and mint. Although fine, this didn’t knock me out since the rice noodles were too subtle in their flavoring even with their dressing and pork juice runoff.

I thought that they had made a mistake when the crispy half duck ($15.50):

... arrived. The serving was so generous that I thought it was a doubled order. We ate every bit of this moist, flavorful and crispy skinned quacker. The watercress and pear salad was showered with a shallot dressing and took on the duck drippings.

Broccolini ($7.00):

... took a wok with some honshimeji mushrooms and pressed tofu. This was a tasty way to triangulate our food pyramid.

Out the Door is the most appealing Westfield chow option we have come across so far. The nicely varied menu includes soups and porridge, sandwiches, salads and rolls in addition to their meat, seafood and noodle preparations. They source local, organic and sustainable items and have very low prices considering the quality and size of their dishes. I’ll remember to come back when me so hungry.

Out the Door
Westfield San Francisco Centre
845 Market St.
San Francisco, CA






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