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November 1-8, 2007
|Thursday, November 8, 2007
... and asked the young man inside, “are you open?” He let us in and yelled, “Mom, customers!”
Penny emerged from the back and handed us a menu.
We settled into what felt like a friend’s aunt’s Berkeley apartment:
... It was un-restauranty with a funky, mashup of masks, an air conditioner repurposed as a pedestal and other assorted tchotchkes that did not hint at Pat Kuleto’s participation.
There are only a few tables, a counter and a cooking area with it’s own, internal logic. We split a goat curry ($8.00):
... with chickpeas and a jerk chicken ($9.00):
... both came with heaps of vegetable infused rice, greens and deliciously fried plantains. The goat was a flavorful minefield of bones which kept us from scarfing. The dark, rich, nicely spiced, chicken was cooked until it gave up its will to cling to its bones. This sticky chicky was worth the visit.
... as a consolation before she got to cooking his entrée. She kindly gave us bunrabs a plate on the house as well. These hot from the fryer split pea fritters had a puckery chutney to give tang to these soft bellied, crisp shelled, yellow orbs.
We washed it all down with a “sorrel”($2.25) which is a hibiscus beverage. Think of a sweetened, cold, red zinger tea (but with a little more zinger.)
I’m glad we had a chance to check out her chow before she closes up shop. It looks like she is selling her café and returning to Trinidad as soon as she gets a buyer.
|Wednesday, November 7, 2007
...is a bud of palm that is parboiled, stuffed with cheese, dipped in batter and fried. K proclaims the chunks of chayote “the world’s least interesting vegetable”.
Her wares have the fastest turnover which “means fewer hands and flies.” Sounds good to me.
K put up these cool signs:
... to keep trespassers away from her work site (and because there really were snakes.) Somehow, I don’t think that they would have the same level of success in her San Francisco workplace…
|Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Some hot from the oven chive biscuits:
... were flaky, moist and delish. Sesame flatbreads had a dusting of cayenne to keep us from any bread boredom.
Chubby went with their burger ($10 plus $1 for cheese):
... which arrived with Gruyere instead of the requested blue. Our order was taken and delivered by different people so he chalked it up to some sort of shift change cheese issue. The lightly toasted, house made bun held a nicely seasoned, medium rare patty. Tomato, lettuce and onion filled out this flavor focused disc. Actually, this burger was so good that it (appropriately) now occupies the number two spot on the "posh" section of Chubby's Burger Holy Grail.
I got a pepperoni pizza ($15.00 on the menu, $14.00 in the computer that tabulates the bill):
They make their own ‘roni and hang these stalagmeats in their wine cellar before slicing it up with kalamata olives, caperberries, and mozzarella. I didn’t realize that they had undercharged a buck on my tasty ‘za until I examined the itemized receipt at the cyber hutch. This has happened a few times at various S.F. eateries. They increase the price, but forget to enter it in the computer - a dollar here and there may not seem like much, but I’ll bet it adds up for these businesses.
One day we will whip by for their enticing box lunches but that will have to wait for a day that we get lunch before two.
|Monday, November 5, 2007
This humble little hole in the wall got us in and out in a jiffy.
Although these hand held savory pies don’t have the look of a Cornish-style pasty, they have that same feeling of utility to them.
The crust is in the same dense, non-flaky style as the lunch dough encasements of the Cornwall miners who used to take their semi circles of chow down the shaft before they sent them down the hatch. Unlike the traditional versions, these are smaller and without the baked on handle.
The pies are $3.50 each, but if you get 2 or more, they are $3.10. We shared a spicy clam in tomato sauce, a chicken with potatoes and veggies as well as their special – turkey with cranberry and potato. They were all warming belly ballast, but weren’t our thing. We could however, see how the people in the neighborhood would enjoy the friendly environment as well as the inexpensive, quick and hot chow.
Kearny Street Pies
The “packets” of food made us think of “ackets” (as in Grant Achatz.) Check out Chubby’s review of Alinea from when we visited Chicago last month.
|Sunday, November 4, 2007
Chubby got a salami combo special ($7.95):
... on dark rye. This ham, Jack, Cheddar, salami, lettuce, tomato and onion sandwich was simple and filling.
My avocado, cucumber, tomato, sprouts and Jack sandwich ($6.75):
... had that soft wheat bread that flattens out when you lift it. Both of our sandwiches were solid lunchbox fare.
|Saturday, November 3, 2007
As always, the proprietors, Eric and Ruthie were tending shop. They added a bamboo counter and used eco-friendly materials in their extreme makeover cone edition. The new umbrellas and tables in front of the shop are a welcome addition for the spf conscious.
These light and crunchy waffle Conicles of Narni-yum transported us a dream world of magic with their creamy, flavorful fillings that exceeded even what Mr. Pibb and red vines equal.
The Sketch figures also started a blog that lists their current flavors but leaves their location a mystery. Is it an unintentional omission or a sign of exclusivity? Perhaps it conforms to the spirit of their name. They will provide the outline, you fill in the details.
Sketch Ice Cream
|Friday, November 2, 2007
... when making a 99 Ranch run. We got a couple of the lunch specials ($7.00 each), which began with some hot and sour soup:
I got the pork stomach:
... which came with sour vegetables, green peppers and onions in a black bean sauce. I liked the salty beans, sour flavors and crunchy vs. chewy textures, but it wasn’t re-orderable, just interesting (but it was good enough that I put the whole thing in my piggy stomach.)
Chubby got the veal ribs:
... which went for a wok with some peppers and onions. It was good but a little fussy to eat with all the boney obstacles and gristly bits. Fine but not to be repeated. Their soy sauce chicken is a better bet.
After lunch we got our 99 Ranch provisions and visited the blue crabs, crayfish and urchins.
|Thursday, November 1, 2007
The Angus patty arrived cooked to the requested medium rare with melty cheese, tomato slices, grilled onions and lettuce tucked into a sesame seed bun. This burger wasn’t cravable in that well seasoned, juicy, balance of flavors and textures that is so elusive in our quest, but it was fine next to a haystack of standard issue shoestrings.
We also had a Cobb salad ($12.95):
... with turkey breast, bacon, blue cheese, avocado and mixed greens. The hard boiled egg had a ring of cooking fatigue in this otherwise passable, (but slightly generic) bowl of bunny food.
This little funky pub is populated by many of their neighbors. Locals come with their dogs and sit outdoors:
... but if you still feel vampirey (since you didn’t get to party last night in the Castro) you can go inside and have your bloody Mary hold the sunlight.
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