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November 23-30, 2007
|Friday, November 30, 2007
...at Caffe DiVino.
This little Italian place down the street from Sushi Ran is more for the locals than the tourists (who tend to stick by the waterfront.)
I bypassed the vegetarian version with ‘shrooms in favor of this animal augmented, red wine and béchamel sauced, cheesy pasta block. It hit the Garfield spot but wouldn’t warrant an Odie-ous detour.
The staff is friendly in this little Tuscan restaurant and enoteca.
|Thursday, November 29, 2007
The new San Francisco Apple store:
... on Chestnut Street has that same methadone clinic design philosophy intended to maintain a common, universal design so that you are lulled by its familiarity before you get your pleasure drug. Sadly, this place named for a food, has none so we escaped to the open doors of a nearby barn.
The Blue Barn Gourmet:
... is a new place to graze in the Marina. There are only two small tables so most of their business is take away (or a combination of patient and quick.)
... was a mixture of chopped Romaine, thin sliced red onion, cukes, garbanzos and pita croutons. There were teeny bits of chopped olive and feta in this perfectly acceptable box o’ green. It didn’t make my toush fatt or make me want to order it again.
For a more toush fattening option, we got a grilled burrata sandwich ($8.00):
... which had a crispy grilled ciabatta exterior and melty cheesy belly. The arugula, roasted peppers and tomatoes were good, but I reflected that a wiser, more flavorful order might have been the grilled Swiss with pastrami.
It seemed wasteful to have so much paper and cardboard when we were eating in their barnyard. They also don’t have house-brewed iced tea so we got bottled versions which added to our high carb(on footprint) diet.
To be fair, this is a place that isn’t meant to be anything fancy. It’s a takeaway deli spot for locals who want some simple grub. They are going to add to their menu of salads and sandwiches to have things like pot pies to take home in the future.
Friendly counter people and their Oak Hill Farms ingredients are bound to herd customers into this O.K. Corral.
Blue Barn Gourmet
|Wednesday, November 28, 2007
This evening, we got to tag along on one of Amy’s restaurant reviews so our bellies are busting from our selfless efforts to support our pal whilst simultaneously avoiding wasteful leftovers.
On our walk along the waterfront before dinner, who should we see at the cool Louise Bourgeois spider sculpture:
As this spider can attest, the interwebs are remarkable things.
From today’s Bunrab email, Susan writes:
You wrote about a science talk that took place in a restaurant. Can't seem to find it on your site. Would you remind me of the posting or pass along their web address? Thanks.
Love you site - I'm a regular. Susan
The event is called Ask a Scientist and it’s held every month at Axis Café.
Also in today’s email, Toni writes Chubby about the burger grail
One of the best burgers I've had, maybe the best, was at Mustard's, in the Napa Valley. The other was at Taylor's Automatic Refresher in St. Helena. I liked the one at Cafe Rouge, but most of the rest of yours are new to me, so I can see I have adventures ahead!
If memory serves, I too, enjoyed the Mustards interpretation, but the Taylor’s version has been blurred by my more recent burger encounters at the Ferry Building outlet.
|Tuesday, November 27, 2007
... for a quick dinner.
The burger ($11.50):
... still comes on a rectangular bun so there is a lot of bread overhang, but as consolation, the bread is from Crepe & Brioche Bakery and has just the right texture for this juicy meat round. The fries were a mixture of two sizes which were thin and crisp under a shower of chopped parsley and some salt.
We spilt a crepe complete ($10.00):
The buckwheat crepe filled with Gruyere and ham was topped with a fried egg. Although the components were all fine and the egg was cooked perfectly, the overall effect verged on doughy. The vinegar tang from the accompanying salad was refreshing, but I think we’ll get the mussels next time.
The service was friendly and efficient and got us out in plenty of time for our show.
After contacting pfc re. their over-salinated and generally unsatisfactory lunch, they wrote back asking for patience and forgiveness. They also enclosed three $10 certificates. Guess we'll have to go back some day!
Our friend L had a bowl of salty soup at another branch so maybe it’s a trend with this particular chain.
|Monday, November 26, 2007
Chubby got the pork long ribs ($12.95):
... which were described as “juicy” as opposed to the “leaner” short ribs. These piggy Niman Ranch cages trapped in some good smoky flavor and came with a pot of bbq sauce for a tangy boost.
My brisket dinner ($13.95):
... had good charred bits in the slices of smoky Niman beef. There were a couple delectable pockets of tender, sumptuous flesh and other regions that were drier and in need of some of that tasty bbq sauce.
Both dishes came with a scoop of standard issue potato salad, a mixed salad, a chunk of boiled sweet potato and a slice of Acme baguette.
They do a lot of take-away business, but for those who stay, there is sports on the tube, magazines stacked on a counter and a bunch of ferns and fans to keep the smoke circulating in this casual barbecue.
Lafayette continues to expand their culinary horizons with a Yankee Pier Restaurant and a Whole Foods Market in the works.
Bo’s Barbecue and Catering Restaurant
|Sunday, November 25, 2007
We hoped that Wipeout Restaurant:
... was not a self-prophesizeing moniker as we walked by swim-suited mannequins as we were shown to our table in this surf themed, chain restaurant.
There was a video set to the wrong aspect ratio of silly putty stretched surfers accompanied by flat screen monitors and surf boards which lined the walls.
Chubby got a California Burger ($10.50):
... which was cooked to the requested medium rare. Guacamole, tomato, lettuce and bacon filled out the sesame seed bun. We were surprised that it was quite good. Somehow the surroundings led us to believe that the cheese factor of the establishment took precedence over that melty stuff on the burgers.
I was likewise shocked that my Salmon BLT ($10.95):
... was cooked to the requested “rare” since this happens as frequently as its specification suggests. A toasted French roll held the lettuce, tomato and bacon around my pink fish.
Shoestrings came with both our meals and they were fine but I would request them extra crispy next time.
Up-selling is definitely covered on the training DVD, but not in any sort of obnoxious, repetitive, undercoating sort of way, just a nudge to “upgrade” your fries (we weren’t aware that one “upgraded” anything but airline seats, but now we know.)
This impressively non-toxic, Disney-meets-surferdude eatery is not detour worthy, but we would come back if we were in the nabe and wanted some cheap but good belly ballast and beer while watching surfing videos.
Merchandise completes the immersion experience:
You can stock up on flip flops and puka shells (but I couldn’t find the bong section) when it’s time to bail.
|Saturday, November 24, 2007
We ordered a few dishes including spicy green beans ($6.00):
... which took all the “yum” out of “sodium”. The manager and server were cool about striking it from the bill when we told them about the incredible frightness of beans, but it turned out that the neighboring table had the same extreme over-salinization issue and had sent theirs back earlier. It made me wonder why they didn’t either strike it from the menu or fix the problem before our plate arrived.
The salt and pepper calamari ($7.00):
... did not eschew the P.F. Fryer, where it got its crispy footing, but there was little else of interest for us in this cephalopod snack.
Chang’s spicy chicken ($12.00):
... didn’t live up to the middle word. General Chu’s strategy of bombarding these white meat chunks in a sweet shellac did nothing to bolster the morale of these troops.
To be fair, they are just getting their Peking ducks in a row at this newly opened theme-steraunt. Also, being impressed by a chain is such a rarity that it’s almost unfair to evaluate them by a scale other than consistency, which is exactly what most people want when they visit chains – no surprises. So to have comments other than favorable is a bit like shooting coi fish in a barrel. We’ll just put on our Mu shus and wok away to allow more room for their fans.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
|Friday, November 23, 2007
Bunrabs do not shop on Black Friday. Instead we like to stick around the cyberhutch and eat Rocky Road.
Ever since we tried David Lebovitz’s recipe for the perfect balance of soft to crunchy, sweet to salty, and light to heavy, we have determined that this is the only bumpy avenue to candy satisfaction.
Tempering chocolate is one of those things that freaks a lot of people out when they read a recipe, but it’s not a big deal. If you don’t have the temper to temper, you can always opt to pop it in the fridge as Mr. L. offers as an alternative.
We made our marshmallows:
... the day before so that they had time to set. The Rocky Road recipe:
... calls for less of these cloudlike sweets so there are residual cook’s treats when you whip up these whipped up confections.
Make sure you bag some:
... up for friends or you will be on a treacherous path straight to your New Year’s resolution.
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