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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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April 23-30, 2008


go to next week's blogs


  Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We went to fill up our tanks at Le Garage and guzzled down a couple sandwiches.

Their take on Pan Bagnat ($10.00):

... was a combo of perfectly boiled eggs, tuna salad, anchovies, peppers, lettuce and crunchy cukes. It had pre-pitted (rather than house pitted) Nicoise olives, but given the other flavorful fillings, this wasn't a tragedy especially since there were a heap of distracting frites tossed with herbs and salt.

The star was the Croque Madame ($10.00):

Toasty brioche, melty gruyere and thin slices of ham were alchemized with béchamel sauce and gilded with a runny egg yolk to seal the deal. A fresh mesclun salad with a tangy dressing was a nice counterpoint to this rich Madame.

They are still tuning up after their recent opening, so the service has a ping or two (but nothing severe.) It was wise of them to open for just breakfast and lunch to get their pacing down before dinner is added to the mix.

You can walk off a frite or two at the nearby Bay Model:

If you aren't familiar with this accurately named exhibit, the Army Corps of Engineers got all Martha Stewart and made a functioning hydraulic Barbie version of what is outside their door. It's free (unless you consider your tax dollars admission.) They're closed Sunday and Monday so you'll just have to look at the full sized version from the deck of Le Garage if you are loched out.

Le Garage Bistro Francais
85 Liberty Ship Way
Sausalito, CA

The Bay Model
2100 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA


We received some email about our previous Le Garage posting:


Thanks for recommending Le Garage. My mother and I had lunch there yesterday and loved it. We both had the tarte flambee (mine with onions and bacon and hers with smoked salmon) - extremely yummy! It was so nice to sit outside and eat great food. I'll definitely be going back.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Anne,

Glad you had a good meal too. That deck area is going to be even more popular on hot summer nights when they open for dinner.

It's far enough away from the tourist area that it will be the place for locals to for good chow and a view (aside from Fish.)




  Tuesday, April 29, 2008

That Cincing feeling

We decided to do a little Cinco de Mayo warm up at Taqueria Bahia, I went with a couple tacos ($2.50 each):

... which were generously laden with offal. The fried chunks of tripas were crisp and chewy belly bits while the chunks of lengua (my fave, outside of the cabeza) wagged around my tongue with their toothsome buds of flavor.

Chubby got a super burrito ($6.75):

... which they made hybrid style with one side pollo asado and the other carnitas. It had never occurred to me that to request a 50/50 bar-rito arrangement. That Chubby knows how to get the most out of his meat tube. The chicken side was the lighter appetizer, which progressed to the pork side for a rich finish.

We cinco'ed our chow down with some cerveza and mayo have to do this again next week.

Taqueria Bahia
(two locations)
1013 B St.
San Rafael, CA
555 Francisco Blvd. (or favorite one)
San Rafael, CA



  Monday, April 28, 2008

Going full steam

We only had a second to grab a snack at the San Francisco Ferry Building so we asked if there was any wait for the steamed buns at Out the Door (the takeaway stand for The Slanted Door.) The counter guy pulled one out of the steamer and we quickly forked over our $2.17 and split this hot, chicken bao:

It seemed odd that there was no pork option, only vegetarian and chicken, but this fowl ball was very good. Instead of the micron of meat (that seems de pigeur) in these white doughy cushions, there was an ample sample of nicely seasoned, onion studded, clucker. Next time I need a quick edible orb, I'll have to try their garden-variety option.

Out the Door
San Francisco Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA



  Sunday, April 27, 2008

Le Garage is a new filling station that just opened shop in Sausalito. Former Chez Papa executive chef, Olivier Souvestre, is already packing in the locals with his casual bistro chow at this small carbo loading dock by the bay.

Today's brunch options were eggs Bennie, yogurt with fruit, pain perdu, sandwiches, omelets, salads, steak and mussels. We got one of each of their omelet offerings, which came with rosemary, and garlic roasted potatoes. The rosemary tossed spuds were nicely bronzed, but lacked crispy bits except for the garlic cloves, which were cooked just beyond their sweet squishy state to unleash a hint of bitterness.

The St. Nectaire cheese omelet ($12.00):

... was listed on the menu as containing cured duck but it must have recovered enough to fly off the plate (at least that's how we deducked we were deducked). There were finely chopped bits of asparagus that weren't noted on the menu so maybe they accidentally subbed out veggies in all the kitchen egg-citement. In any case, it tasted fine so we let it roll off our backs.

The goat cheese omelet ($11.00):

... had the strong cheese tang that we anticipated. Sun dried tomato puree and chunks of asparagus filled out this enjoyable egg flap.

Chubby got a café au lait (served Southern French home style):

... while I went with regular coffee, both were solid caffeination options. I wish they offered me a refill, but the staff was running around like cured ducks trying to keep up with the afternoon crowd.

The server was friendly but admittedly new to the job leaving him unable to answer some of our questions about the menu. We chalked up most timing issues and misfires to a case of new-restauran-itis.

The good news is that Sausalitoans have a simple, non-touristy place to go with a good price point, tasty chow, excellent view and patio seating. They are going to begin dinner service in a few weeks, but for now it's pastry and coffee on weekday mornings, lunch and weekend brunch.

Le Garage Restaurant
85 Liberty Ship Way
Sausalito, CA



  Saturday, April 26, 2008

After reading Heidi's blog about beany brownies, we couldn't imagine that it didn't taste like sweetened burrito guts. It's not that we don't have 101% confidence in her, we just needed to shed our own lightness on this bean bake.

We tried them at room temperature, refrigerated and frozen and we liked them best straight out of the freezer. We baked them in a jellyroll pan, so their thickness was perfect for ice cream sandwiching (the law of compensatory nutrition negates unhealthful properties of ice cream when it is consumed with beans.)

Speaking of ice cream, don't forget that this Tuesday is free cone day at Ben and Jerry's (but I don't think that they have ice cream made from beans, which they would probably call Bean and Jerry.)




  Friday, April 25, 2008

The Asian Art Museum sated more than a hunger for culture during this evening's Taste of Asia's Grand Tasting.

Bay Area Asian restaurants presented expressionistic works:

... which made impressionisms on both Dadaists and Mamaists.

There were moments of Surrealism with dancers:

... who went for Baroque as well as Romanticism with a restrained, Minimalist performance.

The chef at Bong Su took a cubist approach to beef carpaccio:

Sweet onions and mint framed this lime-dressed palate pleaser.

Anzu's Hokkaido scallop tiradito:

... was a study in post modernist objectivism that also tasted delicious.

Betelnut's assemblage of Fijian ceviche:

... was a collage of peppers, lime and coconut cream.

Reoccurring themes surfaced with concave compositions.

The characters in attendance mirrored the cuisine in their lively, mysterious and artistic appearance.

We had a great time at this well-curated orientation of local Asian eateries. But how could you not love an event that includes Pocky in your goodie bag?


Taste of Asia 2008
Grand Tasting
Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin
San Francisco, CA



  Thursday, April 24, 2008

There are no Michelin stars to illuminate the dim dining options of Corte Madera - Michelin tires are about as close as this town comes to being a hubcap of culinary acceleration. We found ourselves staring at the blank spot where we had seen a vittles van and asked the gas station attendant if they made regular or unleaded appearances. After he assured us that they materialize "at two or three" we hung back so we could evaluate their emissions.

Tacos Sebastopol rolls in on weekdays at 2 p.m and out at 8:30 p.m. They park their operation at the 76 Station on the corner of Madera and Tamalpias (next to the mall that is the container for the Container Store.)

Chubby got a cabeza and a lengua taco:

... and I got one with carne asada and another with carnitas (all tacos $1.50 each):

Both plates were adorned with a pack of salt, wedge of lime, grilled onions and a grilled jalapeno slice. All of these meat mits were toothsome takes on tacos. I’ll check next time to see if they also offer raw chopped onions on their caliente comida.

We also got a tostada de camerones ($2.50):

The shrimp were tossed with cilantro and onions and placed on top of a crunchy tortilla. It was fine, but not something we would reorder.

A folding table with four plastic chairs provide communal seating at this modest, mobile, Mexicano, masticaterie. The food is cheap and cheerful and we prefer this to any of the nearby restaurant options.

Taqueria Bahia remains our favorite Marin source of offal tacos, but as far as Corte Madera goes, this is our filling station.

Tacos Sebastopol
The Corte Madera 76 Station
700 Tamalpias Dr.
Corte Madera, CA
From 2:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. M-F



  Wednesday, April 23, 2008

San FranSysco

Red's Java House is an icon. There are many things to love about this decaying bayside shack:

... like the low prices, striking location, free parking, friendly (yet not without a little 'tude) staff…but a gastronomic aspiration station it is not.

This is not to say that you won't find caloric fulfillment in your budget belly ballast – it will just be the sort that is wheeled off the Sysco truck.

To be fair, there is a local sour tang to their crusty rolls which they line with bright yellow mustard, roughly chopped onions and crinkle sliced pickles for their cheeseburger ($3.18):

The bread to meat (or "breat") radio of their single burger is so divergent that you must order a double in order to have the ability to create a relationship that can be expressed mathematically. This is why they ask if you are certain when you order the diminutive option. A square of orange flavored cheese sweats on top of the thin grey beef round. Don't even think about asking for tomatoes or lettuce to augment your meal:

... unless you want to gain the disrespect of those who expect you to be literate.

Chubby went with a chili cheeseburger ($4.69):

... which is like a failed science fair volcano model a week after the science fair. Sure, it's not going to be featured on the cover of Martha Stewart's Living, but for what it lacks in food stylist cred, it gains in lack of pretension.

It's chow for big hungry boys who's culinary yardstick is….well, actually a yardstick. It is not only big, it's cheap and they get it to you faster than beans through a volcano.

The onion rings ($2.95):

... are crunchy, Sysco-flavored calor-rings of snackage. These are precisely what you need to order to experience Red's in full resolution while sitting on the patio on a sunny day with a bottle of beer.

Red's Java House
Pier 30
San Francisco, CA

Mark your Calendar

Warm weather is headed our way and like any good pusher, ice cream companies know it's time to prime your addiction pump.

Next Tuesday, April 29th is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's yet another reason to love this company. If you miss your chance at a Cherry Garcia, you can still get a discounted cone at Baskin Robbins on Wednesday, April 30th from 5pm-10pm they will be selling 31¢ scoops.

…but I think that Missy Elliot would advise you to go to Ben and Jerry's on Tuesday to get-your-freecone.

From today's Bunrab email, Daphne writes:


Loved your piece on Tamales by the Bay, I was the Black Woman at the front insisting on payment and stamping hands. You have to appreciate what a serious commitment it was for me to not flee to the chocolate festival across the way. That's how committed I am to my homies Rosemary and Marie who run Benchmark Institute. again thanks for the good words and great pics


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Daphne,

Aw shucks.We were a-maized by you guys (as well as your restraint in the chocolate department.) Keep up the good work.





back to last week - April 17-22, 2008



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