Daily Feed Archives:

Today's blog

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

Gutenberg's favorite blogs:


Becks and Posh


Chez Pim

David Lebovitz

Amateur Gourmet

Bay Area Bites

Restaurant Whore

The Food Whore

Cooking with Amy


Food Blog S’cool




Tasting Menu

101 Cookbooks

Dessert First

Albion Cooks

In Praise of Sardines

A Full Belly

I'm Mad and I Eat

Life Begins at 30

Refined Palate

SF Eater

Knife's Edge

Eating Every Day

The Grub Report


The Hungry Hedonist


Find individual postings:

or by area:

Check out our other stuff:   Yummy Chow   |   Photo Hutch  |  Home



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.



July 24-31, 2008


go to next week's blogs


  Thursday, July 31, 2008

My desire for burger satisfaction was as unbaffled as the cacophony-inducing walls at Serpentine. The Pavolovian decibels weren't peaking as high as they were last week , so we were able to pick up the meaty signal of the Cheeseburger ($13.00):

... made from Prather beef cooked to the requested level of pink noise. Layers of Gruyere, arugula, heirloom tomato and pickled onions EQ'ed by an Acme bun mixed together for a high fidelity sound byte. I was amped about the fries which had starchy bellies with crisp shells. We had this burger in the past and it will continue to reverberate on our rotation.

2495 Third St.
San Francisco, CA


From today's Bunrab email, Mike writes about our outdoor eats:


For the price that is some excellent looking chow at Primo Patio Café. I know you French Laundry types are a bit devil may care with the dollar, but next time I am on Townsend Street I plan to be looking for the homemade fishsticks.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Mike,

You bring up a hot issue about the patio price point now that food costs are on the rise. Us Bunrabs don't have the wherewithal to go to the laundry once a week, so it's important to vary our dining ducat denominations with humble hutches from time to time.

Of course, there is always Hot Dog Day at Frankenart if you want to maximize your ratio of calories to dollars while you scope out the walls.





  Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The heat drove us outside for lunch at Primo Patio Café.

The last time we were here, they had a big sign announcing the end of the spinach contamination scare, there was no sign about the tomato red herring, but there was red fish available to snack on while we waited for our entrees.

I took a snap of their "snaps" ($8.00):

... which are free form fish sticks made from red snapper.

Their signature dish is jerk chicken ($8.25):

... which was marinated and grilled to a moist tenderness. Black beans, spiced rice and broccoli competed this filling Caribbean influenced plate.

It may not be a place to make a special trip to, but it's good to have an outdoor lunch venue for cheap and cheerful chow.

Primo Patio Café

214 Townsend St.
San Francisco, CA



  Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Those little heirloom tomato plants that we picked up from the annual Master Gardener sale are now filling our bellies with vine ripened fruit.

Even though we were bummed that they sold out of varieties that we wanted (at opening time there were aggressive shoppers put the "deadly" in nightshade) our disappointment blossomed into delight via BLTs, Capreses and off the vine snacking.

The master gardeners mated us with toms that were appropriate for our microclimate and went all Little Shop of Horrors on us in a crazy growth spurt.

We will definitely return next April armed with a purchasing strategy before the opening bell.

UCCE Marin Master Gardeners' Organic Heriloom and Hybrid Tomato Market



  Monday, July 28, 2008

Our friend K sent us a dispatch during a meal break in El Salvador. This place looks like it has both pros and cons. Mr. Con and his con-kids did the fishing and Mrs. Con whipped up K's lunch less than an hour after it was plucked from the water.

We really need to tag along on a future trip.

Comedor Mama Con
El Salvador



  Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jennifer was driving past Tony Tutto Pizza in Mill Valley with a friend who said that they hadn't visited yet since they were "waiting for the Bunrabs to go," so we decided to scope out the former Perry's Deli for this pie-curious reader.

We split their version of a Margherita called "A Love Supreme" ($11.00):

... which was cooked to a California blonde. Their three-cheese blend melted over tomato sauce with basil leaves heat sealed into the lactose lava. Although good, our personal taste runs towards the blistered rather than blonde and the organic flour dough fell between thin crackery and chewy, but didn't fully commit to either side (but to be fair, they don't have the benefit of a wood burning oven to subject their discs to an inferno.)

They serve individual sized pizzas for lunch on Wednesday thru Friday and are planning to add salads to the 6 vegetarian pizza menu. We found their pies to be on the large size for one, and the small size for two.

We liked the herb-bordered patio seating:

... where you can enjoy a beer or glass of wine at this non-chain 'za hut.

This friendly two man operation:

... was working hard to keep up with their orders and there was a long lag time even though the place wasn't full, but I'm betting they will address this as they get their footing in this newly opened, counter service, eatery.

It's a neighborhood small business with a green 'tude that will pick up business as they pick up their pace.

Tony Tutto Pizza
246 E. Blithedale Ave.
Mill Valley, CA



  Saturday, July 26, 2008

We knew that Saturday lunch was probably not a shift that chef Scott Howard would cover, but we wanted to see if his influence has improved a gauche cash depository in Larkspur.

Due to the heat, we sat out on the patio for a couple of salads.

A generous portion of sautéed, Laughing Bird Caribbean white shrimp ($11.50):

... topped a vinaigrette dressed arugula salad with slivers of fennel and a shower of capers. This salad was okay, but the flavors didn't wed into an interesting combo which was taken further away from the culinary alter by a heavy caper component. We preferred their Salade Nicoise ($13.75):

... which had seared slices of ahi, perfectly cooked haricots verts, and an egg cooked with a respect for the yolk:

The fingerling potatoes were undercooked, the nicoise olives were the pre-pitted variety and the radishes that were listed on the menu did not make it to the table, but even so, this avocado, tomato, roasted peppers, capers, tapenade and anchovy adorned salad was something I would order again (with the hope that the spuds enjoyed al fresco would be less al dente.)

We were happy to see that there are signs of good chow and we will have to a-rive again to see for shore.

Left Bank

507 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA



  Friday, July 25, 2008

The Cobb Salad ($9.95):

... at Just for You Café subs out turkey for chicken and gets Ranch dressing (which I herded to the side) instead of its traditional vinaigrette. Crispy bacon blue cheese and chopped tomatoes were dragged down by an overboiled egg.

The small plate paired with a meal-sized salad demanded a surgical precision in fork maneuvering. Although I am adept at the game of Operation, I found that negotiating this salad structure was as tricky as removing the writer's cramp pencil from Cavity Sam's wrist. Okay, now I am violating one of their tenets – no whining. I think I'll stick to the breakfast portion of the menu next visit.

What keeps us coming back is the casual neighborhood vibe and all day breakfast option.

Just for You Café

732 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA

I was happy to learn about the California trans fat ban but do we really have to wait until 2010 for restaurants and 2011 for retail baked goods? I mean, if it's bad enough to ban, why is it okay to use up stockpiles of this coronary clotting comestible? Sure, new recipes, and workflows will need to be put in place, not to mention increased expenses, but I wouldn't call this a ban so much as a tapering off…




  Thursday, July 24, 2008

A friend told us that a recent visit to Serpentine was so loud that they couldn't bear to stay for dinner (since neither is fluent in sign language.) We wondered if the noise level issue was the result of an alcohol fueled, blowing off of steam after work crowd, but lunch wasn't exactly a zen mediation convention.

We took a tacit turn while we filled our chat chutes with a chicken sandwich ($9.50). Poultry pieces perched on a roll with Swiss cheese , green onions, roasted mushrooms, wholegrain mustard and aioli. The fowl was chopped up for easy portioning/sandwich edge distribution in this sourdough chick-mitt. Perfectly good, but not a reorder.

The steak sandwich ($10.50) was a torpedo roll armed with slices of Prather beef and detonated with Cheddar, sautéed peppers and onions. I wondered how it was that the burger was more expensive, but both sandwiches were not filled to cater to a New York deli sensibility. They were small, simple and not nap inducing.

We chose salads instead of fries, but upon reflection, it would have been a good move to get one with fries instead since they make a fine bunch of spud sticks.

Serpentine is a great place to take poor conversationalists, the hearing impaired, or those who would like to experience this impairment, but to be fair, if you are sitting side by side at the bar, or have good selective listening skills, it has a lively vibe with good chow.

2495 Third St.
San Francisco, CA


Slow Food Nation has their big San Francisco event next month. There are a lot of small gatherings that are bound to fill up quickly so it's worth getting your tickets now to avoid disappointment.

Saturday, August 30, 2008
10:00 - 11:00 am
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $10
Presidium Coffee Cupping
Andrea Amato leads a taste of freshly brewed, specialty coffees fromGuatemala and Santo Domingo while two growers discuss the challenges and efforts to support sustainable coffee growing. Learn how Slow Food Presidia are helping to protect and find markets for specialty coffees and how different roasting techniques enhance aromas and flavors.

10:00 - 11:00 am
Throw a “Slowtail” Party for 6 Friends for Under $60 Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $10 Whole Foods Market Chef Instructor Josh Hanoka will teach you how to throw a legendary, but seriously affordable, party of delicious artisan tastes and sips, including champagne fruit cocktails and four locally-inspired appetizers.

12:00 noon - 1:00 pm
The Apple in the Pig's Mouth
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $20
Taste artisanal ciders from around the country with three different varieties of prosciutto from Iowa's La Quercia as we work to develop a lexicon of flavors in each. Panelists include noted author and apple expert Ben Watson, and La Quercia owner and prosciutto maker HerbEckhouse. Moderated by chef and food writer Kurt Michael Friese.

12:00 noon - 1:00 pm
Rare Flavors of the South
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
Andrea Reusing, Chef and Owner of Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill,and Phoebe Lawless, Chef and Owner of Scratch Artisan Baking in Durham, North Carolina, present a tasting menu of flavors steeped in Southern history: shrimp with green tomatoes and ramps, souse and corned ham, Gullah-style Reezy Peezy, cornbread with homemade buttermilk and sorghum and more.

2:00 - 3:00 pm
Tasting California Olive Oil
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $10
Learn how to taste olive oil like an expert. Nancy Ash, California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel Leader and owner of Strictly Olive Oil, will guide a tasting of extra virgin olive oils, provide an overview on industry issues and describe what exactly extra virgin olive oil means.

2:00 - 3:00 pm
American Artisan Cheeses and Microbrews
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
Matt Jennings of Farmstead, Inc. will introduce some of America’s premier artisan cheesemakers and microbrewers, through a tasting of their exemplary products. For the past 20 years, hand-crafted wheels of cheese and vats of microbrews have been feeding America’s food revolution.

4:00 - 5:00 pm
Bounty from the Midwest
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $20
Grace Singleton of Zingerman’s will introduce Midwestern regional foods produced in Michigan, the second-largest agricultural producing state in the U.S. Delicacies will include Tracklement’s smoked fish, Zingerman Creamery and Bakehouse items, Ark-of-Taste Paw Paws and a selection of hearty local brews. Also on site: Kim Bayer of Slow Food and Edible WOW, Chef Nick Seccia and Susan Schmidt of the Henry Ford Museum and Zingerman’s Gauri Thergaonkar.

4:00 - 5:00 pm
Heritage Pork and Sparkling Mead
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
The Ossabaw Island hog, descended from Iberian hogs left by Spaniards off the coast of Georgia in the 1500s, was on the verge of extinction until Eliza MacLean began a conservation and breeding program. Paired with Heidrun Meadery’s Sparkling Mead, by Gordon Hull in Arcata California, this is sure to be a succulent tasting. Join Chef Joe Bonaparte of the International Culinary Schools, Eliza MacLean and Gordon Hull for this delicious workshop.

6:00 - 7:00 pm
Slow Wine & Food Pairings
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $20
Join La Jota Vineyards in a slow sip of bold appellation reds paired with some of the finest regional slow foods.

6:00 - 7:00 pm
Sustainable Stories: Associations of Wine and Food
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $20
Christopher Howell, General Manager and Winemaker at Cain Vineyard & Winery will lead a discussion while participants sip stupendous wines, nibble on an enticing selection of sustainably-produced Napa valley foods and gain insights on how associations of people, wine, and food create the most satisfying combinations.

8:00 - 9:00 pm
Coro Mendocino Wines & Organic Cheeses
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $20
A unique tasting of a Mendocino winemakers’ collaboration to create a class of distinctive wines that belong to the rich heritage, spectrum of terroir and unique characteristics of varietals with a long history in Mendocino County. 2005 Coro Mendocino Wines will be paired with Elk Creamery organic cheeses, highlighting the aromas and flavors gleaned from this region.

8:00 - 9:00 pm
Celebrating American Raw Milk Cheese
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
With a focus on the American Raw Milk Cheese Association, one of Slow Food USA’s first Presidia initiatives, we explore the differences between raw and pasteurized milk cheeses, some of the controversy surrounding these products and the growing array of unique tastes.
Beyond wonderful cheddar, we find dozens of aged cow, goat and sheep cheese to whet our appetite. The six-cheese tasting is paired with American craft beers.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

10:00 - 11:00 am
Exploring Coffee and Chocolate Pairings
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $10
Explore the possibilities and pitfalls of pairing coffee and chocolate while hearing about the commonalities in their post-harvest processing and colonial legacies. Join James Freeman from Blue Bottle Coffee and Seneca Klassen from Bittersweet Cafe as they dig into two of the world's favorite stimulants.

10:00 - 11:00 am
Slow Food Meals on a Budget
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $10
Living the slow food lifestyle doesn’t require selling the family farm. Join Whole Foods Market value experts as they share tricks for maximizing your shopping dollars as you maximize your eating pleasure. Chef Instructor Josh Hanoka will present a four course meal for four people for under $50 and show you how to save on the best local foods.
With insider tips and scrumptious recipes, you’ll learn how to make every day a celebration of food, shared meals and healthy wallets.

12:00 noon - 1:00 pm
Fermented Delicacies
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $10
Food doesn't get much slower than fermentation. In this workshop Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation, and author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, will offer a broad survey of the exciting flavors of fermented delicacies enjoyed by cultures around the world. Learn about the healing qualities and nutritional importance of fermentation, as well as its illustrious history and integral role in
human cultural evolution.

12:00 noon - 1:00 pm
Northwestern Sips & Morsels
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
Rainforests, oceans chilled by arctic currents, protected valleys, open plains and the mountains of the Pacific Northwest serve up a platter of unique regional foods paired with libations from skilled craftsmen in this workshop led by Greene Lawson, owner of HotLips Pizza and Soda in Portland, Oregon.

2:00 - 3:00 pm
Mendocino Pinot Noir
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $20
Classic old- and new- world-style Pinot Noir from Mendocino County will be introduced in a horizontal tasting of same vintage year. The workshop will explore Mendocino County AVA’s and microclimates of the geographically diverse county. Pinot Noirs from the cool climate Anderson Valley and warmer climates such as the Russian River, Redwood and Potter Valleys will be tasted and compared while discussing the effects of soil, topography and climate on the finished wines.

2:00 - 3:00 pm
Heirloom Tomatoes with Wines from Lodi
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
Swirl, sniff and sample wineglasses filled with brilliantly hued heirloom tomato chunks in this extraordinary workshop. Ann Noble, creator of the Wine Aroma Wheel, and Professor Emerita, U.C. Davis Enology Department, will lead a tasting of Yolo County-grown heirloom tomatoes. Paired with wines from Lodi, participants will decide which wines go best with tomatoes.

4:00 - 5:00 pm
A Traditional Taste of Southwest Heritage Foods
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $20
Join chef and author John Sharpe and Southwest Regional Slow Food Governor Pamela Hamilton on a taste journey through Southwestern heritage foods featuring Presidium churro lamb, piki bread with Hopi hummus and chiltepine salsa. Sample hand-selected foods such as tepary beans, dry-roasted and blue corn, and chiles from Arizona and New Mexico.

4:00 - 5:00 pm
Eat It to Save It, Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
Join Slow Food’s Ark of Taste co-chair Poppy Tooker to taste some of the most delicious and endangered food of the U.S. and meet the people who work to rescue and promote them: hand- harvested and parched “manoomin” or wild rice with Winona LaDuke; Sun Crest peaches with Mas and Nikiko Masumoto; Guinea and Mulefoot heritage hogs with Arie McFarlen; Ark vegetables and fruits with Alyssa Jumars of Dunbar Farms and Geoducks; and Olympia Oysters with Bill Whitbeck from Taylor Shellfish Farms.

6:00 - 7:00 pm
Slow Sips & Charcuterie Snacking
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
Sam Edwards of Surry, Virginia, Kenneth Rochford of Medlock Ames, and Mark Pastore co-owner of Incanto and Boccalone share their stories. You’ll snack on a sumptuous array of sandwiches layered thick with charcuterie and artisan pickled delights while slowly studying the piquancy of organic, sustainable wines.

6:00 - 7:00 pm
Biodynamic Wines
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 362 (45 People Maximum); $20
A tasting and discussion of wine from the leaders in biodynamic wine movement.

8:00 - 9:00 pm
Slow Spirits
Fort Mason, Bldg C, Room 370 (60 People Maximum); $20
Join Allen Katz, master mixologist and Chairman of the Slow Food USA Board of Directors, Greg Lingren, Proprietor of Rye Bar and H. Joseph Herman, Proprietor of Elixir, for a tasty and enlightening exploration of sustainable spirits and cocktails. While sipping creations from artisan spirits producers such as Prairie Organic Vodka, they’ll discuss sustainability in distillation and the exciting use of local, seasonal ingredients in the creation of mouth-watering cocktails.


From today's Bunrab email, Cindy writes about yesterday's expense inflation/food deflation blog:


Regarding smaller portions - I just noticed at Safeway yesterday that their store yogurt (my kids like it) is the same price, but smaller sized containers. Instead of 8 oz., now it's 6 oz. Yo-flation!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Cindy,

With all these cost issues I can't say that I am surprised that one of the first places that was scaled back was kid's exposure to culture.





back to last week - July 17-23, 2008



BUNRABS Home | Contact Gutenberg | Yummy Chow | Photo Hutch
Entire contents copyright © 2008 by BunRabCo. All rights reserved.