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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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May 1-7, 2008


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  Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I realize that ordering sandwiches at a patisserie is tantamount to requesting fish in a steakhouse, but in an effort to walk past Starbuck's breadwiches we opted for our repast just down the street at Patisserie Philippe.

My chicken tartine ($6.25):

... had a couple slices of herbed, roasted, chicken breast, under some melted Mozzarella with slices of tomato on this open faced sandwich served with a simple side salad.

Chubby got the ham and Swiss panini ($6.25):

... which was encased in a toasted ciabatta shell. Roasted red peppers and onions added some interest to this hot pocket which also came with the same greenery.

Our chow was serviceable, but it's really not fair to go into a pastry shop and not order anything which combines butter, flour and sugar.

One thing's for sure – we're glad we passed the 'bucks.

Patisserie Philippe

655 Townsend St.
San Francisco, CA



  Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We got our tickets for the digital screening of Iron Man:

... at the Metreon a scant half hour before show time.

Tavern on the Green is not yet a top floor dining option, so after a quick round of food court roulette we wound up at the Buckhorn Grill:

... which I wouldn't describe so much as a restaurant; it's an alternate reality in which oil is cheap and plentiful. I got a Little Buck sandwich combo ($9.20):

... which is a quarter pound of sliced tri-tip with jus, caramelized onions, a drink and some onion rings. It's the sort of meal that makes me feel as though all the water in my system has been replaced by oil.

Chubby got the Roadhouse Buck combo ($9.40):

... which has a tri-tip sandwich with blue cheese crumbled over a fistful of those onion rings which are wedged into the roll. The American Heart Association logo must have slid off the menu at this ode to OPEC.

To be fair, health freaks don't have to get the meat mit with the o-rings, they also have humongous salads served in a deep fried tostada shells and the friendly staff did get us fed and out the door lickety split.

Iron Man would love this place. He could get well oiled and be off to fight crime in minutes.

Buckhorn Grill
101 4th St.
San Francisco, CA



  Monday, May 5, 2008

Food on Cinco de Mayo is a no brainer

I place an order of sesos whenever I see them on a taqueria menu, but I am usually told that they are out of their minds (okay, I paraphrase, but it seems that brains are not easy to come by – insert your own political joke here.)

Just off the 101, behind the Staples is a stomach filling station called El Palmar:

... where I mayo not have been able to cinco my teeth into any grey matter, but my alternative selections were head and shoulders above the crowd.

I got a few tacos topped with cabeza, lengua and tripas ($2.00 for the cabeza and lengua and $2.75 for the tripas):

The fatty, succulent, bits of head meat were bilaterally symmetrically delicious when placed in my own bilaterally symmetrical sensory receptor. I followed up my heady inversion processing technique with big chunks of tongue. This masticatable, moveable muscle was the quickest and easiest way to become multi lingual. I may not speak many tongues, but I certainly eat them. The tripas had crisply fried edges and chewy springy bits. I internalized these externalized organs with a bit of lime juice and the chopped, raw onion, cilantro and sliced radish that adorned all of my tortilla lined, meat stacks.

My lunch may have been brainless, but Chubby's was spineless. His nopales con carne ($9.50):

... had all the spikes removed from the green strips of tart 'tus. The pork was nicely fatty and peared with the de-prickeled veg (with a lower phlegm phactor than expected.)

Beans, rice and an anemic tomato slice spackled in the plate along side a pile of corn tortillas to mop up the cacpus.

This little eatery is connected to a little Mexi-convenience store from which they restock their beverages and cooking ingredients. Even though a lot of regulars sit down for a bowl of soup or plates of good looking chorizo and eggs, there is a lot of take away business at this mucho casual, counter service center. They have barbacoa on the weekend so we'll have to come back on a fin de semana – it's kind of a no-sesoer…

If there is one thing that I hate, it's waiting for a bakery to open. In a week or two (depending on how the inspections go) you can get your cupcake on in Lafayette and Corte Madera at the new outposts of the Teacake Bakeshop.

We've visited their Emeryville shop where we've had both hits and misses, but we like their brownie bites, chocolate sour cream cupcake and their Mr. Espresso coffee.

If you visit the Corte Madera bakeshop and want a late lunch before you sugar and caffeine up, get tacos at the Tacos Sabastopol truck across the parking lot at the 76 station (since we haven't found anything as good to eat in this mall) before your cakewalk.

El Palmar Restaurant
757 Lincoln Ave.
San Rafael, CA

Teacake Bakeshop
35 Lafayette Circle
Lafayette, CA
119 Corte Madera Town Center
Corte Madera, CA

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



  Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mark your Calendar

I think it's wacky that the SF Cinco de Mayo celebration is held on Tres de Mayo, but I guess you if have to trabajo on Lunes you have to move the fiesta resulting in calendar confusion.

Fortunately, there is no scheduling disorientation with the upcoming 4th annual Food for Thought event:

...which takes place at this Friday at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

The Asian and Pacific Islander Health Forum is holding this fundraiser for HIV/AIDS prevention. This event is co-chaired Charles Phan of the Slanted Door and Alexander Ong of Betelnut - a good indication that the chow will be both unhinged and euphoria inducing.

Sue Kwon of CBS-5 will emcee this evening which honors health advocate, Ms. Suki Terada Ports.

Billed as the largest gathering of Asian chefs in the SF Bay Area , the team of toque-toters includes such notables as Barney Brown of Anzu, Kham Chi Leung of Koi Palace and Joe Villanueva of Le Colonial.

SF's best Asian chefs cooking up chow for a good cause? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Food for Thought 2008
Friday May 9th 6 p.m. $150 per person
The Grand Ballroom
Westin St. Francis Hotel
335 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, May 3, 2008

Before the tea ball started rolling on leafily infused chocolates, we couldn't fathom this multi-fermented formation. Now that this confection has made it down oolong the steep hill to become a Darjeeling in the valley of our chocolate hearts we have sampled many of these pod-ticularly tea-riffic treats, but today we got to have them with coordinating brews:

Charles chocolates and Teance Tea's monthly pairing event:

... at Charles chocolate bar is an opportunity to spout off questions about chocolate and tea, while watching candy-making action on the factory floor:

They started us off with a Jasmine infused truffle with a Jasmine white tea:

... but the rest of the chocolates were not from the tea collection. Our favorite combos were the raspberry heart and Anxi Tikuanyin Oolong and the Meyer lemon marzipan with the Ceylon Orange Pekoe:

There were a total of five pairings with detailed descriptions given by the Teance steep master and the Charles chocolate ganache guru. Check out their site for updates on the next session of this informative and fun way to savor some tea-lectible combos.

Charles Chocolates
Tea and Chocolate Pairings with Teance
$20 per person

Charles Chocolates chocolate bar
6529 Hollis St.
Emeryville, CA
510.652.4412 x311
RSVP to guarantee admission



  Friday, May 2, 2008

We popped over the 1st annual Media Tastemakers Summit at the Supperclub.

We've never attended a conference with beds for the attendees:

This is actually a great incentive for the speakers to keep the audience engaged, especially since the organizers brought coffee only to discover that there was no coffee maker. Luckily, we arrived with our own joe to sip while listening to the Food & Wine and New Media session.

The panelists included managing editor of Chow.com, Davina Baum, Tim Burton impersonator and VP of Foodbuzz.com, Doug Collister, Sophie Gayot of Gayot.com, and Nagaraju Bandaru of Boorah.com.

During this hour long discussion panelists reflected on the internet's quick information cycle, new technologies such as semantic searches (which are context driven) and how user-generated content terrifies advertisers since these sites cannot guarantee that there will be only positive feedback of a paid sponsor.

We sat with a couple friends and wondered why there wasn't a blogger on this new media food panel.

We had to take off after this portion of the seminar, but it was interesting to see how the Internet is still such an ill-defined arena for many of its participants.




  Thursday, May 1, 2008

I wanted to cook a whole piglet, but after checking around, I learned that a true suckling pig is not easy to come by.

"Suckling pig" is a term that has expanded to mean a small pig beyond the suckling stage. My inquiries were met with offers of small pigs weighing in at over 25 pounds. It turns out that there is little incentive for producers to sell piglets under this weight since their profit can grow sharply in a matter of weeks.


... and Toponia of the Fatted Calf checked with their specialty suppliers and found the same reluctance, but they offered a delicious alternative of one of their porchetta.

We went with one of these oven-sized rolls which get a coating of olive oil and a sprinkling of fleur de sel before getting bunged in the oven. We had sampled this roast:

... on an earlier visit to their shop when Toponia was passing porcine pieces to pleased punters so we knew what swine dining lay ahead.

We decided that as long as we were at the Oxbow Market we could duck around to the farmers' market area for some veggies and salad makings, but I guess it's an idea best reserved for the weekend. The only produce vendor had bananas, pineapples, coconuts and mangoes. That farmer must have a long drive back to tend their crops.

There is a seafood market and a Ritual Coffee Roasters under construction in the market hall and of course all those hotels that will surround the Oxbow Market, so this area will eventually qualify as a zoo (sans suckling pigs.)

The Fatted Calf
The Oxbow Public Market
644 C First Street
Napa, CA




back to last week - April 23-30, 2008



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