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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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November 1-9, 2008


go to next week's blogs


  Sunday, November 9, 2008

We charted our way to Mission Pie where the display case was greatly dominated by pumpkin, but as far as we’re concerned, apple squashes the competition. In addition to our all American dessert, we got a piece of walnut (both $3.50 per slice):

... which was made in the fashion of a traditional pecan with a corn syrupy custard binding its nutty aggregate.

I imagine that they will be seriously pumping out the orange option for the next few weeks, but they always bake up a nice variety - the trick is to get your fave before they sell out.

Mission pie’s flaky products and flake-free personnel keep the place filled with happy crustomers.

Mission Pie
2901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, November 8, 2008

The conventional wisdom is that Guinness is good for you and that cake is bad for you, so I hopped to the conclusion that this polarity disparity could be relieved with their solidarity.

I made the New York Times recipe for Guinness cake:

...but the topping was sweeter than we prefer so we left off the foamy head of cream cheese frosting and happily ate this dark, stout, cake:

... unadorned for beerunch.




  Friday, November 7, 2008

What’s black and white and red all over? Neiman Marcus.

This evening’s Red Tie Gala at Neiman Marcus kicked off with champagne and Tsar Nicoulai caviar:

...elevating this to the best in retail and tux experiences.

Each floor had a unique club theme, specialty drinks, food and music.

Silks skewers of king oyster mushrooms with avocado and charred jalapeno oil:

... and their kona kampachi sashimi with lemon soy vinaigrette and crispy garlic:

...showed off their smooth umami operation.

Brian Gavin of Conduit hooked us up with some ribeye tartare:

... on brioche with a kick of pepper and mustard - this was some divine bovine.

A16’s crostini with dried favas, braised greens and pecorino:

... were rustic on the crustic. We love the way they steer towards retrained preparations with great flavors.

The oyster bar kept up with the jiving crowd:

... while the Starduster Orchestra:

...was in full swing.

An impressive array of desserts by Taste catering:

... kept the crowd energized at this benefit for the Little Sisters of the Poor:

...who look after the elderly poor of San Francisco.

Red Tie Gala

Neiman Marcus Union Square
San Francisco



  Thursday, November 6, 2008

Meals off Wheels

The Thursday-night-only food truck, Mission Street Food, took their show off the road for the first time this evening.

Bar Tartine cook, Anthony Myint’s arrangement with Lung Shan Restaurant:

... means that there is now a poster-lined parlor:

... for PB&Js ($5.50.):

These house made flatbreads with hunks of succulent pork belly and crisp jicama batons were a crazy cilantro spiked tacoey treat. A couple of these and a beer would make a great dinner.

A plate of chili flakes and fried shallots were for sprinkling over the Ono Kauswe ($6.00):

This tasty coconut curry noodle soup had sliced hard boiled eggs, chicken, cilantro and lime wedges melding together in the rich liquid.

The MSF rice ($7.00):

... was just ducky. Not only were there shreds of rich duck leg confit, but the rice was also fried in duck fat with bits of cracklins, cauliflower, shitakes, and scallions.

They serve beer, wine and soda but don’t expect to swirl them around in Riedel glasses, mismatched chopsticks and paper plates are part of the deal.

There are plans for a series of guest chefs to add a dish to augment the offerings at this friendly and delicious food stop, but even without this planned addition, it’s worth pulling over for a bite.

Mission Street Food
Thursdays from 6 p.m.- midnight
at Lung Shan Restaurant
2234 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA


From our Bunrab email, Dr. Biggles writes about our visit to Bette’s:


Funny you mention the scrambled eggs, I have the same complaint nearly everywhere I go. I usually find myself staring at my "scrambled" eggs saying that it's a plain omelet, NOT scrambled. However, I have found one other place that does come awful close. It's the Sunnyside Cafe in Albany, on Solano Avenue. Cheers!

Dr. Biggles

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Dr. B.

We’ll have to hop over to Allbunny to check it out.

Thanks for the tip,




  Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Field guides are usually reserved for the pith helmut and binocular crowd and although our friend, Anita doesn’t seem to fit that mold, yet she has just rolled out her Field Guide to Cookies.

If you have ever visited Anita’s website, you know that she has major sweet cred, so we had to check out her comprehensive cookie collection in which she raises the bar, breaks the mold and drop kicks you through a tour of diminutive, dough desserts.

Her alfajores were met with a chirps of delight from our fellow cookie watchers who were instrumental in their swift, southern migration.



1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix until combined. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add in flour mixture and mix just until the dough starts to come together.
Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for 1 hour until firm.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.

Using a 2-inch fluted cutter, cut out cookies and carefully transfer to the sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart.

Chill the sheets for about 15 to 20 minutes until dough is very firm.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until tops of the cookies are just firm and the bottoms are beginning to color.

Cool sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes before transferring cookies directly onto wire racks with a metal spatula to finish cooling.

For the filling: Pour the condensed milk into a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Cook over low heat until it becomes thick and dark golden. Stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. It may take a few hours for the condensed milk to cook, but resist turning up the heat too high or the milk could burn. Let the caramel filling cool and thicken before assembling the alfajores.

To assemble, sandwich two of the cookies with a teaspoon of the caramel filling. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the assembled sandwiches.

Yield: about 3 dozen sandwiches.

Storage: Cookies should be served as soon as possible or they will get soggy. Store unfilled cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Reprinted with permission from Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu
Copyright 2008 published by Quirk Productions, Inc.


Mark your Calendar

This Friday, Neiman Marcus will take on a rosey tint for the Red Tie Gala.

A16, Destino, Farina and Conduit are a few of the restaurant sponsors.

This evening of music and merriment which will benefit the Little Sisters of the Poor, who care for the elderly poor of San Francisco.

So this weekend, plan to paint your tie the same color as the town.

Red Tie Gala

Friday, November 7, 2008 7-11 p.m.
Tickets $250
Neiman Marcus
150 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA



  Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If you want some artificial recession-tation, go to the always bustling Bette’s Diner where the only melt down that we could see was our espresso shake as we slowly savored this brisk beverage.

Chubby exercised his Independence with the Philadelphia ($8.95):

... which is their house made scrapple served with eggs any style. This spicy slice of offal loaf met his mandatory minimum daily requirement of pork. Grilled tomatoes, poached eggs and a cherry almond scone were the perfect running mates for this hot ticket.

I elected to have my usual bacon and eggs ($8.95):

... which they always cook soft (I have visited no other diner that does their eggs as nicely as Bette’s).

While other restaurants are being hit by the current crunch, I’m glad to see that we aren’t in danger of losing an affordable place with great chow and health insurance for their hardworking crew.

Bette’s Oceanview Diner
1807 Fourth St.
Berkeley, CA



  Monday, November 3, 2008

Carbonara-loading is a great way to insure sustained energy for marathon eating, and although our mastication marathon took place yesterday, it shocks the system to go cold turkey after going whole hog.

As with any training, it is wise to take it slow in an effort to avoid injury. We joined the club of like-minded eaters over Spaghetti Carbonara ($10.50):

... with trumpet mushrooms, spinach, peppers, onions and grana padano. This pasta par course was a bacony hair of the hog needed to maintain my chemical composition.

Slow Club

2501 Mariposa St.
San Francisco, CA



  Sunday, November 2, 2008

We trotted over to the Amuse Cochon event in Napa where local chefs hogged the spotted light in a boar war of nose to tail skills.

Taylor Boetticher:

... deboned his Hudson Ranch Gloucester Old Spot before brining it in hard cider. He enriched his stock made from the roasted bones with the trotters and a duck gelee. A peppery pork and sage sausage and pork heart confit were rolled into the middle of the boneless beast before roasting. Braeburns and Golden Delicious apples (from his own trees) were browned in lard to compliment this bronzed beauty.

A couple sharing our table were also tucking into this liver pate and trotter sauce adorned plate when the man exclaimed, “I don’t know what this stuff is, but it’s really good.”

Steve Sando was on hand with his Rancho Gordo beans.

We were excited to learn of his plans to open a Tortillarilla this spring somewhere in the North Bay (location still TBD.)

Peter Pahk of the Silverado Resort transformed his Yorkshire/Berkshire cross from Christian Brothers into pickled extremities, a comforting consomme with pork and shrimp dumplings, a breakfasty belly with scrambled eggs as well as a muscular combo with prunes and cabbage.

Allan Benton’s prosciutto wrapped melon and biscuits with persimmon preserves and ham:

... were very good, but the thick sliced bacon was fat-tastic.

The classic award of the evening went to this ham master.

Ryan Farr:

... received the award for “most creative” for his offal bologna on a stick and his plated Newman Farms porchetta, sausage and chili apple salad topped with light, crisp, chicharrones:

The Overall award aka the “Prince of Pork” title went to Chris Cosentino:

... who converted a Red Mountain Farms pig into some delicious creations including a kidney, heart, uterus and stomach soffrito with a mayonnaise made with grey matter that he called “brainnaise”:

... and Buddha's hand marinated backfat skewers that kicked Buddha ass. His “oil and vinegar” pesto pedestaled pork leg confit and vinegar braised shoulder with onions and toasted pine nuts:

... was inspired.

Local wines:

... kept the conversations flowing while we chewed the fat with friends at this convivial competition.

Amuse Cochon





  Saturday, November 1, 2008

We chopped up our surplus Halloween treats:

...before swirling this candy collection into Alice Medrich’s brownie recipe:

These ‘ween weening wares were the perfect vehicle for surplus snackage.


From today’s Bunrab email, David Lebovitz writes:

...love Hahn's Hibachi, too. It was my guilty pleasure (ok, I didn't really feel guilty eating there...) but yikes, all that food! Great to see you both at Brett's joint!!

-David L.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear David,

If there’s one thing we can’t accuse you of now - it’s being a food snob! We were surprised by all the Hahn’s Fahns (but it seems like most go for the less mountainous meals like their bi bim bop.)

It was great to see you at Contigo and we are anxiously awaiting its actual opening (but those Yelpers are even more antsy since it already has a 4 1/2 star rating!)







back to last week - October 24-31, 2008



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