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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.



November 23-30, 2008


go to next week's blogs


  Sunday, November 30, 2008

We only had a half hour to get dinner so we did the sensible thing and cut straight to dessert.

Mission Beach Cafe’s:

... pastry chef, Alan Carter, is not part of the chef shuffle going on in their kitchen, but he brings flakiness to the table with fruit in crusted finery.

Blue Bottle coffee ($2.00 per cup) washed down a piece of apple pie ($6.50):

... and pear sour cherry pie ($6.50):

... both had tender, flaky pastry and had a dollop of creme Chantilly that was a tad sweeter than we prefer, (but to be fair, we like ours barely sweet.) The cinnamon scented apple wedge was good, but the star was the pear and sour cherry which had the perfect balance of sweetness to acidity with the spotlight on the fruit.

Wood and hourglasses were the dominant design details in the decor department of this cozy cafe.

The staff was friendly and accommodating in expediting our check so we could skeedattle without delay.

We enviously eyed a neighboring tables’ burger and fries and vowed to order this Prather tasty looking meal on our next visit.

Mission Beach Cafe

198 Guerrero St.
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, November 29, 2008

We had never visited Ton Kiang:

... during dinner hours and although dim sum is on the menu, the evening service isn’t based on flagging down food. Due to this delivery difference, we noticed, for the first time, how hospitality isn’t their first order of business as we languished beside two of the waitstaff engaged in a dispute about who would take our order.

The loser brought us our selection of dim sum ($38.00 for 9 items) which included good shrimp, pork, and mushroom dumpling permutations:

... but the deep fried shrimp stuffed crab claw:

... and shrimp balls:

... were both dominated by an unpleasantly dense shrimp cake mixture and were Exxon Valdezy - the marine mammal center would have sent a volunteer to wrap us in towels and dip us in Dawn detergent if we were of the aquatic persuasion.

For dessert, we got sesame balls which they cut up during dim sum intensive hours, but we were presented with the golfy version since it was not peak tea time.

We liked most of our chow, but we’ll have to remember to confine our dim desires to sumtime when they have the trays and crowds.

Ton Kiang
5821 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA



  Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey hash with beets:

... giving a red flannel blanket of color to this yolk-sauced rehash of yesterday’s t-down tucker.




  Thursday, November 27, 2008

There is something satisfying about heating the hutch to a fragrant toastiness through baking.

When the pies:

... and turnips came out of the oven, we headed for J & K’s:

... and feasted ourselves silly on delicious brined, roasted turkey:

... stuffing, green bean soup, broccoli, roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings.

We didn’t give thanks for our Rock Band skillz (I guess practice is involved...) but we did give thanks for fine friends, fun and seriously good chow.




  Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We grabbed a quick dinner at Yucachubis (the nighttime restaurant that occupies Theresa and Johnny’s restaurant in San Rafael.)

Four Polcanes ($5.99):

...were stuffed with ground pumpkin seeds and white beans, deep fried and topped with tomato sauce and queso fresco. They came with a little pot of pickled onions to add some oomph and even though these discs had a nice crunch, I ended up dousing them with some of the salsa that accompanied the basket of hot tortilla chips to add some flavorful dimension.

Codzitos ($6.99):

...were taquitos stuffed with chicken and topped with tomato sauce and queso fresco alongside a pot of thinned sour cream. We liked the crunch, but these were cigars without one.

Brazo de Reyna ($6.75):

...were three big tamales stuffed with ground pumpkin seeds, chard and hard boiled eggs. The green tinged yolk was an indication that this dish didn’t eggsell. The salsa added an acidic accent to what was an otherwise starchy staff.

The dishes that we sampled were on the bland side, but the service was friendly and there is an appealing neighborhoody feel to this fry by night enterprise.


Theresa and Johnny’s Restaurant
nights starting at 5 p.m.
817 Fourth St.
San Rafael, CA

From our Bunrab email bag, Mike writes:



Did you deliberately remove the picture of the turkey plucker?


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Mike,

That’s strange. We can see if from here. Did you switch the browser that you used to view it originally? Is anyone else out there having the same issue?


Jose writes:



I know its been a while since you updated the burger blog but have you been to Mo's grill in North Beach? Excellent burger, they use the circular grill like the place on Bridgeway. The thing I like most is the consistency, as in medium rare is always exactly as it should be.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Jose,

We checked out Mo’s a little over a year ago, but our burgers were pounded with a vengeance and I’m not sure if this is SOP for MO’s. Maybe we went on an off day...




  Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nettie’s Crab Shack had a Dungeness crab roll ($25.00):

... on this evening’s list of specials. We snapped up this East Coast style top-loading toasted bun filled with intraskeleton stuffing. This toasty, buttery cholester-roll was delicious alongside crunchy house made potato chips, pickled beans, carrots, gherkins and cukes.

The fish and chips ($16.00):

... had thick, starchy, steak style fries which were okay, but I prefer the more traditional chippy chips. The battered fish fillets were on the greasy side, but they still had their share of crispy bits and the malt vinegar balanced out the oily edge.

The service was friendly and efficient in this un-shacky snack stop.

We need to return on a Sunday night when they put newspaper on the tables and bibs on the customers for a crab feed with whole crabs, sides and dessert.

Nettie’s Crab Shack

2032 Union St.
San Francisco, CA

From our Bunrab email, Ken writes about our poultry processing participation:


Yikes! Now I know what happens to turkeys that don't get a Presidential pardon!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Ken,

Actually, the bird in our movie got the pardon but jumped in the machine when he looked at his turkey stock portfolio.




  Monday, November 24, 2008

We warmed our bellies with a bowl of trippa alla Fiorentina ($8.00):

...at Corso Trattoria. This stomach soup was a rustic and satisfying combo with cannellini beans, bread, carrots and tomato. The perfect potion for this chilly evening.

The rapini ($6.00):

...had a sweet grapey flavor (from a splash of saba) which ‘taged this stringy green for us.

Our salsiccia pizza ($11.00):

... was generously dotted with fennel sausage on a thin crust spread with tomato sauce, mozzarella and peppers. The crust didn’t have that chewy quality to accent its crispness that I look for in a ‘za, but it was still good.

The staff was friendly and efficient at this inexpensive, casual Italian eatery. They make their own house cured meats which we’ll have to try on our next visit.

Corso Trattoria
1788 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA


Yesterday’s post got some great responses in our Bunrab email including:

Hey Bunrabs,

Thanks so much for posting the photos from the turkey ho-down. I was startled at first, sitting in front of the computer with my morning coffee, but then realized that this is simply the part of food production we never see and don't have to think about. I'm by no means a vegetarian, so it's nice to have a reminder, now and again, of what it takes to make a meal I will surely partake in.

Thanks again.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Aaron,

That “reminder” that you mention is precisely why we chose to take part in processing those turkeys. We felt that if we had big issues with participating in this activity, that we should probably hang up our drumsticks, but as it turns out, it reinforced our respect for the people who raise animals in humane settings and gave us a broader understanding of what goes into getting a turkey to the table.

Glad you enjoyed the mortem post.




  Sunday, November 23, 2008

One of the best perks of being a Bunrab is being invited to events that are not part of our usual routine.

Today we took part in processing a hundred heritage turkeys:

These stunning birds were placed in cones:

... and bled before they cycled through the scalder and took a tumble in a de-feathering drum lined with rubber cigars:


Their residual feathers and booties were then removed before evisceration:

Chris Cosentino discussed methods of offal preparation with those who had not thought outside of the paper pouch.

We all brought some chow to share and we met the nice people from Bohemian Creamery who brought their tasty hard goat Capriago and sumptuous, jersey, Boho belle:

... from which I conspicuously carved off a series of inconspicuous pieces.

We adhered to the speed limit on our way back to the cyberhutch since blood spattered clothing and the smell of death is not a good officer-ice breaker.





back to last week - November 17-22, 2008



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