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September 9-15, 2008
|Monday, September 15, 2008
... from some of the Bay Area's best restaurants and shops during today's West Coast Wines trade tasting.
We were struck by Staglin Family Vineyard's:
...lush and elegant, 2005 Rutherford Cabernet before we braved the crowds at the Miura Vineyards table:
... where we joined the worshipers of their 2006 Antiqv2s, Gary's Vineyard Syrah.
I ran into a McEvoy Rancher in the tasting crowd. She plans to attend in another capacity next year.
McEvoy Ranch is not just for olive oil and condiments anymore, they interplanted grapes and will release their pinot next year and if you were wondering what was up with all the packing up at their Ferry Building shop today:
... all the activity doesn't mean they are moving, they are just closing up shop to remodel - but you will still be able to buy their goods at the Farmers' Market or online until their new improved shop opens its doors in October.
|Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14, 2008
Cards hit the felt right after breakfast and the chips didn't get cashed in 'til Sunday when it was time to hit the road.
Fantastic grilled pork chops, artisanal ravioli, boudin blanc, and more heirloom tomatoes than we could possibly eat.
I have been reading David Tanis' new cookbook:
... in which she used the best, sweetest orange specimens to achieve taproot tastiness.
We worked off the fruit pies, ice cream, pancakes, fruit and cheeses by taking a lap around the lake.
There is nothing better than hanging out with great people, playing poker, talking politics, eating and drinking in the woods.
|Friday, September 12, 2008
Mark your calendar
Perbacco, Spruce and Foreign Cinema are just a few of the restaurants that will be dishing up appetizers at a benefit for the San Francisco Food Bank next week.
San Francisco Restaurants Unite to Fight Hunger
Asian Food without Borders
Asian Culinary Forum's cultural/culinary celebration includes tastings, classes and a symposium. Asian Food without Borders takes place from October 10th-12th and whether you are keen on kimchi or interested in India, there are events for all levels of curiosity and budget.
Asian Culinary Forum
Mariquita Mystery Box
Mariquita Mystery Box
|Thursday, September 11, 2008
...hot bread pudding:
...with vegetables and salad. This once a month treat is worth winding over to Dogpatch to catch.
We drained our glasses and headed down the road to Crushpad which was the site of this evening's TasteTV chocolate and wine paring event.
... as we sampled Schoggi and Saratoga Chocolates:
... with a merlot, zinfandel and cabernet.
The evening ended with a vote for which wine went best with the dark chocolates. The Cabernet was the crowd favorite.
|Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ducca minus the ducats
... every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. $14 gets you a plate of tasty 'que and a glass of beer or wine.
... while I went with the perfectly cooked beef and strangely crumbly-textured house made sausage:
The neighboring table got versions of this meat tube that looked much better, so maybe this one was a fluke.
Chubby washed his down with a glass of Sierra Nevada while I went with the Peroni.
|Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Starpucks, or Brewhaha
Starbucks' P.R. company read our blog and summoned us to an informal event at the Starbucks San Francisco regional office. We registered a notarized statement of our intended whereabouts with the local police before reporting to San Francisco's Starbucks HQ. We also mentally prepared ourselves by running through scenarios including what we should do if the supporting bolts for a catwalk would suddenly give way above a large vat of frappuccino mix. We knew that the judge would probably rule in their favor deeming it justifiable frappuside due to our recent coverage.
Even so, we tried to be Ethiopian-minded while walking into this potential trap.
A friendly greeting was followed by a buffet presentation of their new breakfast line (which reinforced our previous thoughts on this chow) but what we really wanted to check out was their Clover small batch coffee program launching in October.
There has been a lot of brew haha about Starbucks purchase of Clover. You may have already sampled coffee processed in this $11k vacuum-press device over at Ritual Roasters. It's kind of like a Japanese tea ceremony meets the Jetsons…except with coffee and without the cartoon characters. David Latoureli walked us through the process:
... of weighing, grinding, whisking, extracting and cleaning. This vacuum-press machine is pretty neat. There are controls for size, steep and water temperature and after the coffee is extracted, a puck of grounds elevates to the top of the machine:
... to be squeegeed away. According to David, the density and bubbly characteristics of this dark disk indicate the freshness of the beans (lighter = fresher).
An interesting element of this new program is that rare, small batch coffees will be spotlighted on a rotating menu of 5 featured beans. They will be using a German-made grinder engineered to clear the residual coffee as each dose is prepped to minimize co-mingling of varying varietals.
Anthony Carroll gave the background stories on the coffee regions and growers as we sniffed and slurped 5 different offerings, which were all unique and delicious. When they mentioned the inclusion of a decaf option (which was not part of the tasting) I asked them if this could appear to be a compromise of standards. They noted that this option would not be featured, but they did not want to alienate stimulant-shunning customers.
Only 3 US cities are slated to participate in this Clover rollout: San Francisco will get 9 machines, Seattle 10 and Boston 33. They will post the locations on their site once all the arrangements are finalized.
We're happy that they didn't lure us there to kill us. They even gave us some good coffee.. but we can't shake our suspicions. If you see no updates after this posting, you will know that they tailed us back to the cyberhutch, I mean, if these characters can afford to pay 11k on a single coffee maker, hit money must seem like chump change...
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