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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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April 24-30, 2009


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  Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our friends J&S came to town for the AIA convention so we picked a restaurant that we knew would impress our East Coast pals - Contigo.

The dining room was full at 9 p.m. except for one table for 4 where we drank wine and nibbled on Monte Emebro goat cheese, ($7.00) membrillo, Benton’s smoky mountain country ham ($9.00) and some insane Newsom’s Country Hams smokehouse aged Kentucky prosciutto:

... that Harold McGee brought Brett and Elan (and that they were generous enough to share.)

Our pica-pica pickas ($8.00 each or $7.00 each when you order 3 or more) were a pulpo salad with shaved fennel, sections of grapefruit and olives - this eight fisted dish had a perfect combo of tender tentacle meat, crisp anise slivers, juicy citrus with briney olives. This dish was octo-gone in seconds.

Zuckerman asparagus with salt cured tuna, sieved egg and green garlic was a spearited springy spectacle.

Lamb merguez:

... with a dandelion salad and pickled radishes had a nice spice to this coilection of flavors.

Wilted, tender fava greens tossed with toasted pinenuts and golden raisins were the perfect use for these beany bystanders.

Flatbread ($13.00):

... with tender, infant artichokes emerged from the wood burning oven with its little hearts still beating. This simple semblage of flower and flour flourished.

Slow roasted Pozzi Ranch lamb shoulder:

... was a flavorful chunk of shrug-gested ingestion framed by fresh peas, spring onions and browned potatoes.

The lemon tart ($8.00):

... was brulee-ized to add a crisp sugar shell to this citrus circle. Even though S. was full, we insisted that she taste the chocolate con churros ($8.00):

... which were churrificly dippable in the melted Guittard and Valrhona mixture.

We threw ourselves at the mercy of the sommelier who picked out some wonderful wines to accompany our progression of picas.

We chatted with Brett and Elan while the night morphed into their first day off in months in observance of May 1st - International workers day.

Contigo Kitchen + Cava
1320 Castro St.
San Francisco, CA




  Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ideally, a meal should be surrounded by a lively discussion. This was the case during this evening’s halibut media event at McCormick and Kuleto’s.

Halibut gravlax over potato galette with American caviar:

... halibut fingers wrapped in shredded phyllo, halibut cheeks and halibut confit:

... were paired with both wines and excellent company.

We sat with Daniel and Sangita:

... from Drink Me magazine whose mailing list we joined just days ago after reading their article on women bartenders. You can check out their drinkable digest in a downloadable version here.

Sarah from Torani and Erin from Where magazine shared the latest business buzz while we took in the bay view during this fun get-together.

McCormick & Kuleto’s
900 North Point St.
San Francisco, CA




  Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The dining room was bustling when we popped by Toast for a late breakfast today.

I enjoyed my eggs ($9.95):

... but the bronzed potatoes didn’t deliver the crispy bits that I anticipated based on their appearance. My bacon arrived at a standard level of doneness rather than at the requested extra crispy state, but Chubby didn’t seem to mind having it as a side to his stack of pancakes ($8.50):

Although these fluffy rounds looked promising, the batter was so low in salt that they were flavor-impaired.

While placing his order, he requested real maple syrup ($1.50 supplement) but the imitation stuff arrived. We sent the corny counterfeit back but were informed that they were out of the tree juice and we were left with the syruptitiously placed pitcher.

The good news was that the bathrooms were significantly cleaner than they were during our previous visit so they are responsive to customer concerns.

Toast Restaurant
5800 Nave Drive
Novato, CA



  Monday, April 27, 2009

The Pig Issue party for Meatpaper’s 7th meatia release filled Camino Restaurant with creative chefs, interesting importers, burly beermen and wicked writers who all savored this sensational swine up.

Russell Moore manned the fire:

... where his luscious green garlic and herb Prather Ranch pork sausages spent their last sizzling moments:

...before being snapped up by those wanting to stuff them in their own personal casings.

Taylor Boetticher’s:

... grilled crepinettes had some booty in their caul. These Becker Lane organic pork pucks:

...were sueeet. We nibbled on an array of his other tasty charcuterie while we were on caul waiting.

We are convinced that Ryan Farr can breakdown and reassemble a hog while blindfolded:

This guy cuts through whole animals with the confidence of a surgeon (utilizing an elegant IV.)

We would have each upended a platter of Ryan’s chicharrones:

... directly into our mouths if we weren’t among polite company. These peppery pork puffs are what Wonka’s factory would produce if they went into the meat business.

Staffan Terje’s cures:

...were a panacea for hunger pangs. These popular protein portions were porcured almost as quickly as they were plated.

Vegetarians weren’t left out with Leif Hedendal’s snappy peas with asparagus and blood oranges and radicchio:

... and the bartenders:

...also mixed up pleasant pork-less potions.

Sasha Wizansky:

...porchestrated an evening not to be snout done. The boars were eaten while those that remained left pot bellied.


Issue 7, The Pig Issue

Camino Restaurant

3917 Grand Ave.
Oakland, CA



  Sunday, April 26, 2009

We worked our way through a maze of maize at this afternoon’s A Taste of Tamales By the Bay.

This harina arena was stuffed with hungry huskers at this come one, comal event.

La Espiga de Oro:

... brought black beans with Jack cheese as well as Sinaloa-style pork:

...filled tamales that were well seasoned, moist and flavorful.

Cocina Poblana:

...scooped pork or vegetarian topping over unfilled tamale bases:

This saucy approach prevented the barren butts (that often plague the ends of filled tamales.)

We savored Rancho Gordo’s “Yellow Indian Woman” beans: we learned that their Napa store will open in just four weeks. This pulse point will sell only dry legumes (although they will have cooked samples for shoppers who will shell out for these beans that you can count on.)

We were bananas about the hand-fried plantain chips from Estrellita’s snacks but the spicy version is not for everyone:

We’ve spotted these tasty treats for sale at the Hangar One tasting room (where they also sell Ryan Farr’s chicharrones.)

There was music, a margarita competition:

...(although I suspect that the contestants were trying to get the judges drunk) and demonstrations at this annual benefit for the Benchmark Institute.

A Taste of Tamales by the Bay



  Saturday, April 25, 2009

When SF Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi made an appearance at a plastic debris discussion in Sausalito this afternoon:

I brought up the proposed San Francisco foie gras ban, and he replied, “it’s a done deal.” I asked why he expected different results than Chicago’s foie fiasco and he said that, “we’ll see how it plays out” and that it “certainly isn’t important compared to the pollution issue that faces us.” I’m glad that he believes that it doesn’t rate as a big issue, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to ban something unless it qualifies as one.

We walked with our pal N. to Le Garage to tide ourselves over with some chow (that was free of banned substances).

The Pan Bagnat ($14.00):

... with slices of seared ahi, cukes, olives, anemic tomatoes, hard boiled egg, anchovies, vinaigrette, and butter lettuce was under-seasoned and on the bready side, (but still okay) and the Kobe burger ($15.00):

...with Morbier cheese, grilled onions, aioli, tomato slices in a ciabatta bun was also a serviceable sandwich at this casual, waterside watering spot.

Le Garage

85 Liberty Ship Way
Suite 109
Sausalito, CA



  Friday, April 24, 2009

This bud’s for you.

Dave and Lou of Hangar One:

...made a flower bed with over 100 pounds of Mandarin orange blossoms after displacing the oxygen in the tub with argon. Oxidization is the enemy of these fragile fragrant florets:

... which were quickly and gently transported from Exeter, California where each bee-suited crew member harvested a pound an hour.

Although we dared Lou to hose us down with the 190 proof vodka, he chose to super soak the budding beverage (with flourish) instead:


Dave talked us through the process, distilling the steps of creating a remarkable bouquet from these bouquets as he put the pedal to the medal in this decommissioned Navel air station.

The perfume was extraordinary and we sipped on some of the 80 proof, finalized fluid before we peeled off.

Hangar One
2601 Monarch St.
Alameda, CA









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