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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.



March 1-8, 2009


go to next week's blogs


  Sunday, March 8, 2009

Whenever we go to M & Z’s we know that there will be no Sandra Lee recipes involved and the stage will be set befitting the chow.

Z cured anchovies:

... to top a refreshing salad before we dug into the main event of a cassoulet:

This ducky legume liaison had the revolutionary addition of prosciutto skin to the homemade duck leg confit and sausages.

M’s cornmeal crusted plum galette:

... was made of fruit from their backyard tree which produces beet colored bubbles of acidically balanced sweetness. The textural maize of interest to the pastry was the perfect way to accent this dessert’s fruity pit-ential.

It was necessary to cassoulet down for a lengthy nap to metabolize this sumptuous supper and reflect on its lively company.




  Saturday, March 7, 2009

We had no dilemma in making our om-nivorian selection of “cocktail” uthappam ($9.99):

... at Om South Indian Cuisine:

These mini sour south Indian flapjacks had an assortment of toppings including cheese, potato, tomato, onion, beans and peas. Chutneys and a chickpea curry condimented these hot cakes. We both preferred the tang and sweetness of tomato chutney over the mild coconut version.

We had to put the brakes on getting a refill of macaroni wheel-shaped fried rice crackers in order to preserve room for the Kozhi varutha curry ($10.99):

Nicely seasoned chunks of chicken didn’t have the “fiery” hotness that the menu indicated, but there was a pleasant accent of heat in this coconut milk bathed, homey dish.

Om is always a good chants encounter with a business that displays good mantra-tization skills. The service may not be as well lubricated as the dosa pan, but this casual eatery is a good stop for a cheap and cheerful bite.

Om South Indian Cuisine

1518 Fourth St.
San Rafael, CA



  Friday, March 6, 2009

There was a line out the door and every seat was taken during lunch at Sol Food today.

I came for the Friday special of Tilapia ($12.95):

After a showering my whole fried fish with hot sauce, I pulled apart the moist bits and chewy skin, dragging them through a pool of the house made vinegary pepper sauce and lime. My counter neighbors nudged each other worriedly when I gouged out and devoured all the edible bits from its roly poly head but hey, hedonism trumps forks.

A garlic-laced salad, plantains, ripe avocado, black beans and rice filled out my fishy feast. One of our cyberhutch visitors clued us into the possibility of selecting half tostones and half maduros as a plantain option:

Although both the smashed garlic and the 3D whole bananas are good - side by side, I preferred the sluggy version for its soft, sweetness.

The most common mistake I see is diners who don’t hit the sauce. It’s not what I would call seriously caliente and it adds spark to the chow. They even sell it by the bottle for off-site use.

Sol Food is worth a stop even if you miss fish fry day.

Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine

901 Lincoln Ave.
San Rafael, CA


Yesterday’s Cafe Gratitude post cult-ivated some great email. Thanks for supporting our suspicious sentiments.




  Thursday, March 5, 2009

I am creeped out.

If you want a soulmate
experience along with your meal, than Café Gratitude is for you.

I myself, am taken aback by this forward, affirmation-based restaurant.

All of the names of the menu items all begin with “I am..” (i.e. “I am generous” is guacamole and chips, “I am perfect” is a pecan pie...) and amazingly enough, none of them end with “conceited”. Am I supposed to believe that all of the customers who order a chocolate shake are “eternally sweet”? I am fucking skeptical.

My new best friend chatted as he escorted me to the communal dining table compound where he took my order for a small macrobiotic bowl of “I am whole” ($10.00):

“You are whole” announced the arrival of my dish. He would have added “an ass” if he picked up on my thinly veiled negativity.

There are bottles of water on the table with glasses (where I presume you are supposed to mix the Kool-Aid.) I took a few small sips to to insure that any drug effects would introduce themselves slowly enough for me to make a break for the door. When I didn’t wake up in Arizona donning a earthtone robe in a drum circle, I deemed it safe.

My Purina Hippie Chow had a nice flavorful boost from the tangy pickled cabbage, and kale in a garlic tahini dressing with textural interest from the contrasts of soft quinoa, crunchy soy flavored almonds, julienned carrots, sprouts (shocking!) and seaweed. I actually enjoyed every bite of this flavorful health food until I reached the bottom of my bowl which read, “what are you grateful for?. What am I grateful for? Agendas that aren’t hidden under my food.

This is an excellent place to take Senator Al Franken or people who would be happy to describe themselves as spiritual, but the Stepford/Bohemian service program macromakes me bristle. It has been a couple of years since my last visit and despite my discomfort with their newage system, I appreciate the culinary diversity that this chain holds in the Bay Area (even for a contrarian vegetarian) and I’ll endure more of their freaky treatment until I wake up in Arizona.

Café Gratitude

locations in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Rafael, Healdsburg (and I’m guessing in Arizona.)




  Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The recent genesis of Christian salt was to go against the grain of Kosher. This product is blessed by an Episcopal priest before they part with this sea salt, but I wonder if this will escalate into some sort of religious seasoning war by taking the further step of purchasing kosher salt and converting it.

I guess there are consumers that want to exorcise a devils food cake or add a little ‘zazz to communion wafers but I don’t anticipate seeing a little alter endcap at The Pasta Shop. On the other punctured hand, there is a lot of local cuisine in the cult/religious category. So maybe there is a market for evan-sel-ical sales to flourish, but I’ll take this with non-denominational grain of salt.

We flocked to the farmers market in time for the pastor of pastry:

... to turnover a beef and a chicken empanada ($3.00 each):

He had nada of these empas on our last visit when we consoled ourselves with his cheese filled savory offerings. The spiced ground beef with pitted olives:

was okay, but I found the hard boiled egg a little rubbery. The chicken and chorizo:

...had a nice chunky filling with some sweet raisins as an accent to the pleasantly spiced meats. Even though these big sellers are perfectly good, it turns out that we prefer to praise cheeses.

El Porteño Empanadas
Various Farmers Markets - see website




  Tuesday, March 3, 2009

All the recent pie chart activity of economists has inspired us to chart a course for pie (we find that bar graphs have a related, more intoxicating influence.)

Orange apple pie:

... may conger up an image of a Freakonomics fruit pastry, but it was actually a combo of apples in a citrus spiked custard ($4.85 per slice.)

Crixa Cake’s take on this all-American dessert was just what we were Hungarian for. I expected skinned apples, but the peels added appeal to this fabrication of formerly forbidden fruit. The skin softened as it baked to create a pleasing and unexpected consistency bundled in a flaky crust.

We also devoured a slice of pear pie ($4.85):

... which was gingerly prepared in the same tender pastry (that we dow jonesed for) while adding some joe to our plumbing for increased stimulus and liquidity.

We wouldn’t swap our default pie stop of Crixa Cakes which we credit as the flakiest of investments backed by assets that actually come to fruition.

Crixa Cakes

2748 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA


Thanks for all the cool Bunrab email, even though we can’t print all of it, it’s great to hear from you. From today’s messages, Dani writes from Croatia:


Hello, just stopped by to let you know that I really enjoy reading (and looking) your blog. It's really interesting from croatian guy's point of view to see all the possibilities in average US metropolis when it comes to food. It isn't much different here too, of course, but there's a world of differences in my opinion. This blog makes it possible for me to compare two cultures of consuming food which are not that different on the first view, but actually two different worlds when bigger picture is seen. ;)

Cheers, Dani

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Dani,

We enjoy checking out international food blogs for the same reasons.

Thanks for visiting the cyberhutch, and keep in mind that we eat more pie and tacos than the average American.




Mark your Calendar

The first annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon was popular, but the second grew from a salon into a sauna with a ravenous, chocolate-crazed crowd, so for the third, they are moving to a larger Fort Mason venue to allow more room for pod-estrians to circulate as they sample tastes from Amano, TCHO, Coco-luxe, William Dean, Poco Dolce and many more-sels.

San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

Saturday March 21, 2009 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
tickets: $20 advance, $25 at the door
Herbst Pavillion
Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA


If you want to take a gallop poll of the latest American Rhone-style wines releases, saddle up and unmask a selection of over 500 at the Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting.

Forget AOC, these AOK corralled wines will be at Fort Mason as they roll out the barrel for some Tonto-lizing sips.

The 12th annual Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting

Sunday March 22, 2009 2-5 p.m.
tickets: $65
21 or older
Festival Pavillion
Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA



  Monday, March 2, 2009

Although my dog ($3.00):

... didn’t have enough snap and spice to distract me from the cats and dogs that were coming down, this wiener from What’s up Dog! was a convenient and welcome frankenfortification.

This chain of tube traders are tucked into some of the busier snacking hubs of the city.

They have wisely equipped this cylinder-firing station with an on-site ATM robust enough to accommodate the needs of Kobayashi or Crazy Legs if they happen by.

What’s up Dog!

16th and DeHaro
San Francisco, CA



  Sunday, March 1, 2009

I’m a sucker for packaging. If I have no clue about the quality of a product, it is often the determining factor in selecting my purchase. I figure, if they have good design sense, that intelligence might extend to the contents (and yes, I do buy books with attractive covers.)

The McCann’sSteel Cut Oats cann has a retroat design:

... that is appropoat since the empty cantainer offers a convenient place to hide your money after a run on your bank.

The meal is not rolled flat into Quakery flakes, it is cut into chunks that create a nice pinhead porridge to keep you stir crazy:

...when you are holed up on a rainy day.





back to last week - February 19-28, 2009



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