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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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November 23-30, 2009


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  Monday, November 30, 2009

We touched down at The Republic where we got a round of draft choices to go with our football-flanked food.

This rookie restaurant has only been in play for a couple of weeks but formations of sports fans were handing off pitchers at this posh pub with a home turf familiarity.

“What the hell is sue-viday?” was the audible from our enthusiastic neighbor as he read the menu description of sous vide buffalo wings ($9.00):

When our order arrived, we were confused by the lack of dip-ability to the chunks of cold blue cheese. The wings themselves were fine, but nothing special.

Dungeness crab jalapeno poppers ($15.00):

... with popcorn emulsion sounded like our kind of thing, but the delicate seafood was lost in a soup of creme fraiche and pronounced pepper. Although okay, this wasn’t as special as we had hoped.

Fish fingers made with brandade ($11.00):

... were topped with house made potato chips and a tartar sauce. These seafood sticks were fine finger food with soft bellies and crisp shells.

The burger ($14.00):

... had a perfectly cooked, well seasoned patty on a house made roll that offered a good meat to bread ratio. White Cheddar, tartar sauce and lettuce were all fine, but we were happy that we subbed out onion rings:

... for their fries since this sandwich needed an oniony crunch. We guessed that the lack of tomato was due to a wise seasonal call, but a thin slice of red onion would have been a welcome addition.

Marina sports fans looked happy with their new haunt. The service was friendly and efficient in this rowdy restaurant. Despite the fumbles, this place seems promising, but we’ll have to touchback to see the final score.


The Republic

3213 Scott St.
San Francisco, CA



  Sunday, November 29, 2009

All of the Left Bank restaurants used to engage in the gauche practice of rive-ering uniformity, but they have recently revealed their unique personalities while preserving some of their signature dishes.

We rev’ed up with salt rimmed, Normandy Sidecars ($9.00):

These hi test ‘tails were fueled with calvados, mandarine liqueur and lemon juice.

Sidecars turned into escars at we uncoiled with a 2007 Robert Kingenfus Pinot Blanc with Pernod infused escargots ($10.75):

... which were tender twists of garlic buttered stomach-walkers.

A fondue ($9.95):

... of brie, blue and goat cheeses came with flat and cubed croutons. We paddled through this cheesey lake with the board shaped bread to offer extra crunch to this melty melange.

Friseé was sauced with the runny yolk of a poached egg in a bacon buttressed, crouton cantilevered, Salade Lyonnaise ($8.25):

... tossed in a tangy mustard vinaigrette and supported by a 2007 Brunier Rhone.

Perfectly cooked duck breast ($19.75):

... with braised red cabbage (with just the right balance of vinegar) had a scattering of huckleberry buckshot and a mound of spatzle.

This fit the bill as a dish to migrate back for.

Boeuf Bourguignon ($19.25):

... had chunks of slow cooked, tender beef in a rich sauce that supplemented the herbed egg noodles with its intensely meaty reduction. Bacon, onions and carrots conspired to create a traditional stew complemented by the black cherried 2007 Sean Minor Merlot.

The cheese selection:

... is both French and local. We had a pungent Pt. Reyes blue from Marin and a Le Timanoix cow milk cheese bathed in walnut liquor from Brittany before we tucked into a rich chocolate mousse ($5.25):

... topped with bruléed bananas.

Service was friendly and efficient at this bustling brasserie that has changed enough to get our attention, but not enough to alienate the regulars.

We were told that Executive Chef Sean Canavan has added a smoker so we’ll have to check out his smoked sausages and his house made pates next visit (in addition to that delectable duck.)

Left Bank Larkspur

507 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA




  Saturday, November 28, 2009

We rolled out in search of an antacid-dote to a late night of carousing and decided big bowls of warm rice would furnish a fortifying foundation at Mauna Loa.

I went with the unagi bowl ($7.95):

... which was a satisfying m-eel with a side of broccoli ($3.95) while Chubby got the loco moco ($6.95):

... which was a rice patty irrigated with gravy and runny yolks from the over easy eggs. They were nice enough to swap out the macaroni salad for some steamed broccoli on this hearty helping of Hawaiian-style bunless burger. Haute cuisine it is not, but it was a good place to hang over some hot chow.

The staff is friendly and efficient at this inexpensive, detoxifying depot.

Mauna Loa Hawaiian BBQ
810 3rd St.
San Rafael, CA



  Friday, November 27, 2009

The pizza oven at Delarosa was turning out some respectable rounds at this latest venue from the Beretta and Starbellyians.

We noshed on nice Neapolitans including prosciutto di Parma with mozzarella and arugula as well as a spicy salumi number:

... with diavolicchio heating up this crisp, tomato-sweetened ‘za.

House made potato chips, fried polenta strips with Gorgonzola:

... and panini filled with portobello mushrooms, tomato, onions and melty Gruyere were washed down with some fine cocktails:

Our faves were the Mammy Taylor with Scotch, lemon and ginger and the Tequila Sour with Reposado, lemon, grapefruit and St. George Spirit’s Absinthe. The megalith of ice in the Mammy wasn’t from a Kold Draft, it was cut from a block - old school style.

The bar:

... had lots of drafty holes behind it for those who want to engage in a round of beer-on-the-wall (although there are also many interesting bottles available.)

The communal wooden tables are currently first come, first served, but they plan to add a texting option so that you can shoot a msg to the host to snag a spot without a wait.

The food menu tops out at $15 with the majority of the items such as the panini, antipasti and salads at $10 or less. We’ll definitely return to check out more of the goods when they’ve had a chance to settle in, but if this evening was any indication, Delarosa will be a huge hit.


2175 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA



  Thanksgiving, November 26, 2009

After years of witnessing low cheese traffic, J. crackered the code on snacking psychology by deviating with diminutive dimensions for the accompanying flatbread. Freed from the larger fro-manging commitment, these bites made the rounds.

Sparkling wine with pomegranate juice and seeds:

... allowed us to take something for granate during this pomising meal that delivered a delicious, brined turkey:

... and all the trimmings. J. made a pink horseradish and cranberry relish:

... that I couldn’t stop eating. When I asked what the deal was with this kicky condiment she told me that it was from NPR’s Susan Stamberg’s recipe. .

We chose a green bean recipe that didn’t need to take up any oven real estate and went with this tasty hazelnut oil infused salad :

Fortified by our feast:

... we switched from eats to beats as K. put Rock Band on “no fail” mode allowing me to be part of the Beatles (without causing a Yoko effect) before we moved on to dessert.

“No fail” mode seemed to be the setting for the entire day (aside from one airborne cup of tea) allowing us to be thankful for a great time with swell pals.




  Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pho Miss Saigon was abandoned:

... but this didn’t deter me from nabbing a large bowl of pho with everything ($7.95):

Tendon, fish cake, tripe, beef ball, brisket, flank and rare steak were supported by a rich broth, cilantro, green onions and a massive knot of noodles.

One other customer showed up during my liquidy lunch which made me wonder if they get an earlier crowd. My order was enough food for a Vietnamese village plus one American soldier. Despite the emptiness of the dining room, I would come back, but next time I’ll save seventy cents and order the small.

Pho Miss Saigon
147 E. 3rd ave
San Mateo, CA



  Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A sizzling platter of fajitas crossed my path as I entered Taqueria Grulensa causing me to change my talk-o of tacos as I walko-ed.

I got a combo of chicken, shrimp and steak ($12.99):

... which arrived still fa-heating through. There were lots of onions and peppers roped around this viej-hot, mixed meat melange. I tucked into the corn tortillas as I took in the telanovela playing on both wall mounted screens:

The chicken was the most flavorful bite of this tomato laced trio accompanied by a big plate of beans and rice:

... in case I felt like pushing the food through my body like an overloaded playdough fun factory. This was a fine filling-jita, but I think next time I’ll go with the tinier tacos.

Taqueria El Grullense

1280 El Camino
Redwood City, CA




  Monday, November 23, 2009

Somehow I have gotten into the holesome practice of getting a vegan donut:

... to go with my cappuccino:

... at Ritual coffee.

There is something about a faux-healthy hunk of dense, chocolate-glazed, sprinkle-toped, dairy-dissing pastry that completes the circle at this Apple laptop infused café.

Roasting coffee:

... scented the makeshift offices of cyber-squatters as a queue continued to curl out of the door.

For those who hate the wait, there is a way to skip to the front on the line on Thanksgiving - if you bring the baristas a pie, you order first.

Ritual Coffee

Open on Thanksgiving from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
1026 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA










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