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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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October 23-31, 2009


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  Saturday, October 31, 2009

While gathering the last elements of our Halloween ensembles, we pulled over for some goblin at Sonoma Latina Grill.

I was hoping for some weekend menudo, but we quickly discovered that this wasn’t a traditional taqueria.

I ordered the tacos ($7.95):

... which came on house made flatbread possessing the texture of a thin, lightly cooked, naan. There were no offal offerings, so I got the carnitas and the barbacoa which came with beans, lettuce, salsa and guac. The pork was on the dry side with more salt than even I prefer and the pulled beef was too sweet for me.

Chubby got a quesadilla ($7.95):

... with chicken and cheese. It was okay, but nothing that scared us off our favored Marin taco stops.

This counter service cantina is targeted at those who like their Mexican inspired food within the parameters of what Aunt Erma would accept. No frightening guts, no creepy corn tortillas, no hellacious heat to the hot sauce...but unfortunately for us, we look for these things in a taco vendor.

There seemed to be plenty of takers for their fusion food, but it’s just not our kind of trick or treat.

Sonoma Latina
5800 Nave Dr.
Novato, CA



  Friday, October 30, 2009

We took and Earl-y lunch
of sandwiches at Uncommon Grounds.

The brie and pesto ($4.85):

... was good, but I have a pesto peeve about spreads that don’t reach the br-edges since ingredient distribution is the raison de bag-etre of any hand held meal.

The pastrami sandwich ($5.25):

... had lean ‘rami pasted between slices of Swiss marble rye bread. Not the food for finicky Katz, but fine for a quick boxable bite.

These grounds were an inexpensive and difficult-to-find place:

... to open our faces for some quick and peppy grub followed by some good bean brew.

Uncommon Grounds

2813 7th St.
Berkeley, CA




Mark your Calendar

Martin Cate (of Forbidden Island in Alameda) will shake up vintage tropical drinks as guest bartender at Jardiniere’s Tiki Bar night on November 9th.

There will be a pu pu platter, banana leaf steamed cod and a passion fruit tartlet with wine pairings at this prix fixe dinner.

Tiki Bar Dinner

$45 per person
reservations recommended
Jardiniere Restaurant
300 Grove St.
San Francisco, CA

From today’s Bunrab email, Deb writes about yesterday’s visit to the restaurant coming to the end of it’s Rocky Road:


Café Cacao....The ladies bathroom smelled like chocolate!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Deb,

True - when you walked through the olfactory doors towards the restrooms, a nasal assault (of the best kind) sent mixed messages to your brain about the bathroom.





  Thursday, October 29, 2009

When Scharffen Berger was enrobed by Hershey, they kept their little eatery open, but as of this Sunday, Café Cacao:

... will be no s’more.

I scharffed down a burger ($9.75):

... with tempered enjoyment - nibling on my meat-filled bun hoping that employees got a loompa sum before getting the Hershey’s kiss off.

Café Cacao
914 Heinz Ave.
Berkeley, CA




  Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fortification was more difficult to come by for the Bay Bridge than for me. I repaired to Bette’s for links that didn’t fail, eggs that were over easy and flapjacks that didn’t flop ($11.95):

... near the onramp to the blocked artery.

Oatmeal stuck to my support structure in the form of pancakes with a maple syrup adhesive. Pulling over for their special hotcakes always meets with a AAA rating especially when traffic is at a span-still.

Bette’s Oceanview Diner
1807 Fourth St.
Berkeley, CA



Mark your Calendar

On November 11th, local restaurants including Range, Farina and The Slow Club are participating in “Food For Thought”.

You will feed MIssion District student’s hunger for knowledge while filling your pie hole with pastry from MIssion Beach Café or ‘za from Little Star.

Check out the full list of restaurants supporting Mission Graduates here.

Food For Thought
Dine out event
November 11, 2009



  Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The interior designer of the Emerybay Public Market food court ingeniously engineered a maze-like construction in concert with acoustic distortion and a lighting scheme which taunts with pure natural light, (but delivers a version cut with the visual equivalent of baby laxative) driving occupants of this en-cave to seek solace in sustenance.

Although most of the court chow leaves us emery-bored, there are bits of fetish food (what our friend M calls “drunk food”) which provide a salty, oily, starchy oasis in this horrendous hall. When I ordered pork fried rice:

...from the Vietnamese booth, I was surprised that they didn’t shovel some out from a steam table - they took 5 minutes to cook up a ricey ration of pork-flecked grease goods.

Don’t get me wrong, I have true appreciation for divey digs, but this place feels off kilter with its medium brow boothage. That being said, it remains to be tweezed from my list of drunk food dugouts.

Emerbay Public Market
5959 Shellmound St.
Emeryville, CA



  Monday, October 26, 2009

Low lighting provided Sens-ory deprivation as we propelled through some of the cuke topped meatballs ($12.00):

... at Sens. The foie gras in their signature sheep spheres wasn’t offally apparent, but they were still ducky.

A refreshing Fatoush ($9.00):

... with cukes, garbanzos, feta, cherry tomatoes and pita was followed by grilled octopus ($14.00):

... with tender-cles wrapped in vegetables and harissa aioli.

Branzino ($18.75):

... was roasted in their wood oven and dressed with olive oil and lemon. Artichokes, peppers and potatoes with aioli came with this oregano-scented, too dark to seefood.

We embarked our deros out for a walk along the waterfront after alighting from this darkened, upper-floor eatery.

Sens Restaurant
4 Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA



  Sunday, October 25, 2009

The sunny weather reeled in a crowd at Fish:

... where we sunk into a line which hooked out the door. It took a while to drift to the counter where we placed our order and netted a cup of white chowder ($5.00):

Although this soup was warm rather than hot, it was still a pleasantly clammy, celery, onion and potato potion with a bit of bacon.

The tilapia tacos ($13.00):

... were single bagged on little corn tortillas with a salsa selection of tomatillo, lime crema and cilantro. Although fine, these were not something we would reorder.

Cigar-shaped, cornmeal crusted oysters were deep fried to a crisp-shelled perfection before they were detonated on an Acme torpedo roll. Slices of red onion, ham and iceberg sauced by remoulade made this rich po’ boy ($17.00):

... a sub-perior selection. Fish.’s fries are always pommes de terre-iffic.

It’s always a bad idea to hit the peak hours at this cash only, counter service, seafood station, but usually the food makes up for the competition for waterside tables.


350 Harbor Dr.
Sausalito, CA



  Saturday, October 24, 2009

We hit Sauce this evening where friends treated us to both the liquid and solid components from a comfort based menu.

Tomato bisque with truffle scented grilled cheese sandwiches:

... were a grown up version of the Campbell/Wonder combo. We shared tomato bruschetta:

... sliders stuffed with shrimp and avocado served with onion rings:

... and a Jenga stack of portobello fries with ranch sauce:

All of the fried formations were crisp and grease-free in these sharable plates of nicely seasoned nibbles.

Hanger steak:

... was cooked to a perfect medium rare with a ramekin of warmed egg which provided a bovine bath to augment the beefy bites. Fried potatoes, steamed asparagus and peppery Hollandaise filled out this hearty helping.

Seared salmon:

... on a stack of shredded spinach, onion and tomato with bacon advanced this beurre blanc boosted bowl.

The dessert sampler:

... came with strawberries and cream, cinnamon donut holes, ice creams, and a peanut butter and jam cake which we happily sampled rather than deserted.

We deglazed over coffee before hitting the road with full bellies after a super supper with pals.

Sauce Restaurant

131 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA



  Friday, October 23, 2009

We passed an enticing line up of little apples, cheese, artisan loaves and gourd-eous squash as we walked up the entry ramp of Contigo. These platters acted as a preview of the feast we shared with our guests who were visiting from out of town.

A bottle of 2008 Urki Getariako Txakolina sparked off the dinner with a dry and slightly effervescent toast before we jumped into a board of Spanish cheeses ($12.00). We savored cana de oveja, Garrotxa:

... and torta de la serena with toasted hazelnuts and a cube of quince paste along with jamon serrano ($9.00) and sensational slices of an acorn fed, Iberico ham. ($24.00):

Cantabrico anchovies ($5.00) can be ordered on a coca, but we enjoy them as is and sop up the fruity olive oil with bread.

The patatas bravas ($7.00):

... got bravos for the crisply crusted fried spuds with garlic mayo and salsa brava.

Butternut squash salad ($10.00):

... with pomegranate, frisee and chanterelles had support from ombra cheese for this seasonal ‘semblage of tasty textures.

There was a nice singe to the zucchini coca ($14.00):

This flatbread received added dimension from caramelized onions and Manchego.

We got a couple of the pork belly bocadillos ($9.00 each):

... which we consider required eating. These packets of porcine pleasure have the perfect balance of flavorful flab, meaty morsels and bready boundaries - the side of crisp, mini chips are just the right size to sustain a sense of caloric denial as you take just one more of these teeny tater tokens. A fine swine wine was found in the 2001 Lopez de Heredia “Vina Bosconia” Rioja which also complemented those Wickson apples that we spied when we arrived. The roasted fruit shared the plate with bacon wrapped quail ($15.00):

... and rich chicken liver on a crunchy crouton.

Stuffed piquillo peppers ($9.00):

... were filled with oxtail and rice before wagging into the wood oven while the tombet ($10.00):

... of eggplants, peppers and potatoes had our tians wagging.

We loved the tart ($8.00):

... filled with Frog Hollow pears and topped with almond ice cream and caramel.

The chocolate almond cake ($8.00) had a pleasantly coarse texture from ground nuts which was smoothed out by vanilla ice cream with a shard of nut brittle, and of course, the fresh, hot churros with hot chocolate ($8.00) were a slam dunk.

Brett and Elan always fill a visit to their restaurant with warm hospitality and superior chow.

It is the first place we think of when we want to show off San Francisco dining to visitors.

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









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