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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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September 9-15, 2009


go to next week's blogs


  Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I’m a huge fan of family style dining, but when I was handed the phone and asked to give driving directions to a lost customer during my lunch at Kabul Afghan Cuisine:

... I felt as though I had been surreptitiously adopted by the owners. Unfortunately, I wasn’t familiar enough with the area to be of much help to the lady who wanted directions, but she had a good laugh when she discovered that I didn’t work at this Afghan establishment.

I navigated my way through a couple skewers ($11.50) of lamb and salmon:

... on a plate paved with sauce-tinged basmati and a soft Afghan bread. Both the surf and turf stayed within the limits of tender and moist as they reached my fork.

This casual rest stop may not provide turn by turn directions, but it was a good midday pit stop.

Kabul Afghan Cuisine

135 El Camino Real
Burlingame, CA



  Monday, September 14, 2009

Pressure has always been present in the kitchen by means of bricks, sous vide as well as atmospheric alterations or straight up altercations.

In keeping with this culinary tradition, Chef Bruce Hill has invented a set of stackable steel devices:

... which are being pressed into service at Picco Restaurant. If you’ve had the sliders at this Larkspur landing, you have benefited from these grate creations.

Before you go on about how you saw a television show telling you how you’re not supposed to squish the juices out of a burger - these aren’t about shifting all of your body mass over a spatula to expel all signs of moisture - these are about dispensing a constant, scaleable, pressure to produce a even and consistent cooking result.

Instead of wrapping a brick in foil and dropping it on a chicken, I supported some brined breasts with these metal mechanisms:

... to produce a browned bird that flew through the cooking process with a deliciously bronzed skin.

These could also be used off the heat to sink pickles in brine, press gravlax or as a percussion instrument.

They will be available by the end of the year so you will have a little weight...




  Sunday, September 13, 2009

The San Francisco Brewers Guild hopped aboard the SS Jeremiah O’Brien:

...for the 6th annual Brews by the Bay event.

Lager heads all agreed on the beverage of choice as kegs were tapped:

... along with the toes of a U2ey band.

We sampled a fleety flight of foamentations before anchoring ourselves to the Magnolia port where Dave McLean:

... commanded a ship shape brew crew:

... dispensing malty flagons of Spud Boy’s IPA, beautifully bitter Proving Ground IPA and a toasty Big Cypress Brown Ale.

We ran into many of the usual suspects in this bubbly crowd including libation literati:

Although it was tempting to gnaw on some Oola’s famed ribs:

... once we were properly groggy, we hopped over to hobnob with friends at a pal’s Birthday party where we tucked into some yummy celebratory chow (and more beer!)

San Francisco Brewers Guild

6th Annual Brews by the Bay
SS Jeremiah O’Brien
Pier 45
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, September 12, 2009

We dropped by Poleng Lounge to check out their new street food menu. The roll out of their new Asian afternoon fare includes a promotional give away of the first 50 lunches of the day for free.

We decided to drop by after the rush and were shocked to find ourselves to be recipients of this gratis grub. It was explained to us that during the previous week there was a line of USF students before they opened their doors, but since it was Saturday, the students were off starving somewhere else.

The curry rice bowl (free - but normally $6.00) was our idea of comfort food. This Japanese stew of eggplant, potato, carrot, greens and onion was made even better with our chicken:

... and egg-mentations ($2.00 for chicken, $1.00 for egg):

... and washed down with a couple beers.

The selection of belly filling bowls include 5 spice pork chop, chicken katsu-don and chow mein. The prices hover in the $6-$7 range so I imagine that the foods student appeal probably won’t end when their promotion runs out on September 19th.

Poleng Lounge
1751 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA



  Friday, September 11, 2009

The Dragon Noodles ($8.95):

... at Nipa-Pon:

... were caliente enough to live up to their fiery name. I tucked into this perspiration-inducing, doughy nest of tomatoes, peppers, basil and chicken along with some Thai spring rolls ($5.75):

... of cabbage, carrots, bean thread noodles and mushrooms which had a firmer wrapper than I prefer, but this Mom and Pop spot was more about hot the haute.

This friendly fueling firm was a speedy place to Thai me over until dinner.

121 W 25th Ave.
San Mateo, CA



  Thursday, September 10, 2009

Even though we are barely staying one step ahead of our home-grown tomato supply, we could not cage our enthusiasm for the heirloom tomato salad at Cibo:

These flavorful, fruity fragments in arugula pesto which accompanied poached eggs on toast ($8.50):

... were de-vine.

We crammed a few of those tomato slices into the ham and fontina panini ($6.00):

... to spread the potential of this perennial which we enjoyed with a couple mugs of Blue Bottle Coffee.

I forgot to ask for less water in my joe (since they brew their drip a little weaker than I prefer) but next time I’ll see if they can grind out a shorter cup.

This well priced, counter service, snack stop continues to be a good bet for a quick bite.


1201 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA



  Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Martins West Pastry Chef Kelly Fields’ Mars bars beignets ($8.00):

... were reminiscent of those UK chip shops that do not confine their battering and frying to fish. Chef Fields’ take on these artery plugs bypassed low quality ingredients to pump up the chocolate with an aorta of almonds circulating under nougat custard cubes. The liquid-centered choco-orbs were best eaten in a single bite to pre-ventricles down the front of our shirts. The custard had a hit of salt next to the battery balls in this melange of Martian morsels.

Before our afters, we tucked into lamb riblets ($9.00):

... strewn over a Scottish rarebit with slivers of beet. We opened our faces to munch on this boneless, tender meat over cheesey toast sandwiched between bites of spiced pork belly ($10.00):

... on bacon-scallion soda bread with a sweet juicy accent of honey crisp peach.

The smoked octopus ($13.00):

... over a terrine of heirloom potatoes and pickled carrot salad had us suctioning up these delectable army rations.

Next week Chef Michael Dotson is going to convert 2 Hampshire pigs into trotter terrines, black pudding and bubble and squeak for a couple nose to tail dinners with a dessert of pecans, Scotch and bacon ice cream. Sounds seriously good.

Martins West
831 Main St.
Redwood City, CA

Nose to Tail dinner
Sept 16th and 17th
$55 per person tax and tip not included.




Mark your Calendar

September is Hunger Action Month and the San Francisco Food Bank has organized a calendar of events to mobilize the masses to help feed those in need.

Whether you want to volunteer, donate or attend a dinner party hosted by Chef Ming Tsai at Macy’s Cellar, there are a lot of ways that you can help.

The San Francisco Food Bank
Hunger Action Month









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