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 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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December 11-21, 2010


go to next week's blogs


  Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fresh flaps of naan bolstered the buffet ($10.50):

... at Bollywood Indian Cuisine during my self serve lunch.

This Hindi film-inspired chow was a montage of goat, chicken, spinach, paneer, potatoes and various curried concoctions.

I was careful to bleat around the bones in the goat globs, but that was the only act break to the contents of nicely spiced grub tubs. There was a good turn over to prevent fatigued foodstuffs at this saag SAG stop.

Bollywood Indian Cuisine
5 South Ellsworth Ave.
San Mateo, CA




  Monday, December 20, 2010

Gator's at the Grill opened for business today bringing Gator Thompson's BBQ back to San Mateo.

My pork ribs ($10.00):

... were tender, meaty, smoky, pig poles with a slightly sweet and mildly hot sauce. A homey hunk of honey cornbread and a choice of two sides came with my protein. I went with the jambalaya (which was a judicious, jumble of beef sausage and chicken) as well as the red beans and rice (with large, luscious, legumes.)

This counter service carnivore stop is off to a great start with a musclebound menu with a low levy. I'll be back to take a bite from Gator's other offerings at this San Mateo smoking section.

Gator's at the Grill
1855 S. Delaware St.
San Mateo, CA




  Sunday, December 19, 2010

Doing laundry all weekend isn't a chore when it is the French variety - The French Laundry's annual holiday party:

... always involves great chow:

... but it's also an opportunity to catch up with the stellar Keller staffers:

... and other friends in the culinary orbit.

We watched the wondrous wassailers:

... (who keep refining their performances each year), rolled into the cookie decoration station:

... to check out early auditions of pastry potential and perched in the pristine cuisine before seeking out our fixation of Thomas' chopped chicken livers:

Face paint, balloons:

... and Wonka-worthy displays kept the shorties sated while champers, caviar and charcuterie:

... calmed the cravings of tantalized tallies.

After last night's epic eats we didn't think we could manage another morsel but succulent beef:

... sturgeon toasts and another round of salmon cornets:

... completed this weekend's cycle of hedonism.


The French Laundry
6640 Washington St.
Yountville, CA




  Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thomas kindly presented us with an inaugural issue of Finesse, the magazine of The French Laundry. He made us feel especially privileged that we were the first guests to peruse the pages of this peerless publication.

Michael Ruhlman and Ruth Reichl are among the collaborators to this collection of articles, profiles and recipes that demonstrate the dimension and dedication behind the creation of a meal like the one we had this evening:

Salmon cornets, gourgers and René Geoffroy Champagne whet our appetites and whistles with sparkling amuse-ment before a sunchoke velouté shone over a cider gelee with Granny Smith apple, oxalis and creme fraiche:

Sabayon of pearl tapioca with white sturgeon caviar and oysters:

... were a 'stering start before a tart of bay scallops and black truffles on an endive marmalade with mache and pomegranate:

A 2002 Trimbach Riesling offered a pineapple punctuation to this scalloped circle.

Hokkaido uni rested on a sake granite iceberg over a sea of avocado puree:

This urchintly excited us with its juxtaposition of textures and flavors.

A turbo turbot wing gratin flapped with Niciose olives and was capped with a San Marzano tomato marmalade to add a sweet, fruity flourish to this bread crumb bolstered bake.

Brooklyn Brewery makes Blue Apron Ale for the French Laundry. These refreshing, chocolaty suds surprised us with their affinity with the white truffle-infused egg custard.

Cara Cara orange gelee looked like a hard boiled egg yolk inside hearts of palm rolled in chopped Marcona almonds with glazed fennel:

... and complimented by a 2006 Weingut Brundlmayer Gruner Veltliner.

2007 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Meursault communed with monkfish robed with bacon with Puy lentils and Savoy cabbage.

Caesar salads were deconstructed dishes of lobster mitts, caramelized Romaine, garlic melba and a shower of bottarga.

The white truffle box released a perfume of 'shroom before sheets were shaved over our tagliatelle and activated with a beurre noisette.

Guinea hen was plumed with black truffle in a chicken and dumpling dish with carrots, onions, celery with foie gras confit:

... cheered on with a cherried 2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir.

Lamb ribeye was browned after a sous vida loca pass. Another bagna calda (of the anchovy persuasion) herded together pasta, beans and chard with a 2005 Livio Sassetti Brunello di Montalcino.

Comté, cippolini onion, Hobbs' bacon, Dijon mustard and frisee:

... were a choice cheesy composition as we curd-tailed the savory segment to progress to pre-dessert with a feijoa sorbet. Dehydrated Gros Michel banana bits, coconut foam, lime nubules and a bit of feijoa created a sweet and sour trip to the tropics that demonstrated the soaring synaptic connections of the deft dessert department. We said aloha to our pineapple guava before a trip to camp as lids were lifted to release plumes of smoke that stoked our s'mores. Graham cracker crémeux with tufts of marshmallow and candied peanuts were sauced with chocolate in this kumbaya confection perfection.

A chocolate ganache with vanilla-malt ice cream, poached cranberries and pumpkin were streuseled with oats and pepitas in a rich, tangy, smooth and crunchy culmination coerced by a Cossart Gordon 10 year Madeira.

Mignardises and espressi capped our capacity before we thanked Chef Timothy Hollingsworth for a finesse-filled evening.

The French Laundry
6640 Washington St.
Yountville, CA




  Friday, December 17, 2010

We salata'ed in to Insalata's for a Manhattan, Mojito:

... and cigars ($9.00):

... which were the smokeless variety. These Turkish-influenced tokeables were filled with squash, feta, onions, raisins and apple with an ashtray of cilantro chutney to ignite their unfiltered sweet and savory flavors. These brik houses were eggrolly expressions that hit our deep fried spots.

Wedges of warm pita points were vehicles for a trio of dips ($12.00):

The hummus was the blander of the three (with a smoother texture than we prefer) while the lentil-lifted tarator upped our pulses and the taramasalata was our fave with its tasty tang to its roe potion.

The six-seater bar was a cozy perch as we Insalated ourselves before shooting off into the rain.

Insalata's Restaurant

120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
San Anselmo, CA



  Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chef Manny Torres Gimenez's $15 tasting menu is a Columbian-coerced palatable progression presented in a former Mission taqueria which maintained its moniker of Mr. Pollo.

Despite the name, there was no chicken on the menu during my Latinomakase meal which included a little, luscious, cheese arepa:

... a petite portion of salad with foie gras:

... paprika-peppered squash soup:

... fried sunchokes with green cauliflower:

... a beef and cheese empanada with cilantro apple sauce:

... and a goat chop (from the animal he was in the process of butchering):

... over garlic rice trumpeted up with black mushrooms:

I supplemented the menu with some made to order passion fruit juice which I enjoyed as my pear was roasting for dessert. House made passion fruit, chocolate and strawberry ice cream pearfected the fruity finale to this remarkable repast:

Even with these additional elements, the full meat rang in at a mere $30.00.

Chef Gimenez was a one man band covering all the bases as he took orders, bussed, cooked and collected (cash only) payments (making the slow pace of this leisurely meal come as no surprise.) The chef's fresh take on South American chow in a nosh nest with both a modest price and footprint is a recipe for our return.

Mr. Pollo
2823 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA



  Wednesday, December 15, 2010

with faux crab:

... and octopus nigiri:

... sauced a little sweeter than I prefer didn't get in the way of the main reason why I hit Hotaru:

... for lunch today - donburi.

The chicken and the egg both came first in oyako don:

... (translated as "parent and child over rice" to promote a sense of dead family bonding in this necrolicious oniony bowl.)

This cold weather combo is excellent internal insulation with perfectly simmered chunks of clucker under a fetal futon. This fowl bowl is worth a couple sushi strikes.


33 E. 3rd Ave.
San Mateo, CA



Mark Your Calendar

Traci Des Jardins is turning up the miheat with tamales at both or her Mijita Restaurants.

Chicken, pork, rajas and sweet tamales can be pre-ordered and picked up at the AT&T location while the Ferry Building outpost will have a choice of chicken or vegetarian.

Mix and match these masa meals for noshing on navidad and yule amaize your friends.

Mijita Cocina Mexicana

Pre-order 48 hours in advance for Ferry Building @ 415.399.0814
Pre-order 72 hours in advance for AT&T @ 415.644.0240
$32 per dozen or $3 each



  Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thaiger Thai Kitchen is a thainy business:

... where I tucked into one of their "Thaiger Meals" which is a mix and match checklist of proteins and sauces which come with soup, egg roll and salad and a choice of brown or white rice.

I picked the pork with basil and chili sauce ($7.75):

... which had a hot pepper punch that was present but not debilitating. A cup of spicy lime soup had a tangy touch while the little eggroll was cold, but still tasted pretty good.

This cheap and cheerful, counter service cuisine delivers Bangkok for your bucks with belly ballast that might not be finessed, but is still solid sustenance.

Thaiger Thai Kitchen

851 N. San Mateo Dr.
San Mateo, CA



  Monday, December 13, 2010

Alice's Restaurant:

... has a reputation as a biker stop but there wasn't a chopper in sight as I pulled over to this Skyline Blvd. grub hub for a Baja burger ($8.95):

A mass-produced patty was jacked up with cheese, avocado and salsa with a side of garlic fries (that were thicker and lighter on the garlic than I prefer.) The burger came with a bag of chips to endow the meal with an "all that" quality, but the focus at this memorabilia mosaiced:

... motorway filling station seemed to be about more about the fun atmosphere than the chow.

Alice's Restaurant
17288 Skyline Blvd.
Woodside CA



  Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bubba's was bursting when we dropped by for a couple "lumberjacks."

Unfortunately, they dropped the steak and eggs option from their menu so we breakfasted on omelets instead.

The carnitas ($13.45) embryo flap:

... had a hefty helping of meat but needed their house made hot sauce to reach its porky potential while the veggie version ($11.45):

... had a nice balance of cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach to create a toothsome 'tarian turnover.

This reliable, homey hub is always a solid selection for a quick and peppy breakfast.

Bubba's Diner
566 San Anselmo Ave.
San Anselmo, CA



  Saturday, December 11, 2010

The alter at Marinitas:

...isn't altered for the holiday - it just syncs up to the season through static electricity.

Santas cast a glow on our flight of Casa Noble, Oro Azul and Chinaco reposado tequilas ($10.00):

... and deluxe margarita ($8.25):

... made with Chimayo repasado at our merry, neat table topped with a tub of queso fundido ($7.75):

This cheesey dip of smashed potatoes, chorizo, potatoes, pepitas, cilantro crema and chile sauce with daggers of blue corn tortillas was a queso chewing gummy snack.

We liked the fish tacos ($10.00):

... with grilled cod, cabbage slaw, avocado and tabasco crema not only due to the flavorful flaps of freshness, but also for the improvement in taste and price from the ones we had previously.

We'll have to come back to try sample some of the anejos and more chow at this popular San Anselmo libation location.


218 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
San Anselmo, CA









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