||Sunday, March 21, 2010
Best. Party. Ever.
Marcia Gagliardi’s book release party:
... at Orson was Welles attended with a collection of some of our favorite folks.
A noted liquorist tippled us off to the refreshing “starlet” of gin, jasmine liqueur, lemon, prosecco and angostura bitters made by Jeff Hollinger.
... told us about the tantalizing tombo from the Crudo crew which was in tuna:
... with the tempo of the amazing array of eats including Betelnut’s goat belly and Nopa’s tortilla.
We caught up with some pals who all agreed that the Tablehopper book was a hit.
I pity the fool who doesn’t have a copy of Ms. T.’s guide. For those who are still book spine-less, her tour continues with some readings, tastings and even a two martini lunch at Bix. Check out the schedule here.
the tablehopper’s guide to dining and drinking in san francisco
find the right spot for every occasion
by Marcia Gagliardi
||Saturday, March 20, 2010
We approached our duties as judges for the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon:
... with great seriousness (along with several grains of salted caramel) as we scrutinized samples of augmented, fermented products.
Today’s Fort Mason bar hopping brew haha:
... featured sensational sweets:
... which outnumbered the way out wares:
... (that weren’t necessarily our thing.)
Some of the products that held the most appeal for us included Amano’s:
... Jembrana bar, William Dean’s assorted chocolates:
... (especially the cassis crunch and key lime), Coco-luxe’s sugar pine bark:
... Her Coconess’ bitter nibby rocky road:
... and Clarine’s Florentines:
There were cocoa nuts converging in every corner:
... of this guilty pleasured conch-ciousnes grazing event:
... that gets better every year.
2010 San Francisco International Chocolate Salon
||Friday, March 19, 2010
The Pancake House:
... is a run of the Millbrae operation with an old school sensibility:.
My eggs, beef patty:
... and flapjacks:
... didn't make me hop, but this red box of a business isn't about international appeal, it's about cakes from the griddle.
Millbrae Pancake House
1301 El Camino Real
||Thursday, March 18, 2010
Although the 4505 stand was sold out of chicharrones, this afternoon’s offerings at the San Francisco Ferry Building:
... were good enough to take the sting out of my skinned need.
Holy Smoked Salmon:
... had no line, so I hooked a Northwest Style Lox sandwich ($10.00):
... and sinkered my teeth into a sheet of silky salmon spread over their house made cream cheese with shaved fennel, roasted peppers and pickled onion served open faced on Acme sourdough and finished with Eatwell Farm lavender salt.
The Pizza Politana crew:
... were producing their fine wood fired fare. I tossed down one of their Margheritas ($8.00):
This thin, blistered disc topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil was simply sensational.
The Thursday market’s enticing options exceeded my stomach capacity (which put the kibosh on my instinct to queue for a porchetta sandwich as a post Paddy’s day padding)...but there’s always the Saturday market...
San Francisco Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA
||Wednesday, March 17, 2010
If Temple Grandin were to redesign the Woodlands Cafe, she would illuminate the disturbing coffee wait for their cattle call of customers. For some reason, cups of brewed coffee are not handed over when you place your order at the register, instead, a staff member brings it to you after a cooling off period. We were in a holding pen for 10 minutes wondering why they didn't just shoot a bolt through our heads when a manager noticed that we were spooked.
She herded over our calf-feine and took the bull by the horns to refund the money that we were overcharged for our pastries.
The apple turnover ($2.75):
... was okay, but nothing worth reordering and the apple tart ($6.00 according to the register, $3.25 according to the signage, $3.50 according to what we actually paid):
... was an almond flavored triapple that angled towards blandness. For some reason, they didn't tell us that ice cream, creme anglaise and whipped cream were part of the presentation, but what they lacked in dictation wound up as a lactation ration which we left in its station.
We were happy that the manager abated our toir-ible lack of coffee and made sure we got our feed, but after several visits, we have found that their setup still needs streamlining.
Next time, we'll request coffee to take a field.
735 College Ave.
Mark your Calendar
This Saturday will have a salted caramel filling if you ganache your way though the cacao-fun-eats at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon where guests with fort-ify themselves at this Mason du chocolat.
In our role as returning judges, we have nib-bled our way through captivating confections that has raised the single origin bar.
Whether you want to sniff out some stellar truffles or bask in bittersweetness, this event is the golden ticket.
The San Francisco International Chocolate Salon
Saturday, March 20th 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Tickets $25 advance, $30 door
Fort Mason Festival Pavillion
San Francisco, CA
||Tuesday, March 16, 2010
A scent of sandwiches and cavalcade of customers led me to a broom closet business in a building housing high tech employees.
Ike’s Place is best known for their San Francisco establishment, but this South Bay sandwiched shop slings their famed palindromically priced specials.
I ordered my “Say Hey” ($6.96):
... and stepped into the hallway where it is customerary to text while you wait to be beckoned by your fresh baked breadwich.
Melty Swiss, thin slices of pastrami and bacon, lettuce, a garlic and herbed mayo aka “dirty sauce” baked into the crisp, yet yielding roll was an exceedingly ike-able combo-nais-tion.
This place is strictly take away, but there are some tables to park your business behind this complex beside a water feature. I appreciated the posted warning not to drink from this pool as the brownish fluid was very tempting...sort of like a dirty jus.
They were kind enough to throw in a caramel covered green apple lollipop:
... but it wasn’t my thing - maybe it just needed some dirty sauce...
555 Twin Dolphin Drive #115
Redwood City, CA
From our Bunrab email, Susan writes about our weekend visit to an empty Vin Antico:
Our conversation was about you as we chowed down on the crab & asparagus pizzetta with pistachio pesto at Vin Antico last night. The place was hopping - no lack of customers. Well deserved following. Did you leave your scent?
We were disoriented by their deserted dining room and are glad to hear that they just need to spread their popularity into their weekend daylight hours.
||Monday, March 15, 2010
The lady at The Famous Rib Shack:
... threw me a couple extra bones with my pork ribs lunch special ($7.95):
... since she thought my portion didn't look meaty enough. I gnawed my way through all of these tender porkcicles slathered with a hot, mildly sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. Although the raisin dotted slaw left me cole (since it headed towards majority 'naised), and the cornbread muffin was sweeter than I prefer, I found the cheesy mac was fine stomach spackle at this funky and friendly counter service center of cage cuisine.
The Famous Rib Shack
223 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA
||Sunday, March 14, 2010
We hunted down Gather Restaurant in Berkeley which has the unusual distinction of being equally inviting to a vore-itey of tarians.
One frequent dining dilemma is finding a venue that exceeds a single pasta, risotto or pizza option (for our vegetarian dining companions) without muscling out meat for us carne cravers, but Chef Sean Baker has fashioned a menu that offers more than token tucker for those who favor faceless (but not tasteless) food.
The vegan “charcuterie” board ($14.00):
... was an array of citrus, beet and fennel salad, roasted broccoli over chopped olives and garbanzo puree, sunchoke and potato salad, avocado bruschetta with fried tofu skins and marinated asparagus over lentils with grilled chicory. Each of these were well thought out, distinct combos that meat with our approval.
A pisco sour ($10.00):
... with Square One vodka had a nice, puckery lime and hibiscus hit from their list of organic ‘tails.
Forbidden black rice acted as the Lambada base for tender-cles of Monterey squid ($11.00):
... with aioli, pork influenced lentils, chili oil and mint.
Little gem lettuce ($10.00) was ringed with fried shallots and smoked potatoes with blue cheese dressing.
Bacon and egg hatched in the form of a savory solution of pork soup ($7.00) while dino kale with celeriac ($9.00) was given a shower of Fiscalini cheese and toasted pine nuts in a vinegar-boosted saurs of deliciousness.
Anise-perfumed, Magruder boar ($19.50):
... with some gilding house made sausage was set off by a 2005 Ponderosa Cabernet Sauvignon with a side of duck fat roasted spuds ($6.50) with dandy-lion greens:
The pistachio brittle semifreddo ($7.00):
... kums with candied ‘quats to rind down this precession of exemplary eats.
We loosened our belts at we admired those patched together in the leather cushions:
... under the reclaimed wood tables. Fish traps and bottles acted as lighting fixtures at this illuminating omnitarian eatery where we plan to return.
2200 Oxford St.
||Saturday, March 13, 2010
Vin Antico was abandoned when we arrived at 1 o’clock today:
We pushed on the door to yell “hello?!” into the desolate dining room and wondered if they accidentally forgot to lockup at quittin’ time. Just before we left to head over to Sol Food, someone emerged from the back to welcome us. We were told that they were just about to close up (due to the customers that were staying away in droves) but that they could make us lunch.
The lights and music came on as we settled in for nettle pesto on a pizzetine ($12.00):
Chanterelle, trumpet and hedgehog maze of ‘shrooms melded with creamy mezzo secco cheese in this savory, tart-like treat.
Skirt steak was hemmed in with caramelized onions and blue cheese in a satisfying sandwich ($12.00):
... trimmed with hand cut, peppered fries. A house made chipoltle ketchup and mustard seed aioli gilded our meal as we maintained a status similar to the hotel occupants in The Shining until we checked out.
We refrained from riding our tricycles down the vacant aisles as we wondered why their tucker wares were not being successfully pedaled. It turns out that they just began serving lunch on the weekends so they don’t yet have people axing down their doors to pull down the numbers that they plow through on weekdays.
This place is worth a visit for their delicious chow even if you are busy trying to complete your novel...after all, all work and no play....
881 Fourth St.
San Rafael, CA
Mark your Calendar
Morgan Maki, Chris Kronner and Staffan Terje will grind out coffee inspired charcuterie at Meatpaper and Blue Bottle Coffee’s “Food & Thought” event atop the SF MOMA.
BBC’s stimulant package of a cuppa after the coppa along with sweets to follow the meats will be the inhogural springboard to the museum’s springtime event series.
Meatpaper and Blue Bottle Coffee present: Food & Thought
SF MOMA Rooftop Garden
March 18th, 6-8 p.m.
San Francisco, CA
Half-price museum entry gets you up to the event where tasting plates will be $5 each.
||Friday, March 12, 2010
Steak and eggs ($11.45):
... were the Ja-makins of my midday breakfast at Primo Patio. The barbecued, marinated, jerk steak and over easies were bordered by black Cari-beans, salsa and some crust-atoes.
The primo-tive shelter of this parasoled patio joint was worth dropping by for a jolt of jerk.
Primo Patio Café
214 Townsend St.
San Francisco, CA
||Thursday, March 11, 2010
I chomped on a California burger ($16.50):
... at Cafe Flore with Dokkie & Co:
Dokkie wasn't okkie that I didn't dispense any muscular morsels of my Niman patty since this juicy, 1/2 pound, blue cheese, avocado, pico de gallo capped, rare, carne-coaster didn't lend itself to sharing. A cup of sweet carrot soup:
... was the right root to take at this counter service Castro-nomic, puppy-friendly, casual corner pocket.
2298 Market St.
San Francisco, CA