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 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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October 21-31, 2010


go to next week's blogs


  Sunday, October 31, 2010

Counter intuitive

The Counter restaurant is mixed up about cocktails. This delirium is demonstrated in their application of their build-your-own-burger structure to their new drink program.



I can't imagine the bizarre beverages that this pad of potion possibilities has inspired. Customers tailor their tipple from a list of ingredients that ultimately form a concoction similar to Axe shower gel.

My faith in human kind does not extend into the realm of drinking thinking. This punchy program may seem like libation liberation but this mix and match methodology implies that good cocktails are made by shaking together a bunch of stuff you like. If you order pineapple on your burger you can pick it off, but it's difficult to unblend the kiwi puree from your jalapeno, Amaretto, Gin and ginger soda with a cocktail onion garnish.

I asked the barman if he would consider making a whisky cocktail (even though it wasn't on the checklist) and he was extremely accommodating. I jotted down the recipe and he produced a bespoke beverage that proved that there were sensible solutions to be found.

I'm certain that there are people who enjoy this checklist approach, but I wonder if novelty will give way to thoughtful, well-crafted cocktails.


The Counter




  Saturday, October 30, 2010

We went back to Skool for a feducation in brunch.

Pomegranate blushed cava ($4.00) offered an effervescent astringency in this pom-ade (for my hair of the dog) while the yakari bloody Mary ($10.00) had a Sriacha warmth accented by pickled shishito pepper with added complexity from red shiso in this tomato tonic.

Marinated Scottish salmon ($8.25):

... had silky support from creme fraiche with contrasting crunch from shaved fennel and cucumber. Salmon roe egged this dish on with it's little saline bursts in this mi-great melange.

Sockeye salmon went swimmingly in a fritatta ($18.00):

... of goat cheese and edamame. This fluffy disk of pink meat was touched by a tang by tomato fondue. A potato puck partnered with this fabulous fish flap to offer a marble mash moon of spud-ccompaniment.

A purple quenelle of blueberry masarpone hovered over brioche French toast ($13.50):

This fruit fromage formation added creaminess to the syrup-kissed triangles of loafy lightness. A fringe of fruit furthered this pleasurable pain.

Anjou pears fanned over almond paste in a flaky-crusted tart ($7.50):

... gilded with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. We savored this seasonal combo along with a panna cotta ($6.00):

This circle of espresso-infused cream was set to a velvet texture offset by the crunch of biscotti. A demi tasse of Japanese molasses gave an Eastern angle to this Italian-inspired dairy dome. The intense coffee flavor and subtle sweetness with little bits of coffee dusted walnuts syrup-titiously suspended in this combinAsian is the best dessert we have had in a long time.

Props to the supportive staff elevated by owner Andy Mirabell:

...who sets the friendly tone in the dining room.

Chef Toshihiro Nagano:

... continues to create fresh, focussed flavors in his academy of alimentary achievement. We will definitely return to quench our hunger for this chow that achieves top marks.

Skool Restaurant
1725 Alameda St.
San Francisco, CA




  Friday, October 29, 2010

I sat at one of the two tables at Cherimoya Vietnamese Cafe where I watched their (mostly takeaway) lunch business as I sprung a spring roll ($2.50):

... into a pool of peanut sauce. This vermicelli and veggie baton was baited with slices of shrimp but I found it a little bland unless saturated with the legume lotion.

The grilled pork sandwich ($4.95):

... was a bahn mi style assembly with pate, grated carrots, jalapeno, cukes and cilantro. This righteously ratioed 'nam nom had a richness from meat, crunch from the veg, earthiness from the cilantro and warmth from the pepper slices creating a nicely noshable, bread bundle.

I'll have to check out their vermicelli and meat combo next time I grab a chair at this tiny Vietnamese vittle venue.

Cherimoya Vietnamese Café

283 Lorton Ave.
Burlingame, CA



  Thursday, October 28, 2010

We found that Glenfiddich goes well with water:

... while we sipped their 12, 15, and 18 year Scotch on San Francisco Bay this afternoon.

This cask-ade was served off the rock (we circled around Alcatraz):

... as we savored our Angel Island's share:

... of these golden gateways to the even more precious potions that laid ahead.

A buffet:

... buffered the blood brain barrier before our next stop at the Clift Hotel:

... where hors d'oeuvres:

... and 30:

... and 40 year old Glenfiddich:

... evened our keels.

Each elixir was distinct and delicious in this tour of fruit, spice and oak.

We made the embarrassing discovery that we had been mispronouncing it all these years (it's "Glen-fid-dick" with an optional Scottish flourish to the end part). We weren't busted us on our moniker mangling - we self-policed once we heard one of our hosts say the name properly as they rolled out their new "One Day You Will" ad campaign:

A yacht, fine Scotch and snackage made for a day of smooth sailing. One day we will...have to do this again.



Mark your Calendar

Jesse's wife Elianna is brewing up a fundraiser for the Food Pantry. The New Taste Marketplace will be a vector for vendors of local, homemade or foraged products.

Give her a shout here if you have something swell to sell.

The New Taste Marketplace

November 27th noon-5 p.m. and December 18th 4-9 p.m.
St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church
500 DeHaro
San Francisco




  Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Refuge 'rami was our repast during our navel-grazing visit in the middle of the lunch rush.

A Reuben ($16.00):

... was draped with melty Swiss and sauerkraut with pink pep from Russian dressing. The ratio of Russian, 'rami, rye and 'raut were balanced with Swiss precision to form an accordion of preserved foods in the key of b sharp.

A ramekin of chicken liver ($3.00) allowed for DIY application of this pulverized organ on a pastrami and rye ($13.00):

... this mineraly meat melded with the brined bovine to mortar in this mass of 'catable cuisine.

Their fries ($3.00):

... are a refuge of their own with crisp, delicate surfaces over fluffy cores. These spud sticks are cone-tainers of cone-tenent.

Belgian beer is the 'bibe to take in. The suds are spotlighted in the variant of vessel that complements the components of the grainy goods.


963 Laurel St.
San Carlos, CA



  Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We got our bourb-on at Pican Restaurant where Kingsford Charcoal sponsored this evening's BBQ and bourbon dinner.

Barman Joshua made Old Fashioneds with Benton bacon infused whisky:

... to start us along the path of this smoky, meaty meal.

The crowd grilled Chef Dean Dupuis:

... on his methods as he served up sensational, smoky, servings of molasses ribs:

... house made charcuterie:

... and Bourbon-injected pork pulled from the coals.

The spirited sustenance wasn't restricted to meat - cured salmon was given a sip of Bourbon, a tuft of creme fraiche and a halo of heat:

... and banana bread pudding with bacon imbibed as well.

This event was proof of this proof's playful pairing potential radiated with nosh-talgic nubs at this Southern style stop.


Pican Restaurant
2295 Broadway
Oakland, CA




Mark your Calendar

Range, Beretta and the Slow Club are a few of the restaurants supporting their community by portioning a percent of their proceeds to Mission Graduates during Food for Thought.

Dine at one of these benevolent businesses on Wednesday, November 10th and you will take part in a program that provides a positive platform for the Mission's youth.

Check out all the details here.

Food for Thought
Wednesday, November 10th
various locations



  Monday, October 25, 2010

We rolled over to the recently opened Osteria Coppa for a taste of their Italian chow.

The Margherita pizza ($13.00, plus $2.00 for anchovies):

... was blonder, wetter and doughier than we prefer while the ravioli ($16.00):

... was a righteous riff on pasta pockets. These eggplant bliss-ters were bound in a bright and balanced tomato coulis.

This cushiony culmination of aubergine splicing convinced us that we must return for more of their noble, noodley, nourishment.

Osteria Coppa
139 S. B Street
San Mateo, CA



  Sunday, October 24, 2010

The bride and groom

... vowed at the vegetarian venue of Greens where nuptials and noshing tied the knot in a fort-ifying masonry of matrimony.

Passed hors d'oeuvres circulated before we sat down to a kabocha squash soup:

... pear, hazelnut and blue cheese salad:

... and an artichoke, tomato and mushroom "lasagna."

The dessert buffet:

... included lemon bars, cookies, flourless chocolate cake and a galette.

Greens fell off our rotation (after a tedious tofuey incident) but this meal moved them off our suspended list.

Greens Restaurant

Fort Mason
Building A
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, October 23, 2010

El Tonayense curbed their comida coche:

... at a fiesta fueled by their mobile Mexican chow.

They streamline their selections when they cater events (so there were no sesos or tripitas) but they did head over with my cabeza and tongue to top my tacos:

...while Chubby went with the al pastor, cabeza and carne asada:

We rolled through these buenos bundles with pickled jalapenos and lime and reflected on what a no-sesos'er it was to engage this excellent, accelerated eatery.

El Tonayense



  Friday, October 22, 2010

Our margaritas ($6.50 each):

... at the Cantina were dilute and sweeter than we prefer. Although they make them with fresh lime, the tang and spark of this fruit wasn't apparent in our evening elixir.

The "mucho combo" ($12.95):

... was a nacho-nucleused, quesadilla-cornered, flauta-fringed, wing-wrapped platter of mediocrity. The guac and sour cream didn't revive this assortment of dry chicken winged by bland bites.

"Mexican calamari" ($8.95):

... with a chipoltle sauce was under-seasoned and rubbery. There were crispy bits, but there was too much residual oil for our taste.

We recognize that they aren't trying to produce high falutin' hors d'oeuvres and that the customer consensus seemed to demonstrate our opinion was in the minority since we witnessed neighbors cheerfully chomping on Cantina chow as they loudly lauded this phoenixed business. This space was previously occupied by Cantina before Maria Maria took over the site (and folded) which led to their recanting.

This nostalgic nacho-teria has brought back a bustling following, so they won't miss us when we don't return.

The Cantina
651 E. Blithedale
Mill Valley, CA



Mark your Calendar


Taste & Tribute returns to the Four Seasons on November 19th for their 10th tour of Tibetan aid.

Bruce Hill, Jean-Pierre Moullé and James Syhabout are among the 23 table-side toques fabricating fabulous feasts.

Chef Laurent Manrique marshals this manifique meal where dine-amic duos fabricate a flow of fabulous foods. Take a look at our dinner last year when we savored Chefs Preston Dishman and Orlando Pagan's tribute to a project that helps to preserve Tibetan culture.

Taste & Tribute

November 19, 2010
5:30 p.m.
$350 per person
Four Seasons Hotel




  Thursday, October 21, 2010

Orange fat pooled on my plate like a porcine pennant for the Giants as I caught a fly pulled pork sandwich ($6.95):

... at the Ravioli House.

I slid into a soft roll in-fielded with mesquite and applewood smoked swine throwing off a saline, sweet (but not spicy) swagger. This Carolina BBQ-sauced sandwich got a bunt from crunchy coleslaw to strike a textural balance.

This pasta packet purchase point was a peppy stop to root around for a home team hit.

The Ravioli House

505 South B St.
San Mateo, CA




Mark your Calendar


Pan fried duck eggs showered with thin discs of truffles (shaved over these uova) sound like a fine fungustatory foundation to dinner during this year's Festa del Tartufo at Poggio.

Chef Peter McNee is rooting out white truffles from Alba to pefume the 'shroom as Alba-no orbs are planed into palate pleasing papers over primi piatti and pasta.

You can spore no expense and cap off agnolotti, gnocchi or tagliatelle with lashings of luxelles buoyed by Barbaresco or Barolo or sip a wine by the glass with a microbially-managed, Castelmagno savory custard.

This festa is only five days long, so plan accordingly.

Festa del Tartufo

Poggio Trattoria
November 9th - 13th
777 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA










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