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 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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September 1-10, 2010


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  Friday, September 10, 2010

The ceviche ($6.50):

... at Cafe del Sol wasn't what I had envisioned. The red snapper was severed finely chopped in this lime, onion, tomato, jalapeno and cilantro 'viche. Chips and guac came with this appetizer which was okay, but not a reorder.

My al pastor burrito ($7.00):

... was more to my liking. This swine cigar arrived halved. Pork, guac, refried beans and rice had good distribution and ratios in this knife and fork dish.

The service was friendly but it took a while to get my chow (even though they didn't appear to be busy) I hit the road well fed after my visit to this sunny stop.

Cafe del Sol
1010 Doyle St.
Menlo Park, CA



  Thursday, September 9, 2010

Jerk chicken and oxtails ($14.25):

... at Back A Yard was my kind of lunch. I braved the crowd at this packed, Caribbean, counter where I placed my order and paid before grabbing a seat. In 10 minutes I got the goods.

A spicy jerk sauce covered crisp-skinned, moist, chicken while the oxtails were waggingly good on this tender, fall-off-the-bone appendage. The plantains had soft centers with fried, firm edges to fill in the meaty gaps in my nicely spiced lunch.

The staff was good at crowd control (in this jammed joint with indoor and outdoor seating.)

It's not a place to linger...more eat-it-and-beat-it in order to make room for the many fans of Chef Robert Simpson's Caribbean cuisine.

Back a Yard Caribbean American Grill

1189 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA



  Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I went with an Angus beef burger cooked medium rare with Swiss cheese and avocado ($10.05):

... selected from the many configurations of tailored tucker at Urbun Burger.

Lettuce, tomato and onion completed my char-broiled, meaty mit which had bready borders that quickly compressed under my grip.

This big, flavorful, sandwich came with crisp crusted fries with fluffy middles. There are several upgrades to the fried goods like spinning sweet potato or o-rings into the mix, but I took the purist potato 'proach.

Urbun is a nicely outfitted, tidy and likable bespoke burger business.

Urbun Burger
581 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA



  Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We rooted ourselves on the back patio at the Sycamore where the scent of camel filters mingled with our "pork belly donuts" ($5.00):

... which were hunks of marbled midsection dipped in batter, deep fried and glazed with a maple Makers Mark syrup. We applaud them for this bold bellied brainchild which we found strangely reminiscent of Chinese food - but it turned out not to be our thing.

Their famed beef sandwich ($8.00, plus $1 for fries):

... was a soft bunned, mayoed and sauced pile of thinly sliced meat. We munched our messy way through this solid sandwich enjoying crisp fries between sips of Allagash beer from the tap.

Scrabble, Operation and other board games were keeping steady-handed spellers occupied inside of this inviting and funky bar:

... where the friendly staff made us happy we dropped by for some dinner.

The Sycamore
2140 Mission
San Francisco, CA



  Monday, September 6, 2010

Chef Brendy Monsada was recently promoted to executive status at the Left Bank in Menlo Park:

... where he is serving up their classic fare along with dishes like a perfectly seared dayboat scallop in a port reduction:

... turfed up with pork belly in a green peppercorn sauce with an arugula and pickled shallot salad.

The moules frites ($12.75):

... were required eating. Plump mussels steamed in white wine with shallot and spinach had a kiss of Pernod. The broth was so good I sponged it up with grilled bread between bites of shellfish and terrific twigs of fried potatoes washed down with a crisp 2008 Maison Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc.

We cavemaned our way through a meltingly tender lamb shank ($21.25):

... with purple and white potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes and picholine olives. This marjoramed melange melded with a rich, meaty sauce marvelously mated with a 2006 Ottimino Zinfandel.

Chocolate mousse ($6.75):

... topped with a tuille capped mound of strawberry-stuck whipped cream was the parfait conclusion to our dinner.

The service was friendly and efficient at our cozy booth, but many diners chose to go al fresco to enjoy this last long summer weekend.

Even though there are a trio of these banks, it's nice to see that they allow for both similar and unique expressions of their brasserie fare. It would be gauche to rive it too long before returning for another round of mussels.

Left Bank Menlo Park
635 Santa Cruz Ave.
Menlo Park, CA



  Sunday, September 5, 2010

We zipped through the chicharrones as the coals heated up to prepare the contents of our 4505 CSA insulated cooler bag.

This meat module came with a choice of beef or pork - we went with the formoooooor to hit the ladder of heated metal as bovinely ancho-rubbed beef, bacon-filled, uncured hot dogs, chicken-Magnolia beer sausages and Tillamook Cheddar bratwurst rolled on the grill.

Our pals brought home made ketchup and plenty of beer to complement the charcoaled chow.

We loved this plug-and-play protein pack which will be available once a month. The idea is for future formations to vary the ations of rations with the season (but they will always include chicharrones, sausages and a cut of protein prepped for cooking.)

We got ours at the Saturday Ferry Building Farmers market but pick up posts in Hayes Valley and the East Bay will be added chop chop.

4505 CSA Coolers

$70, $60 if ordered in advance



  Saturday, September 4, 2010

The mobbed Ferry Building Farmers Market:

... produced a crazy queue at the Rose Pistola stand:

... but they kept the crowd moving with their efficient cooks:

... dishing out the al break-frescos.

We didn't succumb to the strip tease and went with a heirloom tomato scramble ($11.00):

... which got a little waterlogged from the weepy nightshades but it was still good with its stracchino cheese and onion-oeufed coagulation.

I misinterpreted the idea of "heirloom beans" (envisioning some Rancho Gordo action) it turned out that the legumes in the soft scramble ($11.00):

... were actually green beans which were crisp and fresh. The accompanying chicken apple sausage was dry and sawdusty, but we enjoyed the roasted potatoes that came with both of our breakfasts (even though they weren't the kind with crispy bits.)

We scrammed with our marketing after the yoke of hunger beaten from us.

San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market

Rose Pistola Stand
San Francisco, CA



  Friday, September 3, 2010

This evening's cramped crowd at Hog and Rocks:

... caused us to dessert our dining plan. We cake walked over:

... to check out Paul Ferney's:

... collaboration with his wife Jordan a few blocks away.

Their two tiered exhibit was sweetened by the subject matter. We snagged a piece of artwork (with the pedestal already baked in) before pounding the pavement egged on by the pastry portraiture.




  Thursday, September 2, 2010

I marched back to Mitsuwa Marketplace to pace 100 steps further than my last midday meal to visit Kahoo.

Fermented bamboo shoots and spinach bean sprouted out of my kotteri miso ramen ($8.95):

This bowl of garlicy goodness had rich hunks of pork and a soft-centered egg swimming in a pastafied broth.

The superior swine pushed this 'men to the lead in my marketplace measuring up (but I need to return to check out Hulu.)

Napkin needs were snuffed out by facial tissues:

... changing the tone from Kahoo to Kachoo.

This noodle nook is a little cramped, but worth ducking into for a liquidy lunch.

Kahoo Ramen
4330 Moorpark Ave.
San Jose, CA




  Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Points South is a Yucatanized take:

... on Sam's Roadhouse where 101 commuters can still commune with 'merican breakfasts and burgers. I steered towards the torta ($6.50):

... with its tender tuft of bread commingling with cochinita pibil. Shreds of annato-accented hog had a luscious fattiness that bordered on bacony.

I was bananas about my lunch leafing no trace of this citrus serenaded swinewich.

Points South was worth my trip north.

Points South
271 Alameda Del Prado
Novato, CA










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