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Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)
the BUNRAB blog spot
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If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.
July 8-16, 2006
The Crepevine chain has branched out to a new location in San Rafael. We ordered and paid at the counter and our food was delivered quickly.
Chubby got the Italian crepe ($7.95):
... which was filled with roasted peppers, eggplant, onions, artichoke hearts, tomato sauce and mozzarella. It was reminiscent of a vegetarian lasagna in need of a good dose of meat and herbs to give it dimension. They serve all their savory crepes with mixed greens as well as home fries (which made an odd accompaniment.)
The Tuscany crepe ($7.95):
... had more textural variation than Chubby’s choice. The chunks of white meat chicken, mushrooms, melted provolone and feta had crunchy bits of almonds mixed in and a big dollop of pesto on top. If there was more garlic and feta in the mix it would have had the needed boost to deliver it from blandness.
The people who work there are very nice and they serve a variety of items including breakfast, sandwiches, sweet crepes and pasta. They replaced Christopher’s Nothing Fancy Café a few months back (so they may just be finding their stride.) Even so, we’re not in any hurry to return.
The Pinecone Diner serves up a good cheeseburger ($9.95):
My only quibble is that its thick and tasty patty did not match up to the bun in circumference (which leads to disappointing meatless bites here and there.) To be fair, I hadn’t had this issue in the past, so today’s could be a fluke.
The scoop of potato salad was lightly dressed so as not to be the typical heavy ice cream scoop of spuds. It was a fresher tasting tuber-ball with bits of celery for crunch. Although good, I’ll stick with my usual fries next time (I just needed to verify what I already knew: no potato salad can trump good fries.)
The Cobb salad ($10.95):
... had some tangy Point Reyes Farmstead blue cheese mixed in with the crispy bacon, chopped chicken and cherry tomatoes. The greens were lightly dressed and were strewn with the telltale green lined yolks of an overboiled egg (I sulfered in silence since these are made in batches and to get a replacement would be to receive another green egg minus the ham.) This small hiccup didn’t ruin the (otherwise tasty) salad.
I caught word of these Danish burgers being served in San Rafael and went to check out the Pariser Bof Med Tilbehor, aka the “Great Copenhagen Burger” ($9.25):
It’s an open-face, (some assembly required)
knife and fork style event. A foundation of toasted white bread topped
by a (slightly gristly) patty was surrounded by chopped red onion,
capers, remoulade sauce, beets (that are chopped to look like bits
of twizzlers) and two raw egg yolks.
...and wondered how Danish McDonalds must package these messy macs. It was okay tasting with it’s crunchy, tangy, salty, eggy action, but I wouldn’t Dane to order it again since there are herring options that sound more like my thing.
Chubby and I headed out for a quick and healthy lunch at DeLessio.
I think that having a salad bar in this bakery is a sinister marketing ploy to get you feeling virtuous enough to let your post prandial guard down (just enough top off the veggies with a slab of chocolate tower cake.) Sheer evil.
Plates assembled at buffets are more Jackson Pollack than Joan Miro in terms of composition. Mine was no different. There were some tasty items like the slow cooked pork (yes, there is slow cooked pork at this salad bar) and curried cauliflower.
There were also items that were only okay, like the stratas and the squash gratin. But as salad bars go, this one is a winner due to the variety of interesting items like bulgar wheat salad, soups, veggies and of course, salad ingredients. Once you have made up your plate or to go box, go to the fast moving line and pay ($7.95 per pound.)
There is a small patio:
... as well as limited indoor seating at tables that have cool collages under the plastic tops.
Or, if you want to bypass the veggies, you can just grab a small cupcake or two.
Rubi-pros out weigh Rubicons.
Rubicon serves lunch on one day and one day only: Wednesday. This hump day is no dump day (if you are on the wall about shelling out a kingly sum for a nicely put together men-u that you can fall for.) The horse douvre (to eggstract last bit of Humpty-ness – I promise) was an amuse of salmon tartare with a teriyaki sauce over a thin slice of cuke:
... which I quickly popped in my bouche as I ordered the prix fixe “business lunch” ($25 for two courses plus your choice of dessert.)
A mixed green salad with a mustard seed vinaigrette, shaved cheese and chopped herbs:
... was sprinkled with crunchy bread crumbs. Simple, refreshing and tasty.
Next came the house made pappardelle with a pork belly ragout:
The mild caliente kick of pepper cut through the richness of the succulent pig bits surrounded by thin slices of wilted Belgian endive. The delicate sheets of pasta verged on overcooked (but were tasty even so) in this rustic and carbo-licious dish.
Of the six dessert options, I selected the blueberry meringue tart:
Chubby blubes were sandwiched between rounds of pastry that were more tough than flakey. The pretty green basil coulis was a backdrop for the toothsome cream cheese ice cream, but the center of attention was the crown of meringue (that had just the right level of sweetness.) This was an imaginative and fun finish to the meal, but it would have been even better with a sorbet (instead of the ice cream) that pulled all the elements together. The cream cheese and meringue clashed like two rival celebrities who wore the same gown to the same party.
Instead of bench presses, you can do some reps lifting their famous wine list (not famous for it’s thickness so much as it’s well considered contents.)
The staff is friendly and efficient, the lunch vibe is much more casual (with people in jeans) than the business casual dinner time.
If you order lunch a la carte, first courses are $11-$13 (oysters are $2.50 each) and entrees range from $17 for their burrata “grilled cheese” to $19 for the lamb tenderloins. Desserts start at $8 for the sorbet trio and top out at $10 for the sweet corn funnel cakes (which I want to order next time.) So if you do the math, twenty five bucks isn’t bad for a meal that will make you Rubi-nesque.
When you walk into San Francisco Thai Bar-B-Q it looks more like a take away counter than a restaurant, but there is an adjoining room for eating purposes:
The Squid appetizer ($5.95):
... was a tasty and simple dish of grilled squid over lettuce, grated carrot and a pool of vinaigrette. The squid was given a respectfully short cooking time which made for a tasty starter.
Chubby got the Pork special ($6.95):
... which was good, but it’s pronounced soy sauce salinity would have worked better with rice (he chose egg noodles for his starch.) The salad was standard issue, and the crinkle cut zucchini, carrots and broccoli were crisp tender.
My Salmon ($10.25):
... came with the same veg as
the pork and a crazy foil packet of rice. When’s the last time
you got rice en (aluminum) papillote? I guess they put the rice in
this space suit to keep it portioned out and ready to serve or it’s
some sort of baked potato fake out…
It’s been years since I’ve been here and I’ve always liked the idea of this place. I think it may be one of those you-gotta-know-what-to-order venues. The BBQ'ed chicken and ribs sound enticing as do the curry dishes. Nothing on the menu costs more than $10.25 and most items are under $9.00. Until I have something craveworthy, I will think of this place as simply offering good belly ballast at a fair price.
San Francisco Thai Bar-B-Q
The blog roll got blurry tonight:
...arranged a gathering at Place Pigalle
From today’s bunrab email, A. Clezio responds to my response:
No, no, I was not commenting about the informal language ... That's totally fine, and along with the bathroom review, it's all very quirky--what you'd expect from a ... bunny. And don't get me wrong, a bunny reviewing restaurants is a pretty funny concept (and a bunny getting freaked out by bunny-on-a-dish at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley, is also pretty funny). However, it's the actual spelling and grammatical errors that are in no way colloquial , which detract.
I whole heartedly agree that we have grammatical and spelling errors. But what we lack in book larnin’ we make up for in gusto! I hope that the G-factor helps to spackle in the fissures (and gaping holes) of mistakes.
As the old quote goes, “One marvels not that the bear dances well, but that he dances at all.”
I warned Chubby about the insane, out of control kids on my last visit to Pizza Antica.
I figured a Sunday would bring
out these drunken midgets in full force. We
sat down to a dining room brimming with families with perfectly behaved
children. I’m not sure what was up. Did
they doctor in the pizza dough to contain substances that either calmed
the little hellions or improved parenting skills? No shouting, no running
around tackling waiters, just perfectly well-behaved citizens. All
except for one. He was about thirteen and sitting with his family wearing
his iPod, and while the rest of his tribe chatted over pizza, he reinforced
his anti-social tendencies. I resisted the urge to pull out his earbuds
and fling them into the wood fire. It’s none of my business (until
I start chipping in tax dollars for his incarceration.)
... arrived. This emerald scaled circle
was dotted with chopped preserved lemon, which added
a tangy depth to
the thin layer of mozzarella and parmesan.
... was topped with shaved broccoli, caramelized
onions and pancetta that was paper thin and cooked until crispy. The
perfectly cooked vegetables against the salty crackle
of the pork was
just the ticket. I would order this tasty health food in wolf’s
I brought Chubby to check out the burger at Finnegan’s Marin. They were kind enough to let him order one (even though it wasn’t listed on the menu we were given.) He asked for his cheeseburger ($10.00):
... medium rare with Jack cheese (much better than the buffalo mozzarella combo I ordered earlier in the week.) Chubby liked it just fine (although he agreed with me about the delicate bun getting too spongey with juices.)
The brunch menu looked tempting with Eggs Benny, omelets, French toast and corned beef hash (all $10 or less.) The fish and chips that I planned on ordering wasn’t on the menu and they didn’t have the batter prepared. Instead, I went with the grilled mahi-mahi po’boy ($9.00):
... which came on a toasted torpedo roll with a tomato
mayo, tomato slices, lettuce, onion and house spiced bacon. The fish
was grilled with a light hand, preserving its moist
Everything tastes good with bacon, so it’s not a shocker that
the swine strips added richness to this po’boy. The show stealer
was the sweet potato fries. They look like irritated spud sticks with
a skin condition with their flakey, orange status. Crisp, greaseless,
slightly sweet, a bit salty and soft bellied, these were worth the
price of admission on their own.
From today’s bunrab email, Cindy
Thanks for the heads-up on Finnegan's. We went to dinner tonight. Kids each had pasta with butter & cheese - both finished their plates. Husband had the burger (with Swiss cheese, not mozzarella). His only complaint was that he wanted the criss cut fries, not the regular fries, but he agreed that they were good fries. I had the "small" serving of fish and chips - 4 medium size pieces, plenty to eat. We also ordered the calamari as an appetizer - good, not great, but I'd ordered it again. Only strange thing was that they also fried slices of lemon - interesting to try the first time around, but not something I'd order separately.
And in reference to A. Clezio’s comments yesterday:
By the way, I think your writing is spot on, especially in today's day and age of "ru there" and "prolly 2day". Keep up the good work, and thanks for coming back to Novato. :)
Glad you had some good chow there today as well. I think that you
are onto something with the criss cut fries, after all, that means
more surface area per fry, which means more crispy bits (the foundation
Many thanks go out as well to Steve C. for his continued support of us bunrabs. You rock!
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