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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

the BUNRAB blog spot

Do you need to answer back? You can send me comments if you want to.

If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.



June 10-16, 2006


go to next week's blogs



Friday, June 16, 2006

XOX truffles

I had been meaning to make it to XOX truffles since they opened to such rave reviews. I finally made it to their Columbus Street storefront and was pleasantly surprised to find a small, funky, little shop.

Nowadays, high end chocolate stores look more like you are going to buy a Cartier tank Francaise than a sweet, this place is a refreshing change from the jewelry display presentation.

I like the non-commital size of these mis-shapen, meteors:

The flavors include tea, wine, nuts and fruits. You can get little gift boxes or pick a few a la carte in a little bag. These chocolate coated, creamy textured, rich and delicious fat pills are worth the caloric investment with their nicely balanced flavorings. If you’re not into delayed gratification, you can eat them on site with a coffee and work off your XOX calories walking towards the XXX area of Broadway.

XOX Truffles
754 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA

From today’s bunrab email Steven writes:


If there is a teeny weeny chance you can add websites when available like pizzaantica.com to the address I would love it!

Steven C.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Steven,

Us bunrabs think that sounds like a good idea.

Thanks for the sugg.



Gouramanda writes about the crazed kids at Pizza Antica:


Pizza Antica sounds like it's got the goods, but the children -- bad enough so that we should fergedaboutit??


Gutenberg shoots back another reply:

Dear Gouramanda,

I’ve build a house out of candy next door to Pizza Antica, the evil witch who lives there says she “solves problems” (I noticed her Fergus Henderson cookbook.) I’m hoping that this will take care of the situation. If not, later dining may be the solution.







Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hard Knox life:

Two corn muffins:

... hot from the oven, come with the entrees at the Hard Knox Café. They are tasty comfort food - homey and mildly sweet.

Chubby got the smothered chicken ($9.00):

... which was okay, the white meat was slightly dry, but the dark meat was a juicy improvement.

You get to pick two sides.  He asked if the green beans were fresh or tinned, “fresh” was the reply. When they arrived, they had a formerly-frozen texture (he forgot that option in the multiple choice question.) The red beans and rice were also lackluster partially due to the lack of hamhocks, salt pork or other meaty influence (I guess they want to keep this vegetarian friendly.)

A generous portion of deep fried Catfish ($10.00):

... had a crunchy, cornmeal coating that shielded a moist and flavorful feline free interior. I selected collard greens and mac and cheese for my sides. The greens had the same dilemma as the beans – no porky influence. They were cooked fine, but I pine for my swine.

The mac and cheese was the best of the sides that we sampled. It was flavorful with elbow macaroni cooked just past al dente under a robe of sharp, cheesy, orange.

This is a good restaurant to keep in mind if your coach tells you to put on ten pounds during lunch. Not only will you get the caloric equivalent of the energy needed to leave the earth’s orbit, but you get it served up by hospitable and efficient people in a funky and fun little hideaway.

You like metal siding? Then you’ll love the interior décor.

Hard Knox Café
2526 3rd St
San Francisco, CA


From today’s bunrab email bag Susan writes:


We'd been curious about the pies at Pizza Antica and after seeing your review we high tailed it over there to check it out. There were a zillion screaming kids throwing footballs and chasing each other for the hour and five minutes we waited for our beautifully crisped potato and truffle oil pizza to arrive. The owner apologized for the delay and comped the bill for the pizza and salads. We'll try it again during an off-peak time because we liked the food. They should be able to speed things up over time. If only the parents would reign in their kids in a little.

Susan R.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Susan,

Good to hear about the pizza, bad to hear about the football game.

I’m glad that they comped your food (with a wait like that, it seemed like the way to make amends.)
Now the notation on Pizzetta 211’s menu makes sense. They ask that children remain seated (I’m paraphrasing) so they do not hurt themselves or others.

Maybe it’s time Pizza Antica to top their tables with butcher paper and deliver crayons, or alternatively, I hear their Ritalin pizza rocks.







Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pizza Antica opened a new outpost in Mill Valley’s Strawberry Village last Sunday.   This branch shares the same menu as their San Jose and Lafayette counterparts serving salads, pastas, entrees and pizzas.

My Margherita pizza ($7.95):

... was a ultra thin disc painted with a tangy tomato sauce and topped with housemade mozzarella, and a chiffonade of basil. The crust was nicely blistered and crisp, but the tomato sauce had a pronounced acid component that would have probably worked better with one of their more elaborate meat pizzas to cut through some of the richness of the sausage or pancetta. The housemade mozzarella was okay, but the novelty factor was the attention-getter of this lactose-luster product.

The staff is newly trained and putting a lot of effort (read Stepford-esque) into their jobs (I know that I should feel fortunate about this) but I’m sure they will settle into a more natural mode once they get the routine down.

The ones that really needed settling down were the insane children that were running across the dining room playing tag. It’s a wonder they didn’t wind up in tears, standing in the center of broken plates and food, but I guess they have some sort of force field that keeps them out of harm’s way while simultaneously cloaking their actions from their parents.

As Marin pizza goes, it seems like it will be a good addition. My fave North Bay pizza remains the cycle wheels at Picco Pizzeria, but there’s plenty of room for more competition (especially ones open on weekdays for lunch.) I will definitely come back to try some of their other ‘zas. They also do takeaway.

Pizza Antica
800 Redwood Blvd. #705
Mill Valley, CA






Tuesday, June 13, 2006


The nice thing about Caledonia Street in Sausalito is that it’s away from the Summer tourist crunch of Bridgeway. Sure, there are out of towners that trek over for the Sushi Ran chow, but it’s really not part of that Disney-esque downtown dynamic.

I went to Arawan to check out their lunch special ($8.50):

...which started off with a small bowl of coconut milk based soup. Big tofu cubes and slices of mushroom gave a little texture to this warming broth which had a pleasant fish sauce tang.

The marinated short ribs were more flavorful than tender. They must have put these on the slicer while the meat was still frozen to get them so thin (hey, I don’t expect a half pound of meat in a lunch special that’s less than ten bucks.)

I’m not big on tapioca desserts, but this one:

... was pretty good. It wasn’t sitting in the refrigerator for days getting gummy, stiff and flavorless. It was closer to room temperature with bits of sweet potato to liven it up. These dishes rarely have much of a visual appeal in that they are albino gummy bears masquerading as cloudy caviar.

If you want to get away from tourist central and grab an inexpensive lunch while checking out walls covered in Thai tchotchkes, this is the place.

Arawan Thai Cuisine
47 Caledonia St.
Sausalito, CA





Monday, June 12, 2006

Day of the Doughnut:

My eyes always gravitate to the donuts as I wait my turn in line at Myth Café:

It’s such a cool idea for a high tone restaurant to create a café that makes the cornerstone the American breakfast.

 My jelly doughnut ($1.09):

... concealed a strawberry filling. It’s  a first class ticket to fat-ville and I was travelling. The only problem with it was the ingredients were too high quality. Your brain is programmed to go into Homer Simpson mode (mmmmmm jellllly…) when you see one of these artery plugs and think you are entering into a fetish-food-narcotic-sink-into-the-rug experience and it turns out to be something more sober, it’s like a metha-done-nut event. The bread to jelly ratio was too high:

... and it wasn’t squishy enough to achieve a sort of low brow feel. I think I’ll stick to their tasty chocolate cupcakes from now on.


Myth Café
490 Pacific Ave.
San Francisco, Ca


From today’s bunrab email bag, Danna writes:



I went to Falafel Hut, and the food was extraordinary! I ordered the lamb shawarma and the falafel. And for dessert, I enjoyed the Kanafe. Thanks for the great information on this middle eastern deli. I will definitely go back soon and bring my friends too!

Danna S.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Danna,

Sounds like you give a ten to the hut. I’ll have to shawarma back and try the lamb (which they were out of on my visit.)






Sunday, June 11, 2006

My craving for steak led me back to Boca. If you want one of their 21 day dry-aged meat slabs, they only come in portions that serve two. Luckily, Chubby didn’t need to have his arm twisted…

We started with an order of calamari ($8.25):

... which looked bigger than the version we were served in the bar last time. It was crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, but I would have liked it better if they put some paper or lettuce at the bottom so that the squid didn’t rest in the small amount of oil at the bottom of the dish.

The 24 oz. gaucho steak ($58.00):

... wasn’t as evenly marbled as the one on our last visit, but it was still mighty fine. Cooked to a perfect rare, this flavorful, buttery, Flinstone-esque cut of beef was served with 4 ramekins of chimichurri, béarnaise, green peppercorn and chimichurri with smoked paprika. The steak didn’t require enhancement, but the green peppercorn sauce gilded the lily nicely.

You can sub out the standard 2 baked potatoes with other starches. I got the yam and Chubby got the duck fat fries:

... both were carbo-licious.

A side of brocolini:

... kept cardiac arrest at bay. (That's how it works, right?)

The service was top notch and the chow hit the spot. You can check out more Boca pix from my visit with Chubby and Eyeball.

Boca Restaurant
340 Ignacio Blvd.
Novato, CA

Our pal Sam over at Becks and Posh writes:

Aw, shucks, my bunny friends. Thank you for the shout out. So about those strawberries - I'd say you'd recommend getting to the market before THE RISING SUN - to ensure securing a punnet, eh?? Never saw rabbits dance or sing so good as I did last night. All those strawberries knocking around from different places - we could have done a blind strawberry taste test!

x sam

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Sam,

With your breakfast for dinner theme, I was happy to see all the fruity options. If it weren’t for all those tasty kir royales with raspberry Aqua Perfecta (taking the place of cassis) we would have thought of doing a line up.
And who knew that Alder was such an amazing singer?






Saturday, June 10, 2006

Got some Fatted Calf fegatelli to munch on. These are the best porta-meat snack. The snap of their casing and the voluptuous, perfectly seasoned protein fix are just what you need to keep your energy up for queuing at all the Saturday Farmer’s market stands.

Fatted Calf’s Taylor and Toponia make a mean chub.

These little salumi sized babies are not only home sliceable, they are the best example of Mortadella that you will find. The emerald pistachios and similarly sized chunks of yummy lard contrast with the finely ground pork in this heat cured, ultimate sandwich meat. Toast some Acme levain, grab some greens…you get the idea.

You have to get to the market early. The Lucero Organic Farms Strawberries sold out at 10:00. We were lucky enough to get a bunch:

... before they had to deal with the disappointed, whiny masses. The Ritz Carlton and Chez Panisse had bought up stacks of them that couldn’t be concealed in this outdoor stand so latecomers whimpered and pointed but got no fruity reward.

After Chubby and I scored our market bounty it was time for a Blue Bottle coffee break.

The drip coffee ($2.00) is brewed to order (so be patient)  at this outdoor methadonesque clinic for the caffeine addicted. People hover facing the baristas waiting for the sweet sound of their name to be called.

The Downtown Bakery and Creamery stand:

... was our source for a blueberry scone ($1.25):

... a biscuitty round, polka dotted with blubes.

Chubby’s mini cherry galette ($4.00):

... had a wonderfully crisp and flaky crust glazed and sprinkled with sugar before baking. The cherries hovered inbetween sweet and sour in this delicious example of cherries done up right.

We ate our breakfast and gazed at our favorite vehicle:

... (what’s not to love about a truck with a chicken on top?...and ones rotating inside.)

The Saturday Ferry Building Farmer’s Market never disappoints in the quality and variety of produce and snacks. Just get there early.

Also – Happy Four-Oh to a blogging queen (and part-time Dancing Queen) who knows how to ring in a Birthday!





back to last week - June 1-9, 2006



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