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Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)
the BUNRAB blog spot
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September 24-30 , 2006
The crowds were a little thinner at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers’ Market today.
Even though there was less
competition at the booths, there were plenty of people queuing for coffee.
... where you time your wait before taking the plunge (the other Ferry Building options offer the drip version of BB coffee.)
I asked Taylor at the Fatted Calf when the next batch of Boudin Noir would be available and he said next Saturday. We made off with some of their trusty breakfast sausage and spectacular pork sausage with greens.
Then it was off to Cowgirl:
... to sample some of their cheeses before picking out some fun and tasty selections with the guidance of their knowledgeable staff. I noticed that the figs at Capay were fifty cents more at their indoor shop than their outdoor stand. I asked them about it and they said that they have to compete with the neighboring vendors during the Farmers’ Market so the outside prices have to be lower. That money I saved on figs:
... went into the pot for a lively game of poker instead.
... and could always count on two things during my lunchtime visits: 1) a friendly welcome and 2) that sensation familiar to sumo wrestlers and foie gras geese. This is the place to bring your football team, not your lawn and garden club.
My hamburger steak and eggs ($8.95):
... was in keeping
with their philosophy. The big beef patty was nicely
charred and was cooked to the specified medium rare. The over easy
eggs remedied the slightly dry tasting meat with their hydrating yolk
and barnyard affinity of flavors. I'm was also glad that when the waitress
asked if I might like some worcestershire sauce or maybe some A.1.,
I replied "yes." Normally I don't mix A.1. with cackleberries, but
in this case, the combination worked out fine.
I believe that food should be either flavorful and high quality or fulfill some personal food fetish. Rocco’s doesn’t fall into either of those categories for me, but it does deliver something that many people want (as evidenced by the crowed dining room) lots of calories for little money.
Don’t get me wrong, Rocco’s is perfectly good and it’s not meant to be fine dining, it’s just more homey than restauranty in style (which can be good if that’s what you are into.)
Bait and ‘Swichcraft
I took Muni to the Powell Street station which leads directly to the latest hub of conspicuous consumption. It was like a Dawn of the Dead flash mob that forgot to disperse . All of humanity went to witness the grand opening of the Westfield San Francisco Centre. There were shoppers, protesters:
... and diners (but no zombies) in this human ant farm.
I met up for lunch with some other parties who were interested in the culinary possibilities this newly renovated complex has to offer.
We met outside ‘wichcraft, (Tom Colicchio’s latest branch of his handheld food chain.)
It appeared as though they didn’t get the memo about the spectacular grand opening so we perused the food court. Out the Door hadn’t opened their doors and the other stands didn’t appeal to any of us so we headed to the 4th floor to Straits Restaurant. Sidenote: why would you open a restaurant by this name in San Francisco?
There were a lot of vacant tables when we were told that it would be five minutes. After about ten, I went to check on our status. It appeared as though we were lost in the shuffle and so we were comped some drinks and Roti (flat bread) with yellow curry sauce. It was their first day so they didn’t have many of the bar ingredients ready, the wait staff was spread thin and the kitchen was backed up. The people who worked there were able to smile through their pain and eventually we were fed (but I don’t think it was representative of what will come out of the kitchen once they hit their stride.)
We shared a salad of banana flowers ($9.00), some Rendang beef ($10.00) which contained both Amy’s moist and flavorful morsel and my dry and tough chunk in the kaffir infused, mild sauce. The accompanying polenta wedges were tasty but not polentaful enough for the amount of beef.
We all agreed that the Nasi Goreng ($11.00) was the best of the bunch. Although the menu described it as “spicy” I would describe it as a mild. This flavorful seafood studded, coconut milk enriched rice was a hit. The shrimp were cooked to a moist vibrancy.
The whole mall felt like we had arrived at a gigantic dinner party an hour before we were expected by our frazzled host who was coked up and running around half naked. I’ll give it a while before checking out what they really have to offer.
By the way, who came up with Westfield’s lame tag line? “Where
Foodies and Fashionistas Unite” Don’t you think you should
avoid the word “unite” if you have union
Westfield San Francisco Centre
From today’s bunrab email Jim writes about our Ad Hoc visit:
Couldn't agree with you more in the Ad hoc review. I was there Monday night on a spur of the moment trip from phoenix and they served essentially the same meal you had only used Beef Short ribs. You used two terms , conserva and unami that I could not figure out in this context. can you elucidate on your use of them in the review. Love your review style . That restaurant was perfect for me as I was dining alone and did not want the formality of Bouchon and there was no way to get into FL. FL lite would be a good term and on the night I was there the music was awesome. Alan Viader of Viader wineries was there next to me and he echoed all of the sentiments expressed here.
I can’t wait to "add" another "hoc"ation to
get one of Ad Hoc’s
Gutenberg replies to a fellow blogger's (unprinted) message:
thanks for dropping by the cyberhutch and sending your flattering
note. We don’t have
anything against Aziza, (honest) but thanks for your support.
A Clockwork Lime
The closest you can get to recreating the vibe of the Korova milk bar (from A Clockwork Orange):
...within the boundaries of San Francisco is by visiting Lime. Although they do not serve narcotic laced Moloko, they dispense alcoholic beverages and tasty small plates without the ultra-violence afterwards.
We started with our vegetables. The green beans ($5.00):
...were cooked correctly, but couldn’t overcome their slightly tough, mature nature.
Zucchini strips ($6.00):
...were lightly battered and deep fried until any healthful properties were negated. These delicate ribbons were served with a tangy, lime enhanced, basil aioli. These were good, but heavy.
The pizza special ($6.00):
...was topped with pancetta, the goat cheese formerly known as Chenel (although they still call it by that name), caramelized onions and sliced figs. This combo of flavors would have worked better if it was a thinner crusted ‘za. It was slightly too bready for my taste (but still good.)
Mini burgers ($8.00):
... also suffered from a bready dominance. The house made sesame seed buns were good, but too big for the perfectly cooked patties of white cheddar and ketchup/mayo/relishy sauce. My favorite mini burgers remain Picco’s.
Fish tacos ($8.00):
...were the best of the line up. The nuggets of cornmeal-coated and deep fried halibut were perched upon a sea of guac and salsa in a cookie cuttered micro tortilla. Good fish finger food.
The lighting, décor and drinks:
... are fun, the people are very nice and efficient. The music is a nice fit and you will find your self singing along, “whatcha gonna do with all that junk, all that junk inside your trunk…” while you create even more of the aforementioned junk with the deep fried foods.
The service is friendly and not in keeping with the Clockwork Orange vibe, they don’t even wire your eyeballs open as you videe the hypnotic LCD screens placed along the bar and in the restroom.
Chubby and I had a great time snacking at this fun lounge. Lime is no lemon.
From today’s bunrab email, Biggles writes about yesterday’s
Daimo? Thems my stomping grounds. And I've had enough. Big D and I tried them and that was enough for us. Whatever the food was, it wasn't memorable. And it took 45 minutes, 2 waitresses and finally the manager to go fetch his lunch. There wasn't one apology, not even a connection of any kind that they were sorry about it. Although the Saigon place in the adjoining parking lot for sum dim is amazing. I saw a catfish the size of Tiny E. One of my favorite quotes: You think you're too cool for school ... but you're not. Ah, good times.
Daimo’s menu covers about every food
ever invented so I think that there are bound to be both hits and
Thanks to everyone who emailed today. We got a note from Chris M. about his new site:
I thought I'd write to let you know about Savory San Francisco, a new site my wife/partner, Jennifer, and I launched recently. It's a Bay Area restaurant guide but unlike others around town we have super deep listings info and feature video profiles. Some of our favorite videos so far are Incanto, Zuni Cafe and NOPA. Hope you'll take a moment to visit and check it out!
It’s a great site. I’ve already watched all your videos and look forward to seeing your site grow.
To Daimo for
After grocery shopping at Ranch 99, I walked across the parking lot to get some chow at Daimo.
If that old adage about being hungry
right after eating Chinese food is true, they have the ability to sustain
a feeling of fullness since they are open from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily.
... came on a cloud of rice
with some bolts of choi sum. A green onion and garlic relish made this
tender and juicy bird take flight. This was not only tasty and budget
friendly, it was also quick.
... is in serious
need of a chi-ectomy. The host station is being used as a giant junk
drawer, the tanks of live critters are along the back wall so you don’t
get to sadistically impulse shop and cast a death sentence on your
way to your table, but to be fair, you don’t come here to most
casual Chinese restaurants for the ambience (unless you like seeing
ducks re-enacting the gallows scene from the Crucible.) The kitchen
has a Plexiglas wall separating it from the dining area so you can
see dumplings being stuffed and the steamy activity as your food is
being prepared. I reflected that I used to see cooks smoking in the
kitchens in Chinatown, but those days are long gone…
From today’s bunrab email, Biggles writes about yesterday’s Boudin Noir entry:
There's nothing finer than to sit down on a weekend afternoon only to catch Zoolander passing by. I'll stop each time and watch as though it were my first. Huge fan. But then I do the same with Waterboy. Yes, all my taste is in my mowf.
I know that whenever I write a meaty Fatted
Calf entry you will visit the cyberhutch!
... from the Fatted Calf would be the “Magnum”.
I’ve had good BN, and BN that tasted like I was cleaning the floor of a sawmill with my tongue, but I’ve never had a sausage that was as bloody good:
... as this one. It may sound as if I am not being hematicritical with such an positive report, but if you have a platelet of this hearty chub, you will transfuse your thoughts by thinking in a new vein.
Apple adds a subtle sweetness to this darkest
member of meat tube family. I hope they continue to cell this red
blooded sausage, if not, I’ll have to resort to vampirism.
Chubby and I hadn’t dined at the Marin Sun Farms Eatery since before the big flood that drowned much of Marin. We were eager to see how the chow had changed. An open sign hung in the window, but we were bummed out that this sign only applied to the butcher counter.
The meat man said that they will be back in the eatery business after the first of the year (which sounds pretty vague to me, next time I’ll call first.)
We headed up the road to the Olema Inn.
In their parking lot, we were greeted by a guy taking a whiz next to the dumpster (when you gotta go, you gotta go) and whizzed our way past to the sparsely populated dining room. There were some customers on the patio, but there weren’t many diners which seemed odd for a Sunday.
Even though there wasn’t much of a crowd:
... the food moved out of the kitchen at a pre-global warming glacial rate. In our hunger, we considered feigning death by starvation, but realized that this would probably result in our order being cancelled. So we hung in there, waving away the flies that hovered throughout the dining room.
I got the BLT salad ($14.00):
... which had a base of thinly sliced toasted bread topped with burrata, Niman bacon, tomato slices and some slightly wilty greens. The toast was waterlogged and spongy from the tasty burrata (which must have been assembled a little too early) the bacon was thick cut and wasn’t crisp either. Not my dream salad.
Chubby did a little better with his order. He got the Olema burger ($14.00):
... which they make with Niman beef, caramelized onions, bacon, and the usual suspects. He ordered it medium rare, but it was cooked beyond any trace of pink. He was so hungry by the time it arrived, he practically inhaled it along with the side of toothsome thick cut fries (which he requested extra crispy.)
It could be that we caught them on an off day. I don’t think that the urination salutation is their answer to those greeters at the Gap, and although the food did take a million years to arrive, the runners were friendly. Perhaps it would be better to come here for dinner, the only problem is that the uncushioned, wooden chairs are not comfy enough for a lingering meal, but I guess you could always stretch your legs in between courses and take a whiz next to the dumpster…
One nice decorative touch:
... was a collection
that reminded us of a fellow
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