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.
April 1-8, 2006
This little, funky, North Beach restaurant
has a micro-kitchen that opens out to the dinky dining area. If it’s
busy, you wait for your table outside.
... This thin crust mozzarella and ricotta
topped pie puts the “oooo” in “umami.” Earthy
and delish. I also love that you can order whole pies or just slices here.
... is a homey, delicious signature dish here.
Nothing fancy, just tender, flavorful, swine slow cooked with herbs and
not served before it’s time.
There is the thinnest
membrane that separates Chinatown from Northbeach. There are
no Chinese/Italian fusion businesses - no Char shu pizza stand, no Alba
truffle and tiger paw remedies, …these two separate like sesame
oil and balsamic vinegar yet they have been side by side and checkerboarded
on the same streets. This would be a great place to hang out if you had
multiple personalities. There would be a way to express them all. Like
to get pushed around in a crowded Chinese bakery? Like to sit and mope
over an espresso? Like to do Tai Chi in the park or get a lap dance? Stay
up all night dancing at the Get-laid-ium or quietly browse the shelves
at City Lights. This is a Sybil Sanctuary.
L’Osteria del forno
Bakesale Betty’s may not sound like the place for lunch, but they make a mean brisket sandwich ($6.50).
Their fried chicken sandwich has a lot of fans, but
their soft torpedo roll filled with tender, juicy brisket,
horseradish, and a crispy cabbage and red onion slaw is a ticket to beef
satisfaction. The bites of rich, muscle giving way to the crunch of the
slaw, I only wish that they didn’t take all the seeds from the jalapenos
which would give this a nice hot kick, but these are not seeds of discontent,
especially when dessert is on full view.
... which are all fine, but the standout is the
ginger cookie. This dark, not too sweet, soft cookie is studded
with crystallized ginger.
... are an Austrailian choco-dipped,
coconut rolled vanilla cake with strawberry jam inside. Sort of a high
falutin’, Aussie riff on a snowball. These aren’t my thing,
not because they aren’t made with good ingredients, I’m more
of a toasted coconut, chocolate cake fan.
... as part of their 40th anniversary month
- how cool is that?
After the chef shuffle, I was wondering what today’s visit to the Slow Club would produce. The menu still has the famous burger and looks similar to what they had going before. I ordered the flatbread ($9.50):
... which was grilled with bacon tomatoes and mozzarella.
A chiffonade of spinach was scattered over the top to create a craveworthy,
pizza-esque, Pavlovian-drool-bucket experience. I liked it.
... which contained sweet crabmeat,
egg and slightly overcooked asparagus. I slurped this down and I listened
to two corporate guys whinge about their boss. Office politics creep me
... turned out not to be the right thing to order.
There was just too much oil in this otherwise flavorful
dish livened up with Thai basil, onions and firm tofu slices. If it weren’t
for the Valdez factor, this dish would have been sound.
If you are a multi-tasker, you can groom your dog, do your nails, tank up and get your dry cleaning all in one stop during lunch (as long as you don’t mind your neighbors loudly discussing “PTO” and “exit interviews”.) I gave myself some personal time off from these clowns without the exit interview and headed to Peet’s which was jammed probably because they are not giving you the standard house cup of coffee with your bean purchase, but you can choose from some of their other drinks this month too. You know, there’s nothing quite as appealing as free stuff is there?
Tub-Tim Thai Restaurant
Ward Street Café in downtown Larkspur:
...was out of their home made lamb pastrami so I took the server’s suggestion and went with the chicken sandwich ($8.95):
Dr. B chimes in about yesterday’s burrito:
Eeek, Picante. Ya know, there was a day, maybe 10
years ago when that place was edible. I go maybe once a year just to check
up on things and since then it's been a tasteless pile of crap each time.
Damn hippies have taken all the flavor out of what used to be great Mexican
food. I'll usually get a chile verde dinner plate and Big D enjoys the
chile colorado. Even with the sauces we couldn't get a decent taste of
anything. Not even good with chips, that's pretty sad. I believe what
sent me over the edge was when I noticed the pickled jalapenos /carrots
/onions had no jalapenos. They'd replaced the chile peppers with fricken
zucchini. After trying salt, pepper and all their sauce choices, we left
our food pronto like. We should have left before we placed our order.
What self-respecting human being would put themselves on a tortilla making
stage in front of everyone? The poor girl had to subject herself to being
stared at like a pole dancer for making tortillas. It made my stomach
turn. Picante's needs to go away, it gives Mexican food a bad name.
It takes a few days for my stomach’s
clock to sync up with daylight savings time. I don’t “spring”
into the new schedule as easily as I “fall” into my internal
rhythms. One great thing about Picante is their hours. I have difficulty
eating at socially prescribed times and I like it when places don’t
close down between lunch and dinner. Chubby’s up for food anytime
so it’s not difficult to talk-queria him into a trip to Jim Maser’s
casual Mexican restaurant.
... contained a generous portion of slow cooked pork.
The integration of black beans, rice, and salsa made for some good burr’eatin.
One essential step in the Picante experience is to grab salsas
from the little self serve refrigerators. I find the food bland
without the addition of one or more of these flavor accelerators. There
are three to choose from, the hot, the smoky and the tangy. Don’t
worry about using the one labeled “hot” it’s not omigod-hot,
it just has a good nudge of the needle on the Scolville scale. Just enough
to to put the “neat” in the car-neat-ahs.
He gave this meaty cigar a good dose of hot
sauce and happily dug into this Niman Ranch steak filled, guacamole
and cheese supplemented, fuel rod.
... was bacon and eggs ($7.99 Canadian):
...but the swine strips were American
style– what is up with that? I was operating under the
misconception that when ordering bacon in Canada you got the namesake.
Maybe it was just an airport thing…
Looks like you could go with theme dining or even fusion eats après tanning.
... concocted a penne with haddock and shrimp.
It tasted as pink as it looks.
... is the Dunkin’ Doughnuts 'round here
(I think this town is the last holdout for a Starbucks…although
they just built a Walmart here, so the buck can’t be far behind)
I found the raised doughnuts to have a denser style than the typical stateside
variety, but you gotta put on a little extra insulation in this cold weather.
Tim Hortons is Canadian for coffee, mate.
... is one of the latter. Shellie Bourgault
does a great job of taking top quality ingredients that require no alchemy,
just imaginative, simple preparation.
The menu read to me as though the pork and
the flapjacks were two separate events. I didn’t imagine
these cheese hotcakes studded with Hobbs applewood smoked ham and green
onions. Hot, savory and moist, these were especially good with the yolk
from my poached eggs providing the sauce. I didn’t want to sweeten
up the experience with the accompanying maple syrup since these worked
so well without.
... is made with Niman beef and came cooked to the requested medium rare. Fresh, crunchy red onions, tomato and mesclun completed this cheddar enhanced sandwich. The sesame seed bun to meat ratio was slightly high, but other than that, it was a fine burger. You get your choice of homefries, salad or soup alongside. I thought I made the wrong selection when I saw the thin looking chili:
... but it’s appearance was deceiving.
This chili broth was flavorfully enhanced with chunks of beef, carrots,
onions and beans.
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