Daily Feed Archives:

Daily Feed Today

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005


Check out our other stuff:   Yummy Chow   |   Photo Hutch  |  Home



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.



May 17-24, 2006


go to next week's blogs



Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Although I’m not a sports fan, I printed out a SF Giants schedule today in self defense. I always feel like such a bonehead when I go anywhere past 5th Street and Townsend for lunch on a game day. There are scalpers slowing traffic and crowds slowing inhibiting the ordinary flow of lunchtime food seekers.

I heard good things about the pizza at Umbria so Chubby and I hopped over to see how it stacked up. We slid into a couple seats at the bar:

... and watched the incredibly overextended barman take lunch orders from a fully populated counter, fill drink orders for the entire restaurant and deal with customers who didn’t understand that the Universe didn’t actually revolve around them. He got top marks in dealing with the whiney masses.

My puttenesca pizza ($12.25):

... had a salty punch of anchovies, olives and capers against a thin crust that didn’t get soggy although under the juicy tomato slices. Although crisp, the crust was unappealingly stiff. There was also a surprise olive pit that I found while biting down on a slice.

Chubby got the porchetta panini ($10.75):

... which was too bready. He ended up eating it open-faced to provide a better pork to bread ratio. It was an herbed sandwich that didn’t inspire a pig out.

The place was jammed with local workers (even though this place puts off a touristy vibe.) Some of the people at the bar seemed to have a standard order and that worked well for them. It’s just not a home run for me.

And speaking of baseball, the Giant’s have their weekday games on intermittent Wednesdays. So, steer clear of the ballpark area at lunchtime every Wednesday in June (except the 14th) unless you don’t mind those $35 flat fee parking lots.

Ristorante Umbria
198 2nd Street
San Francisco, CA





Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tuesday is a magical burger day in San Francisco. You can go to Rosamunde’s for their Tuesday only take on this meaty sandwich or you can head to the Ferry Building.

Prather Ranch has a stand set up:

... at the Tuesday Ferry Building Farmers market where they flip their meat Frisbees over an open grill. I got a cheeseburger ($7.00):

...which they make with their dry aged, organic, psychologically stable cows, Tilamook cheese, organic lettuce, tomato and onions. Acme custom makes their sesame seed buns which top off the list of pristine ingredients. Ripe, red, flavorful tomatoes aren’t accustomed to the company of a hamburger from a stand, but these were photo ready.

The meat patty was very tasty but it was too skinny to create the correct burger balance. Next time I’ll ask if I can pay extra for a double patty.

They also serve buffalo burgers, buffalo tacos (for those of you on a buffalo diet) as well as dogs (the hot kind) and lamb sausages.

Last year they served the burgers at the Thursday night farmers market, but they won’t be this year. Although they will serve their organic hot dogs (which are good, but can’t take the place of a burger.)

Prather Ranch Meat Co.
1 Ferry Plaza
Shop # 32 (but the burger grill is set up out front of the building)
San Francisco, CA


From today’s bunrab email bag:

Shuna from Eggbeater writes about yesterday’s Acme incognito post:


I can share another TJ's secret. Their raw cookie dough is made by none other than Maury Rubin of City Bakery!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Shuna,

Thanks for the pastry chef insider info.

And speaking of pastry, I saw that you are making rhubarb-ginger-Lucero strawberry surprise. I gotta go by Poulet and get some of that.






Monday, May 22, 2006


In the parking lot behind the San Francisco Ferry Building the Acme Bread truck was loading up. Chubby noticed something funny about the loaves, they were on plastic racks labeled “Trader Joe’s”. His curiosity got the best of him and he asked the guys on the truck,

“What’s up with the Trader Joe racks?”

“That's where these are going.”

“So they aren't labled as “Acme?”


The driver told Chubby that Acme has a big unbranded standing order with TJ’s to bake loaves including this Herb Focaccia ($2.99):

...which is confettied with Rosemary.

It tastes like they use the same dough as their fougasse, (that big, decorative, flat loaf with a shape reminiscent of a tree or leaf) but instead, they bake it as a simple rectangle. This olive oil enriched loaf is tasty and ideal for panini.

There are other premium bakeries represented at Trader Joe’s that use their normal packaging. I wonder what motive lies behind the incognito vending of a product that when you think about it, already has a generic name (Acme.) Do they feel that it dilutes their brand or that it has a discounted vibe?

The funny thing is that even though it’s not on the package or the display shelves, “Acme” is printed on the receipt.

The Acme made walnut cranberry loaf also looks good but TJ’s will not be a regular stop for my bread purchases until they carry my favorite, the Levain (but I’m not holding my breath.)





Sunday, May 21, 2006

While others did their carbo loading last night for today’s Bay to Breakers, we decided to wait until during the race. Chubby and I stretched out in a booth at Hidden City Café.

I love how breakfast orders are written out for the kitchen. My OE/butt/ham ($9.25):

... consisted of two perfectly cooked over easy eggs, two fluffy, buttermilk pancakes and a slice of smoky Hobbs Ham. A homey and delicious breakfast.

Chubby got the Scram/corn/chick ($9.25):

He liked the way they cooked their scrambled eggs so they were still on the soft side (he hates them cooked stiff.) The doughy, heavy, corn pancakes caused him to pilfer some of my delicious buttermilk flapjacks (I don’t think he’ll order the cornmeal ones again) but he made quick work of his house made, coarse textured, sage and red pepper enhanced, chicken sausage patties.

There are some very friendly servers as well as the drill sergeant variety, but there’s always something tasty on the menu in this funky breakfast and lunch hideaway.

Hidden City Café
109 Park Place
Richmond, CA




Saturday, May 20, 2006



Balompie means soccer, which is what is on the screens at this Salvadorian café.

This funky family style place has plexiglass covered tables, non-stop balompie on the wall mounted TV sets and Salvadorian music to bind it together into a cheerful gathering spot for locals.

The Combo Plate #1 ($7.50):

... gives you your choice of papusa, yucca dish and fried corn pie. I got the corn papusa filled with mixed cheese and ground pork which it was griddled (not fried.) This dish easily attains comfort food status.

You can choose to have your yucca steamed or fried, I went to Homer route (and I’m not talking about the epic poet, but if he was so smart, he would have taken the crispy path as well.)

This starchy root vegetable was strewn with brittle, addictive, deep fried, little fish.

The pastels de camarones also traced it’s origin from the deep fat fryer. This little, greaseless, shrimp filled, corn football (American style, not a round one) went directly to my endzone.

Chubby decided to be a purist and stick with papusas ($1.60 each).

He asked for a zucchini and cheese with rice flour, but ordered the cheese and loroco (Salvadorian vegetable), chicken and cheese and bean and cheese (he likes cheese) with the corn flour. The corn dough had a more agreeable flavor and texture. The rice version was reminiscent of Japanese mochi with a pleasantly gummy edge. All versions shared the common denominator of being tasty.

The people at Balompie are friendly but can get stretched a little thin when it’s busy, so it’s not a good place for a fast bite, but it’s meant as a place to relax, watch the game and have some papusas.

Balompie Café
3349 18th St.
San Francisco, CA




Friday, May 19, 2006

Blue bottle:

The Linden Street Blue Bottle coffee shop is barely more than a just a counter. I love the simplicity of this garage-front caffeine dispensary.

What makes Blue Bottle different compared to most other coffee places is that they carefully select and roast their beans (as many others do) but they also don’t just plunk a body in front of a machine. Their methodology and care are apparent when you get a latte with milk that is never re-steamed or a perfect Espresso ($2.00):

A little pool of muddy perfection. This short pull was the perfect intensity. I know that the restaurants that serve their coffee must have Clown College certified baristas, but somehow, it’s just not as good when it’s not from the source.

Blue Bottle Coffee
315 Linden St.
San Francisco, CA





Thursday, May 18, 2006


If you buy Fra’Mani sausages at the Pasta Shop, you’ve gotta be crazy to buy the pre-packaged ones. Sure they look all pretty with the logo and bay leaves, but you are getting 12 ounces for $7.95 as opposed to the pound you could get if you purchased them loose (and wrapped in butcher paper.) That is one whole sausage that doesn’t make it to the pan (and no amount of fancy packaging is worth giving up a high quality chub.)

There are currently two varieties on sale, the Italian and the Hot Italian (the redder of the two.)

The Spicy Italian Sausage got it’s heat from dried peperoncini and was rounded out with some garlic and anise.

They cooked up beautifully to a dark George Hamil-tan.

The Italian was subtly infused with anise and garlic. Both varieties had a nice coarse grind and although I usually favor the hotter sausages, this is the one I preferred.

They stayed moist and juicy even though they are (for a sausage) not very fatty.

I am anxious to sample their cured meats. I hope that when they are produced on a larger scale, they have that same chubalicious quality they had at Oliveto. You can buy salametti online, a trio for $52.00 if you can’t wait for them to become more widely available in your area.




Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Sacks Pacific Avenue

Myth Café has caught on bigtime. Every table was filled and there was a salivating line out the door. Luckily, it moved quickly and I was able to walk away with my readymade bag lunch ($5.95):

The Blackforest ham half sandwich:

... was of a meaty nature. They didn’t skimp on the swine which was augmented with a slice of Swiss cheese and spackled together with a aioli enriched with meyer lemon juice and horseradish. They use an Acme torpedo roll (actually half of one, so it won’t detonate) to fuse these fillings. Blackforest ham has never been my favorite lunch meat (it has that O.S.C.A.R. water-injected quality next to those S&M rope tracks) but as far as a ready made sandwich goes, I can turn a blindfolded eye.

The tub of chickpeas, artichoke hearts and chopped olives in a mustard seed vinaigrette topped with snipped chives:

... was good. It called out for an extra shot of vinegar and a grind of pepper to appease my heart into olive-ing it. But it was still enjoyable.

The homemade twinkie:

... was pure fun. This sponge cake was injected with white fluff and transported your brain back into a revisionist childhood when we didn’t know the word “transfat.” Would I buy these individually or eat them without the novelty factor? No. But sometimes it’s nice to have a whimsical cake in your lunch.

I wish they weren’t out of the bag lunch during my last visit. It was more in line with my proclivities with a roast beef sandwich, potato salad and a home made Hoho.

They would sell more of these during lunch if they had an express line where you could hand a counterperson six bucks and take a bag. During my brief visit, I saw five people in front of me give up on the wait. That’s cash money….

Myth Café
490 Pacific Ave.
San Francisco, Ca


From today’s bunrab email-bag:


Do I assume correctly that Taste of the Himalayas on Shattuck is the same operation as the place with the same name in downtown Sonoma? I ate lunch at the Sonoma place twice within the last two weeks and it was fine, not outstanding, with its good but small-ish buffet and pretty-good menu items. I ate there the second time because there was no wait, unlike other downtown-Sonoma places at lunch time. Very friendly staff.

Mick R.

Gutenberg replies:

Dear Mick,

Yes, the Sonoma, San Francisco and Berkeley restaurants are all owned by the same people. I haven’t trekked out to the Sonoma branch, but I’m glad to hear that their hospitality spans throughout their system.





back to last week - May 9-16, 2006



BUNRABS Home | Contact Gutenberg | Yummy Chow | Photo Hutch
Entire contents copyright © 2006 by BunRabCo. All rights reserved.