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 25-30, 2006
One lumpia or two?
Belden Place is a dining destination for locals and tourists.
The tables spilling out into the street give it a European vibe and restaurants such as B44 and Plouf keep the street hopping with the business lunch crowd.
Just down the way, there is a subterranean food court:
The décor is upscale Greyhound bus station
meets free clinic. What I like about this food bunker is
that it is the antithesis of the Ferry Building (don’t get me wrong,
I love the Ferry building, it’s just good to have an occasional
palate cleanser…or palate dirtier as the case may be.)
Shanghai Lumpia ($1.50 for 3):
... were little deep fried cigars filled with seasoned, ground pork. These flakey fingers were served with a little pot of sweet/sour dipping sauce that could easily double as siren red nail polish. I liked these crisp, meat sticks, but I, would not build a house out of them.
You get a little tub of complimentary soup with your order. This tangy tamarind and chicken flavored broth had a few stray bits of tomato, beans and potato. This was served up from a section of the steam table which housed a chicken dish, so it’s sort of a tasty, waste not, want not byproduct (which is fine by me.)
The Kare-Kare ($6.13):
... came in a big bowl with a plate of rice. The oxtails would have been even better with another hour over the heat to make them acquiesce to my fork without resistance, but it was still a tasty dish with green beans, eggplant and cabbage. It’s mild peanut sauce complimented the rice well. You get a little plastic pot of pink shrimp paste to add your desired level of fishy salinity to your tail.
I will definitely return to try the Tilapia (they had beautiful ones both steamed and fried for $6.13) as well as some of the other dishes that I noticed some of the regulars wolfing down. The daily entrees have student friendly pricing at $4.20 and $5.13 for one or two items over rice.
This isn’t Chez Lumpia, it’s not fancy, there is no dining here, it’s only eating. In the main eating room, customers take their cafeteria trays and orient themselves towards the wall mounted television to watch the news (with an annoyingly incorrect aspect ratio that stretches out the anchorman’s face like silly putty being pulled sideways.)
This isn’t the sort of place I would bring out of town guests, but I would come here for a cheap and quick bite if I was in the ‘nabe (before they shut down at 3:00.) It’s the sort of homey, comfort food that just makes me happy. It’s not going to blow your mind, but it’s good, solid, Filipino home-style eats served up by extremely friendly and helpful people in a rabbit hole in San Francisco.
The House of Lumpia
Chubby and I were about to put our names on the half hour waiting list at À Côté but a couple seats at the bar became available immediately. The friendly barman took our order and we got our chow at an impressive speed.
Asparagus soup ($7.00):
... was very girly in appearance with it’s little field of chive blossoms and scattering of snipped chives over a lace of crème fraiche. The pale green soup was delicious with a tangy twist to this flavorful, fresh tasting herald of good things to come.
... were roasted in a wood oven until frozen in their PacMan power pill eating pose. These black shells housed plump packets of juicy goodness that floated over a pool of nicely spiced, Pernod laced, broth. I only wished that the long slices of bread were toasted for a crispy, contrast to these tender feet.
Grilled pork tenderloin ($12.00):
... was oinkilicious. This other white meat was complemented by a mustard punctuated apricot-plum and soft polenta supplemented with kernels of corn. Wonderful contrasts of texture, richness and acidity.
The flatbread ($13.00):
... was singed just how I like it. This amoeba shaped pizza had many sausage nuclei, and it’s cell walls encased thinly sliced onion, broccoli rabe and Marzolino cheese. It was slightly damp crusted in the center, but nothing that spoiled the overall tastiness of this fine sausage delivery system.
Friendly and efficient staff and great chow make this a bunrab friendly dining spot.
Chubby has been bellying up to many bars recently. Check out his latest review of Bar Crudo.
Life isn’t always Ferry:
... and to add insult to injury, it costs a quarter more. There was a full display of these at the Ferry Building outlet and they all had the same scarcity of chocolate chunks, they aren’t those nice little, bitter, squares like their predecessor contained. Don’t they have any contacts who sell chocolate?
I am not the only person who has disappointed-out the issue to the very nice counterperson. She explained that their baker left. I guess that I shouldn’t be too hard on these replacements, it’s just that they had an impossible act to follow.
I went to the Ferry Building smoothie stand and found it dismantled. The person at the produce counter said that they were remodeling and that they should re-open “soon” (but she said it with a sort of “I’m not telling you everything” look in her eye…)
Loved the update on Hamburgers 737 which I used to hit regularly 20-30 years ago so it's great to see something still going. It would also be great if you ever get in a Fish & Chips mood to update my other stop from that period that I believe is still there (although not H.Salt anymore) on the other side of the Casa Madrona Hotel. But hey if not I love all the reviews so keep up the great work.
- Steven C.
Thanks for the chip tip. I’ll keep it in mind next time I’m in a mood for F&C in Sausalito.
I used to get a burger here a few times a month, but when my migratory
habits changed it fell off the list. My last visit must have been over
a year ago and I had a fine burger with excellent fries. So I figured that
it was time to take advantage to the incredible weather and head to Sausalito.
They make the food to order so I usually gaze at the revolving grill as it merry-go-rounds my cheeseburger ($6.60):
... to a smoky doneness. After they toasted
the sesame seed bun on the hypno-heat-wheel, they top it off with iceburg
lettuce, onions and tomato.
... were not an example of their best work.
I have had these frozen, crinkle cut spuds when they were very crispy and
very moist in the appropriate places. Not so with these passable, yet
weak in-the-crispy-department potatoes.
... that was like ordering fish at a steakhouse. A butterflied (which is kind of a pretentious word to use in this case) a split wiener had no snap factor and was asking for condiments to distract from the so-so nature of this doggie.
It’s best to take you food across the street and eat by the water on a day like today, but if you prefer, they have a similar arrangement to the Rosamunde/Toronado situation with the bar next door.
If you do eat al fresco, the seagulls know the drill. Do not feed them. If you do, you will flip the psycho switch in their little bird brains and they will become aggressive beggars, follow you home and steal your identity (all without remorse.) It may seem cute at first when they stare at you pleadingly, after a few minutes they hop to a closer vantage point, then they slowly scoot towards your fries. You can’t blame them, but if you do weaken, they will probably turn around and slap you with a birdhood obesity suit. So do yourself a favor and ignore them.
There's a good reason why they make dog food out of the offal in those dishes. I was at that dinner and the sacking of the meal by a neighboring table was actually laughter at the absurdity and affectedness of the whole affair.
Offal in a nice restaurant is definitely a bizarre juxtaposition when you think about its history of being a less than desirable peasant food. Why pay big buck-a-ding-dongs for elbows and eyebrows when for the same chunk of change you could get a juicy, dry aged steak? Why not cover up those testicles with some casing and grind them with some other odd bits? Why go to all this fuss over stuff that should really be converted into puppy chow? These are all valid questions.
For me, there are a couple of reasons that I enjoy
a restaurant prepared meal of variety meats.
I Jet Blupointed home in time for happy
hour. Chubby and I were in the FiDi and figured we couldn’t go wrong
getting oysters at a place named for one, so in we went.
...from 5-7 M-F. These fruits of the sea were on the
metallic side, but were aided by a dip in the mignonette and a few
drops of lemon juice. The cocktail sauce wasn’t necessary.
... were white meat fish coated in seasoned cornmeal
and deep fried. They were served on a haystack of crispy, herbed fries.
This was a good high falutin’ plate of fish and chips.
... were almost good. These freshly made
stuffed eggs had a perfectly cooked, tender white, but the yolk mixture
was too loose to offer a textural distinction between the two eggy regions.
It was almost revived by the crunch of flying fish roe on top, but it
needed a firmer yolk stuffing to have bunrab appeal.
... was not my thing. Normally, I love
a wood oven fired pie, but this was not aimed at me (although many pies
have been in the past.)
... had a tasty, soy based marinade with a good balance
of sweet and salty. The meat itself was on the chewy
side, but it was flavorful, so it was worth the effort.
It’s a place to de- (or re-) compress over some drinks, but I wouldn’t call it a food destination. The people who work here are very accommodating and friendly.
There is no better incentive to expedite funding than
a pus-oozing scab of a vector of human transport.
... called on for shouting and waving
duty ended up with sore arms.
... may not be as stellar as the ones in New
Orleans, but it’s not bad. I wish that the tomatoes weren’t
under-ripe and that they hollowed out their soft rolls a bit before filling
them, but it’s still very good.
... (rind, pips and all) this sharp, assaulting, puckery flavor works well against the crunchy, warm, unarmored, meat.
Entire contents copyright © 2006 by BunRabCo. All rights reserved.