San Francisco's Hayes Valley neighborhood is a convenient walk from events at the symphony, opera, or Nourse Auditorium, and according to one Chowhound member, the unpretentious chow at Dobbs Ferry merits a visit. Save room for dessert: The zeppoli (Italian fried dough) with dulce de leche is a luxurious end to the meal, with a large enough serving to share.
Some serious home cooks find their microwaves to be indispensable; for others, a microwave just takes up valuable kitchen space. Find out what jobs 'hounds do with their microwaves that ovens simply can't duplicate, plus a surefire way to know if you really need your microwave before you kick it to the curb.
Fans swear by their pressure cookers to produce beans, stews, stock, and even risotto, but this is one kitchen tool that can seem really intimidating. Check out the cookbooks and blogs that Chowhounds recommend for a solid grounding in pressure-cooking basics and great recipes.
With two outlets open in San Francisco, Pizzeria Delfina has burst onto the Peninsula scene with a new restaurant in Burlingame. This is the first PD to offer pasta; chewy orecchiette with broccoli rabe pesto and fennel sausage earns high marks, while spaghetti with plum tomatoes and pepperoncini fell short of perfection on some visits.
Paddle graters, box graters, Microplanes, and more—which grater works best for your common kitchen jobs? From the shape of the holes to the overall construction, find the right tool for grating hard cheeses, soft cheeses, even vegetables for mirepoix.
Do you exploit your freezer to its full potential? A freezer stocked with carefully packaged pre-prepped ingredients and homemade prepared foods makes it easy to pull together quick meals or offer dessert to unexpected guests. Find out which foods freeze well and which don't, as well as how to wrap food to avoid freezer burn and the best ways to defrost each item.
Certain occasions call for drinks in a cavernous, slightly seedy bar, and Southland residents have plenty of such watering holes to choose from. In some, beer prices are as low as the lights and frozen burritos popped in the microwave count as dinner.
Verbena, the offshoot of Berkeley's Gather, may require your patience in parsing the menu: Some 'hounds say it's difficult to determine portion sizes and assemble a meal. One satisfied diner sings the praises of sardines piled on a cloud of mashed cauliflower, and "cioppino verde" with butter-poached fish swimming alongside mussels, clams, and octopus in broth.
If you have access to a Polish grocery store, you have a window into a living old-world cuisine. If you're a food explorer, learn how to go beyond kielbasa and rye bread with this introduction to Polish groceries, from homey pierogies to exotic dishes made with tripe or duck's blood. Find out how Polish meats, dairy products, and prepared foods can add savor to your international kitchen.
Simpler to make than pie, warm apple crisp with buttery streusel topping has lots of homey allure. When it comes to what kind of apple to use, many Chowhounds take a mix-and-match approach, combining two or more types for balanced texture and flavor. See which apples 'hounds recommend for crisps, along with their favorite unusual and delicious additions to the filling and topping.