Melanie Wong's Profile

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Sweet Delight Bakery (Excelsior District, San Francisco)

In the neighborhood last week, I gave this a try for an inexpensive breakfast to-go.

Combination bun (dai bao), $1.50, was as good as any. Interestingly, the egg in the filling was the white only, no yolk. Brined, boneless chicken thigh dominated the pork proportion in the filling, and was rounded out with a slab of black mushroom. No lop cheong. Maybe this is a low cholesterol adaptation.

[More about dai bao]

A pint of chicken and preserved egg jook was only $1.65. This was pretty decent with not too much MSG.

Not a destination, but Sweet Delight can be a source of tasty cheap eats for the neighborhood.

Sweet Delight Bakery
4476 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 337-6786

about 2 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Tex Howard’s Pit-Smoked Bar-B-Que in Hayward

Wondering if anyone recommends this BBQ? Tex Howard's BBQ appears to be mostly a caterer and sells from its commercial kitchen on Thursdays 12 to 5pm.

Tex Howard’s Pit-Smoked Bar-B-Que
2365 Tripaldi Way
Hayward, CA 94545
Telephone Orders/Information: 415-857-4189
Fax: 650-345-6382

about 2 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Claypot Rice in SF Chinatown?

At one time, Bow Hon on Grant Ave did a nice claypot rice. But I've not had it for many years and don't know how it is today.

about 3 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Paella in San Francisco/Oakland?

My post on Coqueta has two photos of the paella we had. You can see the soccarat.

about 3 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Cemitas and Pueblan Specialties at La Poblana Lonchera (East Oakland)

Drove by this afternoon. No truck at this address and the vacant lot was full of junker cars. Phone number not working.

Has anyone seen this truck?

about 3 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Cal cuisine w/ inspired cocktails for last min. res (next Tue) + accepts OpenTable gift certs?

Since you want to use an OT certificate, then just search on Opentable by putting in the time and date you want, specifying the relevant neighborhoods, and see what's available.

about 4 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Organic Fresno [Hwy 99]

A shame.

1 day ago
Melanie Wong in California

Bhavika’s Indian Vegetarian Food, Sunnyvale

Whoa, I'd forgotten I'd ever been here. Glad to hear that it's still serving up deliciousness.

1053 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA
(408) 243-2118

Cafe St Jorge [San Francisco]

I think those rings were labeled Espece.

Euro Grill and Euro Market: Bosnian in Santa Clara

You're welcome! A few years ago I met the administrator who was in charge of the UN's mission in B-H in the early stages at a friend's birthday party. I didn't get around to asking him about the cuisine.

Euro Grill and its market bill themselves as "Balkan". Having previously tasted Croatian versions of these sausages, I was curious if these were from the same region, so I asked more specifically.

I did not try the palačinken nor the bureks --- I hope you will and can tell us about them. One thing I did notice looking around the nearly full dining room is that the customers seemed to be enjoying everything. You know how some places excel at just a couple things and you see that dish on every table? Here the regulars were eating goulash, skewers, burek, sarma, etc. That's nice to see, and I would order with confidence.

Tai Yaki, May's Coffee Shop in SF

Recently I've been back at May's after a near 10-year absence and I'm sad to say that none of the things I've tried are worthwhile.

Spam musubi suffered from soggy nori and mushy rice.

Yaki udon had no flavor at all and the bits of meat were dried out and tough.

Meatloaf sandwich fared a bit better. Soft and bready in texture but bland as can be.

And the saddest part, the taiyaki are made in advance and kept in a warming drawer where they turn soft. No more crispness. And even with that they sell out before the end of the day so there's no motivation to return to quality.

Cafe St Jorge [San Francisco]

This morning was my chance to try Cafe St Jorge for a morning cappuccino. Very nice though Stumptown is still a bit too acidic in the finish for me, yet nice depth and roundness. I tried a Dona Amelia baked by Hayward's Silva Bakery. Described as similar to a corn muffin, this had a much denser texture and finer gauge grit. No powder sugar on mine.

This is quite a lovely cafe and it was no problem parking on the street before 9am. I took note of a poster for Portuguese Language Night on the first Monday of the month, kind of a happy hour offering.

Cafe St. Jorge
3438 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 814-2028

Euro Grill and Euro Market: Bosnian in Santa Clara

He just showed me the label. I meant to go back after eating and buy it, but didn't. You're going to have to go to the market and find out for us!

Who are the best food/restaurant bloggers in SF, and where do they eat?

Me too.

Who are the best food/restaurant bloggers in SF, and where do they eat?

She returned to the Bay Area from Guatemala. But left this site in protest over the removal of the restaurant database and other grievances.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Ha! I've been feeling the same way about the piles of mailers I've been getting in SF against the soda measure there.

Besides the quantity, anything bizarre in the messaging? I've been told that the main strategy has been to create confusion about what the measure actually applies to.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

That's always a risk for either side.

I heard a presentation last month from the Berkeley folks behind the measure. Different from the proposal in SF, the Berkeley measure only needs a simple majority to pass, and not two-thirds. At that time passage was ahead in the polls but the full brunt of the opposition spending hadn't hit yet.

My Bay Area Korean Restaurant Rankings/Discussion

Going thru some old photos and found this one of Obok Soondae in Santa Clara that I meant to ask about. Glad to hear that the soondae (blood sausage) is good.

3072 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 557-0650

Portland, Maine chowhound says thanks!

At the time of our chowdown last year, I asked and the manager at HKL II told me that the staff at the original would not be shifting to II.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

"The Yes on Measure D campaign has raised about $259,585, according to campaign filings. The No on Measure D campaign has spent $1.675 million to fight a proposed 1-cent-per-ounce soda tax that would be levied on distributors. All of those funds have come from the American Beverage Association California PAC."

SF Chinatown: Good wonton recommendation

Wondering if there's a particular reason why you chose Q&A format instead of Discussion format to pose your questions to this board. The originator and other readers vote for the best answer to bring it to the top. When you answer your own question, as you have in reporting back on where you wound up, I guess that represents the preferred answer?

Is reheated pasta less fattening?

"We've made a brand new discovery on Trust Me I'm A Doctor", he says, "and it's something that could simply and easily improve health. We can convert a carb-loaded meal into a more healthy fibre-loaded one instead without changing a single ingredient, just the temperature. In other words our leftovers could be healthier for us than the original meal."

Oct 17, 2014
Melanie Wong in Special Diets

Blood Sausage / Morcilla

Some of the restaurants in Healdsburg make their own blood sausage when they slaughter a pig though I can't say whether they're strong enough for your preferences.

Bravas Bar de Tapas

Cafe Lucia

Mateo's Cocina Latina

If you're looking for the Korean style, search the web using "soondae" as your spelling and it can be found in SF.

Kadok's House of Mami and Siopao (Excelsior District, San Francisco)

Two months ago the Excelsior crawlers visited Kadok's to taste the Shanghai lumpia and Tokwa't Baboy. I missed the tour and had a nagging question, "How are the siopao?"

Then last month after a pupusa run to Metapan, I took the opportunity to stroll across the street to Kadok's to try for myself. The Special Siopao is $2.50, and of course, I had to ask, "what makes it special?" The cashier said that the special ones have a meatball inside, plus the regular stuff. The regular stuff being chopped barbecue pork and mung beans encased in a cake-y steamed bread.

The dearly departed, late great "Low End Theory" described Kadok's thus in 2002:
"Kadok's House of Mami and Siopao (Mission and Onondaga) is also a branch of a mini-Bay Area chain. House special mami is OK, a goodly variety of meats including beef brisket, fish balls, chicken, and prawns in garlicky noodle soup. More unique are the special siopao, a Filipino-ized pao with minced meat and mung bean filling. Only $1.90! The requisite sticky sweet dipping sauce. Both dishes improved by the banana chili bottled sauce courtside. Combos and "meat prefix of choice"-silog look promising. Good value like everything in the 'hood. Buy yourself a 40-45 pound lechon for only $211 and feel the "Spanish tinge" that Jelly Roll Morton described in American jazz."

Looking around the place, I bet that only the prices have changed in a dozen years.

Tiny tacos at DeScanso (Piedmont Ave.) [Oakland]

That sounds great. Love cooking on a big green egg. Here's Descanso's menu on FB,

If you've seen the barbacoa in the smoker, is it wrapped in maguey leaves?

Photo Story draft lost

Thanks, works for me too.

Oct 17, 2014
Melanie Wong in Site Talk

Euro Grill and Euro Market: Bosnian in Santa Clara

After a recent meeting at SCU, I stopped by this Balkan outpost before going home. I'd first learned of it last year at the Serbian food festival in Moraga ( ) as the source of its cevapcici. It was a little hard to find, as the signage and entrance are behind the building and not on streetside, but I spotted the parking lot when I circled the block. First, I went into Euro Market to browse the food stuffs. You have to love a place that stocks this many brands of ajvar. I was counting them and think I got up to at least 18 when the proprietor came over and said, "I know, I know, too many kinds, everyone gets confused." He pointed to a particular jar saying it was the best one.

The Brixton [Cow Hollow, San Francisco]

Had a chance to try it for a late night drink last week with a couple friends. We liked our cocktails ($11 apiece): Lasso, Barrel of Roses and Brixton Manhattan. But we struck out on the bar bites.

Demoned eggs, $8, for four half deviled eggs topped with Dungeness crab and surrounded by wilted red cabbage.

Pretzel knots, $8, seemed more like underbaked Pillsbury poppin' fresh dough than a pretzel. Honey mustard dipping sauce did not help nor the thin and bitter beer cheese sauce.

Nice server.

North Beach/Telegraph Hill/Chinatown [San Francisco]

Lai Hong Lounge is on Powell St and Yuet Lee is on the corner of Broadway and Stockton. They're not next to each other.

Can't really recommend Gelato Classico. Naia is better, but not my favorite.

Korean Pop-up at Hog and Rocks (Mission District, San Francisco)

Chef Robin Song of Hog and Rocks launched a Thursday late night Korean pop-up for August. Later the run was extended (last one will be tonight), so I thought I’d share.

My brother and I tried:

Bibimbap, $15, namul, smoked egg, beef – Weakest of the offerings, mostly because it was served barely warm and the flavor of the vegetables in the namul didn’t come through. No stone pot to crisp up the rice though some rice cracklings were added for texture. Runny egg added richness but did not taste particularly smoky. Beef was on the lean side, so much less fatty than kalbi at KBBQ places, yet tender and less marinated.

Zucchini pancake, $9, soy, peppers, cress – Light and delicate rather than the wet and sodden style, natural sweetness of the summer squashes came through, loved the bite of peppery cress strewn over. Some might call it bland but it was a good foil for the spicier dishes.

Spicy pan fried rice cake, $12, fishcake, blood sausage, fermented chili – Our favorite dish with all components made from scratch. Fish cake tasted fresh and bright rather than reeking of preservatives. Blood sausage had an unctuous texture and clean, non-livery taste profile. Sauteed rice cakes cut into chewy diamond lozenges crisped around the edges, reminding me of my mom’s homemade nian gao. Another soft-centered egg was a bonus.

Spicy black cod stew, $16, braised daikon, soy, chili – Sublime texture on this oily fish, served on the bone and a bit hard to dissect in the dark room. I notice it’s no longer on the menu. Stewed until sweet and soft daikon infused with chili-soy melted on the tongue.

Patbingsoo, $7, milk ice, red bean, strawberry, perilla – This was so far melted when it arrived at the table, it was a miss.

Three solid winners out of five dishes in a pop-up setting is a pretty good showing in my book. I’d be interested in seeing what else Chef Song can do Korean-wise.

Did anyone else give it a try?

Hog & Rocks
3431 19th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110