Melanie Wong's Profile

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Min Min Pot and Tofu House on Saratoga Ave in San Jose

Hey, whatever it takes to get folks to come forward with their favorite finds. ;)

Min Min Pot
489 Saratoga Ave
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 786-8185
http://minminpot.com/

about 5 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

The Farmer's Wife Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Healdsburg, Sonoma County)

Last month I had a chance to grab a grilled cheese sandwich brunch at the Healdsburg farmers market from The Farmer's Wife stand.
http://thefarmerswifesonoma.com/

Catching the last gravs of the year, I tried the Gravenstein apple and bacon melt, $14, which comes with some salad greens. The bread is sourdough from Penngrove's Full Circle bakery, the same that the dearly departed Hot Cheese used so well for its sandwiches.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7157...

The three-cheese blend hit all those middle-of-the-road comfort food sensors even if it missed the excitement triggers. The chewy, uncrisp bacon's plentiful, maybe too much, and was sourced from Washington state though the proprietress said she's getting ready to talk to her market neighbor Sonoma County Meat Co. (http://www.sonomacountymeatco.com/) about the possibility of something more local. And the thin slices of apple did brighten up the flavors. Thoroughly enjoyable, but not a craved thing for me. Maybe I need more cheesiness in my grilled cheese.

goldangl95's Eat Real post,
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9895...

about 5 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Empanadas @ Wild Sage Deli in Healdsburg

With tom246's reminder, my recent visitors have been enjoying the empanadas from Wild Sage. And this week, I had a chance to return myself and revisited the beef empanada. As delicious as I remember it, and boy, that aioli packs a wallop of garlic and spicy hot!

Now the specials are posted on a blackboard outside. If the grilled lamb with chimichurri sandwich hadn't been sold out --- doesn't that sound great--- I might have gone home with that instead.

about 14 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Cubano with Falling Apart Roast Pork, not Usual Sliced and Dry?

Earlier this month I was in Delessio in the Panhandle to pick up something for breakfast, and decided to get a Cuban sandwich for lunch too. I liked this much more than my earlier experience.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3727...

The chunky pork was carnitas like but bathed in mild chile-spiked juices. The bread was a baguette, but slathered with lots of butter on the outside and pressed until crunchy.

about 15 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Udon Mugizo (Japantown, San Francisco)

I had hoped for something more along the lines of Tombo, the now closed udon shop that used to be in San Mateo.
http://www.chow.com/search?q=tombo+ud...

about 15 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

New Filipino in Excelsior - on Mission St. [Pampanguena Cuisine, San Francisco]

I tried it Wednesday for breakfast --- sisig silog --- and enjoyed it very much, as posted here for Dish of the Month.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9908...

I also had a kalamansi juice and a turon to go. I'm wondering what else 'hounds are enjoying here?
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9870...

Pampanguena Cuisine
4441 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 586-8899
http://pampanguenacuisine.com/
Closed Mondays
Opens at 10:30am (not 8am on the website)

about 15 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Hash : SFBA Dish of the Month October 2014

Sisigsilog at Pampanguena Cuisine, Excelsior District, SF

Ever thought of sisig as hash?

Me neither until a NY Times columnist wrote,

"This is sisig, the greatest pork hash — arguably greatest pork dish — on earth. Say the name with two flicks of the tongue, somewhere between a whisper and a hiss."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/din...

Pork sisig was invented (reinvented?) by Lucia Cunanan and served in her restaurant in Pampanga.
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video/...
http://panlasangpinoy.com/2014/10/13/...

Naturally, I sought out a Pampangan cook for sisig worthy of dish of the month and found it here. Ordered as breakfast set up with garlic rice, tomatoes, cucumber, and two fried eggs for $7.50. This turned out to be enough for three breakfasts for me, taking the leftovers home in my own reusable plastic container (25¢ charge if you need a to-go box).

The sisig had a bit more lean meat than I was used to, but that was not a bad thing, as there was plenty of fatty snout, ears, and a touch of liver to go around. Well-seasoned with soy sauce and the fruity lilting tang of lime juice, the porky hash was reheated on the griddle, picking up a sear along the way. It was topped with chopped fresh jalapeño chiles and onion. Delicious garlic rice with slices of fried garlic, not just crumbs, and the tomatoes were actually red and ripe. One egg had a runny yolk and the other was barely soft.

I'd order this again here, though I would probably try some of the of the other silogs first. To drink I had a kalamansi juice and took home a large and crunchy turon for dessert.

Pampanguena Cuisine
4441 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 586-8899
http://pampanguenacuisine.com/
Closed Mondays
Opens at 10:30am (not 8am on the website)

about 16 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

My Bay Area Korean Restaurant Rankings/Discussion

You're welcome! I, for one, would love to hear more reports from you on Korean eats.

about 16 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Walk In At State Bird Provisions on a Friday? [San Francisco]

Success?

about 16 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Udon Mugizo (Japantown, San Francisco)

They liked it.

about 17 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Richmond - Golden Star Café - $6.45 three-course dinner with beverage

Please do let us know how it turns out for you. Thanks for sharing.

about 17 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Comal - Berkeley

Maybe because a number of places have run afoul of labor laws with tip pooling schemes.
http://www.sfweekly.com/foodie/2011/1...

about 17 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Udon Mugizo (Japantown, San Francisco)

I had a chance to try it two weeks ago. Here are the temporary opening menus:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/melanie...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/melanie...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/melanie...

I started with the anago oshizushi (since KK reported on the mackerel version). Very thin layer of eel topped with grated fresh ginger and scallions, never seen any that thin before. And as KK said, a lot of rice, but it's $3.50. Since then I've learned that oshizushi is a classic combo with udon.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/melanie...

Wanting to try something from the signature dishes, I ordered the mentai (spicy cod roe) cream sauce udon. This was a pretty substantial serving, and when combined with the rich and creamy sauce, might be too stultifying. I liked that the mentaiko was elevated above the hot noodles and sauce to stir in to one's taste. This also kept the fish eggs from cooking in the hot elements and turning gritty. The udon were squarish in cross-section and very bouncy, splashing sauce all over the table and my clothes when I tried to eat them. These had a denser texture than I prefer and lacked the silky mouthfeel that I look for in udon.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/melanie...

I might be back to try a more classic prep, but I'm in no hurry.

Udon Mugizo
1581 Webster St., Suite 217
San Francisco, CA 94115
415.931.3118

about 18 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

USPS gets approval to test grocery-delivery with Amazon in San Francisco

"The Postal Regulatory Commission approved a plan on Thursday for the Postal Service to deliver groceries between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. The two-year market test of what it calls “Customized Delivery” is currently restricted to San Francisco, but may someday expand into a national program."

about 20 hours ago
Melanie Wong in San Francisco Bay Area

Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria, Geyserville

Diavola would be a great place to eat, drink and watch the Series. I had a solo dinner at the bar yesterday and the staff said they were not busy during Wednesday night's game.

This was my first ever time to not have a pizza here. I was distracted by two autumnal additions to the menu . . . and have no regrets.

A special appetizer of Cinta Senese Blood Sausage, $11.50, turned out to be a huge serving enough for a whole dinner on a plate. The locally raised Tuscan heritage pig has been showing up on menus in the area. Cured, poached and then sliced and grilled, a portion of blood sausage had four thickly sliced 2" rounds. Not just blood pudding, the creamy part was studded with a dice of firm fat, a bit of ground pork, pine nuts, and grain (maybe rice?) in a mild cure. Sweetly fresh tasting without a trace of iron though they look ghoulish enough for Halloween, the non-funky flavor won't scare anyone. The braised bed of puntarelle and radicchio offered juicy and slightly bitter contrast. Some roasted winter squash, pomegranate tartness and crunchy marinated red onions rounded out the plate.

My second platter of blackness was Squid Ink Linguine with Baccala. Very firm and briny pasta nero was swathed in a lightly tomato-tasting stock and embellished with threads of salt cod, sweet shrimp, crisp rapini, melted leeks, waxy potato rounds, and pepperoncini. Wow.

I adore Diavola.

Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House [North Beach, San Francisco]

I've been hearing more positive things about Indian Curry House in the last year and wonder if there's been a shift in the kitchen. And we have a solid rec for delivery from here,
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9239...

Recent experiences?

http://www.kennedyscurry.com/

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

I prefer spares too. More flavor and they're not as soft as baby backs.

So you have tasted some of the 'cue here?

The Social Study, Fillmore District, San Francisco

I originally went there in search of the Japantown Reuben mentioned in this piece, but alas, it is no more.
http://www.thrillist.com/bars/san-fra...

What do you like to order here?

Update on Karina's in Petaluma (Tlayudas, Pan de Muertos, Chapulines, Tres Leches, Tamales)

Last month I stopped by Karina's for a quick bite for the first time in years. The menu board looked much the same. However, the bakery selection was quite reduced and I didn't see any of the Oaxacan food stuffs, e.g., mole, chapulines.

I ordered a sope de cecina . . . having forgotten that the cecina here is atypical. Again, it was similar to adobada rather than semi-dried meat. The sope base was tough and probably made ahead and reheated.

I bought a banana leaf tamale to take home. It was fine. But I don't find Karina's food as compelling as I once did.

Longtime resident at a loss for a favorite sushi place...Kusakabe a disappointment...

Do you feel that the nigiri fare well sans the sweet sauces?

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

Thanks for a unique perspective on this biz. Yeah, I noticed that his delivery menu only has chicken and baby backs. Like you, I want Texas style brisket.

The Social Study, Fillmore District, San Francisco

Coffee bar and wine bar, The Social Study, also serves up a mean apricot bread pudding as an after school special. Warmed up if you like, and topped with freshly whipped cream.

It's airing the World Series games along with happy hour.

The Social Study
1795 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA
(415) 292-7417
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-So...

Previous post,
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9045...

Bumping up old threads

That thread was moved by the moderators to the Cheese board yesterday from General Topics where it had long resided. I sent a note of protest to the moderators about this decision but it is still there. It doesn't serve either the folks who hate cheese nor the contributors to that board. Their fellow cheesehaters are unlikely to look for a discussion to join on a board devoted to Cheese. The regulars on that board are not going to participate in cheese-hating talk.

So why is it there? The topic is not cheese, but the dislike of cheese. If you hate cheese, it's not "food", so put this on the Not About Food board.

There are plenty of things that I dislike. But I have the sense not to place myself in the middle of people who LOVE it and spit in their faces. The moderators have done a disservice to the participants in that discussion.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/763436

Bumping up old threads

The new CBSi community manager is Marcela Benitez.
https://twitter.com/marssy/status/519...

2 days ago
Melanie Wong in Site Talk

Groupon Goes After Yelp And Google With Millions Of Individual Business Pages | TechCrunch

"We 23 million tips and ratings to date that we’ve predominantly used for the benefit of merchants,” Dan Roarty, VP of Marketplace, told me in an interview. “Now we are starting to post those tips on merchant Pages. We’re not intending to be a review site or provide six paragraphs of user experience. But it’s a tips based system. If you recommend it, why? Ultimately it helps keep those Pages dynamic.”

Canada threatens trade sanctions over U.S. meat labeling law

"The controversial federal law was rolled out in 2013 and requires meatpackers and processors to list where livestock was born, raised and slaughtered.

Canada and Mexico denounced the law, saying it unfairly discriminates against their exports of beef and pork. A WTO panel ruled in their favor Monday, explaining that the law created less favorable treatment for Canadian and Mexican meat."

Claypot Rice in SF Chinatown?

The chicken feet sound like a good snack for watching the world series at home. :)

Claypot Rice in SF Chinatown?

Might be something like the Thai style chicken feet served at Peony, and described here,
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983255

Ramen Gaijin Pop Up Sebastopol

Here's Ivan's recipe for toasted rye noodles,
http://www.wnyc.org/story/ivan-ramens...

And my own experience with pumpernickel ramen (rye and whole wheat flour),
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/971842

Moral of the story: No "nevers" in the Bay Area ramen world. :)

Polk St. Indian Restaurants SF

Please 'fess up!