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A Gourmand With Cash Flow Issues

Ate-oh-ate has a fun happy hour if you like their stuff. Blue Goose is a decent new spot with a lowbrow-gastropubby vibe and sparky new mexican-style food, generous and reasonably priced. Lovely's 5050 is doing great things with pizza and ice cream. Cheese & Crack is a curious and rewarding stop for beer and snacks. And/or ice cream.

Jul 30, 2014
patrick in Metro Portland

Inaccurate information on restaurant menu regarding grass-fed beef

Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, it sounds like the owner is just misinformed. I don't see that telling the producer the name of the restaurant will cause any real consequences... it may result in the producer talking to the restaurant owner and straightening some things out, which would be good. The distinction between grass-finished and grain-finished is a fine one and while I'd agree that anyone selling food ought to be familiar with that distinction, that doesn't mean that they will be! Props to you for being willing to follow through.

Jun 24, 2011
patrick in Not About Food

Local/Sustainable restaurants in SF and Oakland near BART

This is embarrassingly belated, but thanks everyone for your suggestions for our February trip. We had a wonderful time and ate some great food.

We visited Bakesale Betty twice and were just knocked over. I think this place opened up right before we moved, but we had never tried it. I had the fried chicken sandwich, of course, and then on the way out of town I got a brisket sandwich for the plane. Brilliant.

Picked up takeout from the Temescal Burma Superstar which was also lovely.

Had a lunch date at the new Vik's, which is really nice-- great to see that business doing so well.

And shopped at Berkeley Bowl, and wandered around, and generally had a nice time. Here are some pictures from the trip:

Bakesale Betty
5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Burma Superstar
1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

Burma Superstar
4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

Bakesale Betty
2228 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Bread and Ocean, Manzanita... and a plea for a substitute

Last night we visited Bread and Ocean for supper, for the second time this summer.

Both times the food has been mostly excellent, the wine good, the prices Portland-bistro-reasonable... and the service bizarrely lackadaisical and ineffective.

The only problem with the food is that both times the potatoes in one of the side dishes were undercooked (or in one case, barely cooked at all).

The rest of the food is delicious, and while it is much more expensive than a quick stop at a fish&chips stand or whatever, we love it for a tasty and delicately-flavored meal after a day of mostly beach-oriented junk food: ice cream and potato chips and too much coffee and etc.

But the service is really so poor that we'll be reluctant to return. Both times the server (different one each time) seemed overwhelmed and, oddly, kind of mystified as to why we'd shown up and started ordering food. At neither visit was the restaurant particularly full or busy. Most people around us seemed to be experiencing the same odd, intermittent, half-mast service as well.

Last night the wine we ordered wasn't on the menu -- the server told us about it, and recommended it, and then in a long string of leaving-and-coming-back, gave us tastes of two other wines, while failing to find out how much her recommended one cost. She finally just named a price and we took it, and the wine was fine.

We didn't get enough placesettings for our table and it took several attempts to get through to her that we needed another one. She seemed good-humored, but somehow asleep at the wheel.

And, of course, it took forever to get our check.

Food arrived in a relatively timely fashion, and except for the potatoes everything was good-- the grilled salmon excellent, the salads fresh and delicious.

I am reluctant to sound snippy or yelp-esque, but I do feel like I ought to say something about this place. They have such an opportunity to be a really good restaurant. The service wasn't abominable, it was just bizzarre and offputting, and left us thinking that rather than go quite a bit out of our way to dine here, we should instead put some more effort into finding other good restaurants in the stretch of coast between Tillamook and Cannon Beach.

I'll search the board, of course, but does anyone have any suggestions? I'd love a better-than-usual seafood restaurant (for some light fish+chips and a good salad) or a better-than-usual Mexican place.

Thanks, and happy belated summer!


Jul 26, 2010
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Local/Sustainable restaurants in SF and Oakland near BART

Sad about Dona Tomas, although they were on a slide while we were there, too. We lived a few blocks away and were regulars for about a year or two, 2002-2003? they went from brilliant to spotty/pretty-good.

Local/Sustainable restaurants in SF and Oakland near BART

Actually we'll have bikes to get around in the East Bay, but being near BART is always nice too in case it is raining or something. Thanks!

Local/Sustainable restaurants in SF and Oakland near BART

Turtle Tower? Really? Oh, if we could squeeze that in...

Local/Sustainable restaurants in SF and Oakland near BART

Ruth, you made me laugh. Here's Anastasia with one of her favorite things:

thanks all, these are great recommendations. I appreciate it.

Local/Sustainable restaurants in SF and Oakland near BART

holy potato curry, there's a Burma Superstar in Temescal! Knock me over with a tea leaf. We'll be going there for sure. We used to live about three blocks away.

Local/Sustainable restaurants in SF and Oakland near BART

Hi all,

My family is visiting the Bay area in about a week. We lived in Oakland from 2000-2005 (I wrote a lot on the old Chowhound site, under my current username, if you want some deep background) and this is our first time back. We will be staying in north Oakland and making some forays into Berkeley and San Francisco.

We're looking for interesting, relatively cheap, easygoing spots that can deal with what I like to call our Carnivorous Toddler (really, all we need is a high chair-- she has a voracious palate). Further, we are looking for restaurants that serve sustainably-raised (aka non-factory-farmed) meat.

Back when I was a roving chowhound in the early aughts, I loved pho joints and taco trucks, but since I left the factory farms behind, those pleasures have become few, far between, and mostly homemade. But I am wondering, in the five years since we've lived in the Bay area, are there any good noodle joints/taquerias/other ethnic specialists that source their meat from sustainable sources?

We're happy with vegetarian food too -- two of our must-visits are Vik and Cha Ya -- but I'm curious if there are, say, any excellent pho joints or taquerias that use Harris Ranch beef or something. That'd just make my trip.

I'm also curious about the must-visits that have popped up since we left. I have heard about Pizzaiolo, both their pizza and their donuts; I wonder how Dona Tomas is faring; and let me just raise the spectre of noodles again... hm?

I know this is one of those posts that makes you want to tell me to scroll down and read the board. Worry not. I will. i have been. But I want to know if there are any places that you think we just shouldn't miss, in or around Oakland/Berkeley and in downtown (or easily BART-able) San Francisco.

Thanks in advance for your advice,


Hatch chile roasting in Alameda and San Ramon

I wrote about "Hatch chiles", which are more correctly called New Mexico chiles, on my blog. There are some links, too, if you want to spend a lot of time reading about it!

Choices: Move to Portland or Stay in Oakland?

i moved here from oakland in 2005 and never looked back. i can't speak to the fancy stuff like paleys because we never go. there is not the same kind of ethnic concentration as there is in the Bay area. but the "bistros" (a term i use loosely) are creative and reasonably priced, the wine is tops, and portland's specialty, the focussed, kind of geeked-out shop, is something to behold. I'm talking about places like Pine State, Bunk, Ken's Artisan Pizza, Biwa, Toro Bravo... places where they just found a niche (or made one up) and went for it. flavors are superb, ingredients are top notch, and, unlike food of this quality in the Bay area, we can afford it in portland.

You'll miss Vik and the Fruitvale taco trucks, make no mistake. But in our experience it's been a net gain.

Aug 25, 2009
patrick in Pacific Northwest

vegetarian/organic in kauai

Hi all, we're going to Kauai for a week.

Lots of great suggestions on the board already.

I am wondering if anyone has recommendations for good vegetarian and/or organic restaurants, or could recommend places that have interesting veg options. We're not actually vegetarians but we usually eat like we are.

Given that there is a lot of local and fresh fish we'll be trying that out too, but that topic seems to be covered on the rest of the posts. Any recent highlights would be appreciated, though.

We're staying in Kapa'a.

Thanks, looking forward to our visit.



How Yellow Are Your Yolks?

tea-- thanks for the very nicely done and well written post! -- patrick / eastside egg / etc

Nov 03, 2007
patrick in Features

Smokey Blue at Burgerville

It's good on the Tillamook burger, in combination with the cheddar.

Jan 02, 2007
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Homestyle Italian food round up....for Portland

When I lived in the Bay area, the primary "why can't I get that here?" complaint was from Southern California transplants who didn't understand why they couldn't get San Diego-style burritos in San Francisco.

I wonder if this kind of thing only travels north? Do ex-Portlanders who move to B.C. complain about the lousy coffee and lack of excellent small charcuterie? I certainly longed for decent coffee when I moved south from Seattle to SF, but I didn't see a lot of people complaining about it.

Anyway, there's lots of food in Portland to love. As a recent-ish arrival from the Bay Area, I find I don't miss very much from down there, since there are so many new (and regionally specific) things to discover and enjoy here.

Italian: I like Apizza Scholls and Ken's Artisan pizza.

Good luck, enjoy your stay, and let us know if you find anything that fits your criteria.



Jan 02, 2007
patrick in Pacific Northwest

PDX Top Five Dish 2006

I think it was called "mixed vegetable plate." it had

-- fingerling potato salad
-- apple/celery slaw
-- sweet potatoes with ancho chile sauce and dry jack cheese
-- roast carrots and fried shallots with ... something else.

it was one of those things, where it was exactly what I wanted even though I didn't know I wanted it till I saw it on the menu... and it was really really good. Especially the ancho chile sauce/sweet potato thing.

Jan 01, 2007
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Ultimate Restaurants: Portland

navarre is #1 on my list because i am consistently surprised by their seasonal dishes, and I always enjoy our visits there. The atmosphere fits me perfectly-- no pretension, but lots of attention to detail in the dishes. Also, they are very seasonal and very local, which becomes more and more important to me, and informs more of our eating at home, so it's great to have a place to visit that keeps as seasonal a table as we do.

also...this is a little esoteric.. but on our first visit to Navarre, it reminded me so much of an inn from an Asterix book. Not a specific one, just the country-inn feeling. If you're an Asterix fan you'll probably know what I mean. Then the wine we got (a Zweigelt) was from Carnuntum, the forest of the Carnutes! It was just too much.

I am enjoying all their lunch dishes too.

Navarre is the perfect combination of casual and fancy, their approach suits me (and my partner) very well, and the prices are good for our budget too. When friends visit, it's the first place on our list to take them, since we know the food will be tasty and adventurous, we won't go broke, and we'll all have a relaxed, fun time.

At Valentines I like the dependable sandwiches, especially the Reuben, although there are other ones that are almost as good-- the egg salad and the salumi among them. It's a great place to have a relaxed lunch while running around downtown. They don't do much, but what they do, they do very well, and I value that highly.

Jan 01, 2007
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Espresso- no Starbucks swill

it's a bit out of the way but in Seattle, Lighthouse Espresso, in Fremont/Phinney Ridge, is exquisite. They roast their own beans on the premises.

Other than that, I haven't been to any Seattle coffeehouses recently enough to comment, but I have fond memories of Bauhaus, Victrola, Caffe Paradiso, and Avalon. (If any of those places are still open!)

You should add Portland to your tour, there are a lot of places that "get it" down here.

Jan 01, 2007
patrick in Pacific Northwest

PDX Top Five Dish 2006

yeah, i guess 5 is not enough for this kind of thing. here are mine, in a sort of order.

1. Pumpkin shake, Burgerville
2. Cheese steak sandwich, Navarre
3. Reuben sandwich, Valentines
4. Coconut ice cream, Vindalho
5. Roast/mixed veg plate (December edition), Ken's Artisan Pizza
6. Chickpea fries, Park Kitchen
7. Apricot bacon cornbread with maple ice cream, Le Pigeon
8. Quail & butter lettuce salad, Masu East

This is ordered from most-repeatedly-consumed to least, with the last four listed in no particular order cuz I only tried them once but loved 'em.

Which makes the Pumpkin shake pretty impressive since it was only around for a coiuple of months. I think I must have had five or six of those (shared with another person!). I enjoyed all the pumpkin ice cream, baked goods, and things that showed up on menus this fall.

And that roast vegetable/cold veg salad plate at Ken's Artisan Pizza was one of the nicest things I have ever seen or tasted on a cold winter's eve. All of the little components were well prepared and nicely balanced as a whole dish, too. I'm looking forward to more visits to KAP as the seasons change.

I'm enjoying these lists, they give me new things to go out and try! thanks everyone



Jan 01, 2007
patrick in Pacific Northwest

PDX Top Five Dish 2006

The Ultimate Restaurant lists got me thinking of a listy thing we did last year.

What are your top 5 favorite dishes you've tasted this year? By "dish" I mean menu item, so could be appetizer, entree, dessert, fancy drink, artisan condiment, whatever.

I think Nick did something like this last year.

for example

1. Chickpea fries, Park Kitchen
2. Reuben sandwich, Valentine's
--- etc

I am still figuring mine out.

I am not planning to compile these, this is not official Chowhound business, you are under no obligation, no salesman will call, all sales are final, this is not an offer in any state where such an offer would be prohibited...

I just want to know what all your favorites are.


Dec 28, 2006
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Ultimate Restaurants: Portland

Just tried Kens Artisan Pizza last night for the first time. Their roasted vegetable plate is perhaps one of the yummiest things I have eaten in Portland! And the warm toasty bistro on a cold winters night, well, it was lovely. I would have put it on my list for sure if we'd tried it in time. SO here's my revised top 5 for those who are interested

1. Navarre
2. Le Pigeon
3. Valentine's
4. Ken's Artisan Pizza
5. Masu East

Dec 24, 2006
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Ultimate Restaurants: Portland

ok, here's mine... i still feel like i am missing something...but want to submit this in time.

1. Navarre
2. Le Pigeon
3. Valentine's
4. Apizza Scholls
5. Vindalho

Don't be sad!

Dec 21, 2006
patrick in Pacific Northwest

U-Dist Seattle: Picks and Pans on the Ave, 2006 Update?

Oh yeah, I second Agua Verde-- not techincally "U Dist" but a nice walk that will remind you of your proximity to the water! Good fresh mexican food.

Dec 18, 2006
patrick in Pacific Northwest

lamb stock - what to do with it???

use it as soup base... mix with beef stock or chicken stock if it'll make it easier for ya!

Dec 18, 2006
patrick in Home Cooking

U-Dist Seattle: Picks and Pans on the Ave, 2006 Update?

ahhhh... the continental. Good to know it is still there. I've only ever eaten one thing there and that is the feta/tomato omelette, a million-leaves sort of construction (I saw the guy make it once, it spreads out to a huge diameter and then gets folded and folded). Order it with the greek fries and pita. A wonderful breakfast. I'll have to go have one myself next time we come up from Portland.

And I second Aladdin (glad it's still there too!). Excellent, big, cheap falafel sandwiches, and decent zaatar pita too. And the turkish coffee is good.

While I'm thinking about it, what is in the space on 45th between U Way and Brooklyn, next to the alley? That spot changed owners about once a year... last time I ate there (2000!) it was a pretty good taqueria.

Dec 17, 2006
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Tres Leches Cake

Ken's Place made an extraordinary Tres Leches cake for a Cuban supper last year. I wonder if they have ever put it into regular rotation on the menu.

Dec 13, 2006
patrick in Pacific Northwest

If not Le Pigeon, then where?

i'll say what i always say... Navarre

10 NE 28th

good pâtés, house-prepared cured meats, and interesting vegetable preparations. and a very reasonable wine list.

it's like dining in an Asterix book.

Dec 13, 2006
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Chicago style thin-crust pizza in Seattle or Portland???

There was a place that served pizza like this in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where I grew up. Of course I probably wouldn't like it as much now, but back when I was 14 it was one of the best imaginable foods. Especially the corner pieces. I had no idea it was a Chicago thing.

Dec 10, 2006
patrick in Pacific Northwest

Just moved to Emeryville - any recs?

O yeah, I second Arizmendi's. Everything there is really good and you can get 1/2 baked pizza to go.

fyi for bicycling-- 65th is a good street to cross the Amtrak tracks on your way to Berkeley (better than Powell St) and there's an elevator-equipped pedestrian/bike crossing in the Emeryville Public Market parking lot too.