wintersweet's Profile

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Moss Room. Anyone been lately? [San Francisco]

Oh no!!! Thank you for posting this, though.
I'm really sad; I enjoyed the Moss Room a lot and have taken various special people there. :/ I'm totally skeptical about this Sodexo thing.

P. S. Sodexo has a subsidiary that manages prisons?! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodexo_...

Pumpkin It's It - Anyone seen it in the SF Bay Area?

I got them at the factory--I thought they weren't particularly worth the effort. Very little pumpkin flavor that I could detect. Trader Joe's pumpkin ice cream items, including the mochi-wrapped ice cream, are much better.

Trader Joe's "pumpkinundation" 2014

What?! Pumpkin O's? I missed them! I'll check this week.

Oct 05, 2014
wintersweet in Chains

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

Not really close, but it does put you right between La Costa/Republic of Cake or MJ's downtown (if it's before 3 PM).

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

Hey guys, I'm popping back in to recommend Smith Family Farms produce stand. I picked up some Torpedo onions there today and I'm looking forward to trying them out. (Also some tomatoes that I think are Roman Candles, but not sure. Lots of heirloom varieties there, anyway.)

(Actually, their Facebook page is more up-to-date: https://www.facebook.com/smithfamilyf...


I hear it's very crowded at the height of U-Pick season, but so far we've gone on weekdays or before 11 AM on weekends and it's been fine. They're having a Tomato Festival next weekend; I'm debating whether I'm going to be put off by the inevitable heat and sun or not.

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

I went back to Nature's Bounty. The layout was frustrating: had to either stand in line to get a menu or push my way past everyone else. (The only things on the sign board are the smoothies.) However, once I finally made up my mind, my turkey sandwich was really good.

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

Tamale Lovers is OUTSTANDING. I went to a similar-sounding place on my last I-40 road trip, and Tamale Lovers blows it out of the water. Even their sweet ones are good! I think my favorites so far are the chicken mole and the sweet corn, but their beans are also very good. (Bits of ham and plenty of flavor, more like my mom's bean soup than typical taqueria beans.)

Thanks for the rec; I'll be back here many times in the future despite the distance from my home!

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

It's very casual and feels like more of a take-out place, definitely not a eat-in-a-hurry place. The service seemed fine to me, but I apparently have really different expectations for a hole-in-the-wall bbq place than some people do. The ribs were really good.

Yasukochi's Sweet Stop, SF

Yes, I know they're famous for the crunch cakes, but their cake rolls are out of this world! The fruit and the real cream and the soft sponge cake are SO delicious. I have bad luck with their hours, but it's worth a couple of missed connections.

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

Thanks, it's been a good use of my free time. :) I haven't been to either Matchmaker or Hazel's, but Hazel's certainly is archetypal-looking!

Mixed Grain -- Korean in Walnut Creek

I believe Pollo Pollo in Pleasant Hill (so random!) is part of the same family of restaurants. We had their "Kill Me Spicy" chicken, and it was VERY spicy. I could only eat about 3 pieces myself. Good, though!

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

Update: There's some excellent produce to be had at Smith Family Farms. (Haven't investigated any farm stands with pie yet.) I think I'll be doing a lot of cooking with vegetables and fruits this summer! Also, while unpacking, I found an ice cream maker...

New and VERY welcome: Doré, a French bakery in Brentwood. I've had clafoutis and a few other items, and they were all excellent. (But after living in Fremont, $3.25 for a small coconut tart *hurts.*) Anyway, it's not like I've ever been to France, but these are really good pastries. If you're in the area, drop by and give them a try!

Oh, and P. S. on La Costa: We have discovered the seafood side of the menu and like them much more than before (although my mother-in-law raved about the veggie quesadilla, which is the sort of dish that rarely inspires raves). My husband is hooked on the aguachile.

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

I have been to the L&L, which is very close to where I live. I thought it was disappointing compared to other L&Ls, honestly. However, I'll check out Jerry's! Thanks.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - June 2014 [OLD]

Stupid question (?): what do you do with the rest of the polenta if you just slice off a couple of slices? I'd like to do this but I'm not sure if it can be stored...

And the vegetable masala burgers are delicious (I wouldn't have expected them to be, but they were sampling them at my local TJ's--now a must-buy!).

Jun 04, 2014
wintersweet in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - May 2014 [old]

Yes, thought this was terrible and weird. Like the bibimbap, a huge letdown compared to the real thing--even WITH lowered expectations for frozen food.

May 24, 2014
wintersweet in Chains

Yakiniq Cafe, SF in Japantown- sweet potato latte, yuzu honey tea, etc.

I miss Philippe's, but even without this, it sounds like my type of place. Thanks!

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

Pleasanton and Walnut Creek have far more than this area does, but they're not practical for weeknight dinners out etc. (In fact, Pleasanton and Berkeley are about equidistant from me!) Thank you though. :)

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

I'd forgotten about it...I went there once a couple of years ago and thought it was so-so, but now that I live here, that might be different. And maybe I just had the wrong thing. :)

I have gone around downtown Antioch a bit though. Mostly dive bars and unimpressive-looking tattoo shops. I was disappointed, because my first visit was to Nature's Bounty and a bead shop. Turns out that's all there is of interest there. :/ Pittsburg's downtown is a little better (BBQ, bakeries, a bookstore, a bike shop... brewery...apparently many good things that start with B!)

Addressing people by gender at a restaurant

I find it sort of comical because apparently a lot of servers are nearsighted, exhausted, or something, and thus can't tell that my husband is male. I don't know why they feel obligated to say "Good morning, ladies" or "This way, ladies" or whatever. "Good morning" or "This way, please" is fine and doesn't introduce the possibility of making the server look stupid or making a guest feel upset. Simple.

Mar 26, 2014
wintersweet in Not About Food

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

If you have any more hints, let me know!

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

Ha, I've had a ton of excuses to eat out lately, and I'm also a little bored out here. I hope it'll be useful to someone. (In the meantime, I need to get into that exercise habit again before it gets hot!)

Looking forward to your updates. :)

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...

Kinder's is kind of hit and miss, IMO, but better than Dickey's and its lot. Dad's BBQ and Stella's are better, but take a lot more time. (Maybe that shouldn't be a "but.")

Mac's sounds like it's worth a try.

Anything at all in east Contra Costa County...


It's really too bad that What the Fork closed. I haven't tried Lutong Bahay #1 yet, but I've heard good things about it.

Republic of Cake is inventive and good. I'm glad it's not even closer to me, or I'd be in trouble.

CreAsian is OK and has a nice atmosphere. I think Lone Tree Thai, Pho Vietnam, or DaNang Tourane are better so far, but haven't widely explored the menus at either.

La Costa: We went to the one across from Republic of Cake. I ordered tacos al pastor, and they were so wet that eating them was pretty much a disaster. I'll give them another try though.

Blue Saigon Fusion Grill recently opened a bricks-and-mortar place in Pittsburg near the late, lamented Plan B (now Twins' Fatburger, which I haven't tried yet). If you liked the food truck, you'll like it. Their garlic rice is really nice and garlicky.

John's Ice Cream is far from gourmet (and they're getting Double Rainbow at Republic of Cake!) but it's hard to argue with $1 scoops and flavors from the Philippines like avocado and pandan.

Skipolini's Pizza is much better than I expected. It's not up to the level of my favorite two pizza places in the world, but it was tasty. Unlike many places, you can choose toppings that are roasted (e.g. roasted garlic).

Chaman Kabob is Afghan and pretty good. Limited menu compared to some Fremont places, but still good. Will definitely go back.

Stella's Soul Food Kitchen -- oxtails! Good.

India4U, very good dal makhani and chicken in a mango sauce (which I haven't had before). Will explore more.

We took an excursion to Martinez and that area. I strongly endorse Barrelista (good coffee, delicious maple bacon creme brulee!), Compass Star (tiny place, but fabulous in-house-made meats and tasty beignets), and, in Pleasant Hill, Jo's Sushi.

Of the stuff in East CoCo proper, I think the best so far are Republic of Cake, Da Nang Tourane, Stella's, and Chaman Kabob.

Good cleaning brushes, scrub brushes, bottle brushes

Hi, I searched and couldn't find a thread on this. I'm sorry if I've missed one.

We just moved and we threw out nearly all of our brushes because they had accumulated gunk in places that couldn't be cleaned easily -- the base of the bristles (no good if the brush can't be put in boiling water), under the handle, where the handle and the brush head meet, etc. (Along the same lines, we had to ditch some baking pans with rolled edges. Sigh.)

Do you have a favorite brush for either dish or food cleaning that is easy to clean and/or made with fewer places for gunk to get in?Anything I should look for that might not be obvious?

I have access to Amazon.com and other websites, Home Goods, Target, and not much else. Sur la Table isn't close, but doable.


Feb 09, 2014
wintersweet in Cookware

Republic of Cake (Oakley)

Finally, I've found something terrific in the general vicinity of Brentwood. (I moved here recently and haven't had much luck finding good stuff to eat. I miss Fremont...To make matters worth both of us have been ill and busy and so we've been eating out more than usual.) It's Republic of Cake in Oakley, their second location after the one in Orinda. Their savory cupcakes (brussels sprouts! broccoli and cheese!) may sound like a gimmick, but they are a thoroughly pleasurable thing to eat. We've had a chipotle and corn cupcake and a couple of others. The sweet ones we tried were excellent too.

I have tried several different Bay Area cupcakes and find most of them either too dry or indistinguishable from Betty Crocker. These stood out. They were just moist enough and very flavorful, probably reflecting their website's mission statement regarding ingredients. Seriously, some places make claims about their ingredients and you just wonder about it when you take a bite, but I'm satisfied in this case.

The cupcakes are also inexpensive and not gargantuan, both of which are pluses as far as I'm concerned.

This location sells ice cream (soon changing to Double Rainbow) and cookies and will make you an ice cream sandwich with any combination. Haven't tried that yet.

The location is, of course, a little odd. Oakley seems half-dead, but there are signs of life. There's a cute little plaza and fountain adjoining the bakery (which is blessedly non-twee, by the way).

Compared to many cupcake places, the prices are good enough you could probably go out of the way and save a little money. I realize most people don't wind up out this way very often, but you never know. Anyway, it's made me feel a little better about our new location.

Sort of.

I mean, I might have to make another visit this weekend to assuage my angst. Heh.


Restaurants with movies playing

Well, once I went to a local restaurant and they were playing "Avatar" on their flatscreen. Thing is, it had just come out in the theaters a day or two before that.


Delivery sushi-- really?! [moved from Manhattan board]

Yeah, one of the things that drives me NUTS about California is how little you can get delivered.

In Japan, you can get delivery sushi, ramen, fried chicken...and even in other parts of the US, it seems like you have more options.

seeking suggestions for office lunch in/around Fremont

Yes, Salang Pass would be a good choice if they have banquet rooms that are big enough. What it may lack in swankiness it'll make up for in atmosphere.

seeking suggestions for office lunch in/around Fremont

Fremont is slim pickings for this kind of thing. I can throw out some suggestions but I don't feel confident about any of them.

Asian Pearl
Spin a Yarn Steakhouse
Sinodino's Steakhouse

These all have various issues, but that's a pretty limiting set of requests for this area, as far as I know. Good luck!

Ramen Yamadaya coming to SF Japantown

That's a nice space and I hope Ramen Yamadaya makes it more worth going to.