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Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2015

Keitt mangos are at the Richmond CA store. Organic, from Mexico, $5.99 a box. Four large or six medium. The larges are the usual dark green but the mediums are mostly orange and yellow which I haven't seen before.

Aug 15, 2015
PorkButt in Chains

Hatch Chiles 2015

$0.99/lb this week at Safeway. I bought nearly four pounds which was about a third of the small pile of hots here in Berkeley.

Tax on Loaf of Bread?

From (c)(3): "Any seller meeting both of these [80-80 rule] criteria and claiming a [tax] deduction for the sale of cold food products in a form not suitable for consumption on the seller's premises must support the deduction by complete and detailed records of such sales made."

Their point-of-sales system can simply log the different sales for their tax records. A chain bakery or a supermarket certainly does this and their legal department can have the state sign off on what is not taxable. I guess they won't be bothered.

The consumer could complain and ask for a tax refund from the vendor. The state likely won't help or do anything unless it comes up as a class action. I once bought a car for European delivery and it was out of California long enough where state sales tax should not have been collected. I asked the state for a refund and they refused and told me to make a claim to the dealer.

Let's forget about that goofy claim about a VAT

Tax on Loaf of Bread?

Your quote is from (e) HOT PREPARED FOOD PRODUCTS while (c) COLD FOOD SOLD ON A "TAKE-OUT" ORDER seems to indicate that the bread is taxable. Lots of recursion in this document. I think that section of (e) is trying to cover combination meals.

It looks like most of Jane's business is prepared foods and they would have to apply for a waiver to deduct the collection of taxes on some to-go products as mentioned in (c)(3). Given that they have tables and a non-bakery menu, my guess is that they don't want to bother.

Tax on Loaf of Bread?

I think Jane falls under the "80-80 rule" so even cold foods sold on a take-out order are taxable. The explanation they gave you sounds confused.

Where to find beef heart in the East Bay

Beef heart is used in Korean cooking so a place like Hankook in Sunnyvale would be a better bet than the Chinese-focused markets.

dim sum


dim sum


Snake River Farms American Kobe corned beef @ Costco

Steamed it for 2-1/2 hours and it was still very firm. Had it simply on rye with mustard and a Ba-Tampte pickle. Very good, not too salty, tender and juicy with fat. I think two hours would have been enough.

I think if I had tasted this blind, I wouldn't have guessed that it was from the round.

Snake River Farms American Kobe corned beef @ Costco

I'll probably steam it this weekend. The package instructions were to boil for at least two hours but I can't see how a round could go through that without becoming a stringy mess.

Best Chinese Almond Cookies

New Hwong Kok in Milpitas is related to Good Mong Kok. I'd try that first.

Tai Pan in SJ has almond cookies at a pricey $1 each, don't know the size.

Snake River Farms American Kobe corned beef @ Costco

There's another thread about SRF American Kobe sliced roast beef round at Costco:

Found this at the Richmond Costco. I usually never bother with corned beef round but the marbling was decent. There was another piece with an impressive amount of fat but it was small and had an odd triangular shape. $6.49/lb

Re-thinking Berkeley icons at holiday time

A week or two ago, I was walking by and the pizza of the day was just tomato sauce and mozz. First time I've seen that. I would have tried a slice for the novelty but the pizza side was closed for the afternoon break.

Baba's curry powder in San Francisco or San Jose

Orient Market would have been a good bet but it's closed. Don't bother with Sam Yick, they've been slowing getting ready to close for years and anything in stock there will be very old.

Baba's curry powder in San Francisco or San Jose

Have you tried the Malaysian/Indonesian aisle at 99 Ranch in Dublin or Pleasanton? The selection is greater than any store in Oakland Chinatown.

East Bay source for dried mushrooms in quantity?

The Richmond Costco had 3 ounce packages of Urbani porcinis for $9.89 in the produce area. I looked over the labeling, in Italian except for a USDA nutrition info sticker, and there was no mention of country of origin.

Koreana Plaza - need info!! [Oakland]

Koreana does carry frozen yellowtail collars. I can't recall the exact price but it was at least $10/lb but nowhere near $30.

I've seen fresh ones there on occasion as well.

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles - Oakland Chinatown

Daveena is correct in noting that the bowl of broth is supposed to be sipped on the side. My translator also found out that the broth is made with snails.

I've tried the recommended salty beef and crispy pork. The only thing that I can add is that the beef cut is shank.

The beef brisket and tripe option is just like the Cantonese soy and anise prep of drop flank

There were two types of hot sauce, one the familiar dried chiles in red oil and the other Guilin sauce made from pickled chiles, garlic, and fermented black beans. I suggest asking the server for a small bowl so you can dole out a small portion and vary the seasoning from bowl to bowl. A spoon of the broth also helps distribute the chile sauce. I don't know why there's a shaker of salt on the table because the soy based seasoning in the bowl of noodles is very salty and then the pickled long beans are salty as well. The bowl of broth works well as a palate cleanser.

It seems similar to the rice noodles that I've tried in Guilin although the meat topping was usually sliced pork. There's a famous version that uses horse meat but I didn't have a chance to try it. There's a street of horse specialists at one of the entrances to the university grounds.

I'm suprised no one mentioned the tea. It's flavored with osmanthus flowers which comes from the tree that Guilin is named after.

Jook - SF Dish of the Month December 2013

"enlarged water absorbed soggy rice grains with thickened water"

That's what I was served by my Chiu Chow hosts at restaurants when I traveled to Shenzhen and Shantou on business. It's not called jook but either (literal translation) rice water or rice soup. Plain unseasoned starchy water with soft grains of rice. They said it was refreshing in the hot weather.

Oakland - Tian Jin Dumplings

They may have made more for Friday and the woman was lying about what they could make. They were out of nearly everything at 1pm on two mid-week visits.

Oakland - Tian Jin Dumplings

They always have frozen dumplings that they can cook quickly but the woman said that they can only make a limited number of bao each day because of their small space.

Oakland - Tian Jin Dumplings

So far I've tried the Tianjin bun, pork/veg bun, and youtiao. The woman at the window says that they start running out of things around 10am and are usually sold out of most items by noon. It's possible to stop by early to preorder and they'll hold it for you. I've never been there early enough to get anything out of a steamer and the bao were piled into plastic containers.

The bun fillings are mildly flavored and not very sharp with ginger and white pepper. Salting seemed to vary between visits though.

Tianjin bao ($0.50) is just pork with a bit of scallion. Bigger than a goubuli.

Pork and vegetable bun ($0.65) is larger than the Tianjin bao and has cabbage, not chive as someone else claimed. The cabbage still had some crunch which I didn't mind.

Youtiao ($1?) was doughy but fine for jook when sliced and reheated. Smaller but cheaper than the takeout places.

The bun dough is yeast-raised and has a good chew. No sourness so I think they added some alkaline solution to the dough. It's been years since I've bothered with Shandong but from what I remember this bao is better.

Hot Italian (pizza, salad, weekend brunch), Emeryville Public Market - any reports?

During my work stints in the Geneva area during the 90s, every pizza place (run by Italians) had fresh chiles in oil and no red pepper flakes.

I didn't have pizza when I was in Ticino though so I don't know if this was a preference by the locals. With the UN right there, it would be strange not to serve what some Italians would want.

Pinkelwurst in Berkeley/Oakland Area?

Not worth the price of admission into SF.

The pinkelwurst has to be in a casing because it's cooked in kale. Shaller & Weber makes it in a tube like that nasty premade polenta so that won't do. Might as well use a can of haggis.

When I asked for possible subs, I meant Westphalian meat sausage which is something I'm not familiar with. But the people eating this are ethnically German, not culturally, and wouldn't know the difference.

Bah, kassler might be the easiest way to go.

Pinkelwurst in Berkeley/Oakland Area?

Forgot about them, thanks. Do you know which Polish sausage might pass in a gruenkohl dish?

And if I'm going to look at other substitutes, is there anything at the Scandinavian store on San Pablo Ave that might work?

Pinkelwurst in Berkeley/Oakland Area?

I can't make it to Dittmer's in time and can't think of any shop nearby that has a decent selection of German sausages. The Junket just has the basics and most stores only have Saags. Another sausage from Westphalia could substitute.

Any places that use rice flour in their banh mi rolls?

The bagged Cam Huong banh mi that you can buy at grocery stores doesn't include rice flour in the listed ingredients. Identical to the bread that is sold at the Webster St bakery.

Cam Huong Cafe
920 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

Does chow mein in NYC not have noodles in it? [moved from Manhattan board]

"Absolutely right all we lifetime nyc'rs and Jeopardy"

Could someone translate this for me?

Point is that the Jeopardy writers got the translation wrong and furthermore lo mein as it's made in the Northeast is completely different than what is found in places like San Francisco (and Hong Kong etc)

As a former Manhattan resident from twenty years ago, by avoiding crap Chinese restaurants I never tried the crispy noodle white gravy chow mein and went to Chinatown to get proper Cantonese chow mein. The local Upper West Side restaurants that I went to had lo mein but never chow mein.

Mar 12, 2011
PorkButt in General Topics

Does chow mein in NYC not have noodles in it? [moved from Manhattan board]

The answer is wrong! Lo mein translates to mixed or tossed noodles, not soft noodles.

If you order lo mein around San Francisco, you'll get a very different dish. It's basically a deconstructed soup noodle dish of a plate of plain boiled thin egg noodles with the other items on the side. A bit of oyster sauce is provided to toss into the noodles. A small bowl of broth is there for sipping.

Mar 09, 2011
PorkButt in General Topics

have you ever seen tea 'granules'?

You bought what's called CTC (crush, tear, curl) tea. It's a mechanical picking process and is common for inexpensive Indian and Sri Lankan teas. Lots of information out there about it.

I find that CTC tea is strong and dark but not fragrant or complex so it's often used for a drink like chai.

Feb 28, 2011
PorkButt in General Topics