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Digging Gaper Clams in Bodega Bay

And remember that a license is needed and there are dawn to dusk time limits.

Everyone please remember to check DFW regulations.

Anyone Do a Cheese Trail Tour?

Ha, Ha, that's because the first time we went it was a nice big sample. The last couple of times, it was what we regard as a sliver.

We have gotten Matos cheese three times now (I ain't saying how many pounds we buy); the last time we went it was $7.00/lb.

It was interesting, because each time we got the cheese, there were subtle differences in texture and flavor; after ripening more in the fridge, again, different texture and flavor.

It's probably our favorite, all purpose cheese.

And you are right; there is a lovely raw milk cheese at Nicasio I can't remember.

Anyone Do a Cheese Trail Tour?

We did the above tour just last year. Before we embarked, we marked the ones that met the following criteria: made there, retail store and free samples, which narrowed the list considerably.

If you like brie, make sure that the Marin French Cheese Company is on your list; prices are fabulous and there may be unadvertised specials. (At the register, you might be informed that some of your purchases are BOGOF.)

At the other end of the spectrum is the Matos Cheese Factory, set literally in the middle of cow pastures. After you walk in the door and hit the bell, take a peak in the back: rounds of cheese, hand stacked and rotated on floor-to-ceiling wooden shelves. No climate control that I could see. No frills service, no frills marketing and one and only one kind of cheese. You can literally taste the cow in the cheese.

Mother's Cookies abruptly shut down

Mother's Cookies, the taffy ones available @ Oakland (end cap at rear of store, I think on the right side of freezer section if you are facing the front door) and at Berkeley (immediately to the left of the door as soon as you walk in.) $1.49/package at both stores.

Nov 17, 2008
MKatrinaToo in General Topics

November 2008 - Grocery Outlet

Mother's Cookies, the taffy ones available @ Oakland (end cap at rear of store, I think on the right side of freezer section if you are facing the front door) and at Berkeley (immediately to the left of the door as soon as you walk in.) $1.49/package at both stores.

Chai Thai Noodles (Oakland) Thai House Express chef alert

Maybe they are reading chowhounds. The first nite we were there, I tried to tell them they are on the chowhound website. Language problems, but everybody, including me, tries hard. BTW, we went there again last nite around 6:00 pm. Had the Sausage appetizer, hot and sour shrimp soup, stir fried beef w/ mushrooms, carrot and onion (# 5, 21, and 84). This time # 84 was served w/ the entree alongside the rice; the other nite, # 82 was served as a tossed rice, i.e., the entree served as sort of a lightly applied garnish. Anyway, enough food this time that we ended up taking a good portion home. (Happily, the waitress brought over a box w/ lid, both sturdy enough to serve as a bento box for my own efforts.) We had the banana w/ ice cream for dessert. hey, are restaurants buying the bananas frozen in bulk these days? the banana was suspiciously the same as at a Thai restaurant we went to in Berkeley two weeks ago: a somewhat unpleasant thick, gummy batter encasing a gooey, brown banana piece.) Doesn't anyone hand dip a freshly peeled banana these days?

Chai Thai Noodles (Oakland) Thai House Express chef alert

MMMmmmmm!!!! We zipped right over there last night for dinner. We had the pork leg noodle soup; sauteed salted fish w/ Chinese broccoli and sticky rice w/ mango for dessert. Everything was EXCELLENT! The soup was not on the menu, but the waitress knew what we wanted. The dessert was just fabulous--perfectly ripe mango (and they gave you the WHOLE mango, including the middle strip left over after cutting the mango in half and good quality glutinous rice, for only $4.50). Altho the fish and broccoli was more like a garnish to the rice, it was also excellent.
The owner, cooks, wait staff and others went out of their way to chat w/ us; the owner told us that he got a good deal on the location and was excited to open this restaurant. We were the only patrons last night wen we were there; I hope that Chai Thai gets enough business; it is now my very favorite Thai restaurant. And I want to make sure that I will have a reliable destination for Thai. We plan on going there next week and we already know what we are going to order.

Langar at Gurdwara Sahib, El Sobrante ... or elsewhere?

It really is a nice way to spend a Sunday. I go whenever I need an East Indian food and/or music fix. You can go in wearing western clothing, altho i do have a couple of inexpensive shalwar/khameez (?) sets. Visually, I love the bright colors and patterns of the garments. On the temple floor, men and women sit segregated, but I don't think that's a requirement--just works out that way. That's why I go to the second floor on the balcony--there will be others up there too.

Langar at Gurdwara Sahib, El Sobrante ... or elsewhere?

I've been to the temple in El Sobrante many times (no, I'm not Sikh.) Properly, you should be freshly bathed. When you arrive, you will remove your shoes (and volunteers will clean and shine them if you want) and put on a head covering. They have spares if you need them. You will wash your hands.
If you go to the service, it will be in Punjabi. I go because I like the music and singing. I sit on the second floor overlooking the congregation.
The langar hall serves a breakfast. Lunch is generally started at 11:30. All the food is vegetarian, sometimes spicy, sometimes not.
You wait in line cafeteria style for your initial serving. Yes, you sit on the floor to eat (to emphasize that when breaking bread, even the rich and powerful are equal to the ordinary and poor). There are carpet runners inside and out on the deck, which has a view of the bay. Volunteers come around w/ all the entrees and bread and you can have seconds, thirds...............
You clean up after yourself. It is a great way to spend a Sunday. It is all free, all are welcome, no one will prosyletize (sp) and no one asks for donations. It would be nice to make one, however.
The food at the El Sobrante is very good. Among other things, I've had a lentil stew, a dish of cabbage and potatoes, a chickpea stew, flat bread--paratha?, rice, and Indian sweets (not my favorite thing). The people are gracious, welcoming and they do give tours.
I've been meaning to go again.

Ghiradelli Factory Outlet Coupon

Before you toss out today's Oakland Tribune, in the "Metro" section, on page 3, bottomleft hand side of that page is a 20% off coupon for your entire purchase at the Ghiradelli Outlet Store @ 1111 139th Ave. in San Leandro.

November 2007 - Grocery Outlet

The Quaker Oats is on the shelf, but when we were there today at around noon, there was no price posted, so took the canisters to the register and the clerk told me .50.
And that Godiva ice cream sure is good!

October 2007 - Grocery Outlet

So I tried the Tyson frozen 1.99 per package chicken wings. Texture wise, actually pretty good. The sauce? had a real odd, tinny, sharp taste to it. I didn't have any blue cheese to kill the flavor of the sauce; next time, I will splash some Frank's hot sauce on them when done. Yeah, there will be a next time--pretty good snack for the money.
Oh and those oven roasted Tyson chickens? I'm heating one up right now, and happily, it fits in my 1950's vintage Ovenette!

Luka's. Slipping? Or just a couple of bad nights?

The re-serving of an opened bottle--isn't that illegal?????

Oakland Trader Joes

No, but we wandered down around 4:30 just to observe the looooong lines of vehicular traffic, the checkout line (one long line snakes around to the bank of registers), sampled the apple pie and coffee (both VERY good), and marveled at the hordes acting as though they never saw a TJ's before.
The aisles are looooong and narrow--not my preferred layout for a store.

October 2007 - Grocery Outlet

Also had 1-lb packages of irregularly sliced proscuitto (sp?); I bought a package and for a sandwich garnish, salad, etc., for $2.99, I think the price is very good--the package I got was very good quality.

Ikea Prime (?) Rib - Emeryville?

Good decision; if you live close to the grand oaks restaurant, you;re far better off paying the extra 2-3 for the Early Bird dinner--which is quite good, good selections and only $11.00, i think

Trader Joe's Lakeshore Now Open?

No, not open, at least as of yesterday; we walked by around 2:00 p.m. and they had a chain linked gate, padlocked, blocking off the entire driveway. I think people are so anxious for it to open that T.J.'s had to close off access to folks.
Are the orange/chocolate slices THAT good? Where in the store do I find them? if they are near the chocolate covered raisins and jelly/jam sticks, I think i can find them.

Bacon Fat - do you use it? How?

Yep, bacon fat and cast iron are a perfect match. I save the fat and fry slices of potatoes in it--the potatoes cook up crisp and brown--and you can't get that w/ oil and stainless steel.

Bacon fat is the base for my gravies and white sauce: bacon fat, melted in a heavy pot. Add equal parts flour, stirring constantly until smooth, browned and thickening. SLOWLY add as many (i.e., 1 tblspn fat and flour, 1 cup of milk; 2 tblspns fat and flour, 2 cups of milk) cups of milk as fat and flour, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Adjust the amount of milk for thicker or thinner sauce, depending on whether you want to make a soup, chowder, gravy or anything else. Add shredded cheese, you have cheese sauce. Add a cup of beef broth, beef drippings, beef bouillon dissolved in water and you have brown gravy. And don't forget the can of tuna and frozen peas!

Oct 21, 2007
MKatrinaToo in Home Cooking

Any non-pie uses for sweet pie pumpkins?

Just plain simmering it (don't have to peel), cut in wedges or chunks until tender is good. Add butter if you want.
Or, cut the top off, scrape out the seeds, rub it in and out w/ oil, then bake in oven at 350 until fork tender is good too.
Or, you can stuff it w/ same mixtures you would use for stuffed peppers, or make up your own--and bake.

Oct 20, 2007
MKatrinaToo in Home Cooking

Ghirardelli Outlet Coupon

Before you throw away today's (Thursday 11 October 2007) Oakland Tribune, in the front section (that would be the "News" section), on page 4, lowest left hand corner, is a 20% off your entire purchase (yes, that would include sale/clearance items). It's good at the outlet store in San Leandro and expires 10/25/2007.

October 2007 - Grocery Outlet

Those bags of fuji apples (5lb? 10 lb?; 2.99? 3.99? sorry, didn't take notes) out front at the GO in Oakland on Broadway are VERY good--crisp, juicy, sweet; maybe they're not the voluptuous gargantuan ones you get at the farmers markets, but easier to eat out of hand.
And the Breyer's 15/4.99 vanilla-almond ice cream bars are back. I just read the sign.

Ikea Prime (?) Rib - Emeryville?

Yes, we tried it today at 5:15, not out of bravery--but more curiosity, I guess. You won't have to worry about picking half a cow out of your teeth the next morning b/c when I looked at it on the steam table, I had a flashback to Morrison's Cafeterias. It was swimming in liquid, so if it had ever been grilled, that was taken care of by being stewed in the steam table. Yes, it's 8 ounces, which means a thin cut that was stewed well done.
The potato, on the other hand wasn't baked quite enough. I only tried a small piece of hubby's potato and it seemed like it was baked, not baked/steamed in foil.
It was not a very satisfactory meal; I'm glad to have tried it, but I certainly would never order it from Ikea again. (I had the 15 meatballs w/ mac and cheese--and that was actually kinda good; not gourmet, but good.)

Too Good Gourmet on Lakeshore

Yesterday hubby and I saw the sign "Too Good Gourmet" in the location that was vacant for a long time after the closing of a restaurant (across from Long's Pharmacy, I think). Not knowing what to expect from the name, we walked in and were surrounded by.................boxes and boxes and boxes of cookies, all packaged in frou-frou to the max boxes. Pink boxes w/ bows and flowers, yellow boxes with ribbons, orangey boxes with inserts and pop outs.

There were samples laid out of the lemon powder sugar dusted cookies, brownies and chocolate mint cookies. I sampled everything--twice. There were also pretzels laid out, waiting for the dip mixes, which weren't out by the time I left.

Hubby bought a Halloween themed box of shortbread cookies for $1.00 and the pink box adorned with the bow and flower made of felt, with chocolate cherry cookies for $2.00. Cookies are not my thing, but I thought the cookies are okay. The brownie sample(s) I had I thought were dry, but sitting out on a Saturday morning without a cover can probably do that.

If cookies taste better when they come out of a fancy box, then this place is for you.

Best in the BayArea...Gelato Firenze(Oakland)

We finally made it in here yesterday. We had to wait several minutes for the couple already in the store to vacillate among the flavors and to sample several others. Plenty of time to mull things over. When it was finally our turn, I asked if we could have the 4 flavors in two different cups (it's kind of hard to "share" w/ my husband) and the clerk seemed generally flummoxed. I said never mind and I sampled the passionfruit which was amazingly tart and true to the real fruit. We ordered the American Black Cherry, watermelon, mango and pineapple. Only the watermelon for me bordered on disappointment. It was oddly more reminiscent of a vegetable in its mildness and delicacy. Now that I think about it, the watermelon was more like cucumber! (Same general biological family, or something like that?)
The clerk did give us a paper cup of tap water when asked. On a tangent, I liked the tasting spoons (which are also the regular spoons), both size and color, as well as the cups used to serve the gelato. The four flavor serving was $4.75.

Both New Oakland Trader Joe's Open October 27

Yesterday hubby and I walked by the Lakeshore location and agree w/ you--we will be VERY surprised if it makes either October 5th (which is what the gentleman at the temp employment trailer told us) OR October 6.

Oakland - Beef patty and ginger beer at Art's Jamaican Market on Broadway

Thanks, rworange. I'm going to skedaddle right over there--I'm hoping to find Matouk's hot sauce and maybe, just maybe, Materva soda.

September 2007 - Grocery Outlet

Thanks, Ruth; I will certainly pay them a visit manana. I'd post a weekly report, but I don't shop retail enough to know what's a good price and I don't drink. C'est la vie.

Ba Le Banh Mi

Oops, you are right--the one in Oakland on International at 14th.

Ba Le Banh Mi

No, this isn't about their sandwiches, altho they are very good. (I did buy their combo today for $2,25.)

I made an impulse purchase of one of their pre-made in a foil tray entrees, at a cost of $3.00. The one I selected was topped w/ half moon slices of the pork cold cut (sausage? pate?)

When I got home, I put all the contents of the tray into a proper bowl, and tossed it w/ the cup of dressing. I intended to only taste it and discard it if I did not find it to my liking. It was actually very good! The noodle bowl was composed of wide, thin rice noodle (cooked perfectly, if you can believe that), bean sprouts, cilantro and a few other herbs I can't remember.

For $5.25, I had two tasty, economical meals! I just want to suggest that maybe one should try other items, in addition to the sandwiches.

What foods do you HAVE to mail order?

Where, Zunzie, where?

Sep 01, 2007
MKatrinaToo in General Topics