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Most underrated restaurants in San Francisco

hrifsters?

Jul 01, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

I was at a concert over the weekend and found myself thinking about this thread. Most of the beer concession stands were selling Bud Light and Coors Light, but there were a few "craft beer" stands offering Shock Top, Goose Island's IPA and Honker, and Hoegaarden. To me this is where this trend is troubling. It used to be the token craft offerings would be something like a Sierra Nevada or Sam Adams. Now all money is being funneled to the one giant conglomerate. It was nice to be able to have something better than Bud, but it did piss me off that my money was still finding its way to AB/InBev.

Jul 01, 2015
Josh in Beer

New Glarus Beer/Wisconsin

Some of them are good, some are ordinary, some are weird, some are terrible. They're more hit or miss than most, IMO.

Jun 30, 2015
Josh in Beer

Porters & Stouts - Their Place in the Craft Beer Pantheon

Except when it's too young and rich with acetaldehyde.

Jun 23, 2015
Josh in Beer
1

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

No music at Nopa. Upstairs is much quieter. The food there is quite good.

May 31, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

Great post. My folks live in LA and we always eat supremely well down there.

May 31, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer, Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I have been reading the opinions of many people who have gripes about craft beer for almost a decade. I usually find most to be a) overly broad and general, b) lazy, and c) hyperbolic.

As an example, someone claims "I don't like most of it". Considering the number of breweries producing beer is in the thousands and that we only see a small subset of that in SF it is obvious that this statement cannot be true. If we define most as "more than 50%" that means unless this person travels to every state and samples more than 50% of the beer made by its craft breweries the statement is hyperbole. Even if this person only means most of the ones they have tried, without knowing what they tried (Shock Top?) or when they tried it (fledgling brewery, not quite ready for prime time?) it's not useful information.

I have judged beer in competitions and written about it for publications and I have gone out of my way to try as many varieties as I can. I know that there are many breweries out there making sub-par beer that are only surviving because it's a popular product. But I also know that because there are so many beers on the market that it's very easy to get a mistaken impression about craft beer unless you are either really thorough about tasting your way through a lot of them or are getting good advice from someone who knows the subject and knows your palate.

I've known people who swore that they hated beer. But give that person something like a St. Bernardus dubbel, or a mellow porter, and they may realize that it's not beer per se they don't like, just certain styles.

I do agree with you that the market seems oversaturated. I know that three years ago you started seeing VC's funding breweries. I don't know how many upstart breweries these days are built on VC money, but I would guess at some point we will see a correction where breweries making sub-par beers won't be able to survive.

May 31, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

Have you tried earplugs? My wife has a similar ear problem and she's learned to carry earplugs with her because so many SF restaurants are unpleasantly loud.

May 31, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer, Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

Sometimes people in an industry don't agree on things. Clearly the people producing these beers that are "gimmicks" or "me-too" are also professionals.

In San Diego it was not uncommon during Stone's ascent to hear complaints from some brewers about their lack of balance. That's one perspective. On the other hand you had brewers who looked at that and thought of ways that they could play around with traditional styles to come up with something different.

If people had stuck with tried-and-true beer styles we probably wouldn't have Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin, Green Flash, Firestone Walker, Prairie, Cascade, Tahoe Mountain, or any of the other wild yeast-oriented breweries making really interesting sour and funky beers.

When tastes evolve there will always be some people decrying the inevitable change in tastes as gimmickry. You see this not only with beer, but wine, spirits, food, music, art, etc. Pretty much any creative endeavor is going to have its share of naysayers.

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

Alcatraz is worthwhile, but you need to buy tickets far in advance. Muir Woods is very pretty and well worth your while, just be advised that it's popular and parking there is difficult. You can take the ferry from SF to Sausalito and grab a shuttle from Sausalito to Muir Woods.

May 30, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

RoliRoti is OK, I think it's somewhat overhyped. I've had better porchetta sandwiches, though not in SF. Their porchetta is often tough and the sandwich toppings are often haphazardly applied.

Better is the Mess Piggy w/ added provolone and arugula at Boccalone in the Ferry Building. Slow-cooked Italian-style pork shoulder, served with hot peppers. It's very rich so it's good for sharing.

Also notable is the grilled cheese at Cowgirl Creamery's Sidekick, also in the Ferry Building, with added pancetta. Similarly rich and good for sharing as the Mess Piggy. Sidekick also has pre-made sandwiches to grab and go which are delicious. I particularly like the fresh mozzarella and salami. They use Acme bread.

Rhea's is good for what it is but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

May 30, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

I will never understand the knee-jerk impulse among so many Americans to defend the depredations of corporate brigands.

Apr 26, 2015
Josh in Beer
1

NEW: ShakeDown Ice Cream, SF - Interesting flavors & Buckwheat Cones w/ PICS

Do you know if the buckwheat cone was wheat-free?

Apr 26, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

A small brewer knows they won't make a profit if they sell boring, industrial beer.

Apr 26, 2015
Josh in Beer

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

Plenty of evidence?

I doubt you could find a single example to cite.

Apr 26, 2015
Josh in Beer

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

As I mentioned below, Hoegaarden certainly suffered. And, as it happens, so did Kona. I actually had no idea that A-B bought Kona. I always loved Kona's Pipeline Porter but the last time I had it I noticed it was not the beer it once was.

Mar 17, 2015
Josh in Beer

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

Hoegaarden to me is one of the better examples. I had it once in NYC many years ago and really liked it. Several years later I began seeing it on shelves everywhere and was pleased to see it, remembering how good it was. Alas, it had become a different beer.

I'm surprised to see so many people defending A-B. Or then again, maybe I'm not.

Mar 17, 2015
Josh in Beer
2

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

Prejudice means "preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience". I would argue that an anti-big business attitude for most American consumers is anything but prejudicial. Rather it is based on frequent negative experiences and numerous valid reasons.

Mar 16, 2015
Josh in Beer
1

Japanese biru

Their selection is quite good. Healthy Spirits also has a good selection of Japanese beers most of the time.

Mar 16, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Buffalo Public House - Hillcrest

We were down in SD for the day on Saturday and headed to Snooze for brunch. With an hour wait and no place to hide from the heat we went in search of an alternative. We found Buffalo Public House near Fig Tree Cafe, it was dark and shady and very cool inside. Checking the menu we saw that they used a lot of grass-fed meats and organic eggs so we decided to give it a shot.

Apparently they've only been open for 3 weeks or so making us only the second table of diners. We greatly enjoyed our brunch plates. I had a bison breakfast burger with bacon chutney and fried egg on a Sadie Rose bun, and it was one of the better burgers I've had recently. They make their own hot sauce which is in the Tapatio mold and quite good.

I now understand Mr. Name's comments about fetish beer, since it seems to precisely serve that role in so many new eateries we saw on our brief visit. This place was no exception, with a pretty solid lineup of craft beers, plus some creative variations on the mimosa. The have one called a Beermosa made with lager, champagne, and OJ. I saw they had Grapefruit Sculpin on tap so had them make me one with that instead of the lager and it was surprisingly delicious, much better than I expected.

The menu at this place is pretty basic, though there was an interesting-looking take on chilaquiles made with linguica that I might try on a future brunch visit. The dinner menu has some pretty decadent-looking takes on pub grub that I would try on another visit, too. The owners are Brazilian and they offer some Brazilian items on the lunch and dinner menu.

Probably not a destination spot, but if you're in the neighborhood it might be worth a look. It definitely seems like the kind of place we would have frequented when we lived within walking distance.

Mar 16, 2015
Josh in San Diego

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

I apologize for knowing facts about history.

Mar 09, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

I don't know how much that would influence me. Have you ever tried this?

http://www.yelp.com/biz/opaque-dining...

Mar 09, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

What does a bum dress like?

And given the behavior of so many besuited members of the robber baron class I wouldn't say suits denote anything other than the ability to purchase one.

Mar 09, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

Note the past tense. I'm not saying it's still used that way, I just wouldn't be surprised if the genesis of the custom hearkens back to days of more naked classism.

Mar 09, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

I don't know who he is, nor do I read him regularly, but I thought he made a good observation about the younger generation of chefs and restauranteurs who don't feel the need to cater to outmoded social customs that have outlived their usefulness. Being snooty isn't really a novelty anymore.

Mar 09, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

Obviously restaurants are free to have such a policy, I'm not saying they shouldn't be. My question is more about the purpose of them. It strikes me as something used to keep certain clientele out of a restaurant.

Mar 08, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

The wine glass comparison isn't really analogous, though, since a styrofoam cup isn't going to allow for the same perception of aroma and flavor as a wine glass. To me what you're saying about a dress code would be more akin to saying the color of a plate affects how the food tastes.

http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2008/05...

Manresa dress code plans [Los Gatos]

Maybe someone can explain to me why it matters how one dresses to dine out. I've genuinely never understood this. It seems to me like an anachronistic practice that was designed to keep poor people out of restaurants.

Mar 08, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

California-Style Pale Ales: Are they All Bone Dry??

Their witbier is pretty decent, too.

Mar 02, 2015
Josh in Beer

Is Philz Coffee That Good?

Ooooo, fourth-wave. I'm sure someone in this burg'll fund such a disruptive disruption.

Mar 02, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area