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Gerard's Profile

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Good Q? I give up...

I know it's a drive, but you really have to try Black Bean BBQ in Santa Rosa. I've tried almost every place on your list and none of them comes close.

My original review:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/308971

G

Nov 14, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

Taxi Brousse Report

A few friends and I tried Taxi Brousse tonight--in Berkeley on San Pablo.

First, they do indeed have their liquor license for anybody still wondering.

It was a big hit all around.

To start, the pastelles filled with gombo saff (spinach and okra stew) were very flavorful. The crust was golden. The sauce atop the pastelles provided some decent heat (spicewise). If I'd been by myself, I'd have gotten the beef filling, which is what I'll do next time.

I think what impressed me most about our meal was its completeness, if I'm not being too philosophical. That's not to say you can't get a "complete" meal somewhere else, but the plate put in front of you is very satisfying in its variety. And beyond that, it all seems to belong there on the plate together. My own dish was the dibi chicken and it came with couscous, marinated onions, a large green salad, and plaintains. The chicken itself was the leg and thigh.

I really enjoyed the chicken. I've heard/read one or two complaints about the quality of the meat/poultry used, but none of that applied last night. Quite good. The flavor was less bold than I'd anticipated, but I don't know anything about West African food. I did find myself envying the lamb eaters. The plantains are really terrific. I rationed mine for individual bites throughout the meal.

The couscous was disappointing. A little dry.

My friends aren't the sharing kind, so I can't speak to anything else, except to say everything looked great and was generally applauded. From the looks of it, I'd say the fish specials deserve special consideration. Also, didn't have dessert, so...

Finally, it bears mentioning that our waiter might be the nicest human being upon this Earth.

If you haven't been, definitely worth checking it out.

G

http://www.taxibrousserestaurant.com/

RECENT THREAD:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Nov 11, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

Looks like they still have it:

http://www.restaurantrow.com/ShowPics...

G

Nov 05, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

Is this (Gochi's) the one? In other words, are there other places serving Japanese pizza?

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Thanks,
G

Nov 05, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

Thanks rworange and josquared for the Parry's rec. Not a place I would've found by myself.

I went today and the stromboli was made up fresh right before my eyes. (Okay, so the round of dough came out of a box. But I've noticed quite a few places make these in the morning and then reheat.)

I got the New York. Nothing fancy. Just ham, salami, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese. The marinara that comes on the side makes it, though. $6.95 for great, uncomplicated "guy" food.

Also noticed the slices. $3 for a slice of pepperoni that is RIDICULOUSLY large. Honestly, this thing is the size of a small pizza.

G

Nov 05, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

Chick-fil-A & Dwarf House - Let's talk tea - Is it a Southern thing?

Hey rworange, fancy meeting...

I was at the Fairfield one today. If you haven't already been, they do indeed have sweet tea / swee'tea.

The Chick Fil-A is in the Solano Mall, but it's a full-size restaurant, not a food court stall.

G

Nov 05, 2006
Gerard in Chains

"Weird" Pizza Survey

Thanks for the tip.

Anybody seen grilled pizza around here?

G

Nov 04, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

That looks good. Thanks for the pic.

What's in that classic stromboli?

G

Nov 04, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

Not generally a fan of corn meal, but linguica, green onions, black olives & garlic on sourdough means I will be there.

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

I'm really curious to try it. I didn't expect there would be any out here, but thought I'd try to jar the info loose if it was available.

If you're desperate, you might try:

http://foodcraver.com/5lbprovchees.html

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

Thanks for the tip on Mr. Pizza Man. To be honest, I don't know if I should hurry over or throw up. Maybe both?

I'll definitely check out Parry's. I love stomboli.

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

I assumed.

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

I'll be in NYC later this year and will be heading to New Haven for pizza, so what's the Waterbury spot?

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

How did you like the sourdough crust? Never had it myself.

http://www.goathillpizza.com/

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

After recommending Gregoire's Philly Cheesesteak, you're on my hurry-to-try list. Thanks.

A question about the pizza bianca: pesto or not? I'm open to both, but I tend to prefer not.

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

PORK SNORKEL REPORT! We lived, but were not champions, Binh Minh Quan, Joaquin Deli, Church's etc. (LONG)

The plate on the left is a picture of my dreams.

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

"Weird" Pizza Survey

So we don't cover the same ground as every other pizza post, let's exclude the four major varieties in the Bay Area Market: New York, Chicago Deep Dish, California, and Neapolitan.

In the Bay Area, if indeed it's possible, where do you find your favorite:

ST. LOUIS PIZZA?

A friend swears by Provel, but I'm not convinced. Still, I've never tried it.

SOUTHERN BBQ PIZZA?

Not the same as a California Barbecue Chicken Pizza. This tends towards the cheddar cheese and beef side of...disgusting? You tell me.

NEW MEXICO PIZZA?

Anybody serve a good green chile pie?

RHODE ISLAND / GRILLED PIZZA?

Though I'm sure the (Rhode Island) natives would disagree, for our purposes anybody using a grill on their pizza is probably sufficient.

HAWAIIAN PIZZA?

I think pineapple on a pizza is insane sacrilege. Anybody know a pizza--hopefully, not from a chain--that will shut me up?

GREEK PIZZA?

A New England specialty I haven't had in years. Very thick bubbly crust, cut in squares.

CHICAGO _THIN_ CRUST?

Zachary's is the only place I've seen it.

ROMAN PIZZA?

Cinecitta Bar and Roman Pizza is good. Next time I'll ask them to burn it, though.

SICILIAN PIZZA?

IMO, what they're offering at Arinell's doesn't count.

WHITE PIZZA / PIZZA BIANCA?

Some people might call this cheating as this is smack dab in the middle of New York and Neapolitan territory. Still, I think it's sufficiently different to warrant its own category. I've heard good things about A16's.

CALZONE / STROMBOLI / RIPIENO?

I have a feeling I might be hearing it over lumping these three together. If you have three different places I'm all for it. The pepperoni stromboli at Lola's on Solano (Albany in the East Bay) makes a good and fast lunch.

INDIAN PIZZA?

What's the consensus on Zante? Is it worth spending the pizza portion of my caloric budget on Indian pizza? Or is Zante's even the best Indian pizza around?

DONER DONËR DONNER DONAIR PIZZA / TURKISH PIZZA?

Anybody want to fill us in on A La Turca? Or another place?

BRAZILIAN PIZZA?

I liked Da Nino's in Berkeley the time I tried it. I guess the linguica makes it Brazilian-y. Is there a Brazilian willing to educate us?

MEXICAN PIZZA?

I've been through Mexico a few times and found it hard to tear myself away from, well, Mexican food. But I have to say dipping pizza in hot sauce GROWS on you. Anybody?

MISCELLANEOUS?

Didn't see a category that fit your favorite? Well, I never miss an opportunity to sing the praises of Cheeseboard Pizza Collective's magnificent sauceless cheese bread. Great people, great pizza. Today is:

http://cheeseboardcollective.coop/Piz...

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

The Ribs at Looney's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

About those drumettes. T-Rex does the exact same app with fantastic SMOKY results. Anybody tried them both?

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

Tartine

Good and heavy sounds about right to me. I love the place.

Get the croque monsieur for breakfast.

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

PORK SNORKEL REPORT! We lived, but were not champions, Binh Minh Quan, Joaquin Deli, Church's etc. (LONG)

Thanks for the report.

You sold me on Binh Minh Quan and Joaquin's deli.

G

Nov 03, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

900 Grayson has the Best Burger in the East Bay

Data point: pro

Very very pro.

I will say that it's a judiciously sized burger--more than adequate for the health-conscious burger indulgence, but a little small for a calorie-fest.

I can't say if I like it more than Luka's. I need to try both again. You know, for science...

G

Oct 30, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

Jayakarta -- Indonesian in Berkeley!

Looks like I need to give this place another chance.

Do you (y'all) think I'd have better luck with rendang earlier in the day? My first trip was very near closing.

G

Oct 30, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

New BBQ joint in Berkeley

Agree about the scorch or char.

I'm surprised by your decription of the sauce. When I went, the sauce was nothing like "very chunky salsa," but rather was a thin, vinegary, fairly typical Carolina-style sauce albeit not an exemplary one. That's the spicy sauce if I recall. Did you get the "girly man" (their term) sauce?

G

My review:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Oct 30, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

SoCal Mexican?

Past queries have not yielded any fruit for my fellow exiles from the Southern California Monstropolis, so I'm not hopeful.

BUT

Is there any place a dude could grab a fried tortilla filled with shredded beef and cheese? How 'bout a burrito with potatoes in it?

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

For the record, I would not have put forward Roberto's as an exemplar of...anything. Also for the record, I dig the stuff on offer in the Mission and the Fruitvale. But I need my ancestral taco.

G

Oct 25, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

PORK SNORKEL: Eating our way through the Bay from North to South, please help us plan!

In my opinion, you really HAVE to hit Backayard in Menlo Park for the jerk pork.

http://backayard.net/
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

If you could stretch as far north as Santa Rosa, Black Bean BBQ has the best pork ribs I've had in the Bay Area.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Please don't forget to report.

G

Oct 20, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

Oliveto Café is dead to me

I was also disappointed by the cafe.

It bears stressing that the upstairs is still FANTASTIC. In my opinion, if you want to do Oliveto at a more affordable price, lunch upstairs is the way to go. Per person, about $40 for 4 courses (not counting booze). Also, if your budget is tight, they're really not bitchy if all you want is a plate of pasta.

G

Oct 20, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

The Ribs at Looney's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Sorry about that. For those using Google Maps...

The address is: 2190 Bancroft Berkeley CA

G

Oct 20, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

The Ribs at Looney's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Having been disappointed on my first visit...

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

...I decided to give the place another shot, particularly as the first time around they weren't serving ribs, which are in my estimation the raison d'etre of barbecue.

So I got a half-rack of pork spare ribs.

The short review: not too bad, a mild case of redemption

The long review:

For nine and change I got a half-rack of spare ribs, which in this case meant five big meaty ribs, and two sides.

The presentation was surprisingly pretty. I actually found the splash of green garnish across the ribs a little alarming when they arrived, because, um, barbecue shouldn't be pretty.

My biggest complaint was that the ribs had a pronounced taste of char. A little char is part of the Q-master's palette, but this muted the flavor underneath.

To the degree that the char could be ignored, the flavor of the ribs was good, though I suspect smoke-lovers (and I am one) might be disappointed with the feeble smokiness of these.

I feel like I'm emphasizing the bad, when there's a lot good to say about the ribs. 1) I enjoyed the "spicy" sauce (which is not spicy); 2) the texture fell in the golden mean; 3) even a half-rack here is a HUGE portion.

Oh, the corn bread sucked. The fries--skin-on variety--were very, very good.

A few more pluses about the place: 1) the staff are very friendly; 2) the place is very well set up for watching sports; 3) according to the website it's open till 2 AM every day.

http://www.looneysbbq.com/index.htm

As it is, it makes a great place for watching sports with relatively good chow. As a ribs destination, I'm reserving judgment for another visit.

G

RECENT THREAD:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Oct 20, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

Shanghai Restaurant (Oakland) very much alive and kicking

Thanks for verifying that it's still open, Gary. You've given me a field trip for tomorrow.

G

Oct 09, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area

Jayakarta -- Indonesian in Berkeley!

That might have been it, but my impression was that the beef had been slow cooked and then put on high heat for too long before serving.

G

Oct 07, 2006
Gerard in San Francisco Bay Area