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A "special" dinner in SFBA -- your thoughts much appreciated

what was your impression of the beverage pairing at the Lazy
Bear ? their stated policy for the fixed location grants free corkage with a pairing buy-in, otherwise, $30. per bottle. even $30. is o.k., considering what nice bottles generally go for on SF wine lists.

about 6 hours ago
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

2014 Oakland Eat Real Festival, Sept 19 - 21, Jack London Sq.

we're fortunate in this area (speaking of oaktown, berserkley, SF specifically) to have a number of active venues now for food trucks and pop ups. it's less critical for some of the local vendors to participate in this festival for revenue or marketing.

about 11 hours ago
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

vietnamese [Oakland]

depending on how the sesame or coconut or their oils were processed (oil from roasted sesame very different than from unroasted, for example), yes they would render flavours that could pass for different nuts (or legumes in the case of the peanut). the coconut butter at the eat real festival tasted like it had another nut combined with it, but it did not -- its proteins and fats were altered in the grinding (stone mill) process.

about 12 hours ago
moto in San Francisco Bay Area
1

vietnamese [Oakland]

if their online menu is accurate, Monster Pho is fairly unique in its genre -- they've declared that their premises are completely peanut free.

about 15 hours ago
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

2014 Oakland Eat Real Festival, Sept 19 - 21, Jack London Sq.

the vendor composition shifted a bit, which suits me, and there seem to be more dishes closer to the ten bucks price point than before, which is another story of course and probably inevitable. fuel prices mean cost increases in many aspects of food truck operations. in the past there seemed to be three or more trucks with Filipino influenced foods, similar menus, this year didn't notice any.

about 15 hours ago
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

So Restaurant is back -- Chicken Wings, Potstickers! -- on Bryant St. now -- anyone been there? [San Francisco]

thank you. the cooking looks like it has a Shandong foundation (including quasi-Japanese dishes like curry croquettes), but with whimsical, Hawai'i diner-style creations such as ma po doufu, beef or chicken over noodles, and 'chorizo fried rice'.

So Restaurant is back -- Chicken Wings, Potstickers! -- on Bryant St. now -- anyone been there? [San Francisco]

the closure protesting the clients who wanted msg-free cooking from organic ingredients was apparently short-lived. are SO's noodles made in house, fresh ?

Sagrantino food paring

some of the sagrantinos won't be markedly heavier or more tannic than the stiffer Morellino di Scansanos, in my experience, but that is from bottles with mid term cellaring. the Caprai bottles waiting for me will be getting at least twelve or fourteen years of rest. there are also a number of Umbrian rossos that are predominantly sangiovese with around .20 sagrantino appropriate for foods that prefer lighter wine.

1 day ago
moto in Wine

2014 Oakland Eat Real Festival, Sept 19 - 21, Jack London Sq.

at 1730 on the opening day there were no lines to speak of. very easy to walk around the concourses and circulate. among interesting samples were a variety of very good chocolate truffles, and nut butters stone ground from sprouted almonds, or coconut, or coconut and cocoa combined. Mozzeria from SF served a pretty good foot long grinder with lamb/veal/beef meatballs in a tomato sauce for eight bucks. the Peruvian street food truck looked interesting -- might try them later in the festival. for four bucks, the six delicious bites in the Chairman's pork belly bao is hard to beat.

2014 Oakland Eat Real Festival, Sept 19 - 21, Jack London Sq.

thank you, will keep that in mind. even with many options at the festival (sometimes with sizable lines at most places), the Chairman holds up well against the competition in our satisfaction index.

2014 Oakland Eat Real Festival, Sept 19 - 21, Jack London Sq.

if you like Chinese bao, the Chairman's truck has been there every year -- they're made to order from fresh ingredients, including veg and pickles, unlike what .95 of the dim sum eateries do.

Sep 18, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

SPQR or Perbacco? [San Francisco]

our experiences at SPQR, if we order four or five plates (sometimes two pastas if they sound interesting), at least one or two will be excellent or even memorable, the rest good or very good. on our singular visit to Cotogna, there wasn't a dish that would make us return, including the pizza, though everything was good enough. the excellent service at spqr is another incentive to return, and it was good enough but not exemplary at cotogna.

Sep 17, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine identity please

Leoville Poyferre is a very good St. Julien (Bordeaux rouge) that features a standing lion prominently on its label, but does not use the colors you describe. google its image if you care to eliminate it as a candidate.

Sep 15, 2014
moto in Wine

Mustards Grill: My Theory [Napa]

Mateo's Cocina (Healdsburg) is calif-iberian-Yucatan, so it's as 'nueveo-americano' as many other places that might be categorized as "New-Aamerican". many of the places like the sacred bovine c.panisse (French name of course) that some might consider echt calif/new american are very much influenced by old world traditions. the menu at Mustards appears to be influenced by 'foreign' elements as well. given that the indigenous peoples of Ca. left little impact on calif-cuisine, because so few survived colonization by the Spanish and Ca. getting folded into the u.s., among the earliest outsiders in Ca. who are part of the roots of calif-cuisine were Spanish, Chinese, Italians, and Irish.

Help finalizing restaurants, deserts, cocktail/speakeasy, as well as opinions on SF staples

our equivalent to your Metro is bart, you probably know already. one of the closest eastbay bart stations to SF is civic center/12th St. Oakland. about three blocks away is Miss Ollie's, top notch fried chicken and an interesting, tasty Caribbean influenced menu, high standards in prep and ingredients. there are probably very good cocktails around there in various places within a four to five block radius, but couldn't tell you because my beverages of choice don't include them.

Sep 14, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Who sells Radiatore pasta on the Bay Area?

Rainbow has a very good dried, packaged pasta selection as well, the rougher textured stuff made with bronze dies and slow dried. my preferred shape similar to radiatore but a bit broader, excellent quality, lanterne, Italian harvest brand name, organic pasta from the Marella factory in Puglia. not sure if the retailer was Rainbow or in oaktown however.

Sep 14, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Bread- East Bay

of the various Acme offerings, my suggestion would be the 'schoolyard' bread, irregular shapes, limited distribution beyond the bakery retail site. during my extended sojourn in central NY state in the 80s, artisan bakeries were few and far between, but one of my staples was the old world style whole grain breads, with entire, chewy grain kernels and slightly soured taste, baked in Canada.

Sep 13, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Mustards Grill: My Theory [Napa]

should that make the hon. j.leff a sacred canine, like c.panisse is the sacred bovine (and already invoked on this thread) of berserkley eateries -- this board already benefits from a high priest, so we'd be consistent.

Sep 12, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Mustards Grill: My Theory [Napa]

just because leff or another quasi/self-styled 'authoritative'/well written source opines something like 'locals don't take it seriously', hardly makes it an absolute truth. what does 'seriously' mean in this context, or in the other quote, "serious food lovers are more anti-Mustards now ". but if he hasn't been eating there, we can only question the basis of his opinions. leff sounds like he is excluding himself and you from 'seriously' enjoying food. perhaps he's referring to the 'dining elite' who feel consuming conspicuously is part of 'serious eating'.

Sep 12, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Brunello

thank you for replying. have had decent luck with medium to long cellared Italianos as far as the corks, and luckily my budget excludes wines that would make the defects really painful. if the Asian market that seems fond of splashy wine purchases stays away from the Piemonte, those nebbiolos will remain a relative bargain. Brunello di Montalcino never qualified as a value, for my budget and tastes, but will defer writing them off until some of my '06's and 07's get sampled.

Sep 11, 2014
moto in Wine

Looking for wine to lay down 20-25 years

the Bandol wines mentioned by Mr. Timko and me are Bandol rouge, not rose, there are significant differences between the two, for your purposes the rouge is made to improve with long cellaring and has a long track record of thriving with significant bottle aging.

you should not purchase any wine at first sight unless you have thoroughly read up on it in advance. since you have limited storage and funds, you can restrict your choices to wines that have been made for thirty years or far longer, and you can google specific wines and past vintages to see how they fared with significant aging. many people share their tasting impressions on blogs. with any of the vintage 2011 Porto, you'll find lots of tasting notes not just from that vintage, but decades into the past, to get a rough idea of what the wines could become after 25 years. vintage ports aren't declared every year, so just check the declared vintage years in the 1980s for any of the houses that interest you in your budget, and look at the dates the wine was opened and tasted.

for example, using one of Mr.Timko's recommendations for a zinfandel, if you google Ridge Lytton Springs zinfandel 1992, you'll see shared tasting notes on the cellartracker site, with a handful of tastings from 2012-2014. all of the notes on the wine from those dates describe a good to very good bottle. the 2012 vintage of that wine should be available now in your price range.

Sep 10, 2014
moto in Wine

Looking for wine to lay down 20-25 years

you're right about the prices of Pibarnon for western Europe and the eastern U.S., and that is good for the original petitioner -- left coasters like me would have to pay to get it shipped or pay higher prices from a more local retailer.

Sep 10, 2014
moto in Wine

Brunello

A.Galloni, who publishes his wine writing on vinousmedia.com, acknowledged that the best Sangiovese/related clones -based wines in Tuscany were not reliably found in the Montalcino zone -- he considers the wines inconsistent with the vintage factors aside. he was not even addressing the egregious violations of the d.o.c. standards such as blending in other varieties.

Sep 09, 2014
moto in Wine

Brunello

if you've had Barolo or Barbaresco with multiple cork problems from the same producers, please share who they were.

Sep 09, 2014
moto in Wine

Looking for wine to lay down 20-25 years

the 1999 Chateau de Pibarnon didn't reach its peak for me until this year, so it could have gone to age 20 or beyond. however, the recent vintages have passed the $40. boundary specified by the original petitioner. they only make one Bandol rouge, compared to the k.lynch-favored Tempier, and methinks it has more stuffing than the basic Tempier that goes for just under $40. recently paid around $50 for the 2010 Pibarnon, but considered it a very good investment, that '99 drank so well. [for the nytimes tasting panel written up by E.Asimov, their favorite of all Bandol rouge sampled was the Pibarnon '10 ].

Sep 09, 2014
moto in Wine

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

if you are saying Italian roast is darker than French, that is another over-generalization. for A.Peet and the roast masters he trained, French was the darkest (completely black) roast, and they were closer to the conventional in that practice than the exceptional.

Sep 09, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for wine to lay down 20-25 years

drought conditions, small berries, concentrated wines with high tannins, and the (unfortunate)economic conditions in Spain will probably keep prices low. as you know, with some of the Gran reservas/reservas Especial, we'll have to wait longer than a couple of years to see them, and some very good ones will probably sell for around $40 retail.

Sep 08, 2014
moto in Wine

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

you're generalizing about 'darker' roasts. a full city+ or full city ++ roast will taste much different than a city roast (lighter side of medium), and will be discernibly deeper/darker in colour. the partial burning or carbonization with significant caffeine reduction happens in the roasts beyond the second 'crack' (an audible effect in the roasting process), such as Viennese, Italian, French. if you are referring strictly to the partially carbonized roasts as 'darker', fine, but many roasters don't roast any of their beans that far, and 'darker' for them is relative.

Sep 08, 2014
moto in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for wine to lay down 20-25 years

for $40., some of the longest lived reds of 2012 might end up being Rioja reservas, but we won't know much about them for at least another year or two.

Sep 08, 2014
moto in Wine

Looking for wine to lay down 20-25 years

within your quite understandable budget, and with very careful shopping, you'll still need luck in a few factors to see success in 20-25 years. if you care to share some interesting stuff with your son when he is 17-20, your percentages will improve slightly because even very good wines at your price preference can start to fade around then and will be better than they will be five years further.

be patient in your shopping and wade through tasting evaluations for 2012 Bordeaux and Rhone wines -- if you're not in a rush there will be more useful information coming on those wines in the near future. there's one fairly famous 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape that has already received rave reviews, will easily live for 25 years, and goes for just under $100, but there are many, many good Chateauneufs made in your price range if you're patient with your information gathering and track down the best retailers. Syrahs can be very long lived, and a number of regions make very good ones, including the northern Rhone, Oz as another has mentioned, and Calif's central coast. other wines that have the stuffing to endure (correct storage conditions of course a requisite) are mourvedre based wines (Rhone or Bandol/Provence), some Calif petit syrahs and zinfandel field blends (some of which will have petit syrah), and the sangrantino di Montefalco (Umbria). information on the winemaker, the vineyards, and the 'track record' of previous vintages of the specific wines will help you make the best percentage guesses.

Sep 08, 2014
moto in Wine