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afdawson's Profile

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Royal Oak charcoal?

Our of curiosity, does your bag of Lazzari hardwood have the Lazzari brand name on it? The stuff I picked up from the factory just had a generic "Lump Charcoal" bag, which made me wonder whether Lazzari actually has a hand in producing it. One would think they'd use their recognizable brand name if they did.

Royal Oak charcoal?

I was thinking in the same direction, which led me down to their factory in Brisbane a few months back for hardwood charcoal. Unfortunately it did not appear to be of the same quality as their mesquite product. It was tremendously smoky and took longer to get up to temperature than Royal Oak. Perhaps I got a bad batch, but it has scared me off. (But I am a loyal customer of their mesquite product. Their smoking chunks (apple, hickory, etc.) have also all been high quality, so my dissatisfaction is limited to the lump hardwood charcoal.)

Duerr's mint sauce?

Has anyone seen any in SF proper? I thought I had stocked up on it for easter but apparently I made that up.

Royal Oak charcoal?

Has anyone seen Royal Oak charcoal for sale around SF? I saw a post from a few years ago suggesting that Cole Hardware might carry it, but I haven't seen any there recently. Perhaps it's a seasonal item. Any other ideas?

How do you save a list of restaurants to try?

I use an app called WorkFlowy, which is really a generalized task-list kind of app. It allows for different categories of task, and I just have one entitled "restaurants to try." It has a phone app that syncs with a website. Very simple.

Aug 22, 2013
afdawson in General Topics

south lake tahoe?

Another thought, if it's not too late: rum runners at the Beacon are a worthy diversion. The Beacon is off Highway 89, right near Camp Richardson. They have a gorgeous deck and beach with as good a view as you'll find. The food is fine, but the rum runners and the view make it.

Aug 17, 2013
afdawson in California

south lake tahoe?

My intel is perhaps a bit out of date, but the following would have been good three years ago. I'm tempted to say some were "great," but that might be the rosy glow of nostalgia.

Breakfast: Bert's. The guy in the Hawaiian shirt knows what he's doing. Biscuits and gravy, in addition to pancakes, are recommended.

Lunch: (1) Sprouts Cafe. Solid veggie fare, particularly like the openfaced hummus bagel. (2) Jalisco Grill. A good local's spot. Better mexican than the other options.

Dinner: (1) Naked Fish. I know, sushi next to a landlocked state is unpromising. But it surprises. (2) Freshies. In a strip mall, but they used to have (and hopefully still have) a gorgeous roof deck overlooking the lake. Hawaiian-type food. Inconsistent, but can be fabulous.

Aug 16, 2013
afdawson in California

Irish Red Lemonade

Anyone know if Nash's red lemonade is available in the area?

Good butcher in or around Washington, DC?

I love the butcher at Wagshal's in Spring Valley, DC (i.e. not easily accessible via public transport). It's not a huge place, but it seems they can get anything (there are python and kangaroo loins in the freezer by the door). Pam is in charge and knows what she's doing. I'd also nominate their house-made crabcakes for any best-of list.

Mexican in DC

Not sure if tex-mex would fit the bill, but I've found Uncle Julio's to be pretty great. I've been to one in Bethesda and one in Dallas TX, and they were equally good. I know a number of Texans who swear by it. Sure it's crowded and noisy and chain-ey, but I really haven't had better fajitas. (The sopapillas, salsa, and queso are also great.)

** Just noticed I'm responding to a decade-old post. Oops. But Julio's is still good. **

Food destinations in VA countryside

I think we may have to try it at some point. How crazy are reservations? If I were to shoot for a weekend night in January or February, what are my chances?

Food destinations in VA countryside

I live in DC but love a good drive along VA country roads. Does anyone have any food-related favorites within a couple hours of DC? I'm thinking anything from a restaurant, to a farmer stand, to a vineyard, to a butcher, to a cheesemaker, to a pick-your-own whatever orchard. What's worth a drive?

Passionfruit syrup?

I imagine it is indeed primarily a drink additive, probably used to best effect in proximity to rum. I was hoping to find it to use in a large batch of Hurricanes. I had hoped to find Torani's version, but unfortunately couldn't find anyone who stocked the passionfruit flavor. From what I could find, Monin makes a similar syrup that is a more highly regarded, but it appears they recently changed their recipe and no longer include a large proportion of actual juice. Too bad. I ended up buying a bottle of passionfruit concentrate at Panam Market on 14th in Columbia Heights. I added a bit of water, a bunch of sugar, and then cooked it down for maybe 5 minutes. If I do say so myself, it turned out great. (I tried Whole Foods to no avail.) Thanks for the help!

Passionfruit syrup?

Anyone know where I can find passionfruit syrup? Something near U St./Dupont would be particularly choice.

Highlights on U Street?

Thanks all!

Pappy Van Winkle in DC?

Also because you look so fetching on the label:

For those who are interested, I think the next release of Pappy is supposed to happen in October.

Highlights on U Street?

I just moved to the U/14th area and am wondering if there are any culinary highlights hidden among the clubs. We stumbled on Fast Gourmet and Pica Taco, which have us excited about the neighborhood's possibilities.

What else is not to be missed?

Pappy Van Winkle in DC?

Thanks all!

Pappy Van Winkle in DC?

I'm new to town and don't know the good liquor stores. Anyone know who carries Pappy Van Winkle when it's released? Preferably in Northwest DC.


Canteen: Still My Favorite Brunch

Leary seems to have the same coffee at AU and Canteen - was it Mr. Espresso or something? And I agree it's a letdown. Anyone have any theories why? Does he have anti-third-wave coffee opinions? Or are there people out there who love Mr. Espresso?


Dianda's on Mission, between 24th and 25th, appears to bake their own. I've never had it, but their other traditional pastries/cakes are fabulous.

2883 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

In Praise of the Tartine Croissant

If you've found Tartine's to be a bit overly brown, try Patisserie Phillippe. (I'm not sure how to insert those handy flags.


Not sure how widely they're distributed, but I think Four Barrel has them. The only knock on them might be that they're sometimes too buttery. (That is not a complaint I am accustomed to making.)

Save the Gravenstein Apple - Bay Area restaurants serving them in August

Does anyone know where to find some gravensteins in SF? I'm new-ish to the area and have never tried them.