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Hayward Recommendation, please

Both of these sound interesting. Do you thing reservations are needed at Buon Appetito for a Saturday night?

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Buon Appetito
917 A St, Hayward, CA 94541

Feb 03, 2011
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Hayward Recommendation, please

A friend of mine has moved to Hayward, on the Castro Valley border). She's asked me to find someplace good for us to eat dinner this weekend close to her house. I live in Oakland, but have no idea what's good eating in Hayward. We are open to any kind of food, any price, except probably a steakhouse, since I don't eat red meat. Holes-in-the-wall are great.

Any ideas welcomed!

Feb 03, 2011
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Fancy SF Restaurant with great vegetarian options?

A vendor wants to take me and a couple of colleagues out to a "sky's the limit" meal next Monday, and we wanted to go to Prospect, but of course it's booked already. Any ideas for a great restaurant that has good/interesting vegetarian options (one of us is a veg)? It's all about the food for me, but since they're paying, I wouldn't mind going someplace high end.

Ideas? Close to Fidi would be optimal. Thanks!

Jul 22, 2010
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

New Temescal Café? 4316 Telegraph

A Ritual Roasters cafe, I believe.

Jun 02, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

The Kitchen Table Restaurant Artisanal kosher Cuisine, Mtn View - NEW (lamb blt, rare roast beef sandwich, chicken & matza ball soup, house cured pastrami, etc)

The cake alone is worth a trip. I bake a fair amount, so am picky about baked goods, and that cake was so fudgey, walnuty and chocolatey, what else could you want?

If you go this weekend, remember they're closed on Friday night through Saturday (for Shabbat), reopening for brunch and dinner on Sunday. They're on Open Table.

Jun 02, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

The Kitchen Table Restaurant Artisanal kosher Cuisine, Mtn View - NEW (lamb blt, rare roast beef sandwich, chicken & matza ball soup, house cured pastrami, etc)

First the context- I'm not kosher, but my boyfriend of six months is. He's strictly kosher, so we haven't ever been out to dinner at a restaurant (the only place we could've gone is Sabra, and it's so overpriced and has such a bad reputation I wasn't interested). Like I say, I'm not kosher, and I eat out a lot, and I'm fussy.

We had dinner at TKT last night, and it was stellar. Every single thing we put in our mouths was fantastic, with the exception of one item, and we tried a lot. For apps we had the red mole turkey and brine-marinated eggplant. The eggplant was my favorite thing, just delicious- sort of like marinated mushrooms, but better. It came with smoky pita, charred on a grill. Then we had mediterranean salads, which were huge (shoulda split one, but we were greedy), full of cukes and great olives with more yummy pita. They also brought us bread, which was very good, and came with a pepper(?) tapenade and some very high quality olive oil for dipping. For mains, the bf had ribeye, which he pronounced "fantastic." I had the fish of the day, which was grilled haddock. Simple and perfectly cooked. So the only not so good thing of the evening was the pesto risotto the fish was served on- it was gluey and just not good. Plain rice would've been better. For dessert we had walnut fudge cake with orange fluff, and it was soooo good. Amazingly fudgey and rich, a chocolate lover's dream.

I'm so impressed at the quality of the food- we'll be back soon. Dinner for two (including coffee and soda, no alcohol), was just under $100, including tax.

Jun 01, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, nut-free cupcakes?

I think Celeste at Cake Ladies could create what you need- she's in Oakland, a great baker, and a total sweetheart:

http://cakeladyshop.blogspot.com/
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-cake-ladi...

May 27, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Aunt Mary's Cafe- Temescal [Oakland]

I had dinner at Aunt Mary's for the fourth time tonight, and it was stellar. Started with hushpuppies, which were absolutely fried to perfection. Then a Brutus salad, with oyster caesar dressing, which was also delicious. Could've used a tad more dressing, but what there was was very flavorful. Then shrimp and grits with goat cheese, which was so delicious I could've rolled in it- perfect filling dish for this rainy weather. My friend had pork pozole with a goat cheese cake, and pronounced it delicious. We shared bread pudding with whiskey sauce, which was studded with just the right number of raisins, so good! The upshot- AMC has hit its dinner stride. Last time I went I had the "cats and dogs," which is fried catfish and hushpuppies, and it was the best fried catfish I ever had. I'm so glad this friendly place is in my neighborhood.

May 01, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Help with Scotch shopping in the East Bay

Reporting back- I went to Ledger's. The guy who helped me was nice, but didn't know that some Scotches were kosher, and some weren't. He thought they were all aged in sherry casks. Anyway, I got the Balvenie 15, and the Lagavulin 16, and I'm giving him both, and we'll see which he likes better, which will help me with future Scotch shopping for him. Thanks again for all your help!

May 01, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Help with Scotch shopping in the East Bay

Thanks so much for all the recs, lexdevil. One more thing to throw into the mix, which I probably should've mentioned. My bf keeps kosher, although I do not. I asked him if scotch has to be kosher, and he said no, unless it's made in old wine barrels (because wine DOES have to be kosher). So I also think if the whiskey had sherry in it, it would not be kosher.

Apr 23, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Help with Scotch shopping in the East Bay

I really have no idea what he usually drinks, because he doesn't drink it around me. And I sort of don't want to ask him, because then he'll know what I'm getting him. He's not a fussy guy, and my guess is that he'd appreciate a wide variety of tastes, so simply tasty would be fine. He doesn't have a lot of $$, so I don't think he's been drinking expensive Scotch. I wouldn't want to spend more than $75 on a bottle. I live in N. Oakland, so although anywhere in Oak/Berk is fine, the more local the better. Thanks!

Apr 22, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Help with Scotch shopping in the East Bay

Thanks lots, Wolfe. Apparently I have a lot of reading to do.

Apr 22, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Help with Scotch shopping in the East Bay

Hi All,

Let me preface this by saying I don't drink alcohol, so am excessively ignorant about it, but...my dilemma. My boyfriend's bday is coming up soon, and he loves to drink good Scotch (I have no idea what makes a Scotch "good" to him). He doesn't buy quality liquor for himself, so I'm thinking of getting him a really nice bottle of Scotch for his bday. Any suggestions about what I should get him, and where to buy it in the East Bay would be greatly appreciated. Money is not an object.

Thanks!

Apr 22, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

What are the most popular, limited-supply food items in SF?

Admittedly, this is a weird one, but I love love love the petit fours at Neldam's Bakery in Oakland. They only make and sell them on Thursdays, and they always run out.

Mar 05, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch/Brunch for client near 4th/Market

Hi All,

A client is coming into town from the east coast for a weekend and is asking me advice re where he and his wife should eat brunch and lunch around 4th and Market (he's staying at the Marriot). That is not an area that I frequent- anyone got any good advice? He's looking for "American cuisine," but said he is flexible, and could go further afield. I have a feeling he is quite traditional.

Any guidance would be much appreciated!

-Ace

Mar 03, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations for Oakland eating

I'm pretty sure BB does have the fried chicken sandwich every day, but they frequently sell out by 1 pm or shortly thereafter. My favorite baked goods at BB- best ginger cookies I ever ate and very good shortbread. If you are going to Pizzaiolo at any time, I 'd strongly recommend a reservation- they get hopping very early. I think Champa Garden for lunch and Pizzaiolo for dinner, with maybe a cake at Crixa in between, sounds like heaven. I don't think Ici or Sketch are all that amazing, though I know other's disagree- I'd go to Tara's Organic Ice Cream on College @ Alcatraz, if you want ice cream. If you go to Crixa, and you're into produce, you may want to stop at Berkeley Bowl, just to check it out- it's only a block or so from Crixa. Their array of produce is off the charts....they had around 15 kinds of oranges this weekend.

Jan 19, 2009
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Pizzaiolo- etiquette, or what would you do?

Believe me, I contemplated inadvertant physical attack, but she was teeny-tiny, and I am a large person, so I was concerned that serious injury would ensue.

Jan 16, 2009
ace in Not About Food

Pizzaiolo- etiquette, or what would you do?

That's what my friend thought. She said this sort of thing has happened to her at Pizzaiolo more than once recently, and she thinks these people are in the "in-crowd."

Jan 16, 2009
ace in Not About Food

Pizzaiolo- etiquette, or what would you do?

Went to Pizzaiolo last night. Food was good as always, but an odd etiquette question arose. I was with one friend, we had made a reservation and sat at a table for two. There was a two-top next to us, but it was at a respectable distance from us- just far away enough for me to squeeze between the two tables. I was sitting on a bench; my friend in a chair. The hostess sat another party of two men at the table next to us shortly after we sat down. During the course of our meal, three different men came over to talk, at length, to the guys at the table next to us. They stood very close to my friend, and talked loudly (I would characterize it as "bellowing"). My friend and I were having a deep conversation, and it felt very disconcerting. Then, before we'd ordered dessert, some woman came over, plunked herself between me and the guy at the next table on the bench, and proceeded to also have a loud, lengthy conversation with the two men. She sat about six inches away from me, and I felt completely uncomfortable and claustrophobic. I didn't say anything because it felt so awkward. When my friend and I got up to leave (prematurely, because we couldn't hear each other because the people next to us were so loud), I asked the woman to move so I could get out of my seat. She said, "Oh, I thought I might have been talking too loud," and I said, "Well, actually you were" and walked out. Passive aggressive, I know.

So would you have said something to these people earlier, and if so, what? They really shouldn't be crowding three people in a space barely intended for two. I am not great at being assertive, so I was afraid I'd get unreasonably angry with them if I said anything...it just seemed so obviously rude to me.

Jan 16, 2009
ace in Not About Food

aunt Mary's cafe or Horseshoe- Oakland

I walked past Horseshoe today (which I agree is boring/not too good), and there was an application for transfer of ownership in the window to "Burma Superstar Restaurant." The Temescal is becoming Asian food heaven.....

I heard from a nearby merchant that they're happy that Horseshoe is going away, not only because the food is not too good, but because the owner is not very neighbor-hood minded.

Dec 29, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Aunt Mary's Cafe- Temescal [Oakland]

Glad you liked it, JasmineG. I am diligently working my way through their pastries. I went for breakfast last Friday and the baker had made "French Muffins" - they were unbelievably delicious. Delicate, not very sweet muffin, with a crispy sugar and cinnamon top. The muffin top reminded me of a perfectly fried donut. Anyway, if you see one of these babies at AMC, grab it.

Dec 08, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Ginger Cake I Ever Ate- Oakland

The grand opening was nuts. I went in there around 1:30 on Sunday, thinking the insanity would've receded, but it was still going. They'd sold out of the red flannel hash, which I'd wanted to try. Still, I got a table immediately and my huevos divorciados came fairly quickly- poached eggs with black beans and two kinds of homemade salsa, plus tortillas. Tasty. I've also heard good things about the Hangtown Frytata, and had the Zorba the omelet, which was excellent- they use really good quality feta and olives, plus they don't overcook the spinach.

I think the deal is that from 3-4 they sell any baked goods that are left for 1/2 off. I hope she makes that ginger cake again soon....

Oct 27, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Ginger Cake I Ever Ate- Oakland

I was at AMC's again today for brunch, and heard that some folks came by looking for the ginger cake. The baker told me that she is baking two things a day, and the items will vary, so the ginger cake may not be on the menu if you stop by. Today they had pineapple upside down cake, and in keeping with the ginger cake, it was the best pineapple upside down cake I ever had. Really.

Oct 26, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Ginger Cake I Ever Ate- Oakland

Oh MY GOD. I stopped by Aunt Mary's cafe on the way home and picked up a piece of Ginger Pear Cake. It's dark ginger cake, with thinly sliced pears on top. If you like ginger, this cake will make you so happy. It is moist, just the right balance of sweetness and gingeriness....the cakey cousin of the ginger cookie at Bakesale Betty's, which happens to be just down the street.

This is truly one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth. I had heard AMC had a great baker; now I know it to be true.

And I had their cornbread today....best cornbread I ever ate, really flavorful. It didn't even need butter.

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Aunt Mary's Cafe
4307 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Oct 24, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Aunt Mary's Cafe- Temescal [Oakland]

Today I returned to AMC and had the Southern Bubble and Squeak for breakfast. It was a lot of potato mixed with finely chopped greens and fried crispily, lightly sauced with gravy, with two eggs (any style, but I had scrambled), a side of greens, and a biscuit. It was sooooo good. The greens on the side were just the right non-overcooked consistency, slightly spicy. The potato/egg stack was the perfect marriage of protein and carb. A lot of food (I took 1/2 of it home), but not an insane portion. $9, I think.

I give it six thumbs up. OK, I only have two.

Oct 10, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Aunt Mary's Cafe- Temescal [Oakland]

I checked out the newly opened Aunt Mary's Cafe today at 43rd/Telegraph and Oakland. They have a really appealing menu (http://www.auntmaryscafe.com). We sat outside on the little patio facing Telegraph. Coffee was good, service very friendly and attentive. The brought us some little fried sweet things (can't remember what they were called), sort of like fried rice pudding dusted with sugar, as a free treat.

My friend had Huevos Divorciados (eggs on beans with salsa and tortilla strips). The salsa was homemade (two kinds) and delicious....my friend loved the dish and ate with gusto. I had a waffle and bacon. The bacon was fine, but the waffle was kinda underdone, so I didn't eat the whole thing. The waitress asked me if I hadn't liked it, and I told her it was a little undercooked (not crispy). The owner came over and apologized, and told me he wasn't going to charge me anything for my breakfast (even though I said there was no need- I understand that everything isn't perfect yet, and my food was ok) and said he appreciated the feedback, it's only day 4 and they're working out the kinks. So he didn't charge me for my breakfast.

Anyway, I think there's real potential there. The owner seems like a really cool guy who is committed to a quality neighborhood place. They also have a nice kid's menu- the owner has a 9 year old daughter and is very kid friendly. Like I said, the service was great, the place is comfortable, and they have some yummy looking stuff on the menu. They're only open for breakfast and lunch at the moment.

We took a walk and got some ice cream at Tara's on College. They have molasses ice cream right now that is soooo good. The black sesame was delicious too.

Sep 26, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Horseshoe, Temescal, Oakland

Yes, a place called Aunt Mary's Cafe is scheduled to open between Casserole House and Sahn Maru in the near future- there was a blurb on it in the Temescal newsletter. I think they said Southern fusion, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner...http://www.yellowpages.com/info-LMS85...

Aug 23, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

$24.00 tiny Chicken breast from Pizzaiolo

um, i obviously meant "unlucky." I don't think you're unlikely.

For the record, I generally don't like fried chicken (especially when there's good pizza available), so the fact that I order it is a testament to its usual quality.

Aug 13, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

$24.00 tiny Chicken breast from Pizzaiolo

Sounds like you were unlikely, as far as the size. I had the fried chicken at Pizzaiolo on Saturday night, too. Far from being small, our breast was huge....more than enough for two people. It was prepared differently than I've had it there before, but I liked it. It was spicy (maybe there was curry added, but it was definitely spicy) on a bed of beans, squash and tomatoes in a broth. We found it quite tasty, though not as tasty as when I've had the non-spicy variety at Pizzaiolo. They also had a gypsy pepper, pancetta, and parsley pizza that was so good we fought over who got the last slice.

Aug 13, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area

Update on filled churros in front of Fruitvale BART station

Yum. We had churros there today- I had caramel, and it was hot and delicious, although after a modified Fruitvale food crawl (La Torta Loca, followed by Huarache Azteca), the churros put me into a food-coma. They also had vanilla (my friend had it and liked it), chocolate, and strawberry. $1.50 apiece for the filled ones, $1.00 for the plain. It's right outside the Fruitvale Public Market, only steps away from the Cinco de Mayo ice cream place.

Jun 01, 2008
ace in San Francisco Bay Area