Robert Lauriston's Profile

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

Caffè macchiato is espresso "stained" with a little milk. Latte macchiato is milk "stained" with a little espresso.

Walk In At State Bird Provisions on a Friday?

Excellent point. Restaurants tend to be empty until series games end. Years ago I was at Chez Panisse and it was almost empty, worried the place had gone downhill, but the food was great, asked the waiter, he said no one on staff could figure it out. Along about 8-8:30 the place filled up and we found out the Giants were in the World Series.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

As noted in that article, yes, 2399 Folsom. It started out as a meat market.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

Have you been to La Cumbre recently and if so what do you order?

It was my favorite for 20+ years but the last time I went there I was very disappointed that they no longer had the distinctive orange hot sauce, plus the carnitas were nothing special.

Oakland (Temescal): Barlata ... or ... B44 East

Tablehopper reports Grange Hall hopes to get its permits in order and open in early 2015 so I guess Barlata may be open until then. There's no patio there, I guess she's referring to the sidewalk seating. Unless they're looking to convert part of the parking lot.

http://www.tablehopper.com/chatterbox...

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

Angkor-Borei is great. It's amazing that they've kept the quality consistently high for so many years.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

Some good recommendations.

I would not go back to HRD unless maybe I was working within a block or two. It's a coder trough. The "best in America" thing it was eliminated from in the first round was fivethirtyeight.com's Burrito Bracket. It was only included because Yelpers are easily impressed and 538's expert didn't have the balls to scratch it in favor of El Castillito.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/ou...

Tommy's Joynt is a classic hofbrau. To me it's a waste of a meal unless you're a hofbrau lover and they're extinct in your home town.

"Tu Lan ... is downtown where good cheap eats are rare"

That's more mid-Market than downtown, and it's just across Market from the Tenderloin, which has a lot of better and even cheaper Vietnamese places, most of which close early.

Cream is for kids who haven't learned what's good yet.

Coffee, pastries, lunches and happy hours/beer/cocktails for a greedy BC Hound please

No. Probably won't get there until I'm working in the city again or my friends who own a house in Dogpatch move back.

Walk In At State Bird Provisions on a Friday?

That's 4:30 a.m., of course. By 4:30 p.m. there will be 300 people in line. It's that good.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

Burmese Kitchen and Little Yangon (which pretty much requires a car, easy stop from or to the airport) are better and cheaper than Burma Superstar. Mandalay is similar to Burma Superstar without the long wait.

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

In Italy, cappuccino is for breakfast, from maybe 11 on it would be weird to order that instead of espresso. "Latte" is a glass of milk and I'm not sure I've ever seen an adult drink one. The Italian equivalent of an American latte is latte macchiato, but I'm not sure it typically has as much coffee.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

I don't think La Taqueria's tacos are as good as Taqueria San Jose's.

If you prefer La Taqueria's style to starch-stuffed burritos, I can't blame you, I'm just saying it's NOT an example of the famous Mission-style burrito.

I don't think it's a great Mexican-style burrito, either, since they don't make the tortillas fresh. If I can't get that, I'd rather have tacos. The closest thing to a great burrito I've had around here was, bizarrely, a kati roll at Kasa.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

The original burritos in the Mexican state of Sonora were poor people's food and only beans and rice, no meat.

The original Mission burrito was made at El Faro in 1961 and was similar to what they still serve today for $6.50. A burrito without rice and beans can be a great thing, especially if the tortilla is fresh and handmade, but it is not a Mission-style burrito.

http://www.burritophile.com/articles/...

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

Have their tortillas improved? I liked them a lot otherwise but the tortillas were weirdly stiff and odd-tasting. Good meatballs.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

Actually, La Taqueria is the only taqueria about which I've read reviews complaining that a meal of three tacos or two burritos cost over $20.

Top spots for Vietnamese food in Oakland

Pho Ao Sen is really good and they have that addictive lemongrass condiment.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

Thanks to Patricia Unterman and her successor raving about it in the Chron, La Taqueria was for decades the one place people outside the neighborhood knew about, and consequently it can and does charge 50-100% more than other places. Many people like it and say the food is worth the higher price.

They also don't make a quintessential Mission burrito as invented at El Faro in 1961, which is a huge heap of rice, beans, meat, and salsa wrapped in a steamed tortilla. Again, many people prefer La Taqueria's style.

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

For me it's the opposite. Coffee made from under-roasted coffee beans is similar to wine made from overripe grapes: the traditional taste I like is absent, or overpowered by jarring, unpleasant flavors. I'm pretty sure most old-school Italian and French winemakers would agree with me on that.

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

James Freeman started Blue Bottle. Before that he was a clarinetist and home roaster. I don't think he ever had any relationship with Peet's except as a customer.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

The truck scene is theoretically a path for chefs to get their own thing going on a budget, but how many trucks have a really good reputation compared with other alternatives?

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/803758

I love Ferry Plaza and every foodie tourist should go there on Saturday morning when the farmers market is on, but there's not much cheaper-side food, thanks to high rents and lots of not very price-conscious tourists. There's a lot of high-quality food at relatively high prices.

It's not a place to find something new, either. Most of the businesses that manage to get in there are already established, e.g Boccalone, Cowgirl, Slanted Door / Out the Door, and Cane Rosso. There's little turnover and when spaces open up existing tenants often expand into them.

Anything New by Great American Music Hall? [San Francisco]

Their cider list is exceptional. Great people-watching from the second-floor windows.

Pasta?

L'Osteria del Forno has no boiled pasta, only crespelle (which are sort of in between crepes and cannelloni) and one other oven-baked casserole-type pasta that varies daily (lasagne, etc.).

Pasta?

Albona.

Wine tastes bad once I start eating

The same molecule is found in real white truffles.

Lots of things that are safe to eat started out as things that aren't. The question is how pure the end product is. You can't make tortillas without soaking the corn in a caustic solution.

1 day ago
Robert Lauriston in Wine

Oakland (Temescal): Barlata ... or ... B44 East

I guess Barlata's still open because the liquor license transfer hasn't gone through yet?

http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSData...

7x7 Magazine Big Eat Oakland - 50 Things to Taste Before You Die

It's a local magazine. I thought they had a good reviewer a few years ago but I don't recognize any of their current bylines. Maybe I'm confusing it with Modern Luxury (former San Francisco).

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

Wine tastes bad once I start eating

Does the same thing happen with other alcoholic beverages or only with wine?

2 days ago
Robert Lauriston in Wine

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

There's some good food there, it's just not cheap. E.g. Out the Door's spring rolls for $9, that's roughly twice the price that Vietnamese places in the Tenderloin charge.

New Yorker looking for quintessential San Francisco cheap eats 2014

I can't think of any cheap eats at the Ferry Building. Off the Grid prices seem very high to me compared with places like Saigon Sandwich, Taqueria San Jose, La Santaneca, My Tofu House, and Yamo.

The Tonayense taco trucks, those are cheap.