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Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

They switched over to the smaller size and round bun over a year ago, maybe longer. It does make a noticeable impact but in my mind the flavor was not worse, just the size was smaller.

I have always found the slaw to be variable levels of spicy. I prefer it spicier, and my last sandwich three weeks ago was pretty spicy.

I never noticed the buttermilk flavor in the crust so can't comment on that. My favorite item is still the strawberry shortcake so I go exclusively during strawberry season, thank goodness it is a long one!

How often do you get a bad meal in the SF area?

I agree with a lot of what's already been said on this thread, but also have to acknowledge that my standards have changed because I can no longer dine out whenever I want, and pay an extra $60 per restaurant meal for a sitter. While a mixed experience might have been acceptable a few years ago simply because it comes with the territory when exploring new/new to me places, it is no longer ok. Under the new standard, only maximum 2-3 restaurants in each category (eg Italian, Japanese, etc) make the cut, everything else is bad enough that I wouldn't return. This applies to $20pp places as well as $50+pp places, although it seems like there are more and more $50+pp places that aren't worth it. And I'm less and less inclined to try new places if I could be at Cotogna instead, as goldangl put it.

When we have out of town visitors, I only take them to the A list places, they don't have time for a place where the food is mixed.

Aug 01, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Fresh Crab Bun Rieu in East Bay?

A few years ago I thought I would make bun rieu at home and watched a home cook's internet video. In the video, the crab meatballs are scooped out of a jar. Tay Ho's crab meatballs look like they are scooped out of a jar too. All the versions of bun rieu I've seen (even in Vietnam) look like the meatballs are scooped out of a jar. I'm not sure I've ever seen fresh crab meatballs, and have no idea what they look like. I'll have to ask about it next time.

There's a picture of the jar of crab paste at this site:
http://www.asiadish.com/recipes/true-...

Jul 28, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Fresh Crab Bun Rieu in East Bay?

I looked at the pictures of their bun rieu on Yelp and it does not look like they use fresh crab. I could be wrong since pictures can sometimes be deceptive and I haven't eaten it.

My favorite bun rieu is at Tay Ho in Oakland, and their version looks very similar to the pictures I saw on Yelp. The crab meatballs look the same and they also put pork blood in the soup. It's my favorite noodle soup there.

Best shop for Loire goat cheeses in Mission/Noe

Success! They had 6 today, not the entire list from the website but good enough.

Jul 25, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Korean Panchan in Oakland/Berkeley?

I prefer EM Deli's prepackaged panchan over Koreana (they changed names recently but I don't remember the new name). My impression of Koreana's was that it was mediocre, not as good as Kukje, so I didn't buy it often and can't remember exactly why it wasn't great.

Jul 23, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Best shop for Loire goat cheeses in Mission/Noe

Darn, I was hoping this would be a little easier. Loire-from-Loire is the goal, not looking for Loire-style although will settle if I have to. Thanks for the advice!

Jul 23, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Best shop for Loire goat cheeses in Mission/Noe

I'm hoping to be able to find 2-4 Loire goat cheeses and am hoping to only make one stop to find them. I will be in the Mission/Noe area and haven't shopped the cheese sections at BiRite/24th st/Rainbow in a few years. Anyone been recently who could comment on their cheese selections?

I'm open to considering other shops as well in the vicinity, those just happen to be the three that came to mind.

Jul 23, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Bibimbap: SFBA Dish of the Month June 2015

I didn't get around to eating bibimbap in June because of travel, but I finally had some this week from EM Deli. $5.99, $1 extra for meat, and I added an egg when I got home. EM Deli is really a takeout place, and they sell a variety of fermented pickled veggies, plain and marinated meats, and lunch items like lunch plates, kimbap, and noodles.

This version was very fresh, which is either a good or bad thing depending on your taste. The veggies were raw green cabbage, raw purple cabbage, raw carrot, raw cucumber, zucchini (either raw or slightly salted), radish kimchee, bean sprouts, and pickled daikon. Given the range of panchan they sell, I would have preferred a more pickled or fermented selection. Other than that, I enjoyed the dish (with the added beef bulgogi) and it was a very large portion. Best of all, the sauce was more spicy than sweet.

You can also see that it is conveniently packaged so that I could enjoy this at the office without too much trouble.

Bibimbap: SFBA Dish of the Month June 2015

I was grateful for Wolfe's bibimbap when I worked in that part of town, and ate it as often as I could. I'm glad they are still offering it. Wolfe's bibimbap was not as good as Art's was (inner sunset) but it was still a highlight amongst other neighborhood choices.

When I started working in Oakland, I tried the bibimbap at the burger/sandwich/Korean food deli at the corner of 17th and Franklin, on the same block as Stags and Liba. It was just under $10 but a step down from Wolfe's and I haven't returned.

Jun 10, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

What's the best Thai (or any SE Asian) in Santa Rosa? In Sonoma County?

They didn't the one time I went this past December. I wasn't sure if it was because of the time/day or whether they've discontinued offering prepared food. It would be easy enough to call and check.

Jun 02, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month Nominations (June to December 2015)

LOCAL SEASONAL STONE FRUIT

May 21, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Breakfast near le Meridian? [San Francisco]

A long time ago I had breakfast at the hotel, the corned beef hash with eggs was excellent. This isn't a dish I eat regularly, but it still stands out in my memory as my favorite version.

May 13, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Peony has them, three per order. They are large, with lots of pork and cabbage filling. Wrapper was not too thick, had good texture, filling was on the sweet side. I would say there are no major problems with this dumpling, which places it above average in terms of dumplings I've tried at restaurants. I would eat it again (I usually avoid them at restaurants). Joy's version is still better but it's in a different style and league.

May 09, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

I buy frozen dumplings at Tian Jin Dumpling in Oakland Chinatown. I boil mine but it is possible to pan fry them, I haven't tried them pan fried but perhaps someone on this board has.

May 09, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for Best Yogurt in the Bay Area

I gave Noosa a try. Fruit is very high quality, which I really like. The yogurt itself is a little thinner a not as smooth and rich as Liberte, so for me I still prefer Liberte. The available flavors at the local Whole Foods has really decreased. It's down to strawberry, blackberry, coconut, and vanilla.

May 07, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Khao-man-gai in San Francisco?

Hawker fare has a location is SF. Haven't had one at a restaurant that was better than homemade.

May 03, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Papaya Salad: SFBA Dish of the Month April 2015

The one time I had green papaya salad in Vietnam, it had the little beef jerky bits and the sauce was made from sugar and fish sauce. It was not spicy at all, had no herbs, and the shape/texture was very different because the papaya was uniformly shredded into angel hair size pieces. I was planning on trying the green papaya salad at Tay Ho (Vietnamese) in Oakland, but both times I went in April, it didn't fit in the context of the meal.

May 03, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles - Oakland Chinatown

Soft beef rice noodle soup?

May 01, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles - Oakland Chinatown

I noticed they've expanded their menu yet again, they now have a beef noodle soup and a chicken/mushroom noodle soup. In the picture the beef looked like thin slices, like the kind you would use for hot pot. One mushroom was clearly enoki but I'm not sure if there are other kinds that weren't visible in the picture.

There are also some rice dishes too...

Apr 30, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month (April 2015) - Nominations/Voting

I'm wondering if there's a sampling problem that needs to be addressed.... 2-5 nominations each month with a handful of votes to win.

First of all, I'm grateful to hyperbowler for organizing each month and do not want to create any additional work (or pretend that I know what will work better). One suggestion, which you can take, leave, or tweak, is to vote for DOTM every six months or every year. Everyone can propose as many dishes as they want and cast as many (or few) votes as they want. Top 6 (or 12) dishes win. Or you could say that any dish receiving more than 15 votes (or whatever threshold you pick) wins and are the next DOTMs.

Chowdown at Grocery Cafe, Oakland [Burmese]

Wow, what a feast. Three hours of steady paced eating, it was like Thanksgiving.

Tea and ginger salads were good, I would order those again. Great texture, although not as bright or as herbal as other versions I've had.

I generally stay away from mohinga because I dislike the thickness and uniformity. This version was brothy with little chunks of fish, noodle, etc. it was like a mini bowl of fish noodle soup, yum!

Samusa crust was light, filling was flavorful and tamarind sauce was perfect. One of my favorites.

Pork and lamb were both good but were not revelatory simply because there are similar dry curry dishes at other SE Asian restaurants.

The catfish was excellent, another favorite. Great texture, perfect chili sauce.

The only dishes I wasn't too fond of were the seafood with opo squash and the oxtails. The spice combo of the oxtails didn't work for me, and I didn't like the texture of the squash even though opo is my favorite squash. I prefer it silkier, the texture was a little coarse.

The small fried fishes in chili (part of the small little plates of appetizers at the beginning of the meal) were great too. Spicy, dry, and a little sweet, perfect for snacking.

Apr 08, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Best HK Milk Tea SF?

I am not a milk tea drinker per se, but I am a fan of tapioca milk teas. Of the tapioca places I've tried in the Richmond and Chinatown, my favorite milk tea is the shop at the corner of Broadway and Grant. Their tapioca was so-so but their milk tea was pretty good, the richest I've had. The caveat is that I've never had milk tea without tapioca (and ice) so my knowledge of milk tea is limited and skewed.

Apr 06, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Hopscotch (Oakland)

I finally had a chance to try it, and after all the raves both on this board and off this board I was underwhelmed. Black cod was no better than we make at home, and one dish was too salty. Whatever the organ meat terrine was was too sweet. They also didn't have white rice. Even though they are not exactly a Japanese restaurant, it's odd that they would spell tempura correctly and not have a pot of white rice in the kitchen. On the positive side their dishes are interesting, just the execution was lacking.

Mar 30, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Sliced Meat for Hot Pot in East Bay or SF?

Yes, sacha/satay.

We cooked everyone's egg whites in the broth with the noodles at the end.

Mar 30, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Sliced Meat for Hot Pot in East Bay or SF?

I don't usually shop at Won Kee but I will check it out. They have our favorite sesame crackers so it's likely their selection is bigger than some of the other stores. I'm not Cantonese so I suppose the style of hot pot I'm used to is slightly different. Growing up we had fish balls and shrimp dumplings that look like tortellini. Sauces really vary too I have discovered from going to various restaurants. I like a raw egg yolk, soy, and satay paste. My dad used to add greens onions and ginger but I thought they were too overpowering.

Mar 28, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Haven - Oakland

Best incarnation yet. The food was very sophisticated, well executed, interesting and delicious. Breaking bread course consisted of at least 8 different items that were 1-3 bites each. All were good and most were excellent. Favorite was the pate. Main course and sides also impressive. I enjoy eating so many different dishes in one meal.

Weakest course was dessert (not surprising). Despite this, looking forward to returning.

Mar 27, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Downtown Oakland Lunch Spots [split from Stag's Lunchette thread]

My pizzas had a normal amount of cheese but it's possible their food is still uneven since they haven't been open for very long. I like the food at Desco but rarely eat there because it is full service, more expensive, and my favorite items (pasta) don't fill me up. I can get takeout from the places at Swans market, including Hen House. Haven't had the pizza at Desco yet since I am a sucker for fresh pasta.

Mar 25, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Downtown Oakland Lunch Spots [split from Stag's Lunchette thread]

A few updates to this thread:

Hen House is now in Swan's Market and their pizzas are quite good. I've tried the crab pizza and the mushroom pizza. Lunch special side salad for $2 extra is tasty and helps balance out the meal.

Tay Ho, one of my favorites dine-in places, has started offering takeout banh mi for $5. They make their own aioli and I like theirs better than BC Deli's.

B-Dama is discussed in another thread but I thought I'd mention it here for completeness.

Mar 25, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area

Roli Roti’s Porchetta

LOL. Growing up I was not exposed to fine dining, and thought that the chewier cuts were *better* than others. To me it was like getting a bonus piece of chewing gum in a superior flavor.

Mar 25, 2015
felice in San Francisco Bay Area