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Meat CSAs

So I received my first delivery from MDF via Grub Market on 12/4. They were short 1 1/2 lbs. This isn't the first time it's been short so I weight each box when I receive it and send off my e-mail to MSF. Very soon after I'll get an apology via email and they make up for the shortage the next month. This month I sent my email off twice. No response. I sent an email again with Grub Market also on the distribution. I received a very nice email from Grub Market on 12/8 that they would look into it and get back to me. Nothing yet. Sigh.

Rugdubgub - do you have a link or site to The Meat Club? I did a search online but can't find one named "The Meat Club." I will also look at 4505 Meats and welcome any other suggestions. I prepaid so I'm going to wait until my subscription expires in July to change, so I have plenty of time to investigate.

about 16 hours ago
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Dungeness Crab Prices 2014/2015 Season

Just bought 2 today from Lien Hing on Stockton in Chinatown at $5.39/lb. Total 4.67 lbs

Nov 25, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO pork/beef/chicken bones

MSF no longer allows special orders in their CSAs so I think you would have to go to Pt. Reyes or Oakland shops. I would call first to see if they have them.

Nov 25, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO Turkey Tails (yes, just tails)

I know this is old, but I've been obsessing about them since Sunday. My church had a Thanksgiving luncheon and they dumped the carcass including the tails into the stockpot before I could get to them. I found them at Lucky's on Fulton Street after being on hold for 20 minutes I was able to reserve a couple of packs. Yes! I remember when I first moved here from Houston I had found them there when it was another supermarket, but I guess the neighborhood still has a demand for them. My mouth is watering now, especially since it's right before lunch.

Nov 25, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Pho Ga : SFBA Dish of the Month November 2014

I like the pho ga at Quan Ngon on Noriega. I think you can get the unborn eggs there on request. It's a light clear broth and it's made with the 'yellow chicken' which is quite flavorful. I'm not sure but I think this is the walking chicken (free range?). The only other place I've had it is Chinatown at on Kearney near Portsmouth Square. It's good too but obvious MSG.

Nov 14, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

What do you put in your Gumbo?

Golden brown roux cause I'm lazy, trinity, hot links, chopped up whole chicken, dried shrimp, bay leaf, okra, file.

If I'm doing seafood, then shrimp, oysters, crab, hot links for the protein.

Over rice not potato salad. Crystal or tabasco on the side.

Nov 14, 2014
jzc in Home Cooking

Concert at the Addition in SF. Where to eat?

It's actually 1300 Fillmore. We were just there last night. Hosted dinner so we had a choice of salmon, okra & quinoa, and short rib. All mediocre. The app was BBQ shrip & grits. That was quite tasty although the shrimp was sautéed and not very big. Killer cornbread and good butter, but they served it with sweet & sour sauce.???

Dessert very pedestrian (cheesecake - looked and tasted like the cheesecake squares with graham cracker crust that I used to make as a kid). Greens and mac and cheese also mediocre. Portions are a bit on the small side but maybe it's just the perception because they use large plates. Basically, my table agreed we make it better at home.

Bar are is nice.

What's the best cutting board for chopping/hacking?

I wish I had the room. My dad was a butcher, so I miss having the freestanding square butcher blocks.

Nov 12, 2014
jzc in Cookware

Where to buy spices in San Francisco?

I was able to swing by Rainbow Grocery this past weekend and the variety was making me dizzy. Picked up cumin, turmeric, rosemary, saffron and thyme. They had both organic and non-organic options on most of the spices. They even had fennel pollen! I passed on it because it was more than I was willing to pay for, but the next time I make porchetta I might splurge.

Thanks for the recommendations.

Nov 12, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Meat CSAs

I just received a notice from Marin Sun Farms (I've been a subscriber for about 4 years) they're going back to the basics and offering fewer packages, no add ons etc. and that they've entered into a partnership with Grub Market to deliver to my home. Yay! No more pick ups and I can live without add ons.

Along with those changes, the price has gone up. I know everything has gone up, but the it'll be going up about 30% from regular monthly rates. Because I was an annual subscriber, I received a discount. With the new program there won't be this option, so everyone will be a monthly subscriber. Without the discount, it'll be a 50% increase for me.

I feel shafted after sticking with them through their growing pains (mis-weighing meat, quality issues, etc) and was wondering what meat CSAs y'all would recommend.

Nov 12, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

What's the best cutting board for chopping/hacking?

I do a lot of Chinese cooking, so I chop/hack a lot of meats (chicken, ribs, large fish). This requires a lot of force and the cutting boards I have it splitting (maybe I didn't care for it correctly). I'm looking to upgrade and was wondering what would y'all recommend?

I've read about walnut, the Consumer Reports recommendation - Proteak, maple etc. but was wondering what fellow Chowhounders thought would be best. Brand, wood, thickness etc.

Sur La Table is having a sale, so I'm trying to catch the sale.

Thanks!

Nov 07, 2014
jzc in Cookware

chicken heart recipes that don't involve grilling?

You can also broil in the oven. I marinade and stir fry it with vegetables. We also boil and then dip in a vinegar/soy/ginger sauce.

Oct 31, 2014
jzc in Home Cooking

Hound Parents

My mom can cook but growing up it was usually my dad's mom that cooked. My mom cooked more on Sundays or she would get adventurous and make banana Nilla wafer pudding or lemon meringue pie otherwise very standard Chinese fare of stir fries. We had a grocery store and my dad would usually cook lunch so he would make beef stew, chili, liver and onions etc. He was pretty much open to anything. My sister and I learned to cook pretty early on to combat my grandmother's cooking. I remember us doing Thanksgiving dinner beginning in high school. Also, my mom never really had to make dinner every day for us so she's an inefficient cook. It'll take her forever to make dinner. She could be in the kitchen the entire day, dinner is like an hour late and there's not enough food or 1 dish that she expects to last the entire week.

My mom's mom OTOH was an amazing cook. All from scratch. Cakes with a dozens of eggs, butter, curries with fresh coconuts etc. This was back in the 1950's so pretty avant garde for an Chinese farmer immigrant out of China living in HK. My mom said it was because on the farm you always had the freshest ingredients and ate in season and preserved the rest. When there were festivals or celebrations in the village, my grandma would help with the cooking in the communal village "kitchen." More like giant outdoor campfires as they burned wood charcoal and had huge cooking vessels.

Where to buy spices in San Francisco?

I use a lot of cumin, tumeric, cinnamon, thyme, spice in general. Where can I buy them in larger quantities and at a reasonable price? Costco doesn't carry that many spices so I've been buying at places like Smart & Final, Grocery Outlet, and Chinatown. Chinatown has the best prices I think but they're small bags. Also, does origin matter? Some of them don't have origin but the ones that do, the majority seem to be from China.

Is there a difference in quality of spices? I love to cook but I'm not sure I have the palate to appreciate really expensive spices. I know most people say that spices only last a limited amount of time, but I have sage that's been a couple of years old and cayenne as well that I've used and I didn't notice any significant difference. Frankly, when you buy them from the store there isn't a packing date so I wouldn't know how long it's been in the store either.

Thanks!

Oct 31, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Chinatown Deals at closing time.

I think Wing Sing has a sign posted that after 2PM, the deli items are half off per lb. except for the higher price items like fish. It might be 2:30.

The deli and restaurant on Grant and Broadway used to have small plates set out of cooked food on the tables around the deli section. You could pick 3 for $6. The last time I saw it (been a few years), it was 3 for $10 I think. Not sure if they still do that though.

Oct 28, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Paella in San Francisco/Oakland?

Your's looks so yummy. I wonder if they had a different chef when I went. Ours looked anemic overall in regards to toppings. Shrimp were decent sized but I had to hunt for the chorizo. It was chopped up and I think mixed in. Clams were tiny and dry and no soccarat in sight.

Oct 22, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Paella in San Francisco/Oakland?

I just had the paella at Coqueta last week. Very tasty, but I don't think would serve 2-3 people (per the menu) as a meal even with a few tapas. Shrimp were tasty but almost overcooked (not quite rubbery) and there were 6 anemic clams. Not sure if I would order this again for $45 and no soccarat. I haven't tried B44 but took a look on Yelp and one person said the paella was good but complained that there was a lot of rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. Soccarat?

Oct 21, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Claypot Rice in SF Chinatown?

There's a restaurant on Grant that "specializes" in claypot rice. It's called HK Claypot. There are a few other restaurants that have claypot rice on the menu but I haven't had claypot rice in Chinatown in a few years and don't normally eat there so I can't remember them offhand.

If you're in the Inner Richmond try out Claypot House. In addition to claypot rice they have lotus leaf rice. I like the eel, the pig's tongue with preserved veg and other standards like frog claypot, chicken claypot and preserved meat claypot.

Oct 21, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Feedback on New SF app - Go Dish

I've used GoDish since the very beginning and I love it. I don't think I'm the target the restaurants are really looking for as I'm probably not the demographic they're looking for and wouldn't normally go to these restaurants but when I don't have lunch and don't feel like Chinese food this hits the spot but want a deal this hits the spot.

The only caveat is when the deals come up they don't seem to be in any order. It would be great if we could search within a zipcode. I'm at the north end of FiDi and there a lot of scrolling thru SOMA deals.

Oct 13, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Abalone?

When we were kids, we would get canned abalone all the time. They were caught and processed in Mexico. It's been a long time, but it was really sweet although it did have a slight metallic taste. I would think more then than now, since the cans are BPA lined nowadays. I've never seen it in sauce but of course I've never looked. In Chinatown around NY, I did remember they had cans of abalone right by the register but I just assumed it was the standard salt, water and abalone I was used to from childhood.

How expensive is the canned abalone with sauce?

I don't think they cook it before canning for the plain abalone. Cooking is part of the canning process.

Best Asian in San Francisco

Hmm, something to keep in mind for a late night snack. I love my fried foods.

What about dim sum though? We had the ha gow, siu mai, turnip cakes, custard buns (not lava, they don't have those), bbq pork buns and a lot of other steamed dumpling items. I don't remember what else. I just remember the ha gow skin was think and it stuck to the pan and the turnip cakes were mushy.

Sep 30, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Asian in San Francisco

Just wondering about Ton Kiang. We used to love their dim sum about 15-20 years ago even though they didn't have some of the traditional stuff we like (Phoenix Claws, tripe etc.). I remember their dumplings wrappers for the ha gow being so thin it was translucent and very tasty. What is good there now?

We went with family for CNY and nothing was very good. Okay, but nothing to write home about. I would put it about the same as takeout dimsum in Chinatown or lower. My son embarrassed me by saying "it sucks" really loudly.

I haven't been to HK Lounge in a while, but I used to like them quite a bit. They were much better when they first opened and has more unusual dim sum than the last time I went.

Sep 30, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Dinner near Chabot Space?

We were desperate for food one night coming out of the Chabot Observatory and ended up at Sparky's. http://www.yelp.com/biz/sparkys-oakland

It might have been because we were starving, but I thought it was a pretty good burger. I got the 4oz and all the boys got 2 4oz patties. We inhaled them.

Sep 24, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Whole pig dinner similar to Incanto?

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Sep 18, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Whole pig dinner similar to Incanto?

Yes, the special order whole pig for private party.

I'll have to check out Oliveto and Hopscotch.

Where will the new CC restaurant be?

Sep 17, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Whole pig dinner similar to Incanto?

We never had the opportunity to try Incanto's whole pig dinner. Is there anyone else in SF doing something similar?

Sep 15, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

What to do with beef heart?

On the most recent Master Chef the guy from Texas seared a chunk and sliced it. He treated it like it was a chunk of prime rib. The middle was rare and Ramsay and the other 2 raved about it.

Sep 12, 2014
jzc in Home Cooking

4 nights in San Francisco - any recommendations on where to eat?

I would recommend La Fusion. The menu isn't as extensive as La Mar, but their entrees are solid and the ceviche is good and it's not as expensive as La Mar. Arroz con pollo to die for.

Slanted Door gets a lot of love on this site, but I've been several times (not on my dime luckily) and have been disappointed each time. It's been a several years and doesn't have anything to do with the authenticity or lack of. It's more it was noisy, expensive (Slanted Door for lunch for 5 people was around $130-160) and the food was tasteless. The shaken beef sauce was cloying and the beef had the mushy texture and no beef taste, the crab and cellophane noodles had canned crab and everything else was blah. I asked for chili sauce and fish sauce and the waitress was blank.

Has it improved since then? Did I just go when the chef had a cold and couldn't taste?

For Thanh Long be sure to make reservations. We had reservations and still waited 45 minutes. If you're looking for crab, I found PPQ on Clement to be friendlier and just as good although not as fancy.

If you're big eaters I don't think Slanted Door or Thanh Long will fit your budget.

If budget is a concern, I recommend Barbacco for dinner.

Sep 11, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Basmati rice in rice cooker

I use my Tatung classic (water is inside and outside of the rice pot). For me, after washing several times I add water that is 1 more than the amount of rice I measured. Ex. If I measure 3 cups of the rice cooker cups then I add water to the 4 water mark on the pot. I also add water to the 4 for the outer part. For regular long grain rice and Japanese rice I use the suggested measurements on the side of the pot, but for Japanese rice I soak for 30-45 minutes before I put it into the pot and cook it. Soaking time depends on how old the rice is.

Sep 08, 2014
jzc in Home Cooking
1

CSA Reviews

The next time you get a melon, you can test the ripeness before you cut into it. Press the part of the melon that was connected to the vine. If there's some give it's ripe. Also smell the same area. If it's not ripe, leave it on the counter until it's ripe. You can do the same with a watermelon. If they picked it really early it might take a while. I've bought a melon (water, golden, etc.) that was "ripe" but I wanted it riper and left it out for 2 weeks before cutting it open. If it's already really ripe, then if you leave it out you run the risk of it starting to ferment or dry out.

Sep 08, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area