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Spudnuts in Sacramento!

New links to photos and info above, Feb 23, 2014.

1 day ago
Malcolm Ruthven in California

New French Cafe in Sausalito

I went there for lunch today and the food was as good as I expected. I was a bit unadventurous ordering, having two 1/2 sandwiches, the Chicken, Basil, Gruyere and the Prosciutto, House Jam, Goat Cheese. Surprisingly to me, I preferred the chicken one. Somehow the prosciutto one didn't have as much flavor as I expected. But the quality of both was excellent, including the rolls which I'll leave to someone else to describe. For dessert I chose the confection in the front case of Dark Chocolate, Organic Peanut Butter, Fleur de Sel. It was perfection; I don't see how it could be improved. So there you go. A French cafe in Sausalito that people should check out for themselves. I look forward to trying many other things there.

More photos: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/bio-sausalito

Jul 25, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

New French Cafe in Sausalito

It's Bio - A French Café. I stopped there today, looked around, talked to the very engaging owner, and took some photos. It wasn't time for me to eat and I restrained myself from trying some of the wonderful-looking things in the front case. The owner grew up in France, has had a take-out-only place on Union Square in SF for 12 years, and opened this cafe three weeks ago. Open seven days, breakfast, lunch, and dinner (brunch on weekends). Crepes of many types, many varieties of other things, many of them gluten free. The chocolate covered items in the case are made with 85%-type chocolate (didn't ask the brand). I'm absolutely going to come back because the whole operation appeared to be quality all the way. You should check it out too.

Photos: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/bio-sausalito

http://biologiquesf.com

Jul 24, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone been to The BBQ Spot in Santa Rosa?

Wow, that's too bad to hear. I probably will try it, through, next time I'm near there at eating time.

Jul 22, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone been to The BBQ Spot in Santa Rosa?

A friend when there recently and pronounced it good. Seedy location but fine inside.

http://thebbqspot.net

Jul 21, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Apple Crumb Pie @ Criminal Baking Co.[now Undercover Baking Agency] in Santa Rosa

I had a large savory scone there today - purple potato, bacon, white cheddar - that was excellent.

http://ruthvenphotos2.com/undercover-...

Jul 17, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

The Presidential @4505 Burgers & BBQ - Divisadero [San Francisco]

Recent article on sfchronicle.com describes the wood and process used at both 4505 Burgers & BBQ and at Smokestack at Magnolia. I definitely must try both of them.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/restaurant...

Jul 14, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Biscuits and Gravy: SFBA Dish of the Month July 2014

I had a very good biscuit-egg-sausage-gravy at Topsy's Kitchen in Petaluma yesterday. Here's the post about it:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9808...

Jul 03, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Chicken & Pie in Petaluma [Now Topsy's Kitchen]

I had lunch at Topsy's Kitchen today and posted about it in the biscuits and gravy thread.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9808...

Jul 02, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Biscuits and Gravy

I was in Petaluma at lunch time today so stopped into Topsy's Kitchen, located in the space long occupied by Aram's, more recently by a branch of Avatar's. They describe their place as serving “California farmhouse cuisine” with "deep Southern-style hospitality". I had their Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich. a homemade buttermilk biscuit with a fried organic farm egg ($5) and sausage gravy ($4). It was excellent all around (except could have used more gravy), very good biscuit, lots of sausage and lots of great flavor. I all but licked the plate. I suspect all of their food is very good.

A few photos: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/topsys_kitchen

http://topsyskitchen.com

Jul 02, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Biscuits and Gravy: SFBA Dish of the Month July 2014

I can't resist posting about a long-standing favorite, the Garden Court Cafe n Glen Ellen (a bit north of the town of Sonoma). They have a great version, Grannie's Sausage Gravy with biscuits (plus optional eggs and potatoes or grits). They make their own sausage.

http://gardencourtcafe.com

Jul 01, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Biscuits and Gravy

If you're willing to venture a bit north to Glen Ellen (just north of the town of Sonoma), the Garden Court Cafe has a great version, Grannie's Sausage Gravy with biscuits (plus optional eggs and potatoes or grits). They make their own sausage.

http://gardencourtcafe.com

Jun 30, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Pig in a Pickle BBQ - Marin

Still not open. No signage indicating anything other than "Coming Spring of 2014".

Jun 23, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Kitchener Collective, Corte Madera

I went there late afternoon today and revisited their Chicken Empanada and, again, it was just great. Also had a Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip cookie, as unique and wonderful as it sounds.

Photo of the Chicken Empanada: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/kitchener_c...

Jun 21, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Apple Crumb Pie @ Criminal Baking Co.[now Undercover Baking Agency] in Santa Rosa

I had their quiche yesterday, described as White Cheddar, Arugula, Sweet Potato, Tomato, Zucchini. It was quite good like pretty much everything I've had there.

Photo: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/undercover-...

Jun 20, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Mustard oil—super fiery?

Thanks. That's a great article for someone like me who knew nothing about mustard oil before seeing this thread.

Jun 17, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Mustard oil—super fiery?

>The FDA requires pure mustard oil to be labeled "for external use only." <

Why so?

Jun 17, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

What restaurant is now in the mill valley location of Butler's (circa 1989)?

Piazza d'Angelo has long been a favorite of mine in Mill Valley, both for ambiance and food. Their food was "off" for a few years, but it's been back for quite a while. It's the kind of place where you'll usually find a group celebrating something.

Jun 13, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

What restaurant is now in the mill valley location of Butler's (circa 1989)?

Yes, Butler's followed Perry's in that location.

Anyone been to Piatti's there since their (some time ago) remodel. I thought it was not good at all before and haven't been back. Hoping for the best...

Jun 12, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

brunch in Marin

A strong second (third?) for MHBB. To me, they have the best breakfast and lunch food around.

Photos: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/mhbreadbutter

Jun 11, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Help A Girl Out - Two Days in Sonoma

I assume that when you say "Sonoma proper" that you mean in and near the town of Sonoma. If that's correct, some of the replies here are for further-afield parts of Sonoma county (a very large county). To me, near the town of Sonoma would include Sonoma Valley (Hwy 12 north) up to Kenwood.

Jun 07, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Doozy of a Sonoma itinerary question- help GREATLY appreciated!!

Am I the only one who doesn't like Gloria Ferrer sparklers? I love the place and take visitors there for the ambiance and view, but have never like their wine. The best I can describe is that they "pucker my mouth".

Jun 04, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Doozy of a Sonoma itinerary question- help GREATLY appreciated!!

I've enjoyed BR Cohn many times, as much for their olive oil and balsamic vinegar as for the wines. Also I find their vineyards right beside Hwy 12 very photogenic.

Photo of BR Cohn vineyard in the Spring: http://tinyurl.com/m9cht3m

Jun 03, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Sunday Brunch in Sausalito

Fred's is a Sausalito institution and has been there for a long time. I lived about a block away for five years in the 90s and never thought it was that good; much preferred eating breakfast elsewhere. I once ordered French Toast, sitting at the counter, and watched as they took the slices off the grill (where they looked great) and dropped them into the deep fryer. That's supposed to be a "feature", but not to me. Obviously many people love the place. Just saying that it's not for everyone. If you've never been there you should go and see for yourself.

May 27, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Kitchener Collective, Corte Madera

I went back a week later and had two more empanadas, beef and ham & cheese. The beef was as good as the chicken empanada last week, meaning very very good. The ham & cheese was good but a bit boring, not as interesting in flavor as the chicken and beef. But all were very high quality. The empanada maker is from Argentina. There's lots more to try here, so stop in and see what you like.

More photos: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/kitchener_c...

May 24, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Kitchener Collective, Corte Madera

Kitchener Collective in Town Center, Corte Madera, opened a week and a half ago. I stopped in today and found an assortment of foods made by artisan food purveyors. My chicken empanada was excellent, probably the best empanada I've ever had. Give this place a try. They'll have more selection soon.

A few photos: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/kitchener_c...

insidescoopsf article: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

May 17, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Pig in a Pickle BBQ - Marin

They still haven't opened in Town Center.

May 17, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

What happened to all the good deli's in SF

I stopped into United Market in San Rafael today (the one at 3rd & Grand) and got pint of their "San Francisco Potato Salad - Sweet & Creamy with Carrots, Parsley, Seasonings, and Mayonnaise", $5.28/pint, from their deli case. You know, it did bring back a taste memory of the potato Salad at Herman's. It seems like the same to me. I certainly won't swear that it's the same - so much time has gone by - but I do recognize the look, texture, and flavor. Other SF old-timers, get some and see what you think.

Photo: http://ruthvenphotos2.com/files/IMG_1...

http://unitedmarkets.com

May 14, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

What happened to all the good deli's in SF

One of the comments to that article said: "San Francisco Style potato salad is available a a couple of markets in Marin County. (United Markets and Mollie Stones) ...Tastes just like Hermann’s to me!"

I'll see if I can find some. I do remember Hermann's and their potato salad, although I don't know that my taste memory of it is all that strong.

May 14, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area

Best local balsamic vinegar?

B.R. Cohn in Sonoma Valley makes and sells olive oil and vinegars, and also imports a balsamic from Modena, Italy. I have their 25-year aged balsamic and like it a lot, using it sparingly. You might enjoy tasting them at the winery.

http://brcohn.com

May 12, 2014
Malcolm Ruthven in San Francisco Bay Area