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NEW 3rd location for Chocolatier Blue now in Downtown SF!

Oooh, that is exciting! I hope their chocolate chip cookies will make the trip west as well--The Sentinel will have some cookie-break competition at last...

Sep 09, 2013
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Breakfast Sandwich - SF Dish of the Month June 2013

A friend and I just shared the breakfast sandwiches from 4505 Meats and Namu at the Saturday Ferry Plaza market. 4505 Meats had a maple-bacon sausage patty with a soft fried egg, cheese, and some greens on a brioche bun. The soft, slightly sweet bun was a nice complement to the slightly-spicy sausage, and it soaked up all the juices and runny egg yolk without falling apart.

Namu had a Korean egg toast, which was housemade Chorizo sausage, scrambled egg, shredded carrots, maybe some kimchee?--on pain de mie toast, which was then lightly dusted with powdered sugar. It came with a side of perfectly fried home fries.

Both sandwiches were delicious, and I think in the same $8 or $9 range. Namu's comes with avocado for a dollar more, but we felt like that might have been gilding the lily.

Jun 04, 2013
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area
2

El Cerrito/Berkeley/Richmond/Oakland Cupcakes?

I picked up a couple cupcakes at James and the Giant Cupcake a couple weeks ago--they have a lot of interesting-sounding flavors, though I only tried the sea salt caramel and a Meyer lemon. The sea salt caramel came with a drizzle of caramel and a light dash of sea salt (maybe Maldon? not sure), added after you order it. The lemon was moist and lemony, not too tart or too sweet. Their shop is on San Pablo at Alcatraz in Oakland.

Also, I believe Sweet Adeline does cupcakes, though I've only ever had cakes from them--but their cakes are sooo good, I would want to try their cupcakes, too, if I were doing a comparison.

Jun 04, 2013
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Sketch Ice Cream is Closing

Just passed by this corner this morning (4th and Addison)--there was a sign in the window, saying that Sketch is reopening, signed from Eric and Ruthie... no more details that I could see--my dog was not going to stand for another stop on our walk until we got to Aquatic Park.

Their Facebook page says they just passed their health inspection and have a little more cosmetic work to do on the space before they open, but it does sound like they will open soon!

Jul 10, 2012
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Is Organic Food for Elitist Jerks?

It is elitist to think that it is better to give your food dollars to a giant food and chemical conglomerate or industrial farm, who will pass their profits on to a small amount of corporate executives and wealthy shareholders (i.e., other corporations and their executives), rather than to give your food dollars to local farmers and other food purveyors who funnel their profits directly into your community through jobs and taxes. When we stop propping up the food industry with subsidies that artificially deflate the costs of factory-produced food, maybe organic food won't seem so "elitist".

Aug 26, 2011
Leadbelly in Features

GOOD Cuban or Jamaican Restaurants in SF/East Bay? Do they exist?

This was Penny's, and it is closed.

Dec 02, 2010
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Beehive Market - Berkeley (Saturdays)

I was also disappointed at the lack of produce, since the postcards they distributed in the surrounding neighborhoods had "local organic produce" first in the list of features. I did buy a large head of lettuce from McEvoy Ranch ($2.50, which sounds a little pricey but it probably weighed about two pounds). When we arrived around 1:15, it seemed sort of desolate, a perception probably enhanced by the large amount of space and small number of customers. I thought maybe we had just arrived too late in the day, but the woman at the McEvoy stand said it was like that all day. But, it is only the first day--hopefully they will attract more customers and more vendors in the coming weeks. They did have a Scream sorbet stand--the pistachio was outstanding, with a nice amount of sea salt to enhance the nuttiness, and the aprium tasted more on the apricot side, very fruity with a little tartness and not too much sugar. I would come back every week just for the sorbet, which isn't sold at the downtown Berkeley market, I think. Plus, this is a much shorter walk for me. I hope the produce selection improves.

Jun 12, 2010
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

breakfast for a hungry group of rugby players

Hobee's in Town and Country, kitty-corner from Stanford Stadium, has huge breakfasts--lots of scrambles with eggs, cheese, potatoes, sausage, etc. Their coffee cake comes in enormous slices topped with a generous amount of butter. I like their has browns, which are really home fries, that they prepare as giant plates topped with a variety of ingredients like eggs, ham and cheese or veggies. They also serve "lighter" items like oatmeal, french toast and pancakes, but I bet just about anything on their menu would be plenty filling for a hungry group of rugby players...

Note that there is also a location on Central Expressway in Mountain View, at Rengstorff--I haven't been to that particular location.

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Hobee's Restaurant
4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Apr 27, 2010
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

good 'neighborhood' restaurants for a family

Note that there IS a market at the Ferry Building on Tuesday and Thursday (more prepared food-focused on Thurs). Also, the building and vendors inside are open every day, so its worth checking out any day of the week...

Feb 10, 2010
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

where can i find thin sliced, sturdy bread for tea sandwiches in the east bay?

I am pretty sure that Andronico's has the Pepperidge Farms bread; they also carry the "cocktail" size loaves of rye and sourdough, which also are thin-sliced and make nice tea sandwiches. Another good option is to see if Acme will slice their pain de mie for you--that is a great sandwich loaf, and seems like it would make perfect tea sandwiches, though I don't think I have seen it pre-sliced before.

Feb 05, 2010
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Bulk Chocolate?

I have also paid $7.99 per pound at the Tcho shop. The tricky part is finding them open, since they will frequently close without warning, and may not necessarily return by the posted re-opening time...

Other chocolate resources are Berkeley Bowl, which carries Guittard chips and chunks in the bulk department, and Country Cheese on San Pablo, which has pre-cut bulk chunks of Callebaut bittersweet and white chocolate--it can be found in the back on top of the deli counter.

Jan 17, 2010
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to Find German Chocolate Cake or Coconut Cream Cake in Oakland/Berkeley?

Anything from Sweet Adeline will be great. I don't know if they do a coconut cream cake, but their chocolate cakes are fabulous. They have four different chocolate cakes they offer by special order, and one of them is a straight forward devils food cake.

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Sweet Adeline
3350 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA

Jan 17, 2010
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO a very quiet bar

The bar/lounge area at the Four Seasons on Market is very quiet, and has a nice view of Market Street and downtown. Lots of comfortable, lounge-y seating. I can't vouch for the cocktails myself as I am not drinking alcohol these days, but my friends seemed pretty happy with their selections, including an old-school rye manhattan and a more new-school fruity drink with a sugared rim. Plus, the location is central enough that you can quickly grab a cab or public transit to another location (Mission, Tender-Nob, North Beach, etc.) if it doesn't meet your requirements...

Another spot that occurs to me is Alfred's--known more for its steaks, I suppose, but they have a nice bar which is usually pretty quiet, and fantastic drinks. Their manhattans and martinis are served in the small tumblers they are composed in, and are actually doubles, so order carefully.

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Alfred's Steak House
659 Merchant St., San Francisco, CA 94111

Jan 07, 2010
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Hot Chocolate 2009 - Open season

Just stopped by Chocolatier Blue today and wanted some hot chocolate to fortify me for the rest of the day. They weren't making it because it was too early in the day--apparently they only prepare hot chocolate when they are doing their late afternoon free chocolate, because they melt the chocolate in a large quantity at that time. The counterperson did tell me that they have ordered a chocolate melter (? I think--I wasn't taking notes) that should be arriving in January, so they will be able to prepare hot chocolate more regularly. They do sell hot chocolate at the University Ave store, though, so I guess I should truck on up there in the meantime.

Dec 23, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Hot Chocolate 2009 - Open season

I second the spicy hot chocolate at Coupa--just had it yesterday, they do use a mix from Chuao Chocolatier (based in San Diego, but run by Venezuelans) combined with whole milk, but it tasted of rich bittersweet chocolate with a nice kick of heat at the end. My mom got the "Abuela" hot chocolate, which was similarly rich and bittersweet, but without the chiles. The Chuao website says that their products are sold at Whole Foods and Cost Plus, though I have no idea if that includes the hot chocolate mix. It was good enough to be worth investigating.

I also have enjoyed the hot chocolate at Chocolatier Blue, though I paid for mine since it was early in the afternoon--it was super-rich. I think I've read here that the free chocolate is less rich or maybe just smaller?

The hot chocolate at Tcho on Pier 17 is also great--they have their own mix which they also sell at their store. The problem is catching them when they are open--although the posted hours are 11 am to 6 pm, several times they have been closed during the middle of the day with no explanation. One time a note indicated they would return at 2 pm--I stuck around until 2:15, with no signs of life inside, and watched ten other potential customers walk up and then turn around and leave.

My dream hot chocolate would be as thick and rich as the hot chocolate served at Xoco in Chicago, but then I would also like to see Xoco's entire menu imported here...

Dec 21, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

So long, Parisian French Bread

I've come across that sourdo.com website before, and perhaps I don't understand the science, but how could it be a San Francisco sourdough starter if it is being maintained in Idaho? It doesn't say that exactly, but the company is located in Idaho. I know several people who brought their starter with them when they moved, and they claimed it was never the same, taste-wise at least. I guess the company can guarantee it is the same organism, but perhaps it will be missing that certain San Francisco-ness. Anyway, it is so easy to create your own starter at home, why on earth would someone order it from Idaho?

Dec 05, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Can anyone recommend a premade birthday cake available in Oakland/Berkeley?

Try Sweet Adeline--I think they usually require 48 hours notice for large or custom cakes, but they might have cakes in stock that would serve 15 people--their cakes are really excellent.

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Sweet Adeline
3350 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA

Dec 03, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Soul Food Farm CSA - eggs & chickens

California near Dwight, more of what I think of as central Berkeley, or maybe verging on south Berkeley, depending on which side of Dwight its on and whether or not you are talking to a real estate agent...

Nov 30, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Soul Food Farm CSA - eggs & chickens

The olive oil is from Katz.

Nov 30, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Financial District Weekend Lunch Options?

Cafe Dolci, which serves the best bahn mi in the financial district, is open on Saturdays--or at least they were last year at this time, you might want to check. But they told me that they stay open on Saturdays because a lot of the art gallery workers nearby rely on them. In addition to their bahn mi selection, they also usually have sticky rice with sausage and fresh shrimp rolls with peanut sauce. I like to call ahead to order, it usually takes about 5-10 minutes for your food to be ready, depending on how crowded they are.

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Cafe Dolci
740 Market St, San Francisco, CA

Oct 13, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Locale for Baby Shower in Berkeley

Riva Cucina has a semi-private space that they can close off with heavy drapes for a private party. The food is excellent and affordable.

Oct 05, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to Eat Right Now

A wait to order in Sentinel's line can sometimes take longer than three minutes, but it is not "just a takeout window,"--although there is nowhere to sit down, it is a pleasant little space, the people and the bustle are fun, and your food will often be ready in less than five minutes. The food is definitely worth the small wait, and you can take your food over to the steps at Market and Montgomery, down to Yerba Buena, or to the public spaces on Mission east of 2nd Street. Every out-of-towner I have taken here has loved it.

Sep 30, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley: Quince Cafe & Grill - Grass-fed beef burgers, house-made yogurt cheese, Near East potato hash

RWO, you are always so quick to get all the info on the newest places--thanks! And to nit-pick just a bit--it is on the same block as Maiz, and since Jack-in-the-Box is kitty-corner from Maiz, it is also really less than a block from J-i-t-B.

I will be heading here soon and will report back!

Sep 30, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Spaetzle maker?

My Hungarian nokedli (same as spaetzle) maker is essentially the same as a one-sided coarse grater, with slightly deeper sides to hold the batter in; it came with a metal spatula for scraping the batter through the holes.

Sep 29, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Source for great locally grown San Marzano tomatoes

Oh, thanks for the correction! I must have scanned right over them...

Sep 28, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Source for great locally grown San Marzano tomatoes

Mariquita Farms is doing two more deliveries of their Ladybug buying club, where they sell San Marzanos and just a couple other products by the case. The pick-up locations are SF and Palo Alto. Its $28 for a 20-lb box of tomatoes--for me, this yielded six quarts of pureed tomatoes for the freezer, a quart of juice, a quart of marinara and two pounds of oven-roasted tomatoes.

I haven't seen any San Marzanos at Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market in about two weeks; I have not been to any of the local farmers markets in that time, so I can't say whether any San Marzanos are available elsewhere.

http://www.mariquita.com/events/Buyin...

Sep 28, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Best source for fresh Sardines for grilling in the Eastbay?

Here is some actual feedback:

Hudson Fish, which sells at the Thursday and Saturday Berkeley Farmers' Markets, sometimes has local sardines, but I think you need to be on their email list to know for sure. They do run out quickly when they have them, plus I would recommend getting there early just to avoid getting sardines that have been thrown around a lot. They are always fresh, but when I have picked them up later in the day, they have been sitting at the bottom of the cooler for awhile and are a little banged up.

Tokyo Fish Market also frequently has them--they are usually pretty pristine. You may also check with Monterey Fish--I haven't seen sardines there in awhile, but I could be just missing them.

Sep 20, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Fred's Steak

At its current price (something like $14.99/lb for a TRI-TIP, fergawdsakes), it can be very disappointing. I don't know if it is just the outrageous price influencing my tastebuds, but it does seem to have grown more salty over the years. You can get a much better cut of meat for less money and season it to your own taste. It just won't have that "marinated in motor oil" look that everyone seems to like.

Sep 12, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley: A new ice cream maker on 4th Street - Chocolatier Blue Patisserie

Good point--Books Inc didn't announce the precise location, maybe more secret sources will step forward and clarify whether CB2 is staying.

Sep 07, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley: A new ice cream maker on 4th Street - Chocolatier Blue Patisserie

Books Inc. will be in the old Cody's space--they sent out a flyer, no need for a special gossip connection!

Sep 07, 2009
Leadbelly in San Francisco Bay Area