insectazoids's Profile

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Amaretti cookies near Rittenhouse?

I need to buy some amaretti cookies in a hurry, but keep striking out. Does anyone know of a place near Rittenhouse/Fitler/west South St. area that sells them for sure?

Jun 23, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Lunch near Haight St/ Golden Gate park [San Francisco]

It's my opinion that the upper Haight can be tricky for food because it's such a tourist zone. Nevertheless, I recommend checking out:

The Alembic (marvelous cocktails as well!)
Zazie (up the street in Cole Valley)
Cafe Reverie (also in Cole Valley)

Both Nopalito and Park Chow are in the Inner Sunset, and there are many other great places to eat there as well if you're willing to relocate.

May 11, 2013
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for Mission District Lunch Spots [San Francisco]

I've had lunch at Fiore Caffé on 24th & Guerrero several times -- really lovely food & atmosphere (sit-down, no wifi!)

I also like Rosamunde, Old Jerusalem, and Delfina, mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

May 11, 2013
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Hot Cross Buns recipe: your favorite, your tried-and-true

Wow, I totally gave up on this thread -- but you really brought it to life!!

I don't mind that it's not technically HCB season anymore. Yours look great and I'll give that recipe a try sometime.

May 10, 2013
insectazoids in Home Cooking

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Thanks for this. (And apologies for the late reply.) Like I said in my original post, I certainly don't expect to find anything as "good" (exhaustive/bountiful/specific) as BB or Rainbow... but I still want to find enough places to fill my grocery needs. I agree with you -- the truth is that the quotidian food culture of the west coast is just very different from the east, and I accept that.

I'm looking forward to exploring Philadelphia's restaurant scene and some of its more unique cafés.

Thanks also for the Headhouse Square FM tip. I will look it up.

May 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

El Pedal: rad craft beer bar in Madrid

Let's say you're in Madrid & you've got a hankering for a beer with a little more going on than Mahou or Cruzcampo. Let's say you're a beer geek. Let's say you like beer and you also like riding bikes (not motos) and alt/punk music from the 80s & 90s. I say: El Pedal!

El Pedal is a super fun and cute beer bar in Lavapies with a wide range of American & European bottled beers (Anchor Steam, Brooklyn Brewery, Samuel Smith, St. Peter's Brewery, plus many others) and 5-6 Spanish microbrews on tap. Here's what was on tap when I visited:

Dalmoru (weissbier from Ales Agullons Cerveza Artesana)
Suria (pale ale from La Pirata Cerveza Artesana)
Largato Barbudo (red ale from Reptilian Cerveza Artesana)
San Diego (IPA from Dougall's)
95 (Imperial IPA edición Chivas from Guinea pigs! Cerveza Artesana)

You can try cañas of each (like 1/2 pint size) or get a full pint. Cañas ranged from €2-3 apiece and pints were a little more (but I don't quite remember how much more since I only bought the cañas...).

There's a smallish seating area inside and several tables outside on the sidewalk. I visited with a friend and we happily chatted away at the bar while trying each beer on tap. Snacky bits were offered, including some really addictively seasoned quicos. El Pedal serves a small range of tapas, which we did not try. They also sell wine for your ridiculous non-beer drinking friends.

Definitely worth checking out!

They keep their Facebook page updated with the current beers on tap:
https://www.facebook.com/CerveceriaEl...
http://www.yelp.com/biz/el-pedal-madrid

Calle de Argumosa, 33
Tue-Thu, Sun 6pm-1am
Fri-Sat, 6pm-2am

May 10, 2013
insectazoids in Spain/Portugal

Cook & Taste: Barcelona cooking class (5/2013)

I took a half-day cooking class earlier this month at Cook & Taste in Barcelona, whose kitchens are located in El Barri Gótic not too far from the Jaume I Metro stop. My package included a walking tour of La Boqueria market, where we purchased the items we needed to prepare our meal.

I was in a group of 12 people, almost all American tourists (save one Australian couple), and as such the class was conducted in English by a chef/graduate of ESHOB. Cost for both the tour & the class was €78, payable with a credit card (I also tipped in cash).

The day started at 9:45am, when we met at the kitchens to deposit bags and walk to La Boqueria. By 10am the market is already teeming with tourists and regulars alike. Though touring with groups bigger than three is really, really not my thing at all, our chef supplied enough useful/interesting information about the origin and traditions behind the food we saw to make it worthwhile.

We returned to the kitchen to produce:

Romesco with asparagus
Sopa de pimiento rojo al aroma de azafrán tostado con bacalao
Paella de marisco
Crema Catalana

The recipes were given to each of us in a printed packet. We also snacked on mixed olives and jamón pata negra y pata blanca with seasoned toast while we cooked. Red and white wines were also poured throughout the cooking & eating process (I'm terribly sorry that I have no record of what we drank to share with you!)

Each participant volunteered to cook one segment of the meal, with the chef instructing and interjecting when needed. For me, watching and participating in the preparation of the paella, which was done with the aid of a special gas burner, was actually quite interesting. (I'm ambivalent about paella and this was in fact the only one I ate during 2 weeks of traveling in Spain... what can I say; I guess I just prefer all the other Spanish treats!) The food was prepared in such a manner that we sat to eat all the courses in sequence, and though nothing was gonna blow yer mind, everything was quite good. We didn't eat until about 245pm.

Overall, I really valued and enjoyed this experience: I love learning to cook "in person" by watching others; I gleaned a lot of useful info about both food and vendors from the market tour; and as a solo traveler, this is the kind of group experience I want to splurge on/be a part of.

The one variable bummer, I think, would be your group. Mine wasn't particularly spirited or knowledgeable, really (when I cheerfully asked if anyone from the States had experience smuggling jamón through customs, I got a lot of blank stares, and then one voice piped up "isn't that *illegal*?" I did hit it off with an awesome lady from Bali, though.)

I wager that the tour, instruction, and food (and bottomless glasses of wine) are a decent deal for the price and a fine way to spend half of your day in Barcelona. Recommended!

http://www.cookandtaste.net/
Paradís 3 08002 Barcelona

T. +34 93 302 13 20

info@cookandtaste.net

May 10, 2013
insectazoids in Spain/Portugal

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Philly Ray, I know Chinatown is not too far from City Hall. Do you know where I would find a good Middle Eastern market or a good Indian market?

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Yay for hippie grocery stores!

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Not yet, though I anticipate living in Center City/University City/Art Museum areas... I think. I'm pretty mobile, though, with bike and car.

I'll be visiting for a week in early April to look for apts. and will likely check out any promising looking grocery places then as well!!

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

OK. Well, perhaps I will just have to make do with WF then! Here, WF bulk is comparatively expensive and not particularly wide-ranging in terms of what it offers. I understand that turnover is important. I'll add Weavers Way & Mariposa to my list and check 'em all out.

How about Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Latinoamerican markets? I am curious if Philly has markets that support non-Western communities.

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Thanks for these selections!!! Esp. the spice recs. I don't mind Penzy's; it's nice to know that there's a retail location nearby. And I'm excited to explore Philly's many markets.

The deal is that I know about WF already -- they are a major chain that's permeated virtually every city in the US! I want to know about the other places -- smaller and/or local shops. I imagine that these shops have the potential for better prices & greater diversity than WF.

I don't expect to find replicas of Berkeley Bowl (Berkeley) or Rainbow (SF) in Philly... I just want to be able to fill the gap when they're gone. WF by itself does not fill that gap.

Also, I'm most curious about dry goods, not produce...

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Hi Philadelphia board!

I'm moving to Philly in June from SF and am looking to get a lay of the land. More specifically, I'd like to find one or two good grocery stores that sell bulk goods -- grains, beans, spices, flours, etc. -- and are *not* Whole Foods.

(The two analogues that come to mind out here are Rainbow and Berkeley Bowl, if that helps.)

Got any good grocery/food shopping advice to share? I am all ears.

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Hot Cross Buns recipe: your favorite, your tried-and-true

Doing some ahead-planning. Does anyone have a recipe to recommend?

Feb 04, 2013
insectazoids in Home Cooking

Found travertine slab for pizza stone -- your thoughts, please

A friend of mine knew I wanted a pizza stone, and he picked up a 1" thick slab of travertine for me at Urban Ore (http://urbanore.com/) that fits nicely in my oven.

Functionally it would work great for pizza, but I don't know where this travertine has been or what it's come in contact with. Is it useable? Usable after a special cleaning? Useable with a silicone mat or other protective layer on top? Should I use it as a flagstone instead?

Dec 08, 2011
insectazoids in Cookware

Looking for vegan friendly ethnic (but not too wild!) restaurant for a party of 15-20

Where will the civil ceremony be taking place? San Francisco? Berkeley? San Jose? et. al.

Apr 26, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to find Mole Tacos and/or Burritos in the Bay area?

Papalote has chicken mole and tofu mole on their menu.

Mar 21, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

best hamburgers and milkshake in sf ?

I've had the burger at St. Francis a few times and it is a totally tasty average burger -- not sure it is a "destination burger" -- but it certainly is a cool-kid burger & shake experience. Also you can get Yo! MTV Raps trading cards (unless they've sold out).

I discovered Pearl's on a walk last December and didn't have time to try it out, but it was packed on a weekday and looked very tasty. Any favorite styles to try?

There's probably a thread or two on Pearl's that I'll check out later.

Mar 21, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Coffee

Sounds like you'll like Summit Cafe. I personally like Atlas Cafe or Sugarlump to work in, but to my knowledge neither serves the "brand name" coffees you're looking for.

Anthony Bourdain seemed to like the Cubano at That's It! on Mission and 23rd. Maybe you'll like it too. My favorite place to take out-of-town guests for Mexican breakfast is San Jalisco (formerly Jarritos) on S. Van Ness at 20th.

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Sugarlump
2862 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Mar 21, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Trouble Coffee Company - One Inch Thick Cinnamon Toast, SF - who's tried it?

I have gone on long walks and bike rides with the intent of going to Trouble Coffee at some point specifically for their cinnamon toast. It's simple and terrific after being outside in fog and chill.

Don't know the story behind the bread, but it is certainly quite fresh. I know Outerlands makes a Tartine-style sourdough loaf; this is a sweet loaf.

Mar 21, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Street Eats

Agreed. Portland really has us beat on this one.

Mar 11, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Take-out Places for a "Big Salad" (Dinner)?

In the East Bay I personally LOVE the tostada salad at Picante -- huge! Tasty!

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Picante
1328 6th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Mar 10, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Take-out Places for a "Big Salad" (Dinner)?

I think that that most of SF's crepe house mini-chains -- Squat & Gobble, Crepevine, The Crepe House, etc. have decent big salads. I can't recall if Cobb is a choice, but it's worth checking out.

Zazie (Cole Valley) & La Note (Downtown Berkeley) both have a good-sized, satisfying salad Nicoise.

I also had a carne asada salad at Green Chile Kitchen (WA/NOPA) last month that was terrific.

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Zazie
941 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Green Chile Kitchen
1801 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Crepe House
429 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Mar 10, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Macarons - Any new places?

Sweet on Church Street near Market sells them, but I can't vouch personally for their goodness.

Mar 10, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a private dining room for a business dinner of 50-60 people.

This website is a decent place to start: http://www.sfpdv.com/

Also, try searching "private dining" for past answers to this question.

Feb 28, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Jardiniere, huh?

We will take a look, and report back. We haven't asked if they'd be open to hosting a lunchtime event; if they are, they may be willing to let us use the space as a whole instead of relegating us to the private room -- which, based on their website's photo alone, looks like it may be too small.

One thing I have learned from this process is that certain restaurants that are open dinner only are occasionally willing to host large private parties at lunch. The range of good options suddenly increases.

Feb 28, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Where can I get Marzipan?

I believe it's also sold in tube form at most Safeways.

Feb 28, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Jardiniere, huh?

These are both useful comments -- La Folie offers private dining, and it is one of the places we'll be "auditioning" for the reception.

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La Folie
2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

Feb 28, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Jardiniere, huh?

Yes, the prices are a real turn-off -- they seem like superlative tourist prices. We're still auditioning restaurants and may find something else that's a better match with what we want & need.

Feb 26, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area

Jardiniere, huh?

Thanks, this is helpful feedback. We've considered a number of other restaurants who do private dining and whose food is both far lovelier and less expensive, but the private dining spaces won't work (too small, no windows, poor sound control, etc.). I agree that Jardiniere is safe food, and from the perspective of hosting a wedding reception, which will include conservative family tastes, safe may not be a bad option.

Feb 26, 2011
insectazoids in San Francisco Bay Area