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Spenbald's Profile

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Russian River/Sonoma Coast Wineries and Restaurants

One of the more pleasant tasting experiences I've had in recent memory was at the Porter-Bass Winery just outside Guerneville. Strictly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zin. All are remarkable, and the tasting was done outdoors with the winemaker. Appointment only.

http://www.porterbass.com/

I suspect you'll get some good results from doing a board search. Many people looking for very similar things over the years.

"Five of the Best: San Francisco Micro-Breweries"

How do you see Speakeasy as a brewpub? They brew near Hunters Point and have a nice tap room that only opened about a year ago, and there's no food in the operation.

Now Open The Hall, in Mid-Market, SF - what do hounds like?

I have a real hard time believing the $12 price tag on the banh mi, especially since their own website has none over $8. Maybe a misread? Or a special that day?

http://littlegreencyclo.com/?page=menu

Still, with Saigon Sandwich within striking distance, an $8 banh mi still seems egregious.

fraises des bois before Saturday SF or East Bay

Uggh, they were just available on Good Eggs not two days ago, but I just looked and they have since been removed. I'm sorry I didn't catch the vendor, either.

Unsalted pistachios

The vendor is Winters Fruit Tree and they are there on Wednesdays as well.

Fat Angel Bakery (Fairfax), good as ever

I hit this place almost every Sunday during cycling training season when I find myself in Fairfax, which is often a perfect place for a break. I've been unable to resist the pear, walnut, and Point Reyes blue cheese scone, the bear claw (NOT your typical city donut shop variety), and muffins. Everything I've had has been excellent, and they serve Equator coffee.

Easy Breezy Frozen Yogurt and Frozen Custard - Newly Opened in Inner Sunset, SF

Using blood limes?

Your original post was right around the time I encountered these for the very first time. They are available from DeSantis Farms from Fresno at the Wednesday Heart of the City farmer's market at UN Plaza in SF. The farm has all kinds of specialty citrus and tree fruit. Spotted today: finger limes, sweet limes, buddha's hand citron, and all number of different mandarins, oranges, etc. In season, they have loquats, bitter almonds, and an array of persimmons. Prices are pretty high, but the variety is stunning.

As for the blood limes, I had found so little about them in any research I had done. I've purchased a couple dozen or so over the past couple years. To me, they are notably sweeter than your standard lime, and by this time of year, the flesh is a rich, dark red (I first saw them showing up in the late summer/early fall, when both the skin and flesh were green). Other than cocktails, I haven't found much use for them. Aside from the novelty, I'd much rather have pounds upon pounds of blood oranges, usually for quite a bit cheaper.

Feb 05, 2014
Spenbald in Home Cooking

Bitters, Bock & Rye: A bar with 'cue [San Francisco]

Lots of buzz about this Polk Gulch bar that started a couple weeks ago as they were softly opening a new, expanded dining area. They are now offering a menu of house-smoked BBQ in addition to a handful of specialty cocktails. I stopped in for dinner and drinks prior to a GAMH show last week and was overall quite pleased.

Happy hour specials run from 4 until 7 and are quite good. Specialty cocktails are $2 off, All beer (drafts & bottles) are $1 off, and sandwiches are also discounted either $1 or $2 (can't remember as I didn't have one). I had a Smoked JalapeƱo Margarita, which was nicely balanced, though the (smoked) paprika salt rim was gratuitous.

But let's get to the 'cue: I shared a three-meat plate with sausage, brisket (choice of fatty or lean, I chose the fatty), and pork ribs. All plates come with two sides, and we had collard greens and hush puppies, and opted to split an appetizer of mac & cheese (also offered as a side, but not all sides are offered separately). The mac & cheese came out in a mini-skillet and was beautifully creamy, though could have used a touch more seasoning. The meats were pretty good; the brisket shined best: beautifully smoky and fatty, as ordered. Sausage was well-spiced if not a touch overcooked, and the pork ribs suffered a strange duality of having an almost impenetrable bark with some decently moist and flavorful meat underneath. Collards had a great vinegary tang and the hush puppies were tender and flavorful, maybe leaning toward a touch too onion-y. Meats come unsauced, but a four-pack of housemade sauces arrives with your food, including (if I can piece them all together again) a mustard sauce, a NC vinegar sauce, a sweeter Texas bbq sauce, and yep, can't remember the other one.

Prices are reasonable, and the bar is well-stocked. Rumor has it they'll be brewing their own beer soon (you can see a couple of tanks in the bar area).

Eager to hear if others have tried this yet.

http://www.bittersbockandrye.com/

Dinner Near Civic Center BART? [San Francisco]

I accidentally replied to that thread, but it seems the prices are now uniform in both locations.

Lers Ros Missfire [San Francisco]

I clicked through at least 8 different categories and couldn't find one difference in the prices. And in some cases, the offerings were greater for the Hayes location. The beef category, for instance.

NEW: Elmira Rosticceria - sandwich, coffee shop, breakfast/brunch in SF Tenderloin - any reports?

It is indeed truffle oil. I went in for breakfast a couple weeks ago and walked by a server putting a beautiful plate of eggs benedict down on a table and was accosted by that unmistakable stench of truffle oil. Such a shame. I wonder if they make the hollandaise before they put that foul stuff in it so that you can order it without. This thread almost prompted a rant from me about truffle oil, and wondering what establishments in the Bay Area are accommodating enough to prepare their food that incorporates truffle oil in a way in which it may be omitted. For one, I can tell you that the Little Green Cyclo food truck typically makes their garlic noodles with truffle oil, but will gladly leave it off for those who do not want it.

Where do you purchase broccoli rabe in San Francisco?

Happy Boy is at Noe Valley on Saturday mornings and Mission Community Market (aka Mercado) on Thursday afternoons/evenings. Some of their produce can run a little on the high side, but their broccoli rabe (or rapini, depending on the season, I suppose) has usually been a steal.

I *think* Tomatero occasionally has it. I usually run into them at the Haight market on Wednesday afternoons, but they are also at the Mission market.

In terms of retail, I almost always see it at Andronico's in the Sunset and WF on Stanyan & Haight.

Hummus - SF Dish of the Month July 2013

I've found all the hummus I've tried from the Hummus Guy (at Heart of the City FM on Wednesdays) to be quite good. Also has garlicky-spicy olives (both black and green), tsatsiki, and INCREDIBLE harissa. Seriously, if you love some heat, this stuff is awesome, and it keeps forever. They are heavy-handed with the samples whenever I've seen them, so you can basically taste their whole portfolio. I do agree that homemade is best, but The Hummus Guy does a fine job.

Seeking good house-made muhammara

Thanks for the recipe! I should try this, and figure out what else I can do with pomegranate molasses.

Seeking good house-made muhammara

Great tip! I bought a container from WF yesterday and have yet to try it, but glad to know it's easily available.

Seeking good house-made muhammara

I had a reliable source of delicious muhammara in the Boston area but haven't found anything like it around San Francisco. I do realize I probably won't find it in the city, so is there a recommendation for somewhere else where I can buy a tub in the area? Perhaps I'll need to explore making my own.

Tres Leches Cake -- Delessio vs. Tartine? [San Francisco]

Given the prices on their special orders webpage, it seems true. I gasped audibly when I read these prices: http://www.tartinebakery.com/special-...

NEW: Elmira Rosticceria - sandwich, coffee shop, breakfast/brunch in SF Tenderloin - any reports?

Went last week to try the porchetta sandwich. Very stark space, but neat and clean. Menu offerings vary by day, but I think the tripe and porchetta are staples. Thought a $7.50 sandwich was a pretty good value ($10 being a pretty standard baseline in the city these days, though to be fair, this wasn't quite as large as many sandwiches in the city). Porchetta comes on ciabatta with a salsa verde. The crispy skin is more like pork rinds than the crispy bits on the Roli Roti sandwich. Overall, I thought the meat itself could use some more salt, but the sandwich certainly went down with ease. Had a side of the roasted potatoes (which sit under the pork, soaking up the juices) and they were still remarkably crisp and were themselves seasoned well. Small cup of giardiniera (cuke, carrot, cauliflower) accompanied the sandwich, and was a welcome, acidic bite to complement the richness of the fatty pork. I will come back for sure. I really like what this place is doing.

Organic strawberries?

Tomatero has had theirs at Upper Haight and Mission Mercado. Seems like fewer each week than last year, and the prices are a bit higher, but they've still been delicious.

Zagat's choice for top Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco,

The 370 GG location (closer to Larkin) was the scene of a significant fire at the end of February. I walked by the other day and it definitely did not look like it was open. SF Appeal quotes an employee from the Mission location as saying it was unsure whether it would open ever again: http://sfappeal.com/2013/02/el-castil...

Adding more confusion, there are 2 locations of Taqueria Castillo: one at McAllister & Leavenworth and one in Union Square on Mason near Turk & Market. No idea if these are a spinoff or parent of Castillito.

Boston Hound Report: I finally ate something other than Asian Food

Nice report! I'm still a less-than-two-year Boston transplant to San Francisco, so I love seeing what Boston hounds choose when they are in town. I stumbled upon Bake & Banker on a walk during lunch and have vowed to make a visit.

Schmidt's: Bad service. Ok food. [San Francisco]

Thanks for the follow up and further explanation. I've found, to my dismay, that some on the SF Chowhound Board in particular are very quick to discount, chastise, and belittle, and are incredibly pedantic. It unfortunately belies the spirit of Chowhound in general.

new on Gough@Grove: dragonEats & Hayes Valley Bakeworks [San Francisco]

I've been deeply disappointed by my visits here. I want to love them for what they're doing, and the descriptions of their food sound delicious, but they've failed to deliver multiple times. And for the price of their products, I really want more, so I just walk right by now. The cinnamon roll was hefty, but didn't deliver much in terms of bacon, maple, or cinnamon flavor. Pretty much just a dough bomb. Cookies were fine, but too small to justify the price. Haven't tried any of the lunch items, but not likely to be back.

Source for good chickens? [SF, East Bay or Peninsula]

We make special trips from SF to Berkeley just to get the Riverdog chickens. They're spectacular.

Schmidt's: Bad service. Ok food. [San Francisco]

This is unfair of you. The OP received a confirmation from restaurant staff that his/her request would be accommodated. Regardless of this, it doesn't excuse the bizarre service they encountered. It's lovely that your experience went smoothly, but that doesn't mean the restaurant didn't really screw this one up.

Nosa Ria in Hayes Valley - Spanish import shop with food + cookware [San Francisco]

Seemingly EGREGIOUS markup on Iberico last I was in a few weeks ago. They very cutely mark the price at $8/oz., which, of course, amounts to $128/lb. I had to stifle a laugh when I saw that. Headed across town to Say Cheese in Cole Valley where they were offering Iberico for $80/lb, and for what it's worth, the color of the ham was much lighter and fresh looking than at Nosa Ria. Unless I'm really getting it wrong on what they were offering, I can't imagine spending my money here. I want to love this newish addition, but all of it screams "precious Hayes Valley" to me.

Where Can I Find A Niman Ranch Ham Steak in SF?

Pretty sure Andronico's on Irving has them. We usually grab one to chop up into mac & cheese.

Buche de Noel in SF Proper

Arizmendi in the Sunset has them. Didn't catch the price.

Actually, I've been meaning to create a real pu pu platter thread [San Francisco]

SF, and primarily from Civic Center area west and north of Market St. Inner Sunset and Richmond, Hayes/Western Addition.NoPA, Fillmore, etc.

Good I would say means meat that is more tender than rubber, fried chicken and shrimp that are crispy and not burnt, and as little grease as possible. I'd like to avoid candy-red spareribs if at all possible.