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Mother's Day....dinner!

Final decision--we're driving up to Santa Barbara, will do a whale watching trip and then probably go to Brophy Bros for dinner.

I will definitely be in the Valley at least once, if not twice during the week for lunch (possibly solo) and dinner (with a friend) so we will either go in her 'hood (Tarzana) or Sherman Oaks. Thanks again for all the recs, I really look forward to trying some new restaurants while I'm there. Now I just need good karma traffic wise (while I'm driving down) and weather wise (I'm tired of the weather up here in the Bay Area).

Thanks again!

Brophy Brothers Santa Barbara

Thanks for your response. We are booked for a whale-watching trip from 3-5:30 pm so I think we'll stick close to the harbor area and Brophy Bros. In the Alley looks good for lunch but I think I'd prefer a seated meal. Brophy doesn't take reservations but I think we'll be fine.

Thanks again!

May 06, 2015
alwayshungrygal in California

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

I've not eaten at the Cole Valley location and it's actually been awhile since I've eaten at NB, so sorry I can't answer properly. I've been diet conscious for a long time so pizza is a bit of a guilt trip for me and I don't indulge very often.

Mother's Day....dinner!

pgl--I have a low tolerance for both heat and flavor. I looked at the Simon's menu and it's definitely doable, I love Mediterranean food (and I know the area well, it's 3 blocks from where I used to live.) I don't know the actual driving time for SPL but it's a "destination" so to speak so would definitely consider it.

aatran--I'm not that familiar with Argentinian cuisine but Malbec definitely looks doable. SweetSalt--website takes forever to upload! but it's more casual than I think I want. Olive/Thyme looks great for lunch, not really what I want for dinner that night. Prosecco and Ca del Sole definitely look doable! Italian is definitely my favorite cuisine (I grew up in a traditional Jewish/Italian neighborhood). Bistro Provence also looks great.

Thanks to both of you for answering. I was beginning to lose hope of getting a response. Hopefully we'll make a decision before I drive down and will try to report back afterwards.

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

If you are staying near SFO, you are just 10 minutes from San Mateo/Burlingame area. North Beach Pizza in DT San Mateo is very close. DT SM is very busy, especially on weekend nights and you may have to drive around a few minutes for parking (but you should be able to find a spot...eventually). I think there are more restaurants per square mile there than other areas. One 3 block stretch (on B Street) has about 20+ different eateries/bars etc, and none are chain restaurants.

Cheesecake factory

Alas, no Rock Sugar near where I live and a bit of a drive from where I stay in So CA. IF they ever come into the Bay Area I'll go to it. CF opened about a mile from my home about a year ago, have only eaten there once since. It's always busy but it's that kind of suburb, if you know what I mean. Not too many choices or variety in any category.

May 04, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains

Brophy Brothers Santa Barbara

Thinking of driving up to SB from Valencia next Sunday, Mother's Day with my son. We might go whale-watching or doing some other harbor-area stuff. Does anyone think we'd need a reservation? We've eaten at the Ventura location and that was a casual day; we didn't know the area so basically stumbled on it and it worked out fine.

Actually, should we go anywhere else in the area besides Brophy Bros? Again, it'll be a casual day for us. We both need a day to relax after a busy work week.

Thanks!

May 04, 2015
alwayshungrygal in California

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

I've eaten at North Beach Pizza many times (it's near my 'hood) and it's pretty good. Agreed, it's not a by-the-slice place isn't set up for it. Either eat in or take it go (or have it delivered). It's always busy but probably has the best location in all of DT SM. NB Pizza also does entrees that are good for the price.

There was another pizza place nearby (Red Brick?) but I never ate there and it didn't last very long.

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

Thanks for the link. Sigh....none are in my 'hood and all would be a road trip. Which one do you think is the best shot at perfection?

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

Interesting to know and obviously I don't know those places. Are they good or comparable to NY style pizza? I mean the gooey, excess oil dripping off when you fold it the slice in half.

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

If you are thinking of the NY style/corner pizzerias that mainly serve by the slice, I can't think of a single place in the Bay Area. As noted there are lots of good places around but for the true NY style pizzeria (and I well know the type, born/raised in Brooklyn and still go back there), I don't think that exists anywhere around here. There are places that come close but still are not the same.

Cheesecake factory

I just looked at their website. It's a bit difficult to find their other restaurants but I did. Kind of, sort of the same but not really. Never heard of Grand Lux Cafe and it doesn't look like there are too many of them anyway. Thanks for the tip.

May 02, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains

Mother's Day....dinner!

Hi LA hounds, it's time for my bi-annual trip to LA to see my son and happily I will be there for Mother's Day. But I don't want to do brunch, I'd rather go out for a nice dinner. It doesn't have to be fine dining but I'd like it to be a step up from the usual casual places we go. I'm staying in Valencia again and would rather not drive more than 1/2 hour from there, which (traffic permitting) barely gets us to the southern part of the San Fernando Valley. We could go over the hill into LA but I don't know what else we will be doing that day or where we'll be. I might just sit by the pool all afternoon...

I just saw a post about the Saddle Peak Lodge which looks interesting. I still have a low tolerance for spice so I stick to Italian/American/etc etc end of the food spectrum. Are there any new/must go to places that would work? Again, it doesn't have to be the best meal I ever had, just really good food (which sometimes can be found in some sketchy dives off the beaten path). And, depending on what we do, are there any options that don't require reservations? Tricky, I know...

Thanks!

Cheesecake factory

I never heard of Rock Sugar before. I just looked at their website and don't see that the dessert menu is similar to the mothership.

http://www.rocksugarpanasiankitchen.c...

What are the other names of their restaurants and where are they located?

May 01, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains

Cheesecake factory

I've seen this, it's not new, note the publication date is 2007. Quite seriously, it's a great resource if you love cheesecake.

Apr 28, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains
1

Cheesecake factory

I LOVE the idea of a cheesecake wedding cake! I hope the milestone birthday person (you?) enjoys it very much. I've got a milestone birthday coming up myself in a few months and I don't dare order one. I wouldn't share it and then would feel heavier just by the guilt alone, let alone the calories.

Apr 28, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains
1

Cheesecake factory

I haven't had it in many years (at least 20+), but the absolutely, hands-down, best cheesecake I ever had was from Junior's in Brooklyn. Google the recipe, I'm sure you can find it. It may be sold retail or on-line too. I've never had better, anywhere, whether purchased or home made.

Apr 27, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains

kosher food to order in San Fransisco

Oakland Kosher will definitely deliver and they do charge per delivery. Their website lists all their options so my suggestion is for your son to order a few meals at a time and freeze what he doesn't eat right away. They are a bit expensive and not exactly trendy, well, not trendy at all but solid kosher-soul food if you know what I mean. If you order complete meals (i.e. entree, salad, dessert, roll/margarine), everything comes individually Saran wrapped within a sealed box.

I will tell you that I had their matzo ball soup a few years ago and it was so good, it literally brought tears to my eyes. The rest of their food, I can't recommend as highly, but I haven't eaten that much of it. Then again, I had a piece of their chocolate cake recently and it was pretty good.

5 Guys does SUCK

I definitely will but after the opening rush dies out. I have a funny feeling that it won't last, as it is in a small shopping center that altho in the "center" of town, it's a suburb of a suburb, and the total population is about 30,000. And as I posted, lots of other options very close by. Other chains (Peets Coffee, Baja Fresh, Freebird, Boston Market) have died in other locations around town, for one reason or another.

Apr 24, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains

5 Guys does SUCK

5 Guys is opening literally a 5 minute walk from my home. I've managed to avoid the few locations I've been near, but I guess I will have to try them at least once. Opening near me bring the total count of burger places within a 10 minute drive of my home to about 8 or so, not including casual restaurants that have burgers on the menu.

Red Robin
Micky D
Carl's Junior
Burger King
The Counter
Habit
and a few local/non chain ones....

Apr 23, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains

Cheesecake factory

Factory production of their cheesecake ensures that all the product is made exactly as per the recipe. And, I'd bet that their kitchens don't have enough space (ovens etc) to product the amount and variety of cheesecakes on their menu. Since their menu is so expansive, catering to just about every segment of cuisine/meal time possible, they'd have to do the cheesecake in a kitchen devoted just to that item. Everything else is made to order.

This is not a defense of their business model, but working for a catering company that does huge numbers at one time, I definitely understand it.

Apr 23, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Chains

bbq menu

Given that we don't know the ethnic or religious make-up of the invitees, I would avoid pork and go with chicken. Being a fairly non-observant Jew, I love pulled pork but wouldn't suggest it without knowing the group.

Do you love the concept of organic peanut butter but just hate the mess?

+1, many times over. So actually +30 or so. I have to stir it alot. Last time I nuked it a bit to get the PB a bit softer (covered the top with a paper towel) and that helped. But still, a lot of stirring...

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

I've got a quick reply to this: if the venue has a contract with a caterer and states the caterer is the exclusive food provider for the venue, then yes, you've got a problem. If not, then you're free to source/add anything any way you want.

You should check with your local Department of Public Health or the venue and see if you need an off-premise health permit, and/or if the various caterers/food providers will provide coverage. For your own safety, you may need an insurance rider to cover the various food providers. Check with your homeowner insurance policy and see if you have coverage under it.

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

Nice reply, and while you may be (or not) a baaad boy, at least you are polite about it!

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

I haven't driven over the GG since the change and I can only imagine what tourists think when they get a bill in the email after they cross. I don't know what the signs say about the toll process there.

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

Wow, I've read just about every single post and I guess I'm just a bit more mellow than almost everyone. I can't think of a single time that I've been bothered by someone in front of me who was slow putting their items on the conveyor belt, counting their change, chatting with the cashier etc. Maybe it's just a lapse in memory right now but honestly, life is too short to stress out over these things. I've had a sea-change in my outlook over the past 4 years and am trying to have a much more positive way of living. But I also admit to getting into the express lane with items over the limit. I swear it was an accident, I'd just had dental work and was still numb from the Novocaine, and that was over 30 years ago...

BUT! I also remember seeing a TV movie about 20+ years ago based on a true story, about a sports writer whose daughter had cystic fibrosis. The scene I remember was where Craig T Nelson (he played the sports writer) is in a supermarket buying a special beverage his dying daughter wanted. He is stuck behind a chatty cashier and customer, and is waiting patiently while said daughter is dying at home.

My point is, as others pointed out, you never know what the full situation is, either with the customers behind the slow person, or the slow person her/himself. Or the cashier! I was in a Marshall's store 2 days ago, and got into a conversation with the cashier, and after I finished paying, she kept talking, and talking, and talking. There was a line behind me and she was like the AAA bunny-she just kept going.

As Rodney King said it, "why can't we all just get along?"

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

+1, in the Bay Area. I think I use a toll bridge about 5-6 times a year, at most. There aren't any toll roads anywhere I travel in CA.

Does dried pasta go bad?

I too have "old" pasta in my cupboard (bought over 5 years ago, maybe more). I opened one bag a few weeks ago, cooked it and didn't taste anything "off" about it. Maybe it's my taste buds but I say, go for it, if you don't smell anything funky when you open the bag/box. Maybe do just a small test portion first before you serve it to anyone else.

I've also got old rice that I keep thinking I should use but never do. And some other old, jarred items...you see a pattern here. G-d help me, I'm turning into my mother!

How long will eggs last in the fridge?

I just tossed a half-carton of eggs dated March 2014. When I cracked the eggs open, there wasn't any smell but the yolks were darker yellow and almost solid, definitely not beatable. I've previously kept eggs for a long time and been able to use them but this was the first time I really had to pitch them. Luckily I had bought fresh eggs the day before (I kinda had a gut feeling about it) so was able to use them.

Apr 07, 2015
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking