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The best San Francisco sourdough?

Fond memories of Freddy's sandwiches, a block further up Francisco. Fred would ask us Francisco kids "how much-a Mien bow?"

Have yet to have a better salami/cheese sandwich (FRESH Venetian bread, of course) anywhere, especially for $0.30.

about 24 hours ago
FoodTrippin in San Francisco Bay Area

Tipping Point [Hong Kong] - HK's best burger by a mile....!

Just curious. How many actual Chinese did you see ordering this USD$27 burger?

Is there REAL AUTHENTIC Pho in Westminster?

I doubt seriously that MR. TASTER would EVER be mistaken/accepted for a Brotha, in any misinterpretation of the word. In any situation.

On another note, can a FOB ever become an ABC? :)

Aug 07, 2014
FoodTrippin in Los Angeles Area

A beef: "Is this your first time here?"

Told the screw that I was lactose and gluten intolerant. Eggs? Sunnyside up please.

Dude didn't really seem like he cared to attend to my needs or comply with my simple requests.

Didn't even bother to ask for fragrance free soaps... *sigh*....

Aug 06, 2014
FoodTrippin in Not About Food

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot now open in the TL. [San Francisco]

Yeah..... many wannabe "Greedy Sheep", "Fat Sheep"... hot pot packets available at the local supers. Surprised that Yum Brands would locate their first Little Sheep in the Tenderloin. But heck, the location is just off Union Square.

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot now open in the TL. [San Francisco]

Beware imposters in Little Sheep clothing.

Obama at Canter's

Where the hell did his motorcade park????

Anywhere they Kevin' want!!!!!!!!

Jul 28, 2014
FoodTrippin in Los Angeles Area

Petit Trois, No Reservations, No Phone, No Cash & No tipping...

90....89.....88.....87............

Jul 27, 2014
FoodTrippin in Los Angeles Area

Chad Robertson's influence on SF pizza scene

Tommaso's

Tacos Puntas Cabras.

86'd again? already?

Jun 25, 2014
FoodTrippin in Los Angeles Area

Taco Maria brick + mortar 1st Report, Costa Mesa - Excellent Tasting Menu

Carrotcakegate redux

Jun 15, 2014
FoodTrippin in Los Angeles Area

Special Fried Rice ingredients????????

Easy way to break up the clumps of (day old) rice: Put the rice in a plastic bag, massage the clumps through the plastic until your rice is separated.

Jan 07, 2013
FoodTrippin in Home Cooking

Top Client Luncheon - Downtown - 2/2

Possibly. She sure plans ahead. Started the thread in 2009 for a luncheon 2/1/2013. Much better planner than I am, fer sure.

Jan 02, 2013
FoodTrippin in Los Angeles Area

Top Client Luncheon - Downtown - 2/2

Y'all realize the lunch probably took place in Feb 2009?

Jan 02, 2013
FoodTrippin in Los Angeles Area

Drive in

13 cent hamburgers. 1st help yourself soda dispenser that I can recall in San Francisco. Definitely Munchies.

Time frame late 60's, early 70's.

Across the street from where the car wash is now. +/- a city block.

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

Personally speaking, we (friends, wife, myself) have been guilty of Chinese food order envy. For example, we may be sitting at our table enjoying a perfectly steamed hardhead (fish) topped with a simple hot oil dressing, a plate of on choy with fermented tofu, maybe some nice stir-fried squid with ginger/scallions. YUM!!

Then the waiter drifts past us, with a claypot hoisted in the air. Sets the pot on the next table, lifts the lid....... and this beautific aroma wafts through the air. I would surreptiously peek without being "obvious". My wife and "other's" would be less descreet and crane their necks to check out what the new delicacy is. And if the dish is something wonderful, berate each other on why we chose so poorly.

The wiser chowhounds amongst us may disagree, but I think an interested diner gets a better shot at a simple "authentic" Chinese if one orders from a "3 plates for $18 menu". Not to insinuate that these simple meals would approximate what you can get off the $48/$78/$129/etc.... banquet menus. However, you can eat at least as well as your typical off-work Chinese contractor, Chinatown bank teller, yellow cab driver, Central station police officer, etc.....

A couple of items off the Yee's Restaurant menu (1131 Grant ave.). Choose any three dishes, $16.99. Price includes: tea, Soup of the day (a simple broth), dessert (orange or watermelon slices), and fortune cookies.

I'm holding a menu that lists at least 30 items. Some obviously geared towards a wider audience (Mongolian Beef, Peking Spareribs, Walnut Shrimp)

Other items are worth a try for a more adventurous diner:

* Pigeon meat and vegetable
* Lotus Root w/sliced Pork
* Bitter Melon and Spareribs
* Deep Fried Flounder (a WHOLE fish, nose to tail)
* Boil Beef Tripe
* Crispy Fried Pork Intestines

And a couple of dozen more. The portions are huge. They do charge for rice though ($1/pp?). Three plates are enough for 3~4 diners.

There are at least 4 other restaurants in Chinatown proper that offer this kind of food deal. And back to the point, the majority of the items are what "Chinatown" citizens would likely order, which I suppose would qualify the meal as more "authentic" than what you find listed under the: Chicken/Beef/Lamb/Vegetable /noodle/etc... categories on most Chinese retaurant menus.

Jul 25, 2012
FoodTrippin in General Topics

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

I’d like to point out that there is no deep rooted conspiracy to keep a secret menu from non-Asian customers.

As an Asian-American who is not fluent in Chinese, I can readily relate to some of the venting about not automatically being offered the second menu. Happens to me all the time, and my wife (dining companion) is a native Mandarin speaker even. Many Chinese restaurant, rightly or wrongly, presume that most people (Asians and non-Asians alike) walking through their doors will be for the most part, ordering off the main menu. Why waste everyone’s time and cause undue confusion, by presenting more choices than needed ?? (the restaurateur thinks). (KISS – Keep it simple, stupid)

Although touched upon in earlier posts, the waiter’s ability or inability to communicate is an important factor. I’ll go out on a limb and say that most mom and pop Chinese restaurants do not have a formal service training program. On the first day of employment, the management does not hand the recruit a thick training manual with procedures, and most importantly, there is no list of standardized menu descriptions in English. Even for someone who is fluent in English, having to accurately describe every set menu and special item would literally be impossible. It is human nature to show your best side, people would not willingly choose to appear inadequate. Stumbling over foreign words and unfamiliar western terms would not be an exercise that most Chinese waiters see as a learning opportunity. Which may explain why some Chinese waiters adopt a brusque, no questions, attitude.

Further, most mom and pop’s run on turnover. We Americans are fortunate to dine in a good service culture. Good or bad, rightly or wrongly, Chinese (or at least Hong Kong) restaurant modus operandi is turn and burn. “If you don’t know what you want, then it’s not our job to teach you”. Most, though not all, m/p Chinese restaurants are minimally (barely adequately) staffed. The restaurant owner does not expect the servers to hold their customer’s hands. Servers are expected to take the order, serve the food/drinks, invoice the customer, and make change. Most restaurants that have “Chinese” menus would most likely subscribe to this bare bones business model, though there are some exceptions to the rule. The restaurants that strive to provide more than basic service are generally more westernized (and charge accordingly), and thus not likely to have second menus. (Yang Sing, HK Flower Lounge, R$G, etc…..)

I apologize for any slights implied. I tried to poke fun at both sides of this debate, to introduce a bit of levity. I’ve seen and experienced both sides and understand why some posters may take umbrage. The westerner who feels that he/she was denied the chance for a superb meal. The Asian American who grew up being sneered at for eating gooky food (yikes, what is that sticky rice stuff wrapped in leaves??!! Don’t you guys have forks and knives at home??!!)

This thread has been fun, and brings into fuzzy focus some of the friction that crops up when two very different cultures learn to appreicate and enjoy each other. Instead of seeing others as demanding, secretive, condescending, or worse. I will just try to not take every perceived slight personally. Of course, on a bad day, all this good will stuff goes out the window.

Cheers and peace.

Jul 25, 2012
FoodTrippin in General Topics

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

Party of two walks into the “New Chinese Cuisine” restaurant, lured in by the Yelp gushes of AUTHENTIC Chinese “cuisine”.

Customers are seated at a two-top. No forks or chilled water are on the table, or offered. (whoa, good start, authentic!)

Customer (to companion): yeah, now we gonna feast like I did on my two hour layover in Hong Kong!

Customer (face turning red, eyes bulging) to waiter: hey, this is the AMERICAN menu!! WDYTIA (who do you think I am?) a non-nobody??!! I want (no, DEMAND) the SECRET menu!! I didn’t just fall off the winter melon truck, y’know!

Waiter (scratches head, somewhat intimidated by this foreigner screaming at him in a language not quite familiar): sir….. you are holding the menu, what the meaning of “secret”?
Customer: I will not be patronized!! SECRET, SECRET. Do you know the meaning of SECRET??!! The super special delicacies plastered all over the walls, and on the chalkboard. I read Chowhound and Yelp, I GOOGLE all things food related. I KNOW Chinese food!! Now, give me the secret menu, NOW!!
Waiter: Secret menu….. Special menu……….. Chinese menu………… CHO MUT LUN, order the freakin’ special numbah two, a coupla TsingTaos, I’ll fortune cookie your ass, and we both say joy ghin and please don’t grace us with your esteemed presence again (bow).
Customer: This is AMERICA, the land of the free, equal opportunity. I wanna eat what you guys eat at your family meals. I know you people feed us roundeye “customers” the dregs, and save the most succulent and most choice parts of the cow/pig/chicken/vegetable/tofu for yourselves. I am tired of watching you guys gorging on the good stuff, and we (the people who pay YOUR freakin’ paymchecks) are stuck sucking up goo goo gai pan. NO MORE!! This is AMERICA!! We WILL eat what you people eat!!
Customer points at a random offer (item #5) on the blackboard: now, what is THAT?? List of ingredients? Percentage of ingredients? Country of origin? Cooking technique? Allergens? Carcinogens? Is this Yin or Yang? Locally sourced? Sustainable? Fresh or Frozen? What region of China? And DON’T even try to charge me more for this than your Chinese regulars for the same dish, or…. I WILL smear your restaurant’s name all over the internet.
Waiter struggles to answer every question and demand………… 10 tortuously minutes later, finish describing enough details so the customer “seems satisfied”.
Customer: SO …. You DO KNOW how to explain the menu, dunno why you INSIST on playing dumb, until I had to play hardball. Now, let’s do the same with the ENTIRE secret menu …………………….. Starting with item Number One!!!

Jul 24, 2012
FoodTrippin in General Topics

Good Sushi for Lunch in SF?

I'd conjecture that the majority of of fish is flown in, be it cheap/expensive (per lb), or domestic/overseas.

Transportation costs are expensive, especially for chilled/frozen cargo. A 20' reefer container from Japan/Asian is in the range of USD$6~8k+. Not many sashimi-grade fish importers can bring in 30,000+ lbs of fish per shipment. Transit time over water is minimum 14 days, add 4+ days for customs clearance. There are no LCL (less than container load) options available for reefer shipments. Thus, the only viable option is air shipment.

Frozen domestic product (sake, ankimo, fluke, etc.....) may transit via reefer trucks. However, most if not all of the time sensitive fresh product must be sent by air.

Short story long, most of the fish/sashimi at Nijiya is flown in. Not likely "daily", but not off a "slow boat from China".

Good Sushi for Lunch in SF?

Nijiya's fish may not come directly from SFO, but one would be silly to expect the same quality and/or freshness as would be experienced in front of a top-notch omakase chef. This is supermarket fare, afterall.

That said, Nijiya has the better selection in the Japantown area. Especially since the other store up the street just closed shop last month.

You may buy various chunks of fish, and the guys in the back will slice and arrange the sashimi into a platter-to-go with the usual sashimi accoutrements.

We recently bought some soft-shelled crabs off the shelf, Wrapped in plastic on a foam tray. The crabs were blowing bubbles, and very much alive. That says fresh product to me.

Public Service Announcement: Golden Gate Bakery is NOT open.

July 24, 2012. "Closed for Vacation" sign on door today. Oh well, their doors were opened for at least 2 weeks this stretch.

Public Service Announcement: Golden Gate Bakery is NOT open.

Amazingly, even without line monitors, the line seems to know to form itself into a "U", so only one line into the store. Most likely due to the western(ized) customer demographics. That's definitely not a bad thing.

Bay Area driving destinations (or within 1hr of region)

Watch the sunset with a drink on the patio of the Moss Beach Distillery. Can't vouch for the food (have not eaten there in years), but sure the ocean view will still be spectacular.

Oh no! Is Dol Ho now a No Go?

Picked up some dim sum to go from Dol Ho this past Saturday, around noonish. While we were waiting, noticed more non-Asians than usual were dining in. A six-top, a four-top and at least a couple of deuces of Westerners. None of them seemed to be hungrily eyeing the dim sum cart, trying to get enoug to eat. They appeared to be enjoying their meal, not a frown between them.

Sorry to hear your friend had a less than stellar experience. Being nice and patient does not neccessarily translate to better service and more food. All those older Chinese patrons with the newspapers, they normally eat only a dish or two, and drink a pot or two of tea. If your friend was too laid back and not signalling for more food, the cart ladies might have assumed that he was done. If your friend ever goes back, tell him raising his hands to get the cart's attention is not considered rude. In some of the busier Hong Kong dim sum houses, diners bum-rush the carts to make sure they get their share of the goodies. The good stuff does not make it too far into the dining room before its all sntached up.

Hi everyone, family is visiting SF, any rec for an old school chinese family?

The chain link greens would most likely be parboiled bok choy, then air dried in the sun. The end product is a dried "choy" which is then re-hydrated and boiled for soup.

The "pork belly with preserved veggies" are cooked with a vegetable that is cured in a pickling process.

Foie Gras countdown...

Fois sliders in the Presidio last night was tasty. PETA protesters were a PITA.

Soft Shell Crab in SF?

Woodhouse Fish Company, 14th and Market. Had the SSC Sandwich as well as a decent lobster roll a couple of weeks ago, you may want to call to confirm.

Catfish?

I see catfish filets sporadically at Costco and Safeway. In the Bay Area, any Asian market that have live fish tanks will almost always have live catfish. The fishmonger will clean and cut up your fish upon request. At Ranch 99, they will also deep fry the fish at no charge.

May 07, 2012
FoodTrippin in General Topics

Easy fish to catch and eat in Bay Area for a newbie fisher?

California fishing licenses are easily purchased over the internet. You apply and and pay online, and the hard copy comes in the mail a few days later. If you're itching to fish in the interim, you may print a temporary copy proving your new status as a bonefide fish harvester.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/

ORIGINAL JOES..North Beach!

Joe's style and family style are both dying/dead breeds in North Beach, for sure. Sure hope the new Original Joe's can fill the gap for Joe's signature fare. Peered thru the window today pre-lunch opening, and *gasp*, saw three blonde female servers prepping for the lunch rush. They were lovely to be sure. Male only servers is one traditon that I won't miss too much.