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establishments that barter for meyer lemons

Most restaurants don't like to barter for produce because LEGALLY both parties have to report it to the IRS. In reality if a vendor is giving you $10 or $20 worth of trade once a year, I doubt the IRS cares very much.

If you are going to do it on a regular, ongoing basis, however, especially with one vendor, it's best to ask them how they want to handle it.

It's why a lot of times I just give them away. Not worth the hassle, and better that they be used and appreciated.

establishments that barter for meyer lemons

Bakeries especially love Meyers. At 99 cents retail for 1 Meyer @Safeway, there's any number of EBay bakeries you could call and find out if they're willing to do a little bartering for your lemons!

Christmas Day early dinner/buffet suggestions on Peninsula, please help

My own feeling is that with the substantial rise in (raw) food prices over the last three years, buffets are the worst choice possible if you want good food. There's just too much waste to be factored into a buffet restaurant's bottom line.

OpenTable lists 38 Peninsula restaurants available for dinner on Xmas. Did you check there first?

Local Xmas/Holiday Snack Food Gifts

Don't forget that Northern CA has its own artisanal sea salt - one of ten unusual food gifts for an Xmas list by KQED's food blog: http://blogs.kqed.org/no-more-gift-ca....

Just a personal opinion:
I prefer Recchiuti to La Foret. La Foret's chocolates are very salty; five of us did a tasting of ten of LF's chocolates and a Recchiuti assortment box, and the difference was remarked by everyone. Also, LF has a very short finish on their chocolate.

We did, however, like LF's Macadamia, coconut & ginger, dark chocolate bar - she used real, not candied ginger, and it has a lovely hot "bite" to it that is in perfect proportion to the other flavors.

establishments that barter for meyer lemons

Yes, that would be an Original Meyer, not the Improved Meyer. The IM didn't come to market until the mid-'60's.

establishments that barter for meyer lemons

As Robert L. said, Meyers are not sweeter, but they are lower in acidity. If you prefer the Eureka/Lisbon type of lemon, they also abound in the area. My neighbor has a huge E/L that bears all year long.

Since she never picks any of her fruit trees they just fall on the ground and rot. Even though she never takes care of the tree and production is stunted, she would easily get over 50 lbs of lemons from it on an annual basis.

Russian River/Sonoma Coast Wineries and Restaurants

Which area of the Sonoma coast -- it's a very looonnnnnngg coastline, and Hwy 1 is not necessarily something you can drive fast from one end to another. IOW, what hotel/city are you staying at on the coast?

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

We like Peet's; as you say, it's the consistency and speed. Is there coffee we like better? Sure. Is it nearby? Nope, not even close. Whereas there are at least four Peet's we regularly encounter in our usual round of errands (we're retired, so we're in the car fairly often instead of walking to/from work).

And we like their coffee and tea drinks on those rare occasions when we want one, because they make them less sweet than almost anyone else.

We also buy some of our loose tea there - again, convenience. We're very fond of their Russian Caravan.

But yes, I'm also tired of the beer/burger/coffee fads.

Tablehopper reports on The Progress [San Francisco]

Interesting look into The Progress, State Bird Provisions' sibling by Marcia Gagliardi of Tablehopper (with a full description of their meal and how the food is served communal style). Good photos/descriptions of the various seating areas which is useful.

VERY interesting that they caught John Becker as their chef de cuisine, who did such an outstanding job at Prospect under Ravi Kapur when it first opened (and when both of them left, we had a disastrous second meal there):

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

Best way to get the chicken pot pie at Bakesale Betty is to order it ahead of time. I know they definitely accept pre-orders for the whole pies, not sure if they still do or accept pre-orders for any minis.

7x7's List of private rooms/restaurants in SF

I was an ExecAsst for decades and you just never knew when somebody was going to request a private room for a celebration, whether business or personal. It's hard to keep an up-to-date list. Ran across this in 7x7, useful for not just the holidays, but next time someone asks you if you know of one for a wedding, anniversary or birthday event, etc.

This is a useful list of every size possible, not including hotels (which are always possibilities as well:

The Barrel Room, Oakland Rockridge

I would think because of the rainy weather it's pretty dicey whether they thought anyone was going to show up. We went for lunch at Bowl'd yesterday and were startled by how many people were in there. The two waitstaff were running around like crazy. We were laughing with our waitress (actually the manager) because usually at lunch it's empty, especially on a cold rainy Monday! They were completely caught by surprise.

Beef Tenderloin in Oakland?

Even cheap filet mignon is tender. Aging and provenance adds some flavor but as you said, always a mild cut. I don't consider it that expensive, especially when it's well trimmed. I always marinate beef these days, no matter what cut it is.

I used to buy whole tenderloins at Costco and by the time I broke it down after trimming, it was very close to what I pay at Safeway, where I only have to trim off a small bit of silverskin.

Order it from any butcher, whether independent or grocery. Tell them you want it well-trimmed, a large-end cut (not the tapering end).

Happy eating!

establishments that barter for meyer lemons

The original Meyer lemon trees grown in people's backyards (mostly but not all in the EBay) are older stock planted in the '30's and '40's. Commercially almost 90% of Meyer stock (nursery only) was ordered destroyed in the late '40's due to discovery that they carried the Citrus tristeza virus. Small groves in Texas and Florida were unaffected and survived, as did all private "backyard" trees. Only commercial stock was burned.

In the '50's a single Meyer was found to be virus free by Four Winds, still the major Meyer vendor. Grafting produced what is now sold as the "Improved Meyer".

The original Meyer was a moderate-sized tree, with lemons very similar in size/shape to the commercial Eureka/Lisbon. The improved Meyer is a bush, about 8x8' with heavily crossing branches. It is grafted onto dwarf tree stock to produce a tree. The lemons are more round-ish and highly erratic in size and rind thickness, more dependent upon consistent sun/water/feeding conditions than the original Meyer stock.

However, the taste is identical if comparing mature Meyer to mature Meyer. Altho Meyers bear young, all citrus plants vastly improve in flavor as they mature, which is roughly in the 7-10 yr stage. Meyers are heavy, heavy feeders and not feeding them vastly shortens their lifespan and maximum production.

If properly maintained, Meyers will live and produce well for close to 75 yrs or more. Most home trees decline in production after the half-century mark because few gardeners are willing to spend hundreds of dollars feeding a couple of trees every year, when even a declining Meyer can easily produce 30-50 lb. of lemons from a single plant.

I've always found it amusing how stores charge high prices for Meyers in the winter when that's when they're most abundant! I have three Meyers just hitting maturity and get from 55-90 lbs of fruit from each annually.

Usually I hand my excess out to friends and family. In a pinch when we go out to eat, I'll ask the waiter to find out if the kitchen or bar would like to have some organic Meyers for free. I've never been turned down yet, LOL.

Currently I trade with a professional baker for free pies, but still have enough for everybody we know plus a freezerful of juice!

Looking for an Oakland Italian restaurant for a kid's bday

Centouno's can be uncertain because they don't post their menus on the web. The menus we've been handed are usually longer than the ones published on the web. Unless you actually stop by and pick up a menu, it's hard to say if they'll have everything you want.

Imm Thai, Berkeley


Imm Thai Street Food
2068 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
b/t Milvia St & Shattuck Ave in Downtown Berkeley
Phone number (510) 898-1123

Celebrate Godzilla! Dec 11th at Ramen Bar

Must admit we don't think much of any Mina restaurants although may have to give Ron Siegel a try at the flagship; loved his food at the Ritz-Carlton.

Still, I think it's cute that they're celebrating Godzilla day. You just never know what you're going to find when you read foodie news, LOL!

restaurant that serves kobe/wagyu beef in bay area?

Sante @Sonoma Mission Inn usually has American Wagyu on their tasting menu, and it's on there today at least: http://www.santediningroom.com/Userfi...

It's not as fatty as the "real stuff" so we actually enjoyed it more. Spoonbar's tasting menu on the same trip used the true Japanese Wagyu, but they don't post the day's TM to their website. You could call and ask them what listed on the TM: 707-433-7222/Healdsburg.

In both cases you're only getting 4 bites of it as part of a multi-course meal, so that may not be what you're looking for.

Celebrate Godzilla! Dec 11th at Ramen Bar

Wow, I got a laugh out of this! Who would have thought there is a GODZILLA day? My DH and I will have to celebrate this next yr (on the correct day, of course) by stomping on a piece of sushi in lieu of Tokyo (or SF, LOL).

Tablehopper has the details on Ramen Bar's belated but fun-sounding celebration on Dec 11th, with menu specials and (mandatory) showing of the original 1954 classic. Which I have to admit scared me out of my skin when my mother took me as a toddler to see it in the theatre!

The Ramen Bar
The party runs from 3pm-9pm. 101 California St. at Davis, 415-684-1570.

Tablehopper details (menu specials and the real Godzilla day): http://www.tablehopper.com/chatterbox...

Shakewell - First Visit [Lakeshore, Oakland]

According to C.Mitchell/EBay Dish:
Starting 12/1/2014, Shakewell will be serving lunch every Friday from 11:30-2:30pm. 3407 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland 94610. Ph: (510) 251-0329. http://www.shakewelloakland.com/

Pietisserie/Oakland - GREAT pies!

So sorry you didn't care for the pies you bought! We had Pietisserie's Okinawan purple sweet potato and the spiced apple for Thanksgiving, and both were big hits with our 8 guests.

She doesn't make her pies very sweet at all. Even the Blackbottom Walnut, which I think is far superior to the chocolate cream, isn't as sweet as most walnut or pecan pies. The apple pie, for instance, has barely cooked slices of tart apple, and little of the usual sweet spices such as cinnamon. That works for us because we avoid cinnamon whenever possible, LOL.

Like you, when we tried the chocolate cream/pretzel crust last year, we didn't care for the pretzel crust. But we're not big on salted chocolates, either, so pretzels are not our favorite thing.

I actually can't imagine eating pie without whipped or ice cream, especially pumpkin (which is so never my favorite filling no matter whose, but other people wanted it so we compromised on the Okinawan).

Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog

>>I'm not going all the way to make my own custard, though>>

I find this interesting because I make custard all the time - both baked and boiled - as well as Hollandaise, creme anglaise, pot de creme, and lemon curd. They're easy with the right equipment, and don't take very long.

We have a lot of friends who enjoy cooking, but they feel the same way you do. They'll scarf up anything 'custardy' that I make, but nobody wants to make it themselves any longer.

I'm not really sure why this is? When I ask them they say, "Oh, it seems like so much trouble" even though they're baking bread and curing pickles and brewing beer, etc., all of which are really just as, or even more, time-consuming.

Is it because the idea of it curdling upsets people? Or something else....?

Just curious!

Looking for small 6-8 oz. cans of Sauerkraut in the Eastbay?

Haven't seen those smaller cans in a long time! Safeway does sell its own name brand of Safeway Sauerkraut - 14.5 Oz, for $1.69/can. Not great stuff, but okay on a hot dog.

Moroccan Mint Tea

We were rather surprised to find that Cost Plus' brand of loose tea has a Moroccan Mint that is very good. It's called "Touareg-Moroccan Mint, organic green tea". Described as "Floral Chinese green tea blended with fresh peppermint, yada yada".

My DH doesn't like mint. Moroccan mint tea is the only way he'll accept it. He said this one tastes like what we get from Moroccan restaurants.

If you are going to grow ANY mint, do it in a pot with a saucer underneath. Mint is wildly invasive if it finds enough water!

Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog

Big supply of this at the BevMo in ALbany, on San Pablo near Solano Ave, as of Nov 28, 2014.

After hearing so many raves about this, we finally bought a bottle to try it. And were really disappointed. Harsh cheap liquor and way oversweetened.

Will stick with the homemade stuff: cooked custard base, Remy Martin cognac and Mt. Gay rum. In fact, I think I'm going to go make some now without any sugar, and dilute this bottle. Ugh.

1 week in SF/Napa. Let the itinerary critique begin

Focusing on Napa:
Redd - we didn't care for it. I know it's a fav with CH'ers. We did lunch, and were vastly under-impressed by the vaunted pork belly. Too icky-sticky sweet, not our style - teriyaki run rampant.

Etoile - Dinner is much better than lunch, the latter getting super-sized and definitely not overseen by Hoffman, or at least not on the day we were there. We love Etoile and it is far better than Commis/Oakland; Hoffman's rabbit dish is spectacular - and I don't usually like rabbit but I order it every time here! It is a level below the Crenn/Benu/Coi/Manresa level, however. If you go, DO NOT MISS the Chandon brandy. They only made it for a short time, and they are down to their last 2 bottles. It was 24 yrs old in the bottle and that was 15 yrs ago.

Jeanty - I know this place, too, gets a lot of love but we prefer so many other French bistros, this one just never warrants a return from us. Love the classic roasted marrow but everything else we tried, although good, we felt is done better elsewhere. We prefer the French food in Sonoma Cty and Monterey/Carmel, where we regularly visit to dine.

Ad Hoc - We have not been here. I had it on our "list to try" but we ate twice at Bouchon and that killed any desire we had to return there or to try Ad Hoc. First visit: Bouchon gave us a sturgeon rillette (a special; they only have it periodically) that was the most stunning sturgeon dish we've ever had. The other food was good but it was the sturgeon that wowed us. But a subsequent meal a year later flopped on every course, every level. It was tourist food, fancied up and plated attractively, but completely pedestrian in concept and execution.

You won't get the advantage of a view at night time, but we enjoy Auberge du Soleil. I would pick them for lunch over Bouchon any day, but much depends on where you are going to be. Good service, excellent food - their pork dishes are exquisite, always killer. They have sadly dropped the veal and lobster sandwich on brioche, darn it.

You didn't have Solbar on your list. Their menu is split in half, half spa and half heartier fare. The spa menu is amazing. They did a chicken soup with farfalle, very simple, that was as good as anything I make at home. Broth was dark rich brown, made with roasted bones, and properly clarified. Stunning! Solbar also manages Archetype in St. Helena, btw.

ISO Turkey Tails (yes, just tails)

We prefer turkey necks to turkey tails. However, I was advised by my butcher last week (11/16) that Foster Farms has discontinued packaging them, although they will continue to supply grocers with turkey tails and the more popular parts.

What you see in the stores is what's left in the freezer stocks. Unless another producer steps in, turkey necks from Foster Farms will no longer be available.

Bergamot Alley, Healdsburg

Thanks for the posting! I have several friends who are always interested in finding new winebars and this is great info.

Post-Thanksgvng: 31st Annual Sonoma Valley Holiday Open House

From one of my newsletters:
31st Annual Sonoma Valley Holiday Open House
November 28 and 29, Kenwood and Glen Ellen
More than 20 wineries will festively welcome you to enjoy wine tastings, meet winemakers, stock up on your favorite wines for the holidays, and pick up holiday gifts. Pick up a two-day pass and toast the holiday season in Wine Country!


Beaujolais Nouveau Arrives 2014

7x7 lists half a dozen or so places that are celebrating the arrival of the 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau: