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Quick question: A place for a drink and a snack in Oakland this afternoon

Sweetbar now has beer and wine as well as other items and is open all day.

http://www.sweetbarbakery.com/

Sunday Brunch or Lunch in San Francisco this Sunday

Foreign Cinema takes reservations for brunch and is accessible by BART. Not so inexpensive, though.

Canlis Vs Altura

I have not been to Canlis so cannot offer you a comparison, but we had a great meal in August at Altura and enjoyed sitting at the chef's counter/bar; we reserved by phone and were able to request that seating option. So that might address the issue with close tables that others have pointed out, if you are leaning toward Altura for other reasons.

Oct 16, 2014
BAnders in Greater Seattle

Suggestions for a first-time visitor?

I was just up in Portland for a long weekend, my third visit from the SF Bay Area. I finally got to try Blue Star doughnuts--excellent. I had a blueberry frosted cake and an old fashioned. Very good meal at Pok Pok, including a special wingbean salad and a mushroom salad from the menu. Dinner one night at Levant, which we liked a ton. The starters and salads were particularly good, lamb cigars, pita and a lettuce salad with radishes and somehow flavored with cumin. Only caveat is that the main dishes we ordered ended up being too rich together (farotto and scallops) but that was our own fault. And an interesting wine list and delicious cocktails. I had previously been to Le Pigeon, which I would recommend if you are more of a meat eater than I am, and to Paley's Place (once it was great, once very uneven in terms of food and service). I also like Pearl Bakery, which has a stall at the PSU farmers market; I would concur with all recommendations that you make time to go there with a big appetite.

Oct 14, 2014
BAnders in Metro Portland

SF restaurant fit for foodies and 3-year-olds?

Maybe in addition to Zero Zero (as Scott M suggests) think about Delfina Pizzeria? When I lived in the UK pizza was terrible; these two restaurants have good food and I have seen kids at both every time I've been. Zero Zero has a broader menu of course. I haven't seen kids at Delfina proper but have not been there as often.

ok, how about good areas in Oakland?

Concur on difficulty of tables RL points out, with the caveat that I have had very good luck getting a seat at the bar at A16 before 7:00 on weeknights. Have fun!

ok, how about good areas in Oakland?

The Elmwood Cafe has good breakfast options. Ici ice cream is very good but the line is often a deterrent. You can walk toward Rockridge (south on College Ave, which is also toward the BART station) from that part of Berkeley and you will quickly reach some of the Rockridge options I mentioned above, like Wood Tavern and Cole Coffee. Uphill from the main strip, toward the Claremont Hotel, on Domingo is a very good bakery, http://www.fourneebakery.com/

ok, how about good areas in Oakland?

Just one more opinion, but FWIW I would lean away from JLS and toward Rockridge for a few reasons. The area right around the BART station in Rockridge has many restaurants with bar seating, bars, wine bars, breakfast places, etc. (just off the top of my head, A16, Soi Four, Oliveto Cafe, Toast, Enoteca, Box & Bells, Wood Tavern, Southie, Cole Coffee, Market Hall coffee shop, and many more options that you can find by searching on this site) and there is more foot traffic on College Ave. and the surrounding streets than on the streets between JLS and the BART station. If you are in town on Sunday, the farmers market at the Claremont DMV is great, too. Also, depending on where you end up staying in Rockridge, you may be able to walk to the 51st and Telegraph end of Temescal and take advantage of some of the options there, including Pizzaiolo, Dona Tomas, Bakesale Betty, Mixing Bowl, Juhu Beach Club, Doughnut Dolly. I take BART every day from Oakland into SF and back, and adding in a shuttle would be a headache to me, personally. I prefer being able to just get off the train and walk. Nothing against JLS, but for the OP's neighborhood and transit focused purposes, I would lean toward RR.

To Keep Rick Bayless' Beans

I always cook extra and freeze using a method borrowed from Rancho Gordo newsletter at some point. I salt (not too heavily) the cooked beans and liquid at the end of cooking and freeze portions in their cooking liquid, enough to cover the beans. Then as others have mentioned I defrost the containers in the fridge, drain, and use in recipes as I would a can or other amounts of cooked beans.

Oct 07, 2014
BAnders in Home Cooking

A "special" dinner in SFBA -- your thoughts much appreciated

Pizzaiolo jumped to mind for me as well. Definitely fits right into the list.

visiting Sacramento from SF

I had a great breakfast at the Magpie Cafe in August when I was visiting Sacramento from the Bay Area. Really smart and delicious use of produce. Edited to add: Their lunch looks great too and they are open all day, thus the link and recommendation.

http://www.magpiecafe.com/cafe

Sep 19, 2014
BAnders in California

Surprise Trip to San Francisco

Commonwealth (in the Mission District, accessible by BART) looks to have some reservations during your visit based on a quick glance on opentable and would fit your criteria. Because it is a holiday weekend you might luck out even at some of the very popular places often recommended on this board--for example, there is a Cotogna dinner reservation listed for early on 8/31 and some options later in your stay as well. Cotogna is also open for lunch. I've been hearing good things about Central Kitchen lately but haven't been, and I see it too has some reservations available. For lunch, take a look at Bar Jules in Hayes Valley. I am not up to date on dim sum so will leave that to others. Hope you have a great trip!

Couple of L.A. foodies need help

We didn't make it to Walrus on our visit last week but did manage to snag a reservation at the Whale Wins, which is affiliated. I'd recommend looking at that menu as well. It too has wonderful vegetable dishes--we had an innovative dish involving cauliflower leaves with ham chips, as well as a roasted carrots dish and a starter of tomatoes with mint pesto and hazelnuts. And fabulous clams.

Aug 22, 2014
BAnders in Greater Seattle

Any recommendations to check out before dinner Lark at 5:30 pm on this Saturday

We were just in Seattle last week and greatly enjoyed the latest of many meals at Lark (always on our list when we visit from the Bay Area). It's a wonderful time of year for their menu--save room for dessert. We had a delicious peach tarte tatin. We went to Volunteer Park beforehand as babette recommends and enjoyed the walk at the Park and the surrounding neighborhoods around there. I hope you have a terrific meal.

Aug 22, 2014
BAnders in Greater Seattle

northern cali recs

In Sausalito, they could try lunch or dinner at Fish. Casual but nice atmosphere right on the water, cash only, sustainable seafood. Some complain it is overpriced but the quality is excellent and the portions are large.

Lots of options in Napa Valley; you can try a search of this board with the city names and you will find many recent threads. Oxbow Market has a few good options and is fun to wander in. In St Helena, I've had Archetype (formerly French Blue) on my list to try for a while. http://archetypenapa.com/ Please ask your friends to report back if they try it!

Magpie Cafe (Sacramento)

I was visiting Sacramento over the weekend and went to the Magpie Cafe for breakfast on Sunday early morning based on my perusal of posts on this board. It was one of the best restaurant breakfasts I've had in a long time, so I wanted to post my thanks to all of you. I had the breakfast plate (eggs, potatoes and toast), which came with a choice of protein (crisp, smokey bacon in my case) and a side of perfectly cooked grilled vegetables (somewhat unexpected and very enjoyable mix of pole beans, peppers, tiny whole carrots). My companion had a mushroom omelet special, which met with approval. We shared a side of fresh fruit, which included cherries, apricots, and nectarines, all nicely ripe. Good coffee to boot. I would be a regular here if I lived in the vicinity. I was tempted to get a scone to go but resisted. Next time!

Aug 05, 2014
BAnders in California

MSP Hound visiting end of June - Rec's needed - San Juan Islands

I had the pleasure of eating at a restaurant in SF when Blaine Wetzel was visiting there--if I had more time I would certainly try to get to Willows Inn. Thanks!

Jul 25, 2014
BAnders in Pacific Northwest

MSP Hound visiting end of June - Rec's needed - San Juan Islands

This is most helpful; thank you Christy.

Jul 25, 2014
BAnders in Pacific Northwest

Introducing New Conversation Types

I agree, that's a problem.

Jul 25, 2014
BAnders in Site Talk

Introducing New Conversation Types

The beta version layout is bulky and the icons don't really add much, to my mind--I don't really care about how a topic is categorized; I will read any with a subject line that intrigues. I agree with poster above that the more streamlined prior version is preferable.

Jul 25, 2014
BAnders in Site Talk
1

French Laundry solo? [Yountvile]

Commonwealth is great for sitting at the bar, to boot. I also enjoyed sitting at the bar at Commis but that was over a year ago and I have lost track of their counter seating policy. As others have said, definitely worth calling.

MSP Hound visiting end of June - Rec's needed - San Juan Islands

Thanks so much, christy319--much appreciated.

Jul 21, 2014
BAnders in Pacific Northwest

MSP Hound visiting end of June - Rec's needed - San Juan Islands

Unfortunately, we're flying to the island so will have weight limits so not really an option. But we will focus on Eastsound for resources. Thanks!

Jul 14, 2014
BAnders in Pacific Northwest

MSP Hound visiting end of June - Rec's needed - San Juan Islands

Christy319, I'm traveling to Orcas in August and will have access to a kitchen. Am wondering where you like to get your provisions and if there's a wine store you'd recommend. We're staying on the west side but will have a car. I'm looking forward to learning more from this thread too!

Jul 14, 2014
BAnders in Pacific Northwest

Sunday dinner dilemma, Berkeley or Oakland

At that price point, open on Sunday, Soi Four in Rockridge might fit the bill. You can avoid heat but don't have to. Also Toast (also in Rockridge) is open Sundays and in the price range more or less. Some on this board don't like the space, but I like the menu and the wine list and find it a good place to converse; plus they almost always have tables.

Oakland Area Bites - Vegetarian Friendly Visit

Burma Superstar in either Temescal or Alameda, maybe? Or Comal. A few other places come to mind (Juhu Beach Club, Plum's new incarnation as Ume) but are closed Sundays.

Quiet restaurant in Oakland or Berkeley

Yes, Chez Panisse Cafe worked well with my hard-of-hearing parent. We were at a side table in the front room, so you could ask for seating there.

+1 on Comal too.

Suggestions for a couple birthday dinners... [San Francisco]

Range should work for you from this list. A16 in Oakland would but I haven't tried A16 in SF so can't attest there. Have fun!

Good Eats from San Francisco to Tomales up the coastal route to Eureka

This will probably get moved too, but Two Fish Bakery in Sea Ranch has pizza nights on Friday and Saturday. I haven't had the baked goods but have heard good things.

http://www.twofishbaking.com/

May 09, 2014
BAnders in California

Last minute advice for a Boston Chowhound visiting for 4 days

While I would not recommend the city of Napa as a destination, it can be pretty convenient on your way back out of the valley, especially around happy hour. That's often when I am making my way back and I want to eat something before driving much further.