BAnders's Profile

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

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

about 3 hours ago
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

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.


about 5 hours ago
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

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.


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.

Last minute advice for a Boston Chowhound visiting for 4 days

Grace's Table in the city of Napa gets recommended on this board often for its happy hour. I would suggest that you splurge in SF rather than in Napa or Sonoma. What kind of food do you want for that option?

Places to eat, second week of May?

If you are in the area on Thursdays, the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero has prepared food stalls outside from 10-2:00. There are places to eat inside the F Bldg as well, some less expensive than others. I like the sandwiches at Acme as a bargain option. Hayes Valley is an area in which you might enjoy wandering around and can find some good options for sitting at the bar, like Bar Jules (open for lunch or dinner), as well as some other casual places like Biergarten.

Traveling with a 3 1/2 month old, but would love some great food! [San Francisco]

Here's a pretty recent thread that may help a bit:


Parents in town, help!

Since they are from LA, this might not appeal, but Dona Tomas takes reservations for brunch and about half of it is more lunch focused.

San Francisco lunch options - advice appreciated

I like Bar Jules in Hayes Valley for lunch quite a lot. It is more casual and smaller than the other places you've listed but delicious. Menu changes daily but you can get a sense of style from the posted menus.


For Italian there is Chiaroscuro as a lunch option. It has a financial district feel but no more so than Perbacco at lunch; it also is smaller.


Sunday night dinner: Sons and Daughters vs AQ or Commonwealth [San Francisco]

Well, I'll take the bait and chime in with a thumbs up for Commonwealth. I have had the tasting menu a few times, a la carte a few times, and always felt that the flavors are creative and the ingredients allowed to shine, a fine balance. We've brought friends there from out of state who have also enjoyed it, for what it's worth. Also love their wine list and pairings. I have only eaten at the bar once but it was comfortable and provided a good view of the kitchen. So I think you can't really go wrong with either AQ or Commonwealth given your parameters. I can't speak to S&D.

Dressing to eat out in SF?

So true! When I know I'm going out after work outside of the financial district and I have to wear a suit that day, I will bring something (yes, all black) to change into and leave the suit at the office.

Geezers Want Great Dinner in Oaktown

Not a quiet place overall (to say the least), but at A16 the two tables in the front by the old garage door are placed so that it's quiet enough for a party of four to chat. They actually appear to have reservations available tonight, so might be worth a call to see if they can guarantee you one of those tables. If you are willing to do Berkeley instead of Oakland, Riva Cucina is fairly quiet. Anyone know if Marzano on Park is quiet? I heard a rumor once that it wasn't too loud but can't attest from personal experience. Also Soi Four often is fine on the first floor.

One dinner in SF

To offer an alternative opinion, I prefer Flour + Water's pasta to Cotogna's and have never felt like I'm in a bar when I eat there. I have done the pasta tasting menu twice, once with wine pairings, and been very happy with the quality and the range of dishes. I find their stuffed pastas in particular to be very well done and creative, and with the tasting menu there's just enough of the richer dishes without so much that I got tired of them. Their vegetable starters also are often stellar.