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East Bay BBQ for catering or takeout

I am sure it is by design. Ribs tips are cheaper and less popular than St. Louis cut ribs so it is natural that you would get more of them when ordering two ways.

Apr 14, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Birthday dinner in SF for 18 year old

Fair enough. Re-reading my post I agree that I made HOPR to come off as stuffy, but I have always had a great time there. I just meant to say I felt Espetus was more lively, Full disclosure: my last few visits to Espetus have been for staff Christmas parties and the like, and have found the atmosphere to be great.

Apr 13, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Birthday dinner in SF for 18 year old

If I was turning 18 and love meat (which I still do), I'd want to go to Espetus Churrascaria. Assorted high quality, spit roasted meats carved table side until you can't take any more. The atmosphere is lively for small parties and less stuffy/old school than HOPR. There is also an interesting salad/side bar for those not wanting completely OD on proteins.

http://www.espetus.com/locations/san-...

Apr 12, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Bay Area Check Please: Contigo, SF; Smoke Berkeley in Berkeley; Paradiso, San Leandro

That is true with flavor and mouth feel, but not with tenderness. A tough brisket means it wasn't cooked long enough, regardless of its grade.

Apr 11, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

BBQ Caterer needed in Orinda in May, 65-80 people

I was a big fan of Bo's when I lived in Lafayette. However that was nearly 20 years ago (? - wow).

Apr 11, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Bay Area Check Please: Contigo, SF; Smoke Berkeley in Berkeley; Paradiso, San Leandro

Smoke looked really good ( although I had to snicker a bit when it was said they blamed a tough-ish brisket on their vendor). But man, I caught a glimpse of their per pound prices. I've been way undercharging my coworkers for my competition leftovers!

Apr 11, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Cubano with Falling Apart Roast Pork, not Usual Sliced and Dry?

El Chevere in San Rafael may fit your bill. They have lechon mojo on the menu and I assume it is the same roast pork they are using in the sandwich. It also includes lettuce & tomato.

Pretty tasty, but rather modest layers of pork, ham & cheese for around $9. The same cubano would go for about $3 on Calle Ocho in Miami.

Apr 05, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Seeking food touring partners

From your list:

- Bette's Oceanview Diner - Great breakfast, but expect a long wait.
- Broken Record - New cooks since the show aired
- Dad's Kitchen - Good burger, long wait, wretched meatballs
- Dottie's - another great breakfast/brunch place with a long wait
- Duarte's Tavern - local institution with mediocre food. Get the artichoke/green chili soup if you go.
- Gorilla BBQ - Like the box car setup but there is better BBQ to be had in SF
- Grubstake Diner - okay food but a bit overpriced for what you get. Not open for lunch
- HRD Coffee Shop - Korean fusion fast food. Long line out the door goes fairly quickly. Lunch only.
- Jamie's Grill and Bar - Best of the lot. Smoked prime rib is the bomb. Only open M-F
- Joe's Cable Car - Closed thank God.
- Johnny Garlic's - Guy's restaurant. Mediocre food. Don't say you haven't been fairly warned
- La Texanita - pretty good, but not a destination place. Recommend doing a Mission or Fruitvail taco crawl instead.
- Miller's East Coast Deli - I like it from time to time, but not a place i would recommend to visitors
- Pier 23 Cafe - nice view from the back patio, but touristy, IMO
- Q Restaurant - Doesn't really fit the DDD profile. Interesting menu that doesn't quite deliver.
- Refuge - Great pastrami sandwich, if you are in the area
- Rocco's Cafe - Definitely not a D, D, or D. Decent lunch option for a local but nothing special to a visitor.
- Santa Cruz Diner - okay choice if you are in the area.
- Schellville Grill - Go to nearby Fremont Diner instead.
- Sol Food - Pretty good and somewhat unique.
- Squeeze Inn - Did not like this super salty cheesy burger. Felt dehydrated for days.
- Taylor's Automatic Refresher - good, upscale drive-in food.
- Tee Off Bar & Grill - Great pork chop in a dive-bar
- The Front Porch - No way a D, D, or D. Some of the better southern food in an area not known for southern food. Crab grits are awesome.
- Tommy's Joynt - SF institution with mediocre food
- Willie Bird's Restaurant - old school diner with old school food. Doesn't mean the turkey plate isn't bad though.

Apr 03, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area
3

"Authentic" inexpensive homestyle Mexican?

The relleno blanco is one of my favorite dishes anywhere. Homey and earthy. It's the kind of soulful dish that I deliberately do not order very often just to make sure I never get tired of it.

Mar 23, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

"Authentic" inexpensive homestyle Mexican?

Poc Chuc for Mayan. The stews in particular are very homey. Best homemade tortillas in town.

http://pocchuc.com/

Mar 23, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Quintessential Bay Area in 4 Days

Brunch is the best time to go.

Mar 21, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

What are we missing? [San Francisco]

Excellent breakfast to be had at Dottie's on 6th St. Just be sure to watch where you are walking as you try to step over sleeping homeless folks in the morning.

http://dotties.biz/

Mar 20, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Great China (Berkeley) still great

Got in around 6:15 last night after about a 15 minute wait. It was our first visit since the reopen.

Ordered the double skin, surf clam, walnut prawns, and the tan soo yook. Made the mistake of ordering two sweet, and battered & fried dishes.

The double skin was good but I would ask for more mustard next time.

The surf clam was new to me and was pretty good although a bit oily.

Walnut prawns and tan soo yook were okay, but I wouldn't bother ordering them again. The batter on the prawns was too thick, and the sweet cucumbers in the tan soo yook was just too odd to me.

Nice large portion sizes though.

Mar 20, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Quintessential Bay Area in 4 Days

Here is a fun list to try and eat your way through...

http://www.7x7.com/eat-drink/big-eat-...

Mar 17, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Lobster Cantonese Anywhere in the Area?

Koi Palace in Daily City should fit your bill.

http://www.koipalace.com/shell.html?p...

Mar 15, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Best "Local" Seafood Restaurants in Bay Area? Coming from a distance and need FIX!

>>"Truth is that you can't find many of those true "locally-sourced only" places in the Bay Area (except for some of those mentioned above). It's not like in some other parts of the country (Louisiana and the Carolinas come to mind..."

Tony's Seafood Restaurant in Marshall used to put out true "locally sourced" seafood. Until he got caught anyway...

Mar 14, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Best "Local" Seafood Restaurants in Bay Area? Coming from a distance and need FIX!

Heck, if going north then fresh & bbq'd oysters along the Marin coast are a must.

http://sfoysternerd.blogspot.com/2013...

Mar 13, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

El Chevere, new Cuban restaurant in San Rafael

Went to El Chevere for lunch today. They do indeed serve their cubano with lettuce and tomato. It's an okay cubano, although hardly worth $9. Side of fried yuca with garlic was also just okay.

DC's lechon con mojo also wasn't anything special (nothing you couldn't easily do at home), although her fried plantains were quite good. Ham croquetas served with the mild green dipping sauce were also pretty good.

Food wasn't bad but at $40 OTD it's not worth a second trip, IMO.

Mar 12, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

One dinner in SF

I agree that the comments about TJ's meats were a bit harsh and over the top. They take the time to roast their meats the right way and are generally pretty good albeit not cutting-edge. The one beef I have with them (pardon the pun) is the bread to meat ratio on their sandwiches, so I stay away from them.

I haven't been to Langer's (on my list due to the hype) but I imagine them doing doing a Jewish deli style pastrami, ala Katz, etc. which is quite different from what TJ is putting out, so comparisons between the two are rather pointless, IMO. I do wonder were both locations are getting their smoke from though.

If you like TJ's pastrami them I would highly recommend hitting up Memphis Minnie's on Pastrami Wednesdays.

Mar 05, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

One dinner in SF

There is always Tommy's Joint for a SF lunch institution. Although most of the food itself is unremarkable the Sunday (& Thursday) lamb shanks are pretty good.

Mar 04, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Can't Miss Dishes (Coming from LA to SF)?

I don't get to Chicago very often, so I be sure to hit up Hollywood Pies when I get a Chance! The crust is awesome, but it's all all bout that sauce for me.

Mar 04, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Can't Miss Dishes (Coming from LA to SF)?

I used to love Zach's in my college days, but man, after having Lou Malnatis in Chicago I am ruined. I just cannot go back to Zachary's.

Mar 04, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area
1

La Ciccia "call back tonight or else" voicemail - crossing the line or appropriate?

Yes, I read that although the population of SF is about 800k there are over 2,000,000 people in town each day.

Mar 01, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

How is SF's 38 Essential List (Eater SF)?

Count me in as a Commis detractor. The amuse bouches were fantastic (probably why they are mainstays), but all the other dishes were made up of forced ingredient combinations that just didn't add up for me. Tweezer placement of tiny tasteless flower petals be damned.

That said, the price point is competitive, so it may be worth checking out and hoping the dishes are more cohesive.

Feb 28, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

How is SF's 38 Essential List (Eater SF)?

Absolutely love the pastas at Flour & Water. And if it is "played out" then it is to our benefit. During the week, lining up 20 minutes before opening should get you in the first seating.

Feb 28, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to find Padron Peppers?

I picked up a bunch at Trader Joe's last summer.

Feb 26, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Good meal at China Village [Albany]

Intended to hit up Great China after the basketball game in Berkeley, but it was swamped. Very nice, modern space at the former Looney's location. On the way to the car we saw that Gather was also swamped so we decided to head out to China Village on Solano.

We ordered the dan dan noodles, spicy braised pork shoulder, spicy wok-charred cabbage, and the bacon sliced pork in spicy garlic sauce. Everything was slightly unique with their own individual flavors and quite tasty, but not very spicy even though they were labelled as such.

The dan dan was soup based and different than any version I had tried before. I found the noodles a bit soft, but the wife really enjoyed it.

As a guy that smokes a couple dozen pork shoulders each year, I really enjoyed CV's contrasting braised version. Succulent would be a good description. Just as good if not better than Little Sichuan in San Mateo.

The charred cabbage was as flavorful as ever, but could have use more heat.

The bacon sliced pork appetizer came last. Although we were pretty full at that point, we still found the flavors great. The cool thin slices of cucumber really made the dish.

The new clean & airy interior, the friendly & helpful waitstaff, and the Trumer Pilsner on tap also did their part to make sure I will return soon.

Feb 24, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Dishes you can only get on one day of the week

Thursday lamb shanks at Tommy's Joynt. It is the one thing I really enjoy there.

Feb 20, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Shrimp and Grits - SF Dish of the Month January 2014

No, not really. They were so nice and eager to please, I just didn't have it in me.

The pulled brisket was the only real offence, and probably just because I am a brisket snob. And I'm sure if he had a bbq pit he would use it.

Had a another customer ask me if it was my first time there. When I told him yes he said I should be prepared to get blown away, so who knows, YMMV.

Jan 31, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area

Shrimp and Grits - SF Dish of the Month January 2014

Checked out Soul Food City today in order to get my shrimp & grits fix under the January deadline. Real nice folks, but was told they haven't started making them yet because they haven't been unable to source worthy grits.

Good sign right? Well, as a replacement I thought I would sample the bbq brisket. Turns out it is cooked in an oven, pulled and served in sauce. Comes with two sides. The mac & cheese was quite good; the red beans & rice not so much. The jalapeno corn bread was just so so. DC had yams that were excellent.

As I mentioned the couple running the place were very friendly and sincerely wanted to know how we enjoyed the food. They are clearly still working out some kinks, so I will be back to check them out a again in a few weeks. Definitely would not order the brisket again though.

Jan 31, 2014
Civil Bear in San Francisco Bay Area