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east bay burger with short ribs in the mix?

I believe T-Rex may have started doing this. They recently got a new meat grinder and burger taste has improved substantially.

about 2 hours ago
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

I've now been twice and like it. The second time I ordered bacon, which was very good. I wouldn't get these 'to go." They are plenty juicy (even though cooked to medium/medium rare-ish) but if they sat for bit, I don't know if they'd hold up very long. I like it a lot better than In-n-out, someplace I patronize maybe once every 5 years. I thought it was a lot tastier than my 1 trip to Farm Burger.

Dec 14, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

"Worst of 2014" nominations

Early this year, Sinbad's in SF had a Groupon. How bad could it be? What was lurking behind the doors of that place one will pass a thousand times and never goes in, but never goes out of business? Here is my Open Table review:

On 02/19/2014 you wrote
Possibly most atrocious meal ever

From the service to the lackluster and uninspired food, this was probably the most atrocious meal I've had in 29 years of Bay Area living. The actual piece of fish under the sauce wasn't bad, but pretty much everything else was a disaster. Even the bread, which arrived after asking for it at least 3 times (and it came after the salads were almost done) was like those partially-baked breads found in the freezer case, and you complete the bake at home, except they never baked them. Doughy cold goodness! Bah. Somewhere a Costco is missing a bag of cheap lettuce greens. My mother may have once said "If you don't have anything nice to say ..." so I will say that the carnations on each table were beautiful! Probably left over from Feb 14.

Dec 06, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Source for rosewater?

Perhaps Zand in Albany?

Dec 03, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

Are Boss Burgers cook to order specification? And being so thin is there a hope of a medium rare burger?

Nov 29, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch Ideas for Tomorrow (Wednesday) in Oakland or Berkeley for Mixed Group of Adults/Kids

I don't know if Stella Nonna (San Pablo near Gilman) is convenient but they have decent wine and beer and is kid friendly.

Nov 25, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Mockingbird [Oakland] needs your help!

"Axelrod explained that while it was technically true that the space is covered by the building’s overall alcohol license, the particular nature of the license also dictates that the restaurant itself is prohibited from profiting off of alcohol sales — not even through a corkage fee. And because the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control doesn’t typically give out multiple licenses for a single address, resolving the situation won’t be as simple as re-entering the liquor license lottery."

This is very different than the "facts" spelled out in the OP. The situation could have been obviated (as in possibly leasing elsewhere) by having proper counsel reviewing the lease and license arrangement at the outset.

RL raises an interesting point. Perhaps the ABC, which doesn't generally give out multiple licenses for a single address, counts all the food for a single address as one. And, perhaps not.

Nov 18, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Farm Burger, Berkeley

Worthy of its own thread, for better or worse.

The concept of a $7.25 high quality burger these days is really appealing. All local grassfed beef, local high quality produce, and the like. The space is decent enough. The staff seems to be "well-oiled" already in taking orders and getting them out, and are very polite.

I decided I wanted to keep it simple, to taste the meat and the bun, etc. There are quite a number of free add-ons to the basic burger, as well as a number of $1 and $2 add-ons. They also have some pre-set burgers du jour.

Burger, medium rare, FB sauce, lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic, and onion. (These were a portion of the available free add-ons.) FB sauce is some sort of mayo-pickle-paprika (I don't recall the list of things she mentioned).

It was one of the most tasteless burgers I've ever had. I took a piece of meat out and ate it alone and it seemed to have almost no seasoning. Furthermore, medium rare ended up being barely lukewarm.

We actually both ordered almost the same thing, and felt the same way. You could tell the ingredients were good, but the execution was meh.

We also got an order of FB fries, which were sort of a provencal style. They were overdone yet not hot enough nor had all what must have been their original crisp left. I wonder if they are once-fried and not dried well enough. Tasty enough and a generous portion, and we took the rest to go.

So, dear Farm Burger, when I return in a month or so, I want it to be a lot tastier. I want you to be a great burger joint so close to home. You have the right ingredients, the right staff, and the right concept. Maybe you need a bit of salt and pepper, maybe you need a higher temp (and shorter cooking time) for a better crust on the meat without overcooking it. Maybe we just had a one-off, on day two. And this is coming from a cook who has a very light hand with the salt.

I did find it odd that in a place full of wall decor and other information regarding fresh, local, grass-fed, healthy, etc. etc. that there were stacks of boxes of Coke and Diet Coke along the wall near the door.

I hope further reports from others here show a different and more flavorful experience.

Nov 13, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

I like Zut's burger. I give it a "very good." Off to try Farm Burger tonight.

Nov 13, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Where are you buying your turkey?

I've gotten my bird at Magnani in Berkeley for quite a few years running. They have a large selection of farms available.

Nov 12, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Another Whole Foods coming to Berkeley

I think they used to be whole pies only and switched to slices available.

As for the WF, I've been a few times. It is extremely convenient, as I will never have to park in that atrocious lot. My tentative verdict(s):
(1) If I need something on Sunday, or late on other nights, it will be my most convenient open option;
(2) If it is something that Tokyo Fish carries, I will buy it at TFM;
(3) They have appealing sale items, and I've already bought a few (including a 4 pack of Rubicon Bakery cupcakes for what, $2, and they are tastier than most of the fancy overpriced cupcakes I've had around the area);
(4) The prepared foods are variable, to wit:
(a) The whole chicken (on sale for $9.99)was ok, but not great. I'm much more likely to get a tastier Mi Tierra chicken and save $7 or so from the regular WF price;
(b) The pre-made (refrigerator case) pizza and chicken wing deal ($9.99 for the large pizza plus a nice sized tray of wings) had a pizza we'd never want to eat again, but very tasty wings (and if $6.99 was the regular price of them, I'd get them again)
(c) The pie ($2.50 a slice on sale) - we tried cranberry and pumpkin, and they were very good. In fact, it seemed like if you got the crust fresh out of the oven, it would be a very good crust.

I cannot see paying extra for Acme bread for the convenience of not walking a few more blocks (or if I'm paying a premium, TFM will get it) nor buy the "local this and local that" propaganda plastered everywhere.

I am probably glad my house value is worth more than it was a week ago. I'm also glad that at some point in life, when driving becomes something I shouldn't do anymore, that I'll have a full service market so close to home. Hopefully the retirement funds will allow me to shop there.

And finally, dear Contra Costa County residents on your way home from work, please spend your money here, leave sales tax revenue here, and maybe some soda tax revenue here, too. And drive safely on Gilman.

Only one dinner in Buenos Aires

Mine, too. But I don't know if that is an 'encapsulation" of the heart and spirit of Buenos Aires. It is an excellent meal, and I try and go there on at least one or two of my three to four visits a year.

Only one dinner in Buenos Aires

Heart and spirit? Are you looking for a big sizzling parrillada? A more upscale meat experience? Or something different?

Buenos Aires in January

Adventurous? El Baqueano in San Telmo has been my favorite place in the city a few years' running. Interesting (and good to excellent) food, with great service. Tasting menu only. Native meats/

I like it a lot more than my 1 visit to Aramburu, where I found things to be more show than necessary and service was very polite but amateurish.

I haven't been to Pura Tierra in quite awhile. The consensus among those I know is that ordering from the regular menu is better than the tasting menu. I have enjoyed my few visits there, but not in a 'wow" sort of way.

Another Whole Foods coming to Berkeley

The store is opening tomorrow. Note that over the weekend, the city started placing signs up for parking machines. The area is now a Maximum Rate zone, just like the heart of downtown. The store was allowed to open with only 89 parking spaces. I'm sure that the Dollar Tree, T-Rex, and Philz lots will be at trigger-happy-tow enforcement when they see folks crossing to the Whole Foods.

Nov 03, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Mockingbird [Oakland] needs your help!

And yes, we should support them. The point I'm trying to impress is that the restaurant has publicly taken the high road, none of us have read the lease provisions, and "we" shouldn't throw fuel on what might be a precarious, but extinguishable, fire.

Nov 01, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Mockingbird [Oakland] needs your help!

Their website says the following:
Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding with our landlords We have voluntarily suspended all alcohol sales until further notice. We ENCOURAGE you to BYOB (without a fee)until we are able to sort this out. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Inflammatory comments, even though they may be 100% true, or partially true, will not be productive to what will hopefully be a successful resolution of whatever the misunderstanding may be.

Nov 01, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

While the beverage industry doesn't "have any of that," it has the benefit of cheap sweeteners due to government subsidies, and furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, they own almost all of the "replacements that won't be taxed" beverage industry, from tap water with fancy labels, to juices, to much of what is on the shelves, after a decades-long push to not only buy up various once-smaller-competing brands, but to keep real competition off the supermarket shelves.

Oct 30, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

New pie bakery on upper University Ave, Berkeley [A Dora Pie]

Entity Name: A DORA PIE, INC.
Entity Number: C3712944
Date Filed: 09/22/2014
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: 1966 UNIVERSITY AVE
Entity City, State, Zip: BERKELEY CA 94704
Agent for Service of Process: JESSICA JANE STEEVE
Agent Address: 1418 5TH ST
Agent City, State, Zip: BERKELEY CA 94710

This is Christopher Blue's fiancee (or wife)

Oct 29, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

New pie bakery on upper University Ave, Berkeley [A Dora Pie]

That is the "old" Slow space. I saw the new sign, with the windows papered over, last week. I guess the posting of their "much needed break" is for eternity.

Did you happen to see pricing? Slice and whole pie options?

Oct 29, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

2014 Best Indian Buffet Oakland/Berkeley Area?

I went to Priya today and thought it was good. I particularly liked the goat curry - good amount of heat, although I had to be careful with all the bone chips. There were coconut and tomato chutneys. I didn't overload and try everything, including the 2 soups.

Oct 28, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay places to sit, eat, and watch the World Series

I peeked in Longbranch. It looks like there's a TV on one side, and not on the other side, so there would be a good shot at not being able to sit and eat and watch the game if it fills up.

Oct 24, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay places to sit, eat, and watch the World Series

I can think of many places that will have the game on, but not many that one will be able to sit and eat, not in a crowded bar area, and watch the game from most anywhere.

In fact, the only thing that comes to mind within a reasonable proximity is T-Rex (as you can see the TVs from pretty much anywhere). So, any further suggestions are welcome, as I'm not going to want T-Rex 3 days in a row.

Oct 24, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Agreed, completely. As I just received my property tax bill, with so many line items, totaling the thousands, for special assessments, and just looked at the ballot with yet another park tax, and see that there is another way to get revenue in the general fund that will not materially affect anyone's life in the City of Berkeley, it is no trick.

Oct 21, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Further, as most "sugary beverages" are laden with HFCS, the tax is probably no more than the difference in price, were not the HFCS a government-subsidized crop. Plus, you get to drink free Roundup, which means that even when the diabetes comes, you won't be sprouting up unwanted weeds.

K2 Restaurant Group - ruined restaurants in Berkeley?

My periodic (approx. 1x/mo) trips over the past several months have been very good.

Oct 20, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Interestingly, in Mexico, which has a horrible obesity and type 2 D problem, their tax has not generally resulted in a hardship to merchants. Rather, people are purchasing other beverages. Furthermore, the "big boys" trying to fight these taxes own much of the rest of the beverage aisles, so the little violin orchestra doesn't play well.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

As I understand it, this is revenue to the general fund so it doesn't require 2/3. Also, I don't believe that this imposes a reporting/collection burden on the retailers/restaurants, as the beverage is taxed prior to the final sale to consumer.

Oct 18, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

2014 Best Indian Buffet Oakland/Berkeley Area?

That place (Priya) has never been on my radar, despite having passed by probably a thousand or more times. I'll have to check it out. I gave up on Khana Peena on Solano some time ago. It went from decent to ok to so so to I'm never going back.

Oct 09, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area

Baker and Banker Closing! [San Francisco]

There's always more to the story, and we rarely hear it. If the business was highly profitable, I doubt it would be closing. One reason for a restauranteur to stay until lease's end would be to avoid a deficiency balance on the lease, i.e., it is better to barely break even or lose a little bit than to be on the hook for a lot more, unless bankruptcy is inevitable.

The only exceptions that I can think of in 2014 San Francisco is someone who holds a full liquor license and can pocket $250K to close up shop, or someone who holds a very under-market lease with a substantial remaining term, and the landlord buys it out, or the remaining term is sold.

"We're quitting to spend more time with our kids, (even though the income to feed them is going away)" is always an odd read to me.

Oct 09, 2014
lmnopm in San Francisco Bay Area