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Duende in Oakland

There were three of us. We ordered five dishes (four tapas and the albondigas) and left all a little hungry. Which, that's fine if it's one of those places where you have to order a lot more, but that makes it pretty expensive.

Though I do really want to go back for the ribeye with a group of good meat eaters.

Miss Ollie's - Oakland

I've been to Miss Ollie's twice now (both on Saturdays for fried chicken), and I absolutely love what they're doing there. All of the food that I've had has been great: the first time I was there the chicken came with black eyed peas, greens, and two hush puppies, and the second time it came with plaintains and an avocado salad with a carrot slaw. Along with four pieces of perfectly fried chicken, it's a crazy steal for $11. I also had some of the red beans and rice (delicious), the salt fish salad (unusual and great), and the creole doughnuts (fantastic, and perfectly fried). Everything I've had is really delicious, and wow do they know their way around a fryer, but the fried chicken is really some of the best in the Bay Area. Perfectly crispy on the outside, lots of flavor, well seasoned and well cooked on the inside, and with that little heart of jerk seasoning that Sarah Kirnon is known for. Oh, and the housemade hot sauce is great too -- lots of heat, and the kind that works well with their food, but interesting flavor as well.

I can't wait to go back to try the fish friday (has anyone tried it?) and the Oxtail. The service is also super friendly, which I really appreciate in a new place, and the space is low key and comfortable. I'm glad that there are so many good spots coming to that little corner of Oakland.

Duende in Oakland

I stopped in the other night, and I think I'll only go back either just for drinks, or if someone else with a deep pocket is paying. The food was good, but oh boy were the portions minuscule. We got the crispy squid, the bruleed goat cheese salad, the little gems/avocado salad, the patatas bravas, and the albondigas. All of the first three were good, but so tiny it was hard not to feel fleeced at the $10-$12 prices. The best thing was the little gems/avocado salad, the piquillos were really the star of it. The albondigas were okay, but had a kind of weird texture to me. The patatas bravas were great, though.

The drinks were really good, I'll definitely go back for cocktails and the wine list. And the house made sodas were fantastic.

Where to buy a pound of coffee?

They roast their own, the whole thing has changed. Agree that Peaberry's was mediocre, and I'm liking Highwire a lot. They also have excellent pastries (Starter Bakery and other small local bakeries).

Where to buy a pound of coffee?

The new Highwire Coffee (where Peabody's coffee used to be, in Market Hall on College) is great -- really friendly staff and owners, and their beans make excellent coffee at home too. My mom had some over Thanksgiving, and it was both delicious and easy on the stomach. I can't wait to finish the beans that I have at home so that I can buy some. My mom had their Yirg, I'm pretty sure.

Vegan option at a Mission taqueria?

If you like Gracias Madre, go while you still can

We Need More Martha Stewart on TV. Really. We do!

Both the appetizer book and the cookie book are amazing. And I love a lot of her recipes -- some of them could use a little more spice and garlic, but the techniques are great, and she explains things very well. Her macaroni and cheese recipe has been a staple ever since I've first made it (just made it this week for Thanksgiving).

Nov 27, 2011
JasmineG in Food Media & News

2011 - Let's talk turkey

I've been doing the salt cure for the past three years, and I love it -- way way easier than brining, and really delicious. I started mine this morning, this year I added a few more herbs/spices to the salt, we'll see how it turns out.

A little help, dinner place in SF proper for business interview recommendations

RN74 would work -- it's loud in the evening because of the busy bar, but whenever I walk by at lunchtime it looks pretty quiet, especially if you ask for a table on the far side of the restaurant.

301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Going to Plum: amount of food to order

The animal plates are bigger than the others, but I think 3 starters, 3 vegetables and 2 animal plates would probably be just about right, depending on your appetites (you might want to add one of the snacks, which I don't see on the online menu, but are smaller and cheaper appetizers).

A Short Report of our SF Trip

I go to that Macy's all the time, but I never eat in Union Square unless I've been shopping for a long time and am very crabby.

NEW: Umami Burger, SF (Marina/Cow Hollow) - anyone try it yet?

I went last week - I got there at 5:30 and it was empty, but about 6:30 it was packed, and when we left at around 7:30 there was a line (this was on a Thursday). I got the Manly burger (beer cheddar cheese, bacon studded burger with fried onions), and it was great -- good ingredients, great bun, well put together, and perfectly medium rare. We shared some of the cheesy tater tots (not on the menu, but a frequent special) and they were really good, I was glad that the four of us shared two orders. We also got some of the regular fries, which were good but not that interesting, and some of the sweet potato fries, which were really good except that they had way too much cinnamon on them.

The ketchup is definitely good, and unlike some of the complaints I've seen from people in LA, they have a big bottle of it on the table, so no tiny spoonful of ketchup.

Oh, and while two of us were waiting for our friends, we shared the pickle plate, which is only $5 -- I was really glad that the bartender steered us that way. The pickles are all housemade, there was a great variety (carrots with ginger, serranos, okra, beets, two cucumbers and some mixture), and they were all really tasty.

Chicken Pot Pie/ Berkeley or Oakland Area

Homeroom has pot pies, I think it's a Tuesday special? Just checked their site and saw nothing about it, but I know I've seen it advertised before, maybe give them a call to check.

Suggestions or restaurants to avoid?

Aziza is pretty expensive, and for a young couple who can't drink and can go to only one nice dinner, Aziza probably would not be the place that I'd send them.

2011 - Let's talk turkey

Marin Sun Farms has a heritage turkey from BN Ranch for $6.99 a pound, and a broad breasted turkey (also by BN Ranch) for $3.99 a pound (I'm pretty sure those are the prices, I asked at the store the other day, but the per lb prices aren't on the website).

Birthday Pressure: Round Table for 8-10, not Chinese.

I know that Kokkari has some round tables.

Cooking from my CSA (Oct 2011)

I got the same box, except my cauliflower was purple. So far I've only done a few simple things:

Roasted romenesco and cauliflower -- I used one head of the romenesco and a half a head of the cauliflower and roasted them together at high heat, with just some olive oil, salt and garlic added at the end. They were both so good they were "like candy" as my friend said, with the caramelized edges.

Panzanella -- with the tomatoes, basil and peppers, and a little garlic and some pan roasted corn (and some Acme green onion slab). I'm going to be so sad when tomato season is over.

Peperonata -- this was my dinner tonight: sauteed onions, peppers and tomato, all from the box, cooked with olive oil until they've broken down and basil on top at the end. This is one of my favorite things to do with peppers and tomatoes, and it's great turned into a pasta sauce, spread on top of a pizza, or stirred into a frittata or with a fried egg, but I just ate it as is on top of bread.

I also want tips on what to do with the celery, I might have to try to pull together some sort of cilantro/garlic/onion dip and have it with a lot of celery sticks this week.

Oct 10, 2011
JasmineG in Home Cooking

Ubuntu Napa

This doesn't sound like good news: Ubuntu closing for 4 (ish) months.

Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

Vancouverites 4 day SF food itinerary-please let me know what you think?

When I went we walked in, but we got there at 5:30 (and there was a line outside the door). We got immediately seated though.

Coffee talk: Blue Bottle x2, Stella’s, Bicycle, Jane, Grand Prix, Ma*velous, Creamery, Sightglass plus beans

No, it was definitely the beans. I do the exact same thing every time I make coffee. And I tried those beans a few more times after that, they made undrinkable coffee.

Vancouverites 4 day SF food itinerary-please let me know what you think?

The prices would be fine if the portions were bigger. Three of us shared two appetizers, a pizza, and each got our own pastas, and were still a little hungry when we left, and this was with a friend of mine who has a pretty small appetite.

Coffee talk: Blue Bottle x2, Stella’s, Bicycle, Jane, Grand Prix, Ma*velous, Creamery, Sightglass plus beans

That happened to me at Blue Bottle too -- I bought a bag of beans where the first cup from them (the day or so after I bought the beans) was fine, and then after that it was really terrible, there was clearly something wrong with the beans.

Blue Bottle Cafe
66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Vancouverites 4 day SF food itinerary-please let me know what you think?

After another recent meal at Flour + Water, I think I'm not a big fan of the place. The pastas were very good, but with very small portions for a comparatively high price, and the pizzas are fine, but there's much better pizza in San Francisco. I enjoyed my pasta a lot, but I find the place not worth the hassle to go there, or the money that you spend. I had just as good and sometimes better pasta at Cotogna, Delfina, and La Ciccia, and everything about those other three restaurants is more appealing to me than Flour + Water.

The fish taco stand that you're thinking of is I think Primavera, they don't always have the fish tacos, but everything that they have is great, it's at the back of the market.

La Ciccia
291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

Delfina Restaurant
3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

which chain grocery stores in the east bay are better?

I loved my mystery box, and my picky sister went crazy for the dinner that I made her that night with purple cauliflower. I also couldn't get over how much food there was in the box for $25 -- at the farmer's market that would have cost me at least $40, if not more. They said they'll be in Oakland once a month, they think, and maybe more often in the winter.

I also got 40 lbs of tomatoes to can, which were much much cheaper than they would have been at any of the East Bay farmers markets that I go to.

Best work-from-home cafes -- Oakland/Berkeley

Peaberry's in Rockridge Market Hall now has Butterfat Bakery stuff as well as Starter Bakery goodies, I noticed that last week.

Rockridge Market Hall
5655 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618

Starter Bakery
1552 Beach Street, Suite R, Oakland, CA 94608

Best work-from-home cafes -- Oakland/Berkeley

That's great to know, thanks.

Best work-from-home cafes -- Oakland/Berkeley

Yes, the baked goods are really good, I had a great scone there too, and a really good cookie.

Best work-from-home cafes -- Oakland/Berkeley

I was going to suggest Remedy -- it's a little too expensive, but the staff has always been nice to me, and it's a good mix of people, and their baked goods are delicious. The only problem is that the chairs aren't particularly comfortable.

which chain grocery stores in the east bay are better?

Beets in a can don't give you the beet greens, and right there that makes them more expensive than a bunch of beets. You buy the bunch, you basically get beets and a bunch of chard for about the same as a can of beets.

which chain grocery stores in the east bay are better?

Mariquita is in the East Bay now!!! (Yes, that is worthy of three exclamation points). Get on their mailing list, East Bay people, they are starting to do delivery drop offs at Camino on Grand Ave. They did tomatoes on Saturday a few weeks ago and this week have tomatoes and mystery boxes.