a

Anya L's Profile

Title Last Reply

Roland of Roland's Bagels opense Terra Bakery and Cafe

I finally stopped here yesterday and this morning. I had peeked in last week to check out their pastries, but didn't get anything then because the pastries were tiny and super expensive (around $3.25). This week the pastry size seems to have increased, although not consistently by any means - some of the croissants were twice as big as others. For that price, I definitely want the big one :) Yesterday I tried a raisin snail, which I have to say was fabulous. It was super buttery with lots of raisins and the edges were a tiny bit crispy.

Today I had a poppyseed bagel with cream cheese, which was $3.19, maybe $1 more than most places. It was quite good, but definitely pricey, and not that substantial (weighty) like some bagels w/cream cheese, which could be good or bad, depending on what you desire.

I still want to try the apricot danish and the plain croissant - but only if the pastry size is consistently larger.

May 26, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for romantic, fantastic food within a budget

Let's try this again -

We just went to Chapeau for our anniversary Friday night. Food and service were both excellent. The atmosphere is much nicer than at the old location, although it's still fairly "cozy" and can get a bit noisy, but at least you can still converse with your date. The 3-course menu is a very good value for $38, or if you have a larger appetite, there is a 4-course menu (with fish course and palate cleanser) for $46. Of course with aperitifs, wine, tip, and tax, it was still $200, but that's MUCH cheaper than La Folie and Fleur de Lys, and I actually appreciated not being quite that full. (La Folie in particular is a gut-buster, but the food is so good I can never leave anything unfinished.)

-----
Chapeau!
126 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

May 09, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Wild Flour Bakery, Freestone

I love that bakery and force my hubby to stop every time we're in the area, which we were yesterday. They had quite a few (extremely large) scones, most of which I hadn't seen before - some very interesting flavors like blueberry with white chocolate drizzle, mocha, and a couple of others (my memory fails me now). However, I passed those up for my usual favorites: sticky bun bread (much better this time than last time when the dough was overly sour), fougasse (studded with roasted garlic and hunks of cheese), and the biggest chocolate-hazelnut biscotti in the world. Yum!

May 09, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Singapore Malaysian Restaurant

I'm embarrassed to admit that I had never tried this place until today, although I only live 4 blocks away. I tried the Hainan chicken & rice (with steamed chicken) and Char Kway Teow. My son and I both loved the Hainan chicken & rice - so flavorful.

Some yelpers thought that the Char Kway Teow had way too many chiles, but apparently the owner didn't think I would want any chiles in mine (maybe because of my 4-year-old son), so it was not remotely spicy. I did like it - nicely seared noodles yet not too oily - but ended up adding sriracha.

Everyone there was super nice and the owner kept offering my son candy from their candy jar, which won quite a few points with my son.

Next time I'll try the curry mee. And probably more Hainan chicken & rice.

May 01, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

House of Banquets, new dimsum place

My mother and my in-laws were visiting recently, and my mother craved Chinese, so we got take-out from House of Banquet. With a house full of Scandinavians, we stuck to non-spicy American favorites. We ordered potstickers, vegetable chow mein, mu shu pork, chicken with broccoli (the only thing my kid will eat), general tsao chicken, mongolian beef, scallops with greens, and steamed eggplant with garlic. Overall, everything was quite good. The steamed eggplant was particularly impressive, as the eggplant was fairly light, not leaden and oily like usual. The general tsao chicken was amazingly not fried and the sauce not sticky sweet, although it still wasn't my favorite dish. The chow mein was rather bland, but did contain some really nice, fresh vegetables, such as baby bok choy, not just bean sprouts and celery. I quite liked the scallops and mongolian beef. I would definitely order from there again. I should add that we had enough leftovers for dinner the next night, plus 2 lunches, so it was definitely a good value.

-----
House of Banquet
939 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

May 01, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite Barefoot Contessa Recipes?

I recently made lunch for my father-in-law's 90th birthday, so I went all out and FINALLY tried Ina's Lobster Pot Pie, which I've been drooling over for years. I made individual ramekins (12 oz each) and doubled the recipe to serve 8 (it actually served 9). I used 2 lbs lobster instead of 1.5, based on comments on foodtv.com. I didn't have time for a homemade crust (have to try it another time - looks amazing), but used high quality puff pastry instead and only did a top crust. Soooo rich and decadent, soooo good!! Everyone drooled.

As if that wasn't rich enough, we started with Ina's Mache with Warm Brie and Apple. The only changes I made were to use champagne vinegar instead of balsamic, and half the amount of honey drizzled on the brie. The dish exceeded my expectations and everyone loved it. It seems so simple, but the whole dish was definitely more than just the sum of its parts.

May 01, 2010
Anya L in Home Cooking

Ethnic Cooking - Finland

Just noticed these comments and had to add my own:

My family can eat karjalanpiirakoita as fast as we can make them!

May 01, 2010
Anya L in Home Cooking

Fried chicken in Oakland?

I recently had some great fried chicken at Mua. The serving comes with a drumstick and breast (breast is boneless except for the wing tip), accompanied by cole slaw (I really liked it and I'm not always a slaw fan) and corn bread.

-----
Mua
2442A Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612

May 01, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Almond croissant taste test

The cheese danish at La Boulange is pretty good - the closest I have found to what I considered the ne plus ultra of cheese danishes: Just Desserts. Sigh. I still crave those, along with their bear claws. (One of these days I'll post my bear claw list, although I need to update it now.)

-----
Just Desserts
101 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

May 01, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

House of Banquets, new dimsum place

I finally got around to trying House of Banquet last Saturday. We didn't eat there, but ordered some dim sum to take to a party. I walked in around 4 pm and asked if I could order dim sum to pick up later that evening. The hostess looked at me kind of funny and said, "Sure...you know it's Chinese New Year, right?" I wanted to pick up the food at 5:30 pm and apparently that was going to be OK. So I showed up at 5:30 on the dot and the place was rapidly filling up; literally one minute later they brought my food. I was extremely impressed by their timeliness.

I mainly just ordered steamed dumplings (usual caucasian favorites: har gow, siu mai, potstickers, etc). Everyone at the party loved the food. I don't feel qualified to critique more closely since I didn't try everything and the food wasn't eaten until 40 min later. But everything I tried was good enough that I would definitely go back. I will probably try their dinner menu next (most likely take-out).

Feb 15, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Almond croissant taste test

After stopping at Citizen Cake the other morning (hadn't been there in a while), I feel compelled to update my list. They've changed their almond croissants twice since my original post, and not for the better. Their second version was still OK, although definitely in the "might eat again" category, because the almond paste was more like marzipan - too sweet, too chewy, too much. (Those of you who think Bay Bread's is too much of a good thing would have gagged.) Unfortunately, Citizen Cake changed their almond croissant yet again, and this time it's just plain wrong. The croissant was too dry and crumbly, with just a few almonds on top, and the filling was not almondy at all. I think it was actually dulce de leche. To me, it didn't even qualify as an almond croissant anymore. (I have actually been wondering what's been going on with Citizen Cake's breakfast pastries - did the chef change? I really miss their maple-walnut cinnamon rolls.)

Jan 31, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Best cheesecake in SF?

Thanks. I go to Bryan's a lot and will look for Sweet Cheeses' cheesecake.

Jan 04, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Best cheesecake in SF?

Thanks for the link. I searched the board for "cheesecake" before posting, but somehow did not see this result (maybe didn't scroll through all the pages).

Jan 04, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Best cheesecake in SF?

My husband would like cheesecake for his birthday. Normally I'd bake one, but am currently without a kitchen. I'm not crazy about Schubert's - too light and airy - prefer a denser cheesecake. I've never tried Zanze's or Cheesecake Factory. Any flavor except chocolate is potentially OK - hubby loves cherry.

What are your recommendations for the best cheesecake in San Francisco?

Jan 04, 2010
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

2009 - All things pumpkin

I have been enjoying the pumpkin muffins at Specialty's. For ice cream, Double Rainbow is a perennial favorite. I also like the pumpkin "rocks" (cookies) and pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting at Sweet Things.

Last night my husband and I had an informal pumpkin pie tasting. The contestants were Sweet Things, Tartine, Bay Bread Boulangerie, Mission Pie, and Trader Joe's (the ringer - hey, it's $4.99, I had to try it). Sweet Things came out the winner, for their very traditional pie crust and filling. The overall flavor was light, not overly spiced, and familiar - like Libby's recipe. Next favorite was Bay Bread Boulangerie's pumpkin tart. I liked that it had lots of filling, with a deeper flavor (brown sugar?) and more spice than Sweet Things' pie. It has a tart crust rather than pie crust, but that was fine with me. Trader Joe's pie was actually not bad. The spice in the filling was a bit harsh, but we thought it was a good value. Mission Pie's filling had a nice, somewhat different flavor and was clearly from fresh pumpkin; I didn't mind the stringiness of the filling, but there were some seeds which definitely detracted from the eating experience. Their crust tasted good, but could be a bit more tender. Surprisingly, the least favorite was Tartine's pie. The filling was too rich and creamy, not quite sweet enough, and overly spiced - the pumpkin flavor just didn't come through. I also prefer a more traditional crust to their super flaky, super dark crust. I was especially surprised that I didn't like it more since I've baked (and enjoyed) the pumpkin pie recipe from their cookbook (although I might have ad libbed a little - can't remember for sure).

-----
Mission Pie
2901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Bay Bread
2325 Pine St, San Francisco, CA 94115

Sweet Things
3585 California St, San Francisco, CA

Nov 15, 2009
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Searching for Fried Chicken in SF

I agree that the staff really knew what they were doing. And the bartender made me a terrific sidecar (which I enjoyed until my husband and kid showed up).

Sep 26, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Searching for Fried Chicken in SF

I tried to edit my previous post to link to this place, but it didn't want to let me do that, so I am replying to my post in order to link.

-----
Chenery Park Restaurant
683 Chenery Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

Sep 25, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Searching for Fried Chicken in SF

On Tuesdays Chenery Park has fried chicken and fixins as a special. I really liked it when I went there. I should warn you that Tuesday is also kids' night. My son was voted "messiest kid" when we went. Lucky for you, we don't go out much, so you are unlikely to have to sit next to us if you go.

Sep 25, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO Lebkuchenherzen recipe

I finally tried to make Lebkuchenherzen for Oktoberfest. I ended up using the recipe from The New German Cookbook, but substituting dark brown sugar for the white sugar. Because I got busy, I "aged" the dough for a few days in the fridge before baking. The cookies turned out well, which is to say that they are very hard and you can hang them around your neck! They do taste pretty good though and they are not so hard that you can't eat them. My toddler loves them, but then again, he may be teething :)

Sep 25, 2007
Anya L in Home Cooking

Sociale

I went recently for a friend's birthday luncheon. My friends and I tasted each other's dishes and everything was quite good. Three courses were served (with three choices for each course) and we were stuffed at the end. It was a nice day and we sat on the patio, which was very pleasant.

Sep 14, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Vegetable Harvest: Recipe Discussion and Planning, Links, and Previous Picks and Pans

I love Patricia Wells' other cookbooks, so I was excited to buy this one. About halfway through the book, I realized that this is a diet cookbook! Well, sort of. On the plus side, the recipes sound awfully good for the most part. (After all, I didn't even notice the calorie counts on each page until I had read much of the book.) On the minus side, I doubt I will be making any of the desserts. But maybe I will have to try one of the cakes just to see if it could possibly be any good. Another surprise was that several recipes don't actually call for vegetables, although they do call for fresh herbs. I knew it wasn't a vegetarian cookbook, but thought that vegetables or fruits would be part of every recipe. Still, I look forward to cooking.

Sep 04, 2007
Anya L in Home Cooking

SF - Hayes & Kebab - Excellent Cigaret Borek

I got take-out from Hayes & Kebab recently. The place was really clean and guy at the counter was super nice. We tried:

Appetizer Combo Plate - According to the menu, it comes with hummus, babaganoush, mast o sir (yogurt), falafel, couscous salad, dolma, grilled veggies, and pita; we didn't get any dolma and the grilled veggies were 2 mushrooms and 1 tomato wedge. However, I liked what we did get. The dips were tangier than usual, but I thought they were good.

Spanakopita - The pastry was not super buttery, but I didn't mind. The filling was quite flavorful, but a little dry.

Greek Salad with Chicken Gyro meat added - The salad dressing was really tasty, although there was too much of it. The chicken was quite flavorful but dry, but the abundant dressing helped compensate.

Lamb Shish Kebab plate - The lamb was perfectly cooked to medium - still rosy in the center - and was very tender and delicious, although a bit gamey, as lamb often is (which I don't mind). It came with a pleasant rice pilaf, even better bulgur pilaf, oily salad, and fresh, soft bread. There was a tasty yogurt dip for the lamb, and we also got hot sauce on the side, which I haven't gotten with kebabs before - it was quite spicy but good; I mixed the hot sauce with the yogurt.

All in all, I would definitely go back.

Aug 24, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

September 2007 Cookbook of the Month: Cast Your Votes Here

Vegetable Harvest - I don't own it yet, but love Patricia Wells' cookbooks. I think my favorite is actually Bistro Cooking - perhaps for a future month?

Aug 10, 2007
Anya L in Home Cooking

ISO great pecan pie (take-out) in SF

Next time you feel like baking, I recommend trying Park Chow's Butter Pecan Pie recipe (although the CI one is good too):
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

Of course you can always go there and taste it first :)

Aug 10, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO great pecan pie (take-out) in SF

Roadside BBQ (Geary & 2nd Ave) has decent pecan pie and probably would sell you a whole one, although they normally sell by the slice. I would call ahead to find out.

Park Chow has good pecan pie, although again I don't know if they sell whole ones, or if they always have it on the menu (I think so).

-----
Park Chow
1238 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

Roadside BBQ
3751 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

Aug 01, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Citizen Cake Cupcake fans take note

By the way, they also sometimes have cookies, 5 for $5 (normally $1.50 each). They are packages in various assortments of chocolate chip, ginger, oatmeal, chocolate, and snickerdoodles.

Jul 30, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

B Star Bar

I got take-out from B Star last week. The menu is sort of Asian fusion with a Burmese flair. I stuck with the more Burmese-style dishes, since they sounded better. Some of the menu items (like green curry salmon pot pie with salad, fish tacos) just seemed out of place on the menu.

We tried:

Pumpkin Croquettes - 3 croquettes made with Kabocha squash filling and coated with crispy crumbs; quite tasty

Tea Leaf Salad - made with romaine lettuce, which I believe differs from the original, but otherwise had traditional ingredients; it was good, but very oily (the ingredients were already tossed together)

Rice Noodles with ground chicken, tomato, and peanuts - can't remember what the real name of this dish is, but it was very good

Clay Pot Chicken Biryani - this tasted a lot (exactly?) like the Burmese chicken casserole at Burma Superstar; delicious

Service was extremely friendly. There weren't many diners eating yet (at 7 pm on a Tuesday). The decor is hip and modern and they have soju (I think, or else it was sake) cocktails. Don't know if they are going to get a full liquor license. The wine selection was definitely better than you'd see at your average Asian restaurant. I will definitely go back.

Jul 30, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Dempsey's in Petaluma -- recent meals?

We went there for lunch recently with our toddler and sat outside. It was ideal. They actually had something on their kids' menu that my son would eat: yogurt (can't wait until he outgrows this picky phase). He spilled my wine and dropped a bread plate and the waiter didn't bat an eye - he just brought lots of extra napkins. Our food and drinks were quite good.

Jun 29, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Aziza with a baby - will it work?

The owner of The Richmond has a toddler, so he understands about dining with kids. They have a high chair, and we took our son there when he was younger and calmer. Now he's 18 months and won't sit still for long, so I probably wouldn't take him to The Richmond at this age. It's a small place (smaller than it used to be - they expanded the kitchen and have fewer tables now), so not good if your child is fidgety or noisy. But if your baby is still young and relatively quiet, The Richmond should be OK, especially if it's early evening.

Jun 29, 2007
Anya L in San Francisco Bay Area

Craptails

The funniest drink by far is the one posted by geotect. Coming and Going made me laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing! (Somehow that doesn't sound quite right...)

Jun 29, 2007
Anya L in Features