The Dive's Profile

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Ham for Easter

Is there anything local and special out there? Has anyone had the Marin Sun Farm's ham? My group is pretty small (4-6 adults, 2 kids), so I am looking for small or half/quarter hams. Thanks!

Apr 10, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Oysters with Lunch in Berkeley or Oakland

Not on this Saturday when I was there -- it looks like it may be more of a Happy Hour special during the week.

Apr 07, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area
1

TV (Baseball) & Food in East Bay

Yes, we are semi-regular at McGee's and I agree that the food has improved a lot! And they always have Blind Pig on tap, so that's good. Alameda is a little out of the way for me after work, but it is a good weekend spot now. Thanks for reminding me!

Apr 07, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

TV (Baseball) & Food in East Bay

Good to know about PCB. I am typically trying to watch the A's, but sometimes need to know how the Cardinals are doing too.

Apr 07, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

TV (Baseball) & Food in East Bay

Is there anything new to report? Would like a place to grab a drink and bite with some friends, and catch some of the game.

Apr 07, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Oysters with Lunch in Berkeley or Oakland

Thanks - I forgot about Bocanova.

I haven't been too keen on Toast's food or wine selections.

I wasn't sure about Assemble based on Luke Tsai's lackluster review in the EBE. I suppose today might be a good time to try it out.

Apr 06, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Oysters with Lunch in Berkeley or Oakland

Trying to think of a place to get some oysters with lunch tomorrow (Saturday) in Oakland or Berkeley. Already thought of Cafe Rouge, but I really wish to recreate old lunches outside at the old Sea Salt if possible. Any other thoughts?

Apr 04, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Where can OctoberFeast breads and pastries be found?

We just got pretzel croissants from OctoberFeast at the Temescal Farmer's Market on Sunday.

Apr 03, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Sub $5.00 wines, 750ml

That's the only regular wine I buy at TJ's. Good for parties and spicy food.

Apr 01, 2014
The Dive in Wine

Is it true that SF restaurants barely make profits?

For the past year or so, I have been receiving a cold call or email a month from brokers looking for investments for new restaurants. I think it my profession (legal), but I am always curious if anyone is actually responsive to such calls.

Mar 31, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Beat Seafood pizza in the Bay Area?

That squid pizza at Pizzaiolo is one of my favorite pizzas anywhere. I like the clam version at Boot & Shoe too, but the squid one is even better.

I was pleasantly surprised by the smoked salmon pizza at Hot Italian.

Mar 31, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Best pizza in the East Bay

I have to put Oliveto back on the list. The brussel sprout and pancetta one we had a week back was definitely on par with recent pies from A16 and East End (and a lot cheaper than A16). Plus I like the combo of a whole wheat crust with anchovy.

Mar 29, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Gnocchi in Oakland area?

I have really liked Enoteca Molinari's gnocchi when available. Tender and light. Also seemed very authentic based on my taste memories. Less authentic but still tasty is Wood Tavern's version -- heavy on the butter and vegetables, but I also enjoy it as a started. Not sure if it is still on the menu since the exit of the chef a couple of years ago.

Mar 29, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Bourbon & Beef (Oakland)

It is on my walk home, so I stopped in with a friend for a quick bar bite on Thursday. As previously mentioned on the board, the name is dumb and the prices are high. But, I enjoyed the pork belly taco and the shisito peppers (although the mayo-liking dipping sauce was unnecessary). The taco was $6 and was probably the best "deal" on the menu. I enjoyed my Vermentino. It was pretty crowded and I was able to catch up on my bracket with the TV's. But not sure I see going back. I found the red booths to be visual overkill.

Mar 24, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Hutch Bar & Kitchen - Oakland

Had drinks and dinner at Hutch on Friday. Busy and fun night, although I am mixed on the drinks and food. My sazerac seemed a little sweet and I felt the wines by the glass and beer selection was pretty spare. I probably should have just gotten whiskey.

The pimento cheese was bland (it needed a pepper kick), but we loved the sweet and spicy pecans (a good size bowl for $5) and the crawfish remoulade (interestingly presented on a crispy eggplant round). The pickled shrimp and bourbon-cured salmon were also stellar. Mains were more problematic. My pork shoulder had good flavor, but the collards were just too undercooked. The shrimp and grits are good, as reported. The fried chicken missed the mark for us... no breading at all, a bit flavorless. Like the sauce that came with it though.

I would go back, but I need to figure out what to order (both drink and food) to get the best experience.

Mar 24, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

CommonWealth, Oakland

Finally got to Commonwealth for lunch on Saturday. A nice little place. We had a smoked trout salad with asparagus (very good) and a pressed pear, chutney and brie sandwich (ditto). Plus a ploughman's lunch with cheese, ham, eggs, bread, nuts and pickles for the kiddos. Almanac Gose on tap (woohoo), along my new standby, Faction Pale. Will be in our lunch circulation from now on.

Mar 24, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

best cheap eats in the Berkeley / Oakland area

I like Slicer and Lanesplitter for good slices.

Mar 21, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Fish Tacos - SF Dish of the Month March 2014

Got a fish taco yesterday at Calafia in Alameda. It looked very good, with a nice tortilla, but I found it rather flavorless. I took half the cabbage off but still had to doctor it up quite a bit with hot sauce.

Mar 12, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

House made bagels

I had a bite of a plain bagel from Old Brooklyn the other day. It was pretty good -- nice and chewy. However, a bite of a cheese bagel was just typical California fluffiness to me.

Mar 10, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Hang Ten Boiler for Hawaiian-Cajun in Alameda - who's tried it?

Had a fun dinner there last night. Got the Dungeness crab (hang ten - mild), shrimp (hang ten-mild, hang ten - medium) and the clams (garlic butter-mild), along with fries, corn, broccoli and garlic noodles. Lots of food for five adults and two kids. The sauces have a lot of garlic and fat, but in a good way. I liked the crab, but it seems a bit of a waste of crab to douse it so much sauce. The big head-on shrimp made more sense. Medium spicy was a nice level; would like to try the spicy sometime. No crawfish last night. Garlic noodles were pretty sweet for my taste, but okay. Cajun fries were tasty.

Mar 10, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Box and Bells Eating House - Oakland

Finally got to Box and Bells last night. Got there early and easily grabbed two seats at the bar. Started with two cocktails -- one tikki like with two rums, another a nice sour. Very good. Grabbed a bottle of cab franc for the rest of the meal, which worked great.

The food was very good. Started with the beef tongue pastrami toasts, sort of an open faced rueben. Super tasty and big for the price. Then got the fried chicken with oyster mayo (brilliant -- that mayonaise should be used on everything), along with some beef marrow roasted fingerling potatoes (nice for also dipping in the mayo, but quite flavorful on their own). We then had the seared trout with fresh peas and clam vinegrette, along with grilled asparagus with grated cured duck egg. Both nice dishes and very much enjoyed after the intensity and fat of the earlier bites. We ended with the potted chicken liver (instead of dessert -- with the brioche toasts, it is practically dessert anyway) -- some of the best around, rivaling my old favorite duck liver in a jar at Adesso.

Overall, we are kicking ourselves for taking so long to stop by. Liked the format of the menu too, with lots of shared plates (we didn't even venture into the entree-sized meats). Definitely will be back and a great addition to the area.

Mar 07, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

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

My experience at SBP has also been great -- the food is very good and interesting, and the service some of the best anywhere.

Mar 07, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Dressing to eat out in SF?

All of the above. And the cardigan is perfect. Albeit I tend to hang out with bicycle messengers. But, seriously, you have nothing to worry about based on your itinerary.

However, it does tend to vary based on establishment. Oakland is very causal. But last Friday, my plan was to go to Plum Bar (Oakland) to meet others for drink. I was in a hoodie because that was the only outerwear I could find in my trunk. Then it was closed for a private event. I walked to several other places, all too crowded, and decided to try to go to Pican. Felt very out of place because Pican tends to attract a well dressed crowd.

Mar 05, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Dressing to eat out in SF?

I agree -- when I see a sports coat, I see a tourist or business traveler.

Mar 05, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Dressing to eat out in SF?

I hate, hate, hate it when I have to wear a suit to work and go out in the city. I always feel out of place. I recently had to wear a suit to 15 Romolo -- and I was miserable!

Mar 05, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Dressing to eat out in SF?

I have worn jeans to AQ, SBP, Incanto. I dress up for Coi, Benu, Quince. And business-like places such as Boulevard and Waterbar. I have consistently worn jeans and black at all level of places in the Mission.

Mar 05, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

Any update on the burger at Tribune? I thought it was fine, but I liked Disco Volante's better and hope for an upgrade with the chef move.

Mar 05, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Breakfast / brunch in the Berkeley / Oakland area

Right now, probably:

Beer: Trappist, Beer Revolution, Hog's Apothecary (food less so)

Food: Ramen Shop, Plum

Cocktails (but good food items too): Plum Bar, Adesso

I feel that we are in pizza overkill mode and have been avoiding them, but Pizzaiola, Boot & Shoe, Dopo and A16 have great pies.

Mar 05, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Breakfast / brunch in the Berkeley / Oakland area

Make Westing makes some nice cocktails and the popcorn is a good "drinks" snack, but not worth a stop on its own. It is pre-popped with flavors added. Tasty, sure, but not special. The place can be crowded -- I like to go at 4 p.m. Not a bad place if you hitting a few Oakland bars, but nothing to go out of your way for.

Mar 05, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area

Hamburgers - SF Dish of the Month September 2013

I agree -- and I think that is probably the best thing on the menu. I really want to support the new kitchen at McGee's as I have been wanted non-SISCO food there for a while (it is a common stop for us because of an intra-family need to find a spot with both Bud Light and Blind Pig), but the menu has been uneven. The brussel sprouts have been undercooked every time we ordered them; the same with the pardon peppers. I thought the wings and sliders were serviceable, along with the wedge salad. But I can support with that burger!

Mar 05, 2014
The Dive in San Francisco Bay Area