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Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

some people use flour instead of matzo meal, but matzo meal is the traditional ingredient. Save it for matzo ball soup in the spring.

Dec 12, 2014
lacerise in Recipes

Paisan - Breakfast, and new Happy Hour [added Berkeley]

Things continue to slide downhill for Paisan. I went yesterday (Sunday) morning, specifically for the Blue Bottle coffee. It was after 10 and Caffe Trieste was hopping. There was NO ONE in Paisan for their Sunday brunch. Now I know why. There were no menus posted. When I asked to see a brunch menu, the server acted put upon and had to hunt for one to show me. WTF? The service to just get some espresso drinks to go was terrible. The server was uninterested, surly, rolled his eyes at my friend's request for a partial decaf drip coffee. Handed me a 2/3 full cup for my latte and when I requested more steamed milk, he told me that was the way they made them! Ignored my friend's request for milk for her coffee. This is the kind of employee who should have been booted out on the spot (can't believe this is the first time he's exhibited such behavior). I spoke with a woman who said she was one of the owners and told her what had been going on since we'd entered. She whispered that she'd "speak to him". Yeah, right. I told her if she wanted to see an example of excellent customer service (and, therefore, hordes of customers), she ought to visit Pizzaiolo on a morning. I'll get my Blue Bottle fix elsewhere from here on. Unfortunately, Paisan is in my neighborhood....with a number of other food venues that sport a combination of sub-standard food and/or downright bad service. Too bad 900 Grayson isn't open for dinner and Sunday brunch.

Claypot - Berkeley

Tried it with a couple of friends for happy hour beer and appetizers last Friday. Nice vibe, comfy minimalist decor. The waitstaff was friendly to the point of repeatedly imposing on our conversation to ask if we wanted more appetizers, to order dinner, more water, more drinks, the check. Enough already. Waitperson was knowledgeable about the 6 on tap beer offerings. She suggested a couple of appetizers, one of which we tried....the shrimp/pork spring rolls. My friends ate them; I took a bite and gave the rest back to them. The wrapper was rubbery, the inside was tasteless. It was impossible to tell that it was a food substance. I ordered the egg roll and, while it was infinitely more edible than the spring roll, it wasn't something I'd return to get. We were told by the waitperson, when we asked, that the owners of this restaurant also own an Italian place and one of another ethnicity. I say, do what you know well; otherwise don't do it. This restaurant is in my neighborhood and, once again, I'm disappointed with the offerings we get in SW Berkeley. Mint Leaf and Eat (which I see has closed shop) have not helped. I may return to try something else at Claypot; someone wrote on another website that they have huge banh mi for $5. Then again, who wants a huge, tasteless sandwich?

Gluten and Dairy Free

Thanks so much to all of you for your help and info. I'm probably going to opt for A Cote and stick with mussels and fries and some sort of cheese-free veggie dish. And, yes, I'm not eating vegetarian so this isn't as restrictive as it could be. Still don't understand those vegans.......

Gluten and Dairy Free

I'm on a temporary gluten and dairy-free diet and have plans to go to dinner with friends this week. Anybody have specific places to recommend that would have more than a couple of options that would work for me? Seems like most restaurants we frequent have cheese in the majority of their menu items.

Cafe at 5600 College Ave., Oakland in late 70's

Thanks so much! Some friends and I were reminiscing and we'd all been there, but none of us could recall the name.

Cafe at 5600 College Ave., Oakland in late 70's

Can anyone tell me the name of the bagel and dessert cafe that used to be where Crepevine is now? They had a balcony overlooking the ground level and served salads and desserts and coffe drinks as well as bagels.

T-Rex's Wednesday BBQ Buffets

I'm guessing it's every Wednesday as long as it brings in business. The K2 group seems to be very savvy about dealing with the economic downturn.

T-Rex's Wednesday BBQ Buffets

I've now gone to two Wednesday BBQ nites at T-Rex and am ready to opine about their offerings. I've dined with three others in these 2 visits and we've all felt similarly about the food. On the first visit, there were delicious biscuits and the ribs and beans were pretty good. The other sides were not very tasty and we all deemed them mediocre. Last night's ribs were very good, meaty, juicy, cooked beautifully and the sauce was just right, vinegary and tomatoey. The only other really tasty offering was the cheesy corn dish which had discernible corn and was well-seasoned as well as cheesy. The beans, slaw and sweet potato salad were underseasoned and uninteresting. The chicken was dry and rather tasteless and the burnt ends were mediocre as well. T-Rex can do good food; I know it. Their fried chicken w/mashed potatoes and kale is delicious; their mac and cheese is good, and they do ribs pretty well. I'm surprised at how boring they're able to make a multitude of sides. Are they not caring about the food b/c it's only a $19 buffet? Come on, K2. I like your ideas, but, in terms of taste, you can do better.

T-Rex Barbeque
1300 10th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Birthday coming up

and Vietnamese is my favorite. Anything to tell me about Le Colonial?

Looking for Best Yogurt in the Bay Area

I concur with bgbc; the high protein content yogurt (recommended to me by a nutritionist) keeps me satiated for many hours. I buy the highest protein content stuff I can find and that's been Voskos nonfat or Brown Cow greek style nonfat. A half cup of yogurt with fruit and walnuts or almonds is my go-to weekday breakfast. The fruit and nuts cut the pasty/chalkiness of this type of yogurt. When I want yogurt with a taste that I love I go for Pavel's organic lowfat or St. Benoit, but the latter is quite expensive.

Been there before...

visited Chicago last fall for the first time, stayed in the E. Lakeview/Lincoln Park area and loved it. I found a number of small, inexpensive places to eat that made me really happy. I also dined at The Girl and the Goat, Frontera Grill, and Mercat a la Planxa. They were all good in their own ways, but, to be honest, the really high end fare didn't knock me out enough to warrant having spent that much money. So I'll be in Chicago again over Memorial Day weekend with my daughter and would love to hear what Chicagoans have to say about where I should take her to eat. She's a huge Rick Bayless fan so we will probably hit up Xoco or one of the other two. What else do you recommend?

Frontera Grill
445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

Mar 29, 2011
lacerise in Chicago Area

Ex-NYer West Coast Foodie would like some opinions

I grew up in NY and have been on the west coast for 39 years. I get back to the city about once/year and walk till I drop, always on the lookout for hidden gems and places I haven't tried before. This next week I've got 4 days and 4 evenings to fill with breathing in NY and eating great food. I'll go to any neighborhood if the incentive is strong enough. I've got a reservation one night at Jane and can't decide on the next night btw Artisanal, Buddakan, and Gradisca. Would love some opinions. I'm not into swank and ridiculously high end places. I want to enjoy some fantastic food and that could be from a truck or great pizza, ethnic fare, burgers, anything.

75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016

126 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

Mar 29, 2011
lacerise in Manhattan

Southie by Wood Tavern [Oakland]

Stopped in today b/c I was in the neighborhood picking up a cake at La Farine. I can't say enough about how pleasant, friendly and accommodating everyone on staff was at Southie. THIS is the kind of treatment that makes me want to return to a restaurant and support their business. They could teach the rest of the Bay Area a few lessons. Got the piggie sandwich to go and it was delicious. That said, I could only eat half of it and put the other half away for dinner. It is SO rich and fat-laden. This isn't a condemnation b/c I loved it. Just think I'll share it with someone next time. The chips were a refreshing break from the fat in the sandwich!
Southie's menu changes daily and they don't have their website up yet so going there will entail surprises for awhile. Looks like the pork is a constant, however.

La Farine
6323 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

Need a Restaurant to Cater Co. Holiday Party in Albany

only requirement is that it be REALLY GOOD. I appreciate your suggestions, but Zaki and Zand don't fit that bill for me.

Need a Restaurant to Cater Co. Holiday Party in Albany

I don't care much for Zand's. Thanks, though.

Desperately Looking For Good Chinese Restaurants in East Bay

some people like Renee's on Solano. I find that the ingredients are very fresh, but the preparation is lacking in flavor. Little Shin Shin on Piedmont Ave. has had a loyal following for decades. Their food is very flavorful and they've got an extensive menu. Great China is also good and has some dishes not found elsewhere.

Great China Restaurant
2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704

Little Shin Shin
4258 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

Need a Restaurant to Cater Co. Holiday Party in Albany

My company is hosting its annual holiday party on 12/14 at a home in Albany. We're looking for a restaurant that would provide catering (we'd pick up the food) for the event. Requirement: really good food! It's not a big job....about 20 people. We've used Ajanta in the past and they did a fabulous job, but I'm looking for something new. Suggestions??

Ajanta Restaurant
1888 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

Pizza for Very Discerning Visitors

Little Star now has an outpost in Albany and, I have to admit, their Little Star deep dish is delish. It bears little resemblance to pizza, however.

Nov 17, 2010
lacerise in Greater Seattle

Pizza for Very Discerning Visitors

zachary's isn't pizza.

Nov 17, 2010
lacerise in Greater Seattle

Foods that are better made in SF than NYC?

the mussel pizza at Gather trumps the squid pizza at Pizziaolo IMHO.

Foods that are better made in SF than NYC?

Katz and Carnegie don't hold a candle to the Second Ave. Deli.

Pizza for Very Discerning Visitors

I'll be making my fourth trip in recent years to Seattle over Thanksgiving. I'm a big fan of Serious Pie and we usually hit it up for lunch as soon as we've checked into our hotel. But I've been reading a lot about Delancey. What's the feeling about how these two places compare? I don't want to travel to Delancey to wait on line for a pie just because the owners of the place are young, hip and beloved. Tom Douglas may be a big corporate mucky-muck now, but he knows how to make pie. Please post your views. Thanks.

Serious Pie
316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

1415 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117

Nov 08, 2010
lacerise in Greater Seattle

Visiting Chicago for a Week

Later this month, I'll be coming to Chicago for a week, meeting a friend from NY. I'm much more of a foodie/cook than she, but she's sent me some recommendations from friends in NY who know Chicago. They've recommended we go to Salvatore's and/or Tarantino's. I don't find anything about these restaurants here and am wondering what the Chicago food community can provide in terms of info about these two places. Thanks!

1112 West Armitage, Chicago, IL 60614

Oct 05, 2010
lacerise in Chicago Area

SR24 in Temescal - Any reports?

Had an impromptu dinner there a week ago Friday. Strange layout and decor in this place. Tables laid like in an old Steak Pub from the 60's. Specials board on the wall in a very dark corner??? Waitress with a major attitude. The couple next to us was trying to get her attention b/c they needed spoons in order to eat the broth under the fish (came in a bowl, should have been given spoons to begin with). They couldn't get her to look at them no matter what they did so I finally caught her eye and told her they needed assistance. She sneered at all of us! My partner and I ordered the mussel chowder. It was tasty, but very one note. I liked that it wasn't thick or gloppy like some chowders, but it had no depth of flavor. We got a salad with pickled fennel that was good, but not special in any way. We also ordered the fried green tomatoes and found them inedible. They were breaded in a pebbly coating that was tasteless and the tomatoes themselves were hard and tasteless. What was the point? And, lastly, the chicken pot pie - one of the worst I've ever had at a restaurant. Absolutely nothing to recommend it. It didn't have a lovely crust, although the crust was decent. The filling was BORING. The chef doesn't appear to be knowledgeable about layering seasoning in food. We were looking forward to finding a new and interesting dining venue, but SR24 sure isn't it.

5179 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

SF Virgin w/ 4 days & 15 restaurants help!!!

I'd add Slanted Door. And Ton Kiang rather than Yank Sing. Also, weekend brunch at Namu on Balboa and 6th after you've checked out the De Young and its roof deck.

Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Yank Sing
49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

Ton Kiang
5821 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

Lush Gelato: Best gelato shop in the Bay opens new location in Berkeley (near Cheeseboard)

so has Ciao Bella gone out of business? or did they change their name to Lush?

Ciao Bella
1 Ferry Bldg # 8, San Francisco, CA

ISO Best Cupcake recommendations for cupcake-off in East Bay

I'll second Jasmine's comment. CupKate's is wonderful. I've tried the red velvet, caramel w/fleur de sel and the vanilla and they're all terrific. I think my favorite is the vanilla w/vanilla bean frosting. It's not too sweet, as Jasmine said, and the vanilla is pronounced and luscious.

Friday foodie tour in Berkeley

by "aesthetically-pleasing" you must mean kept in cold storage. i don't buy fruit at berkeley bowl because i want it to have flavor.

Friday foodie tour in Berkeley

you forgot another couple of CONS to Pizzaiolo:

blasting music
if you're seated up front, lack of breathable air
poor service

other than that, i like the place. good food, but that's about IT.

5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609