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The Rotunda at NM

As far as afternoon tea go, I preferred the one at the Palace (haven't been to the one at Ritz-Carlton yet).

I found the food just okay (not memorable at all), though the popover with strawberry was good. The tea selection wasn't very good. I had pretty bad service, from getting seated (we had a reservation), to taking a long time to getting us a menu after we were seated, to the food coming out. Also, the atmosphere was not particularly elegant.
The space itself was beautiful, but it felt crowded, and it was also quite loud. And I felt they were trying to rush us out.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

I usually do the spin check on eggs, and at the TJ I go to, there is a box in the corner of the egg fridge for broken enggs. Some of the cashiers at my TJ actually check the eggs while checking out.

Having said that, my brother used to find double yolk eggs all the time when he gets eggs from TJ (in Manhattan).

Aug 08, 2015
gnomatic in Chains

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

If the OP is from Toronto, I would suggest they skip Chinese food altogether in San Francisco. There are better options and variety in Toronto for food from all regions of China, especially Cantonese.

I would suggest South Indian, Vietnamese (preferably in the south bay), Mexican cuisine.

Best chocolate chip cookie in SF, Oakland or Berkeley?

We have a cookie addiction at the office, and have been eating our way through as much as we can get our hands on...

Closest to Levain (IMHO), and they both happen to be on the smaller side:

* Dough & Co (they actually sell the dough, but Rhea's Deli has it baked) <- quite possibly the best one, it's also vegan
* Knead Patisserie <- soft and chewy, sea salt on top

Also good
* Charles Chocolate Caramel Chocolate chip cookie <- this is actually the current addiction at our office, soft, with caramel, it's also huge
* Anthony's <- excellent soft cookies
* Specalties <- good..and huge

Good but more crunchy

* B. Patisserie <- ok, but it was more of a big crunchy cookie
* Bumzy's <- good, but more on the crunchy side, the friendliest owner
* Craftsman & Wolves <- good chocolate, but on the crunchy side
* Dandelion Chocolate <- not exactly chocolate chip, but the nutella stuffed cookie is

Parochial Question: Condensed Milk Squeeze Bottle

Ming Lee Trading in SF Chinatown (759 Jackson St) usually have it. It's in the basement, under stairs.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - March 2015 [Old]

Picked up a package of Crispy Cookies filled with Belgian Chocolate from the "New" shelf.

Quite good, reminds me of a crispier Milano.

Mar 04, 2015
gnomatic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - March 2015 [Old]

I usually sub applesauce for the butter. No one noticed the differerence.

Mar 04, 2015
gnomatic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

According to the Sky Valley facebook page, it should arrive around Saturday for those on the east coast.

Jan 16, 2015
gnomatic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

I am in San Francisco, the North Beach/Fisherman's Wharf store. I actually saw a bag and the sign last Saturday. I didn't buy it because there was only one bag.

I went back last night to check, and there they were. But they were not with the other citrus, they were on the other side of the aisle with the apples. The bin was completely full, looks like they just stocked it. The sign actually said $3.49 /bag, but when I went home, I checked my receipt and it said $2.99.

I just had one orange, it was was nice and juicy.

Jan 16, 2015
gnomatic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015 [Old]

The Sky Valley heirloom navel orange are back in stock. $2.99 for a bag.

Jan 15, 2015
gnomatic in Chains

El Tepa on Folsom and 18th [San Francisco]

Much of the block was flooded during the recent rain. It caused quite a bit of damage to many businesses in the area. Sewage backed up through the pipes. Many are still cleaning up, that why there are construction trucks, containers, portable toilets, etc. in the middle of Folsom.

The video embedded in this article is from the step of El Tepa

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014 [OLD]

As I mentioned, the description in the archived description was incorrect, it was the description for the Trader Giotto Panettone. I suspect that archived page was a draft (which google search showed in an image search)...I only linked it for the picture.

Dec 17, 2014
gnomatic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014 [OLD]

TJ had it last year as well. It's not TJ branded. It's made by Scar Pier. It comes in nice wrapping paper in one of several colours

The picture is in the link below, though the description is incorrect (it describes the "regular" panettone in the box).

Dec 16, 2014
gnomatic in Chains

Blue Apron - Fresh ingredients, great recipes delivered weekly to your home

I have several co-workers who use it. I think it's designed for people who hate (or don't know how) to shop for food, and are novice home cooks. It helped one colleagues transition from eating out for ALL meals, to gaining confidence in the kitchen to cook more at home. It's a pretty expensive service, but my colleagues tells me it is cheaper then eating out (in San Francisco).

The kits really do include every ingredients, but really over packaged. It seem a bit inconsistent on how much prep work it saves their user. For example, things like spices, herbs, rice flour is pre measured and packaged..but it had a whole acorn squash..which a novice might have a hard time cutting up for the recipe.

Dec 11, 2014
gnomatic in Food Media & News

Favorite Ice Cream 2014

Aren't the gelato bites at Chantal Guillon made by Bacetti (

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

I used the fried onions when I made was delicious.

Oct 30, 2014
gnomatic in Chains

neighborhood restaurant recommendations for November in SF?

I personally found the restaurant option on Valencia good, but not great. Certainly not worth the hype, price or crowds the area tend to attract. So I guess we will have to disagree on that.

I get the same vibe from the dining options on Valenica as I do when I visit Toronto and go to the "hot" places with old friends.

neighborhood restaurant recommendations for November in SF?

I work in the Mission (near Heath Ceramics) and partake of all the amazing food in the neighborhood daily (a bit more then I should). IMHO, the Mission is a must visit for any visitor interested in good food.

HOWEVER there are things I have seen and smelled in neighborhood in broad daylight that is best not to mention on a food board.

I have had a few uncomfortable encounters with mentally disturbed homeless individuals in the neighborhood. I know the area, so I know which blocks to avoid at night, but first time visitors don't. As another poster mentioned, gang violence isn't a concern as it usually happens at night, and are targeted against rivals, but it isn't confined to the outer mission.

I actually walk to work from North Beach (and back) through SOMA everyday. I walk right through Union Square. While the Union Square can be overwhelmed with visitors (especially with big conventions, like Salesforce, Oracle, WWDC). Accessibility to public transportation, and a cab ride to/from Union Square to most visitor destinations in the city, would be cheaper and faster then staying at one of the outer neighborhoods. And many of the tourist destinations, like Fisherman's Wharf, Ferry Terminal building are a easy walk from Union Square.

neighborhood restaurant recommendations for November in SF?

You said you are from "near Toronto". How near is near? Scarborough near, or Whitby near? How comfortable are you with the rough parts of Toronto? My high school in Toronto was near Regent Park and St. Jamestown, and our football field was frequented by prostitutes and druggies..leaving their wares to find in the morning. Friends from that same highschool enjoy the good food of the Mission, but not to stay in.

Be careful with booking "hotel alternatives", there can be great variances within a neighborhood in SF as others have mention. A few blocks could make a huge difference. Had friends made that mistake with AirBnB in the Mission.

You also mention you are not into the "too cool" or over run by "young people" places in Toronto. That basically describes the Valencia corridor in the Mission.

neighborhood restaurant recommendations for November in SF?

The sea lions are gone again..there are just one or two hanging out these days. Not sure why they left, or when they will be back.

I wouldn't recommend renting a car for a short visit. It's simply not worth the trouble.

And as someone who is from Toronto, and have a fair amount of visitors from Toronto. I wouldn't recommend staying in the Mission, especially if it's a first trip. I would stick with Union Square hotels, for access to public transportation like Bart and Muni light rail. Everything else is a short cab/uber ride away, or within walking distance.

But definitely hit up the Mission for the food. In particular Mexican food, which Toronto is really lacking.

Cotogna and Dosa were really well liked by my Torontonian visitors. Though Cotogna dinner reservations needs to be made well ahead of time. Though you can often walk in for brunch on weekends (if you don't mind the counter) just after they opened or late lunch on week days.

vegetarian dim sum?

I grew up in Toronto (and am Chinese Canadian), dim sum in the suburbs like Richmond, Mississauga are better and way cheaper then in SF. IMHO the "top" dim sum places in the bay area would be consider average at best in Toronto, and definitely over priced (as my parents like to remind me every time they visit). I would skip Chinese food altogether if I were a visitor from Toronto.

As for Bahn Mi, if you want a vegetarian version, you are better off in any number of places in Toronto's Chinatown. The better Vietnamese food are down in the south bay, not in SF.

Where to buy Inaniwa udon?

Try Nippon-Ya inside the mall in Japantown, I notice they had some dry noodle gift sets when I was there a few weeks ago.

Pumpkins . . . on the vine?

Also not near HMB, but up in Petaluma:

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

I saw them in San Francisco yesterday. It was on the bread shelf with the pumpkin baked goods.

Sep 18, 2014
gnomatic in Chains

Breakfast in Union Square [San Francisco]

They were open today and yesterday.

There is a facebook group dedicated to tracking when/if they are open

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - August 2014 [OLD]

It's in the latest fearless flyer.

Aug 20, 2014
gnomatic in Chains

Marla baker (mission, SF)

The donuts, made by A Spoonful of Sugar are from a brioche dough, that's why it's more bread like.

Looking for lunch delivery in the Financial District [San Francisco]

You might want to look into zerocater. They arrange catering from various local restaurants, and are pretty good about dietary restrictions and meal preferences.

My last two job used them for dinner and lunch. It works out well most of the time. And we get to rate the meals, so the restaurants gets our input, and they adjust the selection base on our preference.

Ramen Street Festival part of J-Pop Summit, SF Japantown July 19-20, 2014!

I like the Yamachan tonkotsu nama ramen. I usually find one package of the broth is good for at least 2 servings of noodles (I add more water, as well my own meat & vegetables).

Looks like you can order just the broth directly from Yamachan:

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014 [OLD]

Yay - Cheddar & Gruyere melange cheese. I used it to make some nachos, it melted very nicely, creamy and wonderful flavor.

Jul 11, 2014
gnomatic in Chains