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MargotB's Profile

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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 4th quarter 2012 [old]

Thumbs up or down on TJ organic brined chicken? I think this is a new product, but I could be wrong - featured in latest flyer.

Oct 15, 2012
MargotB in Chains

Chinese red dates?

interestingly enough I have seen these (at least dried version) at markets that carry Persian food products - or more generally, "Middle Eastern" markets. I've never been, but Oasis Food Market in Oakland - Temescal district - probably has them. I think they would call them jujube dates as well. Parking should be relatively easy. Lots of posts about this market on this thread.

Oasis Food Market
3045 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94609
Tel: 510-655-5111

What do you do with canned salmon? Not salmon patties.

Haven't actually made this myself, but very recently had a yummy canned tuna salad which should be even better with canned salmon. Probably should drain well and remove any bones. Add/mix or toss well with thin-sliced very crisp iceberg or romaine lettuce, a little mayo (maybe mixed with lemon juice), a little diced onion (maybe and/or green onion), diced tomatoes, and a few sliced jalapenos. The end effect should be refreshing/crunchy and a little spicy, not heavy.

Jan 13, 2012
MargotB in Home Cooking

What's on your "Cookware" gift list?

More feedback on Vic Firth, or other good moderately priced suggestions? I have looked at various threads about pepper mills here, but updates are good. I know Cooks Ilustrated likes the Magnum but I don't think the plastic will work for me - prob will melt it on the stove!

Nov 30, 2011
MargotB in Cookware

Smokey J's Q House - BBQ in Berkeley

Have been here twice already. Both times I had the brisket sandwich - ok, I'm no BBQ expert but this was fantastic. I liked the fat but my buddy thought it was a bit much - he had ribs which he praised - weren't overdone like previous poster's. The roasted potatoes are also delish. Will be curious to try the smoked whole chicken. Stop by and support this hard-working chef! (note, now closed Mon-Tues.)

Looking for Best Yogurt in the Bay Area

I've been eating Oikos yogurt - non-fat organic Greek daily for months now; it doesn't seem especially tart to me. Whole Foods Berkeley and Andronicos sell it. The only other organic Greek yogurt I know of is made by Voskos but haven't seen it lately, although I suspect that Trader Joe's organic Greek yogurt is made by them -- also good. Would love to try a 2% or full-fat organic Greek yogurt if it exists.

I used to eat the Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt, but once I detected its chalkiness I couldn't go back (also, not organic). The peach flavor is pretty good, though.

I think one of the ratings articles mentioned by other posters said you can distinguish real Greek yogurt from fake by the protein content. It should be twice that of regular yogurt; a 5.3 oz container of Oikos has 15 grams of protein, compared to regular yogurt's approx. 7 grams. Greek Gods has the same as regular yogurt (plus yes, it tastes pretty awful).

Best burger in Berkeley?

Wasn't Flame replaced by another resto? Plus the burgers were very dry -- maybe frozen patties that were then overcooked?

PiQ, new Italian bakery, downtown Berkeley

Thrillist had a nice write-up:

http://www.thrillist.com/node/161852/...

PIQ (Pane Italiano Qualita) 91 Shattuck Square, Berkeley -- anyone been?

A few reviews on Yelp. New, seems surprisingly under the radar.....

Becker Lane pork - Berkeley Bowl

Thanks for your reply! I'm a BB fan, but generally did not buy meat there (altho I do buy fish) until we noticed the Becker Lane products. Now that Market Hall's new Marin Sun shop sells BL [and their own?] I'll switch to them.

Becker Lane pork - Berkeley Bowl

Purchased some pork steaks (from pork butt) very recently. The prepared dish (simmered with soy sauce etc.) was somewhat ruined by the pronounced freezer/refrigerated taste of the meat. Have bought this cut before and it often tastes a little gamey to me, although my son prefers it. I think I may stick to the Becker regular chops, or switch back to Niman. Is this more of a BB problem, or a BL problem?

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Berkeley Bowl
2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

Where to find/buy fresh bay leaves in San Francisco?

The Morton and Bassett brand of bottled spices has bay leaves of a very high quality -- the difference is even visual. I think there was an article on this a few years ago. This spice line is getting harder to find, but I've recently seen it at Andronicos and Berkeley Bowl. Don't know about Rainbow Foods.

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Berkeley Bowl
2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

Good packaged broth for Asian cooking?

Looking for neutral, commercial broth (preferably organic, prob. chicken) suitable for preparing Asian soups. Yes, I know how easy it is to make your own, but our freezer doesn't work so I can't stockpile/prepare in advance. I think I read somewhere the Swanson's organic chicken broth was pretty good, but does it have a pronounced Western flavor that would be jarring? Also I'm somewhat sensitive to msg. Thanks!

Jun 04, 2010
MargotB in General Topics

Thinking of Leaving SF for Berkeley or Oakland. Crazy?

The crowds at Berkeley Bowl East have really diminished since BBW opened.
The fish at BB is much better than at Whole Foods on Telegraph.

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Berkeley Bowl
2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

Ham on sale at Trader Joe's

Got a half ham last night at the Rockridge store. Concur with "Mission" -- great deal for $1, but lacking full flavor (no smokiness) -- sweetness gets tiresome.

Ham on sale at Trader Joe's

I meant additives such as MSG, nitrites, nitrates, and sulfites.

Ham on sale at Trader Joe's

Are these additive-free or "organic"? I'm assuming not.

Dim Sum in San Francisco

Not to get too off-topic, but I like their dim sum (among other things, less greasy than most) AND their Chinese Chicken Salad. Wouldn't get the salad as part of a dim sum-focused meal, though.

Weck canning jars?

The brand-new Heath Ceramics store in the SF Ferry Building has them too.

Vintage kitchen utensil -- any idea what this might be

Pretty sure they don't make these any more; have never seen one except the one we used to have.

Mar 15, 2010
MargotB in Cookware

Vintage kitchen utensil -- any idea what this might be

should have said something like "degree of hardness desired."

Mar 11, 2010
MargotB in Cookware

Vintage kitchen utensil -- any idea what this might be

Robin's right. Wow, I must be getting old if this is "vintage." We had one when I was growing up in the late 50's. The different numbers and the water lines are for the number of eggs you're boiling (and the degree of hardness). The whistle either goes off when they're done or when they get to the boiling point, then you need to turn down to simmer.
Works pretty well, IIRC.

Mar 11, 2010
MargotB in Cookware

Thinking of Leaving SF for Berkeley or Oakland. Crazy?

Agree, the fish at the Telegraph Ave. Berkeley Whole Foods is not the best. I commented once to the counter person that the salmon looked a little mushy and to my horror he sprayed it with [more] water 'cuz he thought it looked "dried out."

Massa Organics rice

Recently I purchased it at the Village Market grocers in the SF Ferry Building (across from Prather's) & from the Pasta Shop in Rockridge. Don't know about the Pasta Shop on 4th St. Berkeley.

Chinese tea cookie recipe needed -- NOT almond cookie

In search of recipe for big, flat, old-fashioned Chinese tea cookie. Main ingredients are Chinese brown sugar, flour, and shortening or oil. Cantonese name is something like kong siu [or sui] pang. The only recipes we can find use eggs, but we are quite certain our grandparents' versions did NOT have eggs. Yup, zero nutritional value but need for niece who is allergic to eggs and milk products. (Also nuts & bananas).

Aug 07, 2009
MargotB in Home Cooking

Saigon Deli Express -- SF FiDi Emb Ctr 4

Any more reports? The bread did look hard .....

Berkeley Bowl West - The promised land ... west of Eden

Oh yeah, forgot! I should have just said BB East.

Berkeley Bowl West - The promised land ... west of Eden

When the original BB opened the mochi/manju selection was much bigger and included fresh stuff from local (SF?) Japanese bakery. Very perishable and BB probably didn't sell as much as expected. In the "foreign food" aisle as above poster described, separate narrow wood(?) case perpendicular to the main shelving.

Berkeley Bowl West - The promised land ... west of Eden

There was also an ad coupon in the Weds (Jul 15)Chronicle "Datebook" section which now contains a mini " Home & Garden" division -- pg E7 in my copy.

Banh Xeo at Viet Ville

Going back to the earlier posts, anyone know if Viet Ville relocated? Viet Ville at the original location has been closed for about 2 years I believe.