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Cheeseboard Pizza Version 2.0

Adding the address link too. This place is great.

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Cheese Board Pizza
1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

Bike tour through Napa/Sonoma Valley - looking for restaurants

Yountville is about 18 miles south of Calistoga in the Napa Valley. So if they're going to be there, that's about a one-hour bike ride. Definitely worth it for some great food.

Bike tour through Napa/Sonoma Valley - looking for restaurants

You mentioned Napa & Sonoma Valley in your post, but it looks like your list isn't in either valley with the exception of Calistoga, which is at the Northern end of Napa Valley. Guernville is in the Russian River Valley, so search for Russian River recos and "western Sonoma county" too. If you are going to be in the Sonoma and Napa valleys (they are two different valleys btw), you should look into Yountville in the Napa Valley and downtown Sonoma for Sonoma Vallety eats. A quick search on this board will give you lots of good suggestions.

Salt House, still good?

I was thrilled when the owners of Town Hall opened Salt House. I had my first meal there shortly after they opened and it was great. I went back last night and it seemed like there was a big drop off in the food. Granted, I did not order the same dishes, so I'm curious to know if anyone else has similar experiences with Salt House.

Last night we ordered three small plates, the Suckling Pig, Crispy Shrimp, and the Poutine. All them were just okay, but lacked the precision and balance of flavors I experienced at Salt House before.

Crispy Shrimp: served with string beans and serrano ham. Beans were undercooked and the curry seasoning overwhelmed the dish.
Sucking Pig: mushy texture, crackling skin was good, suaces didn't seem to fit well together although they were tasty separately
Poutine: basically a big pile of fries with a gravy. Tasty although a bit overly salted, fries were mushy on the bottom

Portions were generous for small plates. As the saying goes, "the food isn't that great, but there's a lot of it."

Financial District / Embarcadero Good Food & Baseball

Acme is a good call, although the screens are on the small side. MoMo's across the street is also a popular bar to watch a game on a bigger screen. The food is better at Acme, so eat there.

romantic spot on San Mateo/Santa Cruz coast?

I was thinking of recommending Duarte's too. I think it is romantic in the sense that the drive there and the quaint little village of Pescadero feel like a nice getaway. I paused on the reco though because Duarte's might not be everyone's idea of romantic. It is more rustic and feels like the local watering hole when you first walk in. The food is great and the wine list is quite good.

What to do with my dried pasta...

That sounds like Paccheri, or maybe a Mezzi Paccheri. You can search online for recipes using that word. It looks like it is typically not stuffed, but they are boiled and then lay flat in a sauce. But there's no reason you couldn't stuff them if you want to make a baked pasta.

I found this basic recipe. He says it's a common prep for that pasta. Enjoy!

http://www.thefoodmaven.com/diary/arc...

Oct 02, 2007
sgwood415 in Home Cooking

Live Maryland Blue Crabs

Steve h, is right. From the Maryland State Fisheries Commission Website:

Blue Crab Season
Apr 1 - Dec 15
Closed Wednesdays Except handlines, dip nets and pots at private piers
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/...

Steve, Dungeness Crab season kicks off here in about six weeks. It's worth it to go get the fresh crab right when they come in. Half Moon Bay is a good place to go.

romantic spot on San Mateo/Santa Cruz coast?

Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay

As you know there isn't much along the coast. I think the chow is better in Half Moon Bay though.

lunch on the Silverdao trail

not much on silverado trail besides wineries, definitley cross over to yountville for the chow

Which chocolate is best for baking?

Mail order might be a good option. I wouldn't "stock up" on too much, since the quality of chocolate begins to degrade after a couple of weeks.

Sep 30, 2007
sgwood415 in Home Cooking

Which chocolate is best for baking?

I'd probably go for the Ghiradelli. I wouldn't use Baker's chocolate for anything more than a doorstop.

Is there a Trader Joe's in your area? Their chocolate is actually quite good for the price, and better than any of the chocolates on your list.

It kind of depends on what you're making too. For truffles & souffles I buy the best chocolate I can, usually Sharffenberger or e. Guittard. If I make a cake or something with a lot more added sugar and butter, Ghiradelli would be fine.

Sep 30, 2007
sgwood415 in Home Cooking

Sauted Yellow Squash? what to add?

I roast mine lightly with olive oil, kosher salt & pepper. Then squeeze a little roasted lemon over the top.

Sep 30, 2007
sgwood415 in Home Cooking

Braising...a question

You should always monitor what you're cooking and make adjustments as needed. It's fine to cut a braising recipe in half. But it usually takes a little experimenting with any recipe to get it dialed in for your equipment and tastes. (Also, it sounds like your temp might have been too high, maybe?) Just make sure you add more liquid next time. And if you need to add more, make sure it's hot liquid, and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Sep 30, 2007
sgwood415 in Home Cooking

Storing Farmer's Market Veggies So They Last

After 10 days they will not be fresh no matter what you do with them. The only way to preserve the food is to turn them into something else. Make sauces, soups, etc and freeze it.

Also, do not keep the tomatoes in the refrigerator. It kills the flavor enzyme and it never comes back.

Sep 30, 2007
sgwood415 in Home Cooking

Jeffrey's in Menlo Park - now open

I agree with you about that chocolate shake. They do a good job with that. Sounds like they're a little hit & miss with the cooking temps. Flavors are good though, so it's a good option if you're looking for a fast food burger.

Big Night in Palo Alto

Mantra

Call ahead for a reservation. They are just off University Ave.

Sergio's Pasta Shop, San Mateo - anyone been?

I had the shiitake & portobello ravioli last weekend and they had very good flavor. A few of the raviolis came apart while cooking, but otherwise I recommend it. The mediteranean red sauce was good too, maybe a little strong on the bell pepper flavor, but it went well with the raviolis.

I also used his lasagna noodles and they were perfect.

my friend wants to propose to his g/f!

I have to concur with that line of thinking. The restaurant proposal is wrought with issues. Maybe a beautiful setting along the western ocean front of the city and then a celebration dinner at Aziza, Quince, Sociale, or someplace like that.

Japanese lunch in Menlo Park/PA

bonsai in atherton (one town north of Menlo Park) has private rooms and plenty of space for that size group.

Jeffrey's in Menlo Park - now open

Jefferey's is better than most fast food places, and certainly better than the McDonald's up the street and the char-grill place on that same side of El Camino. I've found that they don't always get the doneness right though. I ask for M. Rare and they always come out well. Other than that it is a decent burger in its class.

US Kitchen Nightmares, Episode 1

there is a link on the website for people to apply

Sep 22, 2007
sgwood415 in Food Media & News

Returning to SF - my old stomping grounds...

Incanto is a good option. The J-Church runs right in front of the restaurant. I'd say it is definitely not Chi-Chi, but it's an excellent restaurant with a casual feel.

www.incanto.biz

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Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

Returning to SF - my old stomping grounds...

Can you give us a little more info regarding item #2? Any areas in particular, types of cuisine, price range, etc.? There are lots of "nice restaurants". That's such an open-ended request it's difficult to know where to steer you beyond the typical recommendations you'll find by searching the Chowhound board.

Returning to SF - my old stomping grounds...

Frjtz is a great place for fries (it might be the Belgian place you visited already). They have more locations now, although I can only vouch for the Hayes Valley spot, and the fried are great.

www.frjtzfries.com

US Kitchen Nightmares, Episode 1

One of the great things about the British version is that they tell a tight story about the restaurant's turnaround. Like any good story, they have a beginning, middle and end. The US one last night seemed to fall apart at the end. They relaunched the restaurant and then the storyline kind of fell apart. I thought the last 10 minutes were a confused montage of a suddenly contrite Peter and magically successful restaurant with lots of hugging. All in all, I think the UK version presents a tighter storyline.

Sep 20, 2007
sgwood415 in Food Media & News

Steak and Kidney Pie - SF / Bay Area

The British Food Centre in San Carlos has a good selection of frozen pies if you're looking to buy them. www.buybritish.net

They have a Campbell location too, but I've only been to the San Carlos store. They have a lot of imported items from England.

British Food Center
1652 El Camino Real, San Carlos

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British Food Center
1614 W Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

FL ou Manresa? Please help!

The four course option at Manresa gives you a little more control because you get to choose the items you want from the regular menu. Here's a link I posted a few days ago with the menu of the meal I had at Manresa this past Saturday night.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/441916

FL ou Manresa? Please help!

Yes, the operative word there is "endless." My meal at Manresa was a shade over 3.5 hours. It was great, but a lot to take in if you're not really looking for a succession of small plates. 4 amuse followed by 8 perfectly spaced courses.

North Beach Hot Spots

Capp's Corner is a fun place to grab a drink as long as you are hitting lots of places. It an old school San Francisco haunt. You'll get some character and a decent Manhattan.

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Capp's Corner
1600 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133