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ernie in berkeley's Profile

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Porcellino [San Francisco]

Heh. Melanie, your "more photos" link brought up a page of...kittens! Here's a better link:

https://www.flickr.com/search/?tags=p...

about 3 hours ago
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Posole - SFBA Dish of the Month April 2014

Is pozole blanco available anywhere in the East Bay? I've never seen it and want to try it.

about 3 hours ago
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Yes, I'm almost sure that the seasoned ground meat slabs originated with Kronos, the Chicago-based Greek food distributor. I don't think I've ever seen it in Europe.

Have you tried the souvlakis at Simply Greek, ridge? You might not like the pita, but the meat is excellently seasoned and grilled. I usual get the plate, not the sandwich.

ed: Robert slipped with similar information. I thought the name was Krinos, but apparently not.

2 days ago
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Not SF proper, I'm afraid, but Simply Greek, with locations in Berkeley, Oakland, and Pleasanton, has what you want: chunks of real pork, chicken, lamb or beef--not the mystery gyro slabs (but they're available if you like).

http://www.simply-greek.com

Apr 16, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Bars/Dinner before Ballgame

21st Amendment brewpub is two blocks from the ballpark.

http://21st-amendment.com/

Apr 15, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Grocery Outlet -- April 2014

Just the opposite for me, actually. Prices seem to have gone up, to an average of $7-8 a bottle. At that price point, I don't want to risk an unknown wine when I can get an old reliable bottle from TJs.

I can sympathize with missing out on good deals, though. A 2004 IO grenache/syrah/mourvedre blend from Santa Rita was delicious, but when I went back to buy more yesterday they had sold out.

Apr 14, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Bay Area Check Please: Contigo, SF; Smoke Berkeley in Berkeley; Paradiso, San Leandro

I stopped in for lunch today, and it was packed. Sean asked each person in the ordering line where they'd heard about the place, and nearly everyone said from the TV show.

They've added pastrami to the specials rotation, and it was a nice, mild version, very tender.

Apr 11, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Refilling hacked Sodastream cartridge near Berkeley

In Berkeley, you can try the Oak Barrel on San Pablo. Also, morebeer in Concord lists CO2 tanks on their website.

Apr 08, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Chow Dim Sum at Saigon Seafood Harbor Richmond 4/5

Thanks for the report and photos, Melanie. Everything was spectacular (though I confess I'm a little squeamish about chicken feet and didn't try any). Also it was a great surprise to see Al (sorry, don't remember his screen name), whom I've known for 30 years and haven't seen for about 20.

By coincidence, the next day I found a review of that cider on a wine blogging site:

http://fermentationwineblog.com/2014/...

Apr 07, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Catering in East Bay

If Mid-eastern food is ok, Zaki's on San Pablo in Albany has a good selection and good quality.

I think Saul's deli might work as well.

Apr 02, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Chow Dim Sum at Saigon Seafood Harbor Richmond 4/5

I'm in!

Apr 01, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

How long do Pinot Noirs last?

Following up: the Vinography post mentioned a bottle of 2000 Grape Leaf Cellars "Nicholson Ranch" pinot, saying it didn't quite hold up like many of the others. Grape Leaf operated out of that venerable shared winery on Camelia St. in Berkeley, and I picked up quite a few bottles when they closed out some years ago.

The only one left in my cellar is a 2000 Iund vineyard Carneros, and I opened a bottle last night. After an astonishing amount of bottle funk blew off, I was treated to restrained fruit and forest-floor notes. It was about like a good villages-level Burgundy. A nice surprise, reminding me again why keeping a cellar is worthwhile.

Mar 31, 2014
ernie in berkeley in Wine

How long do Pinot Noirs last?

Alder Yarrow tastes older CA pinots in this article. Many of them have held up nicely.

http://www.vinography.com/archives/20...

Mar 30, 2014
ernie in berkeley in Wine
1

Best pizza in the East Bay

Little Star in Albany doesn't have slices for lunch anymore, but they do offer personal-sized pies, any of the special combos for $8.95, cheese only for $6.95, deep dish or thin crust. They're not on the menu, for some reason. The deep dish "Mediterranean chicken" was great when I tried it yesterday.

Mar 30, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

best cheap eats in the Berkeley / Oakland area

I think there's another lot across the street, too. No problem parking there at all.

Mar 22, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

The pizza shop (24th St., Mission) [San Francisco]

No, the article says they existed in the '70s but weren't sold to the public until the '80s. I said well into the '80s, not well into the '90s. From the article:

>Umberto’s, that was the domain of another Corteo brother, Joe. In 1976, after Joe moved to Florida, the restaurant was sold to two Umberto’s employees, brothers Rosario and Sal Fuschetto. During the ‘80s, they in turn hired two other pizza makers - first Ciro Cesarano, then Angelo Giangrande - who got their start at Umberto’s.
“Umberto still wasn’t selling [grandma pie] to customers,” Rosario said, “but Ciro and Angelo saw its potential.” So when they arrived in Elmont, they put the still-nameless pizza on the menu.
Some time between 1986 and 1989, a conversation occurred at King Umberto’s that would change the course of this very narrow slice of pizza history. Cesarano and Giangrande were chatting with a customer, Anthony “Tippy” Nocella, about what to call the pie. Cesarano recalled that the word “grandpa” came up, “but Tippy said ‘No, it’s really more grandma. You want to call it grandma.’”

Mar 20, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

The pizza shop (24th St., Mission) [San Francisco]

Are you from the NY area, sugartoof? I grew up on Long Island, and there were only two styles of pizza, "neapolitan" thin-crust and "sicilian", thick-crust. I didn't see or hear of grandma slices until well into the '80s, possibly the '90s, in the mid-Island area. The Newsday article is accurate.

Mar 20, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Fish Tacos - SF Dish of the Month March 2014

I tried a bunch of places in Berkeley over the past week. Unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend them, and I'm beginning to wonder whether I like fish tacos at all. The fried versions all had thick batter coating, and various levels of greasiness.

Taqueria La Famila (Shattuck at Ashby). The greasiest of the three, decent amount of fish.

La Mission (University Ave). A little less greasy on the fried version, good flavor but nothing special. I had hopes for the grilled version, but the fish was tough and stringy.

Picante (Sixth at Gilman). The least greasy, but also the smallest amount of fish. A couple of dollars more expensive.

I don't think any of them were any better than the ones at Rubios, the chain in El Cerrito Plaza. I guess I should go back to Comal to try theirs.

Mar 10, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Grocery Outlet -- March 2014

The Echelon Pinot Noir is ok, not particularly varietal, certainly not typical of the Russian River Valley. I like the red blend better.

Mar 04, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

One dinner in SF

I like Farmer Brown for brunch. It's a southern-style buffet with fried chicken, biscuits and gravy etc. Reservations critical.

For a real San Francisco experience, though, go to their other place, Little Skillet. It's basically a window in an alley, and you can sit on the loading docks and eat your fried chicken and excellent grits while people-watching. Good coffee at the place next door.

Mar 03, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Grocery Outlet -- March 2014

I picked up the Echelon PN but haven't opened it yet. The Echelon "Red" blend is quite good, though.

"Street Pinot", Sonoma County, on the other hand, is an acidic nightmare. Avoid!

This is in Berkeley.

Mar 03, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Fish Tacos - SF Dish of the Month March 2014

La Mission Taqueria on University in Berkeley does a good grilled fish taco (and great Baja-style fried fish tacos). Juan's also has them, but they aren't particularly good--hard shell only, not much flavor.

Feb 28, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite Caribbean Restuarants in SF, East Bay or South Bay

Suya African Caribbean on Oxford at Center does good grilled dishes at low prices.

Feb 26, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area
1

The pizza shop (24th St., Mission) [San Francisco]

I was there for lunch today myself, and yes, this is excellent NY style pizza. The crust could have been cooked a little longer, but the sauce/cheese/crust balance was exactly right.

We might have been there at the same time today--I had cheese slices fresh from baking.

Feb 20, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

I also had a great burger there today (the Chron did a review). Perfect medium rare with a char-broiled crust, decent fries.

Feb 07, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

China Village (Albany) is open!

China Village has expanded their lunch menu by quite a bit. They've added more dishes from the main menu, in smaller portions--Mr. Yao is hoping people will sample from them, instead of the usual broccoli beef or kung-pao chicken. I don't remember whether the spicy-boiled fish fillet was on the previous menu, but today it was just amazingly good, and the portion was still big enough to bring home leftovers for lunch (and enough sauce to simmer a few more fillets later on). Prices are up by about a dollar across the board, though.

Feb 06, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Golden Grain Restaurant in Albany changing owners soon

I noticed a big grand-opening sign here last week and stopped for lunch today. My Cantonese egg and shrimp was competent. My companion's war wonton soup looked spectacular, and he said it was delicious. Hot and sour soup was neither very hot nor very sour, but did have sliced shiitakes.

The menu that Melanie linked to has been replaced, and prices are somewhat higher, around $6.50 for the lunch plates, and the (large) soup around $10.00

Feb 05, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Menudo and/or Posole in SF?

Also in the East Bay, La Mission on University in Berkeley does a great posole. Menudo is on the menu, but I haven't tried it.

Jan 10, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Fresh Black Cod/Sablefish/Butterfish

My experience is that black cod freezes very well, so that could be a really good deal.

Jan 04, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area

Fresh Black Cod/Sablefish/Butterfish

>"the Chinese discovered it."

The Hudson Fish people say there's a shortage because new regulations prohibited fishing in many of the places the black cod liked to be in. A lot of the fish in Chinese places is tilipia, and prices for that fish remain low.

Jan 04, 2014
ernie in berkeley in San Francisco Bay Area