ernie in berkeley's Profile

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Behind the Counter @ Berkeley Bowl

Also available at BBW

SFBA Dish of the Month Nominations (June to December 2015)

SAVORY PASTRIES (which might include spanokopita, meat pasties and samosas).

good winery to visit near petaluma

Depending on the time of day, you'll be about that distance from Santa Rosa, where there are several, including Siduri, which has a big range of Pinot Noirs and shares a space with Novy, excellent syrahs. They are on the far side of Santa Rosa, though, and highway 101 can get congested through town.

Berkeley: Casa Latina - nice nacatamales - tamal-rific

The latest news at Casa Latina is that they're serving breakfast now, available all day. They have the usual huevos rancheros, etc, plus a number of dishes not frequently found elsewhere, like a potato/egg empanada. Chilaqueles this morning were excellent.

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

>gob on the cheese

Thanks for that. I used to walk by the 6th Ave Ray's in the mid 70s, and people would be using forks to twirl the big gobs of cheese off the crust because the slice would collapse under the weight. I was surprised so many other places wanted to name themselves Ray's, because this one just wasn't very good.

Types of Porto

I got curious myself. The producer is Borges, and the label does say vintage, not LBV. I think I paid all of $7.00 a bottle at Trader Joe's, back when they had occasional rare deals and you got one bottle, sampled, then ran back to buy them out (probably early '90s). It turns out I also have a 1984 vintage Hoopers and a 1991 Quinto LBV, which given the comments above on LBV aging, I'll probably open today.

On last tasting, the Borges was surprisingly light and fruity, with strong freshly-cut apple notes.

May 03, 2015
ernie in berkeley in Wine

Types of Porto

This might be a good place to ask a somewhat related question. I have several bottles of 1979 vintage port (too lazy to go downstairs to see who the producer is). I last opened a bottle about ten years ago, and it was delicious.

The bottles are stored on their sides, and that last bottle I opened had a severely deteriorated cork. The bottles also have old-style lead capsules. Should I worry about lead leaching into the wine?

May 03, 2015
ernie in berkeley in Wine

SFBA Dish of the Month (May 2015) - Nominations/Voting


SFBA Dish of the Month (May 2015) - Nominations/Voting

SAVORY PASTRIES (an expansion of my "spanokopita..." suggestions in previous months.

Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe and Emeryvlle's renaissance

Bucci's is gemworthy, I think, and the burger trucks, 510burger and DocsoftheBay are pretty good.

China Village (Albany) is open!

The spicy beer duck noodles is one of the richest dishes I've ever encountered, with the duck fat combining with the red oil to create a deep and comforting mouth feel. Excellent stuff.

Private Dining for marriage proposal

It's too bad that the Bay Bridge lights are shutting down, because down by the waterfront would be nice and there are lots of restaurants nearby.

Tasty Italian Meatballs for a birthday celebration?

Luca Cucina Italiana, in Berkeley on San Pablo a block south of University, has excellent meatballs. I'm not sure they take reservations, but I've never seen it crowded.


Miss Veg will probably appreciate the eggplant parm.

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

In other Berkeley pastrami news, Smoke BBQ on San Pablo now offers it. It's excellent, but they don't always have it, they don't always have rye bread, and--bless their Texas hearts--they'll offer to put BBQ sauce on it. Skip that, ask for the dijonaise or straight mustard.

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Best Sandwich in Berkeley?

Also at Saul's, their house-cured pastrami. They use Acme rye bread on both.

Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville?

Good point.

Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville?

I was surprised yesterday when I got a sausage slice, and the price was $4.25. All of the slices with toppings are now at that price, which I think this is the highest I've seen in the area. This puts a two-slice lunch, without drink, at $8.50. Still very tasty, though.

ET correct the price of two slices.

Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

I was just in one of the House of Curries (small East Bay chain, this was the one in Albany) and they offer goat "curry", vindaloo, karahi and tiki-masala. I haven't tried any of them, though, but everything else I've had there has been great.


Fish taco friday [San Francisco]

Fish tacos were the dish of the month a year ago, and there might be some leads in the topic.


Downtown Berkeley Food Ideas

Warning: loud autoplay music at the tigerlily website.

Hasnia - Algerian restaurant (Berkeley)

>student days in Paris

Next time you go, mention that to the manager, in French. He'll be thrilled, and his French is better than his English, so it'll make communication easier.

$2.99 Rosenblum zin--how and why?

Non-vintage, but the winery gives a number to each batch. This one is 37, which might be the latest. The winery itself is selling 36 for $8.25. Which adds to the suspense.

Mar 02, 2015
ernie in berkeley in Wine

$2.99 Rosenblum zin--how and why?

Trader Joe's Bay Area stores are currently selling the entry-level "Vinters Cuvee" zinfandel from Rosenblum at $2.99 a bottle. This wine normally retails for around $12.00.

Could those ITB explain how and why both Rosenblum and TJs sell it so cheaply? TJ's would probably have had to pay $1.00-$1.50 per bottle. Why was Rosenblum so eager to unload this mostly harmless wine, and why didn't TJ's set the price at a more normal $5.99, about the average for their bottom of the line zinfandels.

Mar 02, 2015
ernie in berkeley in Wine

Best current option for Shanghainese anywhere in the Bay Area?

Hyperbowler maintains a comprehensive list of regional Chinese cuisine places here, and there are lots of Shanghai listings.


Hasnia - Algerian restaurant (Berkeley)

It's in the nabe, so I stopped in for lunch today. Chicken couscous ($12.95) was nicely flavored and was even better with a little harissa stirred in. The portion was large, enough for me to bring home half of it for later. The starter chopped vegetable appetizer (tomato, roasted chilis, olives) was really good with that bread (I asked about it, and they said it wasn't house-made, but it was fresh and warm).

Kebab sandwiches on the same baguettes, at other tables looked fantastic, and I've heard good reports about their lamb and wheatberry soup. Individual skewers of meat are $3.60, and one of these with the soup would make a great lunch.

Your Favorite $5 or under bites in San Francisco

Coming in just over the wire at $5.00 is the SuperDuper mini burger (single patty).

Kouzina Greek Street Food, Montclair (Oakland)

I can't tell whether Souvla offers gyros at all (I've never been there). I thought it was all souvlakia (cubes of meat skewered and grilled).

Kouzina Greek Street Food, Montclair (Oakland)

I was just coming over to mention that about the gyros. It probably isn't the usual Kronos mystery-meat cone (I share Ridge's dismay about the Kronos product).

Simply Greek does use the cone meat, but their souvlakia are properly seasoned and cooked and not greasy at all.

But I'm also little disappointed that it's another gyro and souvlaki joint. We really need more mid-priced full-menu Greek places around here.

best pizza by the slice

Mostly harmless, decent enough. The crust is a little bland. I wish they would offer fresh slices (not reheated) occasionally, as Arinell does.