tvr172's Profile

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85 Degrees C (85C) Bakery Taiwanese chain coming to Bay Area (potentially Newark / Union City / Fremont)

During the past 2 weeks, I have been driving by a 85C location in Taichung, Taiwan and there were never more than half a dozen people in the store. Almost every block has a boutique bakery selling similar or fancier looking stuff with the goal to make the entire island diabetic.

Sep 05, 2013
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

China Village (Albany) is open!

It's called Arden lettuce. Or 窩仔菜 in Taiwan (pronounced wei-ah tsai so people started simplifying it to A Tsai to the point many in the younger generation only know it as A Tsai). or 萵苣菜 in China.

Jul 28, 2013
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Looking for slightly upscale Indian restaurant in East Bay

Look into Swad in Lafayettel. I was there 3 years ago and remember it being good. But not sure if it is considered upscale.

Feb 15, 2013
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

How big are servings at Tacubaya, Berkeley?

Had lunch there Friday, it took 3 tacos to fill this medium-sized, middle-age and middle-class man.

Apr 16, 2012
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone ever tried Stinky Tofu?

Actually it has always been fairly common in Taiwan, not obscure at all. It's not universally loved by everyone there; but there is enough demand for it. Its taste and "strength" can vary from vendor to vendor depending on the process. In the past few years, b/c of the health and safety concerns, people have been experimenting with alternative and more sanitary processes to create the taste or stink. I have tried ones made with herbal medicine that left a bitter after taste. But the good ones actually do taste and smell differently.

Mar 26, 2012
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

China Village [Albany]

A search for the origin of this dish would confirm ground meat as part of the recipe. This is such a popularized dish, many variations have developed.

Mar 11, 2012
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Taiwanese or Northern Chinese Breakfast for 70 people

Try Five Happiness on Geary. They serve that kind of breakfast items and has enough table space.

Feb 06, 2012
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum and XLB recommendations

You are right. I have always found it comical when this is used as a gauge of a Chinese restaurant's quality or authenticity, somehow assuming every Chinese person present further assures the authenticity of a place. The truth is some of us just don't know any better. Some of us are just trying to find a cheap place to fill our belly; and many of us are just as susceptible to hype. I suspect many non-Chinese chowhounds on this board probably have a wider appreciation of Chinese regional cooking than your average Chinese person on the street. I have been to plenty of lousy Chinese restaurants (whether voluntarily or dragged along) full of Chinese. I apologize if my presence at some of those places might have misled those that rely on this head-counting method.

Sep 26, 2011
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Where Can I Find Pink Pearl Apples (or something close)?

The PP in our yard in Berkeley has been producing since June, but production went down lately, then this weekend I am seeing new blossoms. Our fall has not been warming up just yet.

Sep 12, 2011
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

SF-flavored Xmas gift for a foodie?

Wife flew out to Casper with 4 crabs in her checked-in luggage. We bought and cooked the crabs the night before. Froze them and put them in a padded lunch bag (without additional ice) in the morning before the flight. They were still chilled by the time she got in at Casper 8 hours later and they had them for dinner.

It would be even better if you can bring them over live. Just saw that there are vending machines in China selling live crabs. They go into quasi hibernation when kept at a few degrees above freezing. I might experiment bring live crabs back to the east coast in a couple of weeks.

Dec 07, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Two new Chinese restaurants in Cupertino Village (Shanghainese and .... NorthEastern?)

I will have to agree. I don't understand why people hype up the XLBs at SDK. They are not very good.

Nov 04, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Please suggest a mid-high end dinner in SF city only

Spruce near Laurel Village

Jul 25, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

What's Innovative About San Francisco?

for many of us Market runs northeast........

Jul 12, 2010
tvr172 in Features

Taichung, Taiwan

I think you will be surprised at the Chinese cooking in Taiwan. It has moved far beyond what you can find in the US. Most of the Chinese cooking found even in major cities in the US is still stuck in China's pre-revolutionary era. Heavily salted, greased, MSG'ed or sauced.

Here are some links you might find interesting (not limited to Taichung): Note that I am not tapped into the food scene there by any measure having been away for many years.

http://www.wretch.cc/blog/forwardds

http://www.taiwanfun.com/north/taipei/dining/0710/0710CestBonTW.htm

http://www.wretch.cc/blog/bajenny/2116654

http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/gary-lovetoeat/archive?l=f&id=5

http://www.mitsuitaipei.com.tw/

http://week.wakema.com.tw/index.php?blog=2&title=a_a_dacsec_arsa_a_cei_e_eom&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

http://0228349739.tw.tranews.com/

http://jabawockadvance.pixnet.net/blo...

Jun 26, 2010
tvr172 in China & Southeast Asia

Taichung, Taiwan

The 逢甲夜市 is mostly a hang out for college kids and tourists and does not have good food. Nowadays, most of the large night markets target youths and visitors with low price points and low quality food.

For good traditional street food, you will need to seek out traditional day or night markets. One stall in this market may be famous for this dish while another one at some other market is good for that.

The night market on 公益 road has good stuff. The market at the temple in 豐原 city has food oyster pancake. A lot of "street" food traditionally served by stalls have also moved indoors. If you are in Taipei, this place is worth a visit:

http://www.iddi.com.tw./

If you can read Chinese, here is a blog by a foodie in Taiwan:

http://malukooo.pixnet.net/blog/post/...

The best is really to talk to locals as the street food scene is in constant flux. And make sure you ask someone interested in this life style. My parents live in Taichung for most of their lives and are clueless on this subject. I find that it's usually the middle-age working professionals that have fingers on the pulse.

Jun 26, 2010
tvr172 in China & Southeast Asia

ISO Dried Fish Roe/wūyúzi (From Taiwan) in Bay Area

I remember seeing it in one of the little stores in the 99 Ranch mall in Richmond. Someone told me once you can mail order it. They are mostly vacuum packed and travel well.

Jun 17, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Cheap eats in San Francisco

I did not know they are related. Anyhow they are both pretty lame.

Jun 14, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Santorini: 1800 or Ambrosia and Nectar?

From my recollection, there is the Ambrosia Restaurant and Nectar-and-Ambrosia, by the same owners. Ambrosia is a more formal place that required advance reservation. We could not get a table so went to Nectar-and-Ambrosia instead. It was in May and just before the onslaught of tourists so we were able to walk in and get a table for 6. We enjoyed the food and service very much.

Jun 13, 2010
tvr172 in Europe

Cheap eats in San Francisco

I would not recommend Taiwan either.

Jun 13, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO East Bay or SF chinese restaurants that serve good beef-and-eggs over rice (滑蛋牛肉飯)

So I finally went to China First for its beef-and-eggs over rice. The flavoring was right. The eggs were not overcooked and leached into the rice matrix underneath. However, the beef was of very poor quality and the slices were too big (up to 4 inches long). A couple of them was simply too tough to chew through. Another thing I did not like was they put way too much rice with the result the eggs could only coat a small portion of it. At $4.75 it was cheap, but I would have gladly paid a more for better quality.

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China First
336 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Jun 09, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Here on a consulting assignment - yummy dinner take-out?

Shalimar on Jones between O'ferrell and Geary. The area is a bit funky so don't go too late in the evening.

May 18, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Rice n Spice West Berkeley

It's my go-to Indian place in Berkeley for lunch. I was a bit concerned about its survival; it's usually not very busy during lunch time.

May 11, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

taiwanese noodles from DinTaiFung

It says Dan Dan Noodles on the webpage. From the picture the noodles look thinner than the traditional Dan Dan Noodles. They appear to be the thin noodles typically used in some Taiwanese noodle dishes (e.g. pig's feet noodles).

May 11, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Kung Pao in the East Bay

Yes, there is a sign on the window stating they do not serve lunch and dinner anymore, but the karaoke is still being offered.

Apr 25, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO East Bay or SF chinese restaurants that serve good beef-and-eggs over rice (滑蛋牛肉飯)

Thank you both. I have tried Daimo in Richmond and a couple of places on Balboa in SF and was disappointed by all of them. Will try your suggestions.

Apr 25, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO East Bay or SF chinese restaurants that serve good beef-and-eggs over rice (滑蛋牛肉飯)

Been looking around for this comfort food. I prefer to have it taken out so I can add some chili paste with fermented black beans to add a slightly pungent taste to its usual mild flavor. Can someone suggest a restaurant that does this dish particularly well? Thanks.

Apr 25, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

La Ciccia report

I had the octopus stew this past Saturday and it was very salty. I had two other appetizers - calamari and grilled sardine which were both nicely prepared. To start, my wife had the fish soup which was fairly ordinary; for the main course, she had the lamb tenderloin which she liked. The service was good and they were accommodating with my having 3 appetizers as the meal.

Apr 06, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Lard at Berkeley Bowl West

you can find it all the way to the left when you walk in the store on a refrigerated shelf around where the eggs are.

Mar 29, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting from Austin, Looking for Cheap, Authentic Taiwanese Street Food

Sorry to "pour cold water" over you, my overall experience with Taiwanese food in the Bay area over the past 1.5 years has been poor. Some of the places mentioned might have one or two dishes that remotely resemble the real thing, but in general it may not be worth whatever time you have while in SF area. Even in the boonducks of Maryland you can do better. That said, if you are on this quest for reasons of nostalgia, Joy in Foster City is not bad for more formal dishes, but the street-style dishes are not quite there. Even in Taiwan, good street food has become difficult to find unless you know where to go. Most of the big night markets just sell crap to unknowing tourists or bored teenagers. Noodles with mayonnaise on a hot dog bun? What the hell is that? Is that what it has come to? Send the missiles over. Sorry for the rant, just very annoyed at the night market food scene in Taiwan over the past few years.

Mar 08, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area

Good Chinese restaurant .... that doesn't use MSG? Possible?

While most people associate MSG with Chinese restaurants, many do not realise it is also very commonly used in Japanese cooking. Hondashi is a very popular flavor base (containing mostly MSG with some natural bonito flavoring) used by the Japanese in things such as ramen, nabemono, soup, teriyaki, etc. I have not heard that many complaints about MSG reaction from people eating at Japanese restaurants so am a little suspicious if placebo effect is in play in many of those cases. Not to mention MSG is also found in Campbell's soup and other common food items in your neighborhood grocery stores.

Mar 08, 2010
tvr172 in San Francisco Bay Area