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What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

Once in a whole I try beans that blow me away. That's how I feel about the latest Old Soul Ethiopian offering. It's in Sacramento but they do mail order. Here is more info on the coffee:

http://www.oldsoulco.com/component/co...

about 13 hours ago
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

I believe the cheese I wanted was the Torta del Caesar. Very deeply flavored.

Sep 28, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

That's a very tragic story. Was the causal agent determined?

The problem with the new rules is that they may end up doing more harm than good. For example humans who eat raw milk cheese will consume a diverse microbial flora that will help strengthen their immune systems against bad bugs like listeria. People on a completely sterile diet will be more susceptible to bad bugs. Secondly raw milk cheese itself had a diverse flora that makes it harder for bad bugs to gain a foothold. So the new rules may conceivably lead to more listeria not less.

The best approach is not the blanket ban on cheeses with above a certain level of harmless E. coli. That's what they are enforcing now. The best approach is to monitor the cheeses and if one has listeria (or Salmonella etc.) pull the lot.

I was just at the Cheeseboard in Berkley and asked about a raw Portuguese Sheeps milk cheese that I love. Sadly it's fallen victim to these new rules and is no longer available.

Sep 27, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

SF: What's Left to Do?

Based on my preferences and experiences I would do La Cicca, Rich table and definitely Dosa. And substitute Z&Y for R&G.

Sep 26, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month (Oct 2014) - Nominations/Voting

CHINESE HOT AND SOUR SOUP

Sep 25, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Weekend Trip Report Day 3 and 4 (Maven/Frances/Bar Tartine/The Cavalier)

"More people should be able to admit when they are wrong."

The I'm right you're wrong mentality wears thin after a while and interferes with real dialog. This is my last post here and my last reply to you on anything ever. Good bye and good luck.

Weekend Trip Report Day 3 and 4 (Maven/Frances/Bar Tartine/The Cavalier)

Not so much about orthodoxy. It seems like some people just stated a different opinion than the OP. Related their own experiences and opinions. He could have left it as is. People like different things and can have different opinions. Instead he proceeded to insult them and question their judgment.

Sep 24, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Weekend Trip Report Day 3 and 4 (Maven/Frances/Bar Tartine/The Cavalier)

I wouldn't call stating ones opinion a quasi-orthodoxy.

Sep 24, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Weekend Trip Report Day 3 and 4 (Maven/Frances/Bar Tartine/The Cavalier)

The service at Tartine is ok but needs work. Last time I was there I complemented them on the music. It was an unfortunate coincidence I think that 1 minute later they abruptly changed the music!

Sep 24, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Weekend Trip Report Day 3 and 4 (Maven/Frances/Bar Tartine/The Cavalier)

My husband and I love Bar Tartine also. I agree it's not for everyone. It may be you need a certain culinary sensibility to get it. Definitely not for more conservative leaning palates. It's my current favorite fancy-ish restaurant in SF.

Sep 24, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim sum question- not a place but what to try

One dim sum to die for are the pan fried chive dumplings at Koi palace. These are an exception to my steamed dim sum preference. I think they are steamed first and then seared so the top and bottom gets crispy. The version at koi palace are very plump and juicy.

Good previous thread with recommendations:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/903173

Sep 24, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim sum question- not a place but what to try

I agree with Robert that I find the fried items more bland than the steamed items. The steamed items can be more delicate but also richer in flavor. For example I find the fried pork dumplings kind of bland compared to XLB.

While XLB might technically not be considered dim sum, they were available at all of the dim sum places I went to in Hong Kong and Taipei, so I tend to consider them dim sum though that might not technically be correct.

Sep 24, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim sum question- not a place but what to try

My favorite dim sum are XLB. One suggestion I have: some dim sum is fried and heavy. When I go out for dim sum I try to balance the meal so I order more of the steamed items, which I enjoy more anyway, and try to order a veggie thing like pea shoots or the various interesting greens that you see at dim sum. That way you don't feel too overloaded afterward.

Sep 24, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Great China (Berkeley) still great

For sure we had the Peking duck at the old place and really liked it. I think we also had the tea smoked duck. I don't remember it being as fatty.

Sep 23, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Great China (Berkeley) still great

We just went to dinner at GC Saturday night. First time since after the fire. I had high hopes but it was disappointing. Some things were good but some things were meh.

We ate:

Hot and Sour soup- kind of a cliche dish I know but I love good versions and like to order it even though my husband will roll his eyes. This version was very good, satisfying, sour and the heat was more from black pepper than chile.

Fish and vegetable dumplings- excellent and the highlight of the meal.

Double skin- just ok. Not as vibrant and delicious as we have had in the past.

Tea smoked duck- way too fatty. While I realize that duck is fatty, this version was over the top with very thick layers of un-rendered fat. We have had much better versions at China Village and Z&Y. Really disappointing.

Wok braised beef cheeks- we absolutely hated this. The cheeks were tough and he flavor of the sauce was insipid.

Sep 23, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

Querencia-no doubt the FDA has a tough job and there are good people working there. I don't know anyone there and have no insight, perhaps your husband does, but it seems to me like something is not right at some level. They help guide congress to make the rules and they enforce the rules. Are they doing this in a scientifically sound and rational way? Not always. They have been super heavy handed with the artisan cheese issue. They can keep the population safe and allow people to enjoy raw milk cheese; the two are not as mutually exclusive as they make it seem. And they have gone into major unnecessary nanny state mode with other issues as well (not in the scope of this discussion to get into). But when to comes to other issues they act like climate change deniers. Aside from the artificial sweeteners issue discussed above, they seem in denial of all the science showing the negative effects of feeding livestock antibiotics. When will they stop acting like climate change deniers and evolution deniers and start acting like scientists and grow the balls to stand up to the big meat lobbyists?

You can see this article on the antibiotic issue:

http://blogs.wsj.com/pharmalot/2014/0...

From the article:

"“Waiting for an agency that has failed for over 40 years to take action on the overuse of antibiotics in livestock feed is not a wise strategy,” says Keep Antibiotics Working. “…There is little incentive for industry to adopt alternatives if it is cheaper and easier to carry on with routine use of antibiotics.”"

Sep 19, 2014
Ridge in Cheese
2

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

The thing is paulj that this is not the only study to show negative effects of artificial sweeteeners:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/artic...

And I might add the authors of the Nature paper did not set out to show negative effects of artificial sweeteners. The results they got were the opposite of what they were expecting.

Sep 19, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

The study was published in the journal Nature which is very prestigious and well regarded. It's not just saccharin but includes other sweeter as well. Read the article. And it's one of several studies in the last 3 or 4 years showing artificial sweeteners mess with your metabolism. So these harmful metabolic effects have been shown in different independent studies. The FDA is doing nothing. But they go after artisan cheese. Could it be that artisan cheese makers don't have the lobbyists Coke and Pepsi do?

Sep 18, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

What is the most exciting restaurant you've eaten at in the SFBA recently?

The place I want to go back to most in the city is Bar Tartine.

Sep 17, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

Obviously if someone is immunocompromised or very young or old there are foods they might want to avoid.

If a cheese is found to be contaminated with listeria then take it off the shelf. But the issue we are discussing is related to new regulations about the levels of non-pathogenic and harmless E. coli allowed in cheese. Enforcement of these regulations means lots of completely safe cheeses will be banned.

Sep 17, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

My last response was flippant. No one wants to get food poisoning. But the issue is: are these banned cheeses causing outbreaks of food poisoning? The answer is no. If you research the topic, food poisoning mostly is caused by meat. Produce is second. When outbreaks have been caused by cheese it is mostly illegally imported soft cheese made in Mexico.The newly enforced guidelines, put into place in 2010 but only now starting to be enforced, are so stringent they ban cheeses that are perfectly safe and healthy to eat. This will not lead to fewer food related illnesses. Increased monitoring for actual pathogens makes more sense scientifically and would lead to fewer cases of food poisoning.

The FDA is quick to pounce on things it deems as scientifically old fashioned and out of date, like raw milk cheese which humans have consumed for a very long time, while being quick to embrace fancy new-fangled things like artificial sweeteners whose long term effect on humans are unknown regardless of what industry sponsored animal feeding studies say. Turns out lots of studies are now showing FDA approved artificial sweeteners are bad for you:

http://www.boston.com/health/2014/09/...

So the FDA now allows us to eat these artificial sweeteners that are not good for human health but wants to prevent us from eating healthy Roquefort which has been shown to be good for human health:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23...

I don't know about you but I will keep avoiding artificial sweeteners and keep eating Roquefort.

My message to the FDA: It's time to rethink what you are doing.

Sep 17, 2014
Ridge in Cheese
1

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

Have you looked around at how UNHEALTHY Americans are? The government turns a blind eye to the big corporations feeding us garbage and making us sick. Turns a blind eye to meat producers misusing antibiotics to fatten up animals to increase their profit margins. The government subsidizes production of unhealthy food and sugar. But by golly they are protecting us against the dangers of small artisanal cheese producers. I know I feel safe.

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

I agree with your preference for the darker side of third wave. Though I discovered good coffee from Peets, I also find their roast too burned tasting now. Medium dark (what you call darker side of third wave) is perfect for me. Certain third wave roasters emphasize very bright washed-process new world coffee beans which I think contribute to some not liking third wave coffee. Thankfully the pendulum is starting to swing more towards natural process coffees which are lower acid and taste richer to me.

Dining ideas for weekend in SF

You can sit at the bar at Dosa in the mission for yummy Indian food:

http://www.dosasf.com/

I think you can also sit at the Bar at Bar Tartine which is innovative fusion:

http://www.bartartine.com/

For Chinese check out Terra Cotta warrior in the Sunset or Z & Y in Chinatown:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/968821
http://www.zandyrestaurant.com/

Sep 11, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

If people need more encouragement to drink coffee I wanted to point out that caffeine is neuroprotective for Parkinson's (people who drink coffee less likely to get it) and possibly Alzheimer's:

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Resea...

So drink up people.

Sep 10, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

I don't like acidity in coffee either. That's why I like the natural process coffees more. At medium roast a good natural process should not be acidic.

Sep 08, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

I don't agree with the Jonathan Gold quote. I am not at all a morning person and fall somewhere between Oscar the grouch and a walking dead zombie before 10:00 AM. A complex nuanced cup of coffee is something that makes this otherwise dreadful part of the day bearable for me.

Sep 08, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

Melanie,

Coffee is very complex and fun. You probably are familiar but for those not I think drinking single origin beans can be an interesting exercise in that you can hone in on what you like and don't like in different coffee beans. For example where the beans are from (new world vs. old), the coffee variety (some heirloom varieties, for example Yemen mocca with tiny beans, can be very distinctive), how they are processed and fermented (beans can be fermented with the fruit on the beans(called natural process) vs. with the fruit washed off (called washed)) and the roast level all can strongly effect the kind if coffee they make. My favorite coffees are Ethiopian, natural process beans roasted on the slightly dark side of medium. I like the low acid, chocolaty, winery and fruit notes in these coffees.

Having said that I do find that even with the same kinds of beans there are roasters I like more than others and I attribute this to the roasting technique. For example I don't like any beans I have tried at Ritual even when they are a variety and roast that I should like.

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

I have tried more of the Temple coffees than Old Soul. The roast of Temple coffees seems be slightly on the dark side of medium which is my favorite roast. Old Soul is more of a medium roast. I like the Old Soul Sulawesi "white eagle reserve" which I have been getting regularly. I got some different Old Soul coffees that I have not tried yet but will try to remember to post about them once I try them. I have tried several Temple coffee beans and they have all been spectacular. They really nail down their roasting technique and have excellent sources of beans. Much much better than Ritual and better than the last batch of BB I tried.

Sep 06, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

Sadly the Brillat-Savarin is on the FDA hit list beacuse ts made with raw milk. It was included in the list from the FDA website under this heading:

"The following list provides the names of French cheeses covered under the Import Alert. Examples of French Soft Cheeses Covered by Import Alert #12-03 (i.e. cheeses that are required to be made from pasteurized milk in order to enter the United States):"

I looked at the listeria Outbreaks on the CDC website. There are 4 listed since 2011.

http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks...

One for cantaloupe and 2 for domestic cheeses and one Italian cheese. One cheese plant in Delaware sounds like it was horrible and was rightfully shut down. Shady and sloppy producers who cut corners for safety should be hit hard. As far as I can determine none of the cheeses were made with raw milk or were French. As has been pointed out in a recent post by Melanie the French have mastered cheese-making safety techniques:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985884

Let me be clear: Banning Brillat-Savarin will do NOTHING to prevent listeria outbreaks. It's over reaching bad policy.

Sep 06, 2014
Ridge in Cheese