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Eggnog Ice Cream

Three Twins has a seasonal eggnog flavor, subtle not cloying.

SF Chinatown Pork Bun (Char Siu Bao) crawl - suggestions?

Golden Gate was closed yesterday (12/18) and, as usual, no sign or other indication noting when they'll be back.

Gluten-free crackers for cheese course?

Baguette toasts for the rest of us, but there will be one gluten-free guest. Cheese board will include strong (epoisse), buttery (fromager d'Affinois or Delice Bourguignon) and semi-firm (goat or sheep). Any suggestions for gluten-free crackers that aren't heavily seasoned/seeded and won't compete with the tastes of the cheeses?

Dec 04, 2014
dordogne in Special Diets

Holiday Baking supplies

And for East Bayesians:

Spun Sugar
1611 University Avenue
Berkeley

spunsugar.com

Grocery Outlet--November 2014

At the Oakland store today:
Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper (semi-firm sheep), vacuum-packed, $9.99/lb.
Izze Pear Juice, 4-pack, $2.99
Lots of cracker varieties

Another Whole Foods coming to Berkeley

Like many other posters, I don't generally patronize Whole Foods and didn't want to like the Gilman store, but I couldn't resist the hype. I went during a lull on Sunday, so aisles were navigable, but I found most of the departments underwhelming *except* the fish counter--beautiful to behold (but $$)--and the café, serving (and roasting in the back) their own Allegro coffee. The espresso was excellent, beautifully pulled, a double ristretto for $3; they offered a sparkling water back, which is rare around here, and a roomy but uninviting area to sit and sip.

Grocery Outlet Wine sale Nov 5 - 9, at 20 percent off

Which GO, please?

oliveto -- recs? [Oakland]

One more vote for their pastas, and their Truffle Dinners are coming soon(Nov 18-22)

http://www.oliveto.com/save-the-dates...

Quick question: A place for a drink and a snack in Oakland this afternoon

Does anyone know what happened to a shop (that made chocolates and flourless cakes w/ incredible butter cream), which was called "Cocolat," or something similar to that?

As long as we reminisce about the early days of the Gourmet Ghetto, don't forget Lenny's Meats next door (or nearly) to Cocolat--prime grade cuts and expert butchery.

Okonomiyaki: SFBA Dish of the Month August 2014

The version at Iyasare (4th St., Berkeley) is sublime. As Robert Lauriston noted,
their rendition has black tiger shrimp / squid / scallop / shiitake / bonito flakes / mentaiko aioli / chili ponzu. It's a refined version of this comfort food, each of the component of high quality and the tastes remained distinctive; elegant presentation on a shallow, oblong cast iron pan. The bonito flakes added some wonderful theater--flakes were ethereally thin and light, shaved on top just as the dish is served so they dance on the surface of the pancake for the first 10-15 minutes of the meal. At $18, probably at the high end for this Dish of the Month, but with the beautifully updated dining room, excellent service and sake options, completely worth it.

Visiting Restaurant Recommendations

Blue Bottle, Boulettes Larder and Acme all have morning pastries and all are better than La Boulange. Boulettes has a charming seating area, or you can sit on a bench outside with a view of the Bay and the ferry landing.

ethnic markets in EB (esp Afghan/Indian)

Oasis market on Telegraph at 30th, Oakland: Middle Eastern groceries (bins, tins, bulk spices, produce), butcher (small section in the back), deli/take-out/dine-in (good prices on olives, lebneh, hummus and lamb dishes), pastries.

House of Banquet - still our go-to for dim sum in SFBA

Are you certain you got the right picture? The wrapper looks like your basic rice flour roll, not deep fried bean curd (but the bean curd/minced fish dish sounds great).

Perdition Smokehouse (downtown Berkeley)

Perdition's ribs are extremely good. Portions (I ordered a full slab) are generous and prices great ($22 per slab, not per lb.) The ribs were St. Louis style, dry rub, very savory, medium-smoky (even more smoky flavor might be nice). Meat very high quality as advertised. At the top end of local BBQ the most relevant competition would be with Fat Daddy’s BBQ (Kensington Farmers Market Sunday mornings; also reportedly at Kensington Chevron on Arlington on Saturdays—haven’t verified this). Fat Daddy’s ribs are smokier, which I like. But they’re more expensive. And they’re not available every day as Perdition’s are.

authentic chinese restaurant with good ambience for a first date? [San Francisco]

Those pictures of House of Pancakes must have been Photoshopped. Ambiance is definitely of the hole-in-the-wall variety.

Best halva?

I think it's the same guy at the SF Civic Center Farmers Market on Wednesdays. Plain and chocolate marbled halvah.

Swedish Food? Where?

Plaj near SF Civic Center is more generally Scandinavian, a bit pricey for small plates but the menu looks wonderful:

http://plajrestaurant.com/location/

World Cup 2014 Viewing and Eats

Here is a list of Berkeley viewing venues:

http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/06/1...

SF Chinatown Bargains - Fruit!

Yesterday many of the stores on Stockton had fresh lychees for $1.99/lb. They looked good--firm, good color, not bruised--, but my fruit bin is already overflowing, so I passed.

East Bay BBQ

Fat Daddy's BBQ at the Sunday Kensington Farmers Market (but not every Sunday, so check their Facebook page) has my favorite ribs. Excellent dry rub, intensely deep, smoky flavor and quality meat ($28 for whole rack); I don't bother with the sauce they provide on the side. No storefront, although they do cater and are thinking about finding a place this summer.

You can link to their online menu and Facebook page from here:
http://fatdaddysbbq.net/

Specific wine itinerary questions - I've done research!

Ridge makes some of finest zinfandels around; I recommend their Lytton Springs tasting room in Sonoma:

http://www.ridgewine.com/Visit/Visit%...

I have to say I find barrel tasting more of a gimmick than a way to appreciate any particular varietal or any particular winery.

Hip, casual place for a small celebration in Oakland?

Mua (but noisy):

http://www.muaoakland.com

Benu reports? [San Francisco]

Here's a link to Reichl's swooning review:
http://www.ruthreichl.com/2014/05/a-t...

Best Asian preserved plums/fruits and best Taiwanese/Singapore/Malay shaved ice

Yee May Wah on Clement and any of the Ranch 99s have a good selection of preserved plums/olives/etc., but can't vouch for their metal content safety.

Any recs for Chinese specialty food shops in bay area?

They're usually available near the registers at Nijiya Market in Japantown and I have even seen them at the Walgreen's on Market and 8th.

Cherry Season 2014 - Prices seen in the SF Bay Area?

Berkeley Bowl has five or six varieties, including $3.89/lb for Tulares (great crisp texture but not full-flavored), $4.09/lb for Rainiers (flavor ok--I find them bland even at their best--but many have brown spots).

Any recs for Chinese specialty food shops in bay area?

Nam Hai (919 Grant) has an excellent selection of teas, dried culinary and medicinal herbs, three grades of goji berries, etc. Prices much better than Red Blossom.

Duck legs dry-brined, now what?

I'm preparing Fergus Henderson's simple, sublime preparation of duck legs on a bed of carrots but decided to brine the legs first (which the recipe does not require) to ensure crispy skin. Four tablespoons of salt for four pounds of meat, dry-brined for two days. Now: do I rinse and pat the legs dry before proceedings with the recipe? If not, how can so much salt not result in an overly salty dish? If I don't have to rinse, should I nevertheless omit adding the salt from the recipe?

I don't rinse off the dry-brined chicken for Judy Rodgers' Zuni chicken, but the amount of salt here seems very large.

May 11, 2014
dordogne in Home Cooking

ZONGZI aka CHINESE TAMALES SFBA Dish of the Month May 2014

Ok, now that you chowhounds have completed a scholarly dissection of the taxonomy of zongzi versus nuomiji (consensus from Soupçon, Melanie and Yimster is that other than shape and leaf type, the key difference is that zongzi start out with uncooked rice and fillings and is then boiled for a good long while, whereas nuomiji starts out with cooked rice and fillings, is then steamed): Where near Lake Merritt (site of the June 15 Dragon Boat Festival) can good zongzi and nuomiji be found?