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Whale City Bakery Bar & Grill - Davenport, CA

OK I admit it - a mysterious hand spasm has caused me to miss the 'c' is challah.

Jun 16, 2012
Waterboy in California

Whale City Bakery Bar & Grill - Davenport, CA

Sadly, a crappy experience.

Stopped for coffee & loaf of hallah bread. Coffee OK, but the waitress flopped a loaf already in a plastic bag on the counter. $8 bill.

Yup, day old bread. Took it assuming was fresh, but far, far from it. 2 fresh loaves on the shelf.

Not the first poor experience there - strictly hit 'n' miss.

My recommendation: AVOID & KEEP MOVIN' -- there are better stops not far South in Santa Cruz and North in Half Moon Bay.

Much better!

Jun 16, 2012
Waterboy in California

Boca Steak: An incompetent, expensive wannabe.

Too true....I don't recommend Boca for anything.

Best Burger in Alameda or Nearby?

Eaten today: Bacon Bleu Cheese Burger w/Pluot Jam

Outstanding! May I recommend Scolari's?

FUNKY appearance, like most of East Bay and the neighborhood, but friendly with consistently great Chow - little seating...3 seat counter inside; few tables mostly outside.

Classic hole-in-the-wall....

1303 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

Scored French Laundry Resos in October but Thomas Keller won't be there

It's one meal.

If a stretch financially, why bother? I certainly wouldn't. You can likely sell the reservation.

Hey, invest in cooking at home with best groceries. You might buy some things you don't now have and acquire the ability to cook great chow. Not to mention being way ahead $$-wise.

Some take out a loan to say they ate there. Call me crazy, but that's nuts.

Late Night Dining Options

Arrived at Sauce 11:15 PM last night, located at 131 Gough. Very good indeed - convivial too. On your recommendation we stopped in after SFO Airport pickup. Bar area w/tables open and fairly busy but not overcrowded. Neighborhood not upscale but not bad. Parking readily available within a block.

Horseradish encrusted shrimp very good. Crispy shallot rings w/aoili, ditto.

Hanger steak & eggs w/potatoes rang my bell! Finished @ midnight; happy, well fed, and on our way home. With bottle o'sparkling water, $51 + tip. Kitchen still serving 'til 1:00 am.

On a Monday, they were one of the very few still open....a godsend!

Best ice cream 2011

Take a little Pt Reyes Station.

Nip into the Station House Cafe; order vanilla ice cream with a pot de crème au chocolat.

Three Twins. Good Lord!

The Station House Cafe
11180 State Route One, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Hog Island v Market Bar Happy Hour Oysters

Had Hog Island 2 weekends back - Drakes Bay last weekend. Station House Cafe in Pt. Reyes Station.

Hog Island significantly better/fresher taste, FWIW. Hey, on any given day....

The Station House Cafe
11180 State Route One, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Good gluten-free hamburger buns in the Bay Area?

Sans in San Rafael - gluten free everything....enjoy!

Second Chance in NOVATO


We ordered brisket and pork chop dishs. Disaster! Dessert was just as weird, a slice of apple pie: flaky crust filled with what seemed to be thin, dried apple slices.

Yet, Phil Chapman stopped by our table....a wonderful performer, after dinner he was on stage in the bar area....good show.

Evidently some of the staff, which BTW gave superb service, overheard our dismay, and as we were picking at our dessert, Nick Rimedio, Gen Mgr, stopped by the say he was comp'g our dinner as, he admitted, it just wasn't up to snuff, asking us to please please please stop by very soon to give them a second chance.

A class act with truly poor food.



We cast about for good chow @ 4 pm, not the best time for fine dining. The Smokehouse was open....holding our breath, we took the plunge....what the heck?

Today, it was, simply put, outstanding!

Night has turned to day....our BBQ Shrimp w/Cheddar Grits was very pleasant. Munching a shrimp straight away, I thought it was oddly marine....then realized the thermador-like sauce contributed a shrimp/crab spice taste that was refreshingly flavorful. Thumbs up.

Not wanting alcohol, we looked for soft drinks. HA! No Coke or Pepsi here. They have created their own freshly mixed sparking drinks. Mine: Ginger beer with cayenne infused >something< and fresh seasonal fruit, Watsonville strawberries today. Not your father's ginger ale, it was pleasing but not sugary, much appreciated by this guy. Thumbs up.

The Pulled Pork Sandwich won me over - I'll without a doubt be going back. Smothered with BBQ Sauce....NOT! It has some, a house recipe. Delicate and supportive to the mission, but not a corn syrup base sticky goo. Thumbs up.

On to dessert, we found there was no dessert menu. But there were three dishes not yet in a menu. Mine: Banana pudding. Yum! Slices of banana in a custard with cookie crunches. Thumbs up.

So long, Wild Fox....good bye, Boca! The Smokehouse is the best restaurant in Novato, and is recommended for anyone passing through.

A new facility, it's higher end decor will put you entirely at ease.

Service, BTW, was excellent, both times. No kidding....

Need late night dining in Novato area

Excellent beer; so-so food, not recommended for eats unless you must.

Dempsey's in Petaluma has better fare; is a brewpub with good beer indeed.

Best Breakfast

Again, the Willow Wood in Graton slays all for Best Breakfast anywhere near the Bay.

San Francisco, I have to say, runs a poor second, anywhere in town. Can't they do better?

Willow Wood Market Cafe
9020 Graton Rd, Graton, CA 95444

Where to find unfiltered apple cider?

+1 in a big way - Gizdich in Watsonville's the real deal. Their juice changes through the year as you might expect - now's the time. A pleasant trip from San Francisco -- South on Rt 1. Only eats to consider in town: Green Valley Grill, lunch weekdays only; dinner Mon-Sat.

But - no New England cider here. Is there anything better? As a kid near Philadelphia, was fascinated with cider fermentation in the sun - sure miss it. The apple press everyone went to in the fall's no longer there...too bad we didn't get the operator's secret apple mix formula.

If you can get the tour of Martinelli's in Watsonville, old plant, you can sample fresh pressed, unfiltered juice. That'll light your fire....

First time in San Francisco

Mother lode of excellent chow's from St. Helena, at the tip of the Napa Valley, South. West of the valley, Healdsburg has a joint or two.

Assume you know the names. Michelin 3 star available - be good at reservations. If you like wine, you've truly arrived - not much in San Francisco competes.

Pay down your credit cards before making the scene - dinner for two @ Cyrus cost me $640!

Hot springs located @ Calistoga - mud baths + all the comforts.

There're a million things to see in'll be back.

Looking for great solo sushi dining experience...

Or, head over the Golden Gate for Sushi Ran in Sausalito. Inventive, top drawer; widely hailed as 'best.'

Teetotaler seeks beer advice...

What location 'round the Bay?

You're spot-on with a microbrewery - bottled brew usually inferior; can be awful if traveled far.

God help you if serving PBR - most know better.

Christmas Ham

Is it too late to buy a bone-in ham?

Where's the good stuff?

Fatted Calf has no bone-in; smoked ham's $10/lb @ the Ferry Bldg tomorrow....

Marin -Hamburger/Pub-Bar Food

Gavin Newsom's place? If as good as San Francisco, worth a go.

Did they merge with the Plumpjack??

I gotta get out more.

Marin -Hamburger/Pub-Bar Food

You have me hooked - check the 2008 gold medal, World Beer Cup: Sless’ Stimultating Stout.

Whataya think?

Marin -Hamburger/Pub-Bar Food

Excellent beer - much better than hoppy MBC - diff brewmasters and beers.

Food? Unless hammered or desperate, look elsewhere....

Chez Panisse--How's the food, really?

Always good, occasionally exquisite, Chez Panisse is for enjoying top drawer food as itself rather than as a created taste. You should go - good luck getting reservations!

Pick up one or two of the Chez Panisse cook'll enjoy yourself and eat rather well. How many are in print now?

Brown Sugar Kitchen - West Oakland

Late breakfast today not bad at all - poached eggs with toast, potatoes, Adell's chicken apple sausage, grits; Calistoga water.

Delicious really, even the Adell's, which sure wasn't at good or large as Costco Adell's; left me wondering if it was Adell's.

Wouldn't write home. Decor pleasing. Price not out of line. Service OK. Will be back.

Brenda's French Soul Food--Report

>almost like a thick egg pancake with the ingredients slapped in the middle after it hit the plate<

When the eggs are soft, that's the quick French technique.

Better French is whipped egg whites, yolk folded, fried in a deep pan with a lid 'til lightly browned; folded. Deep pan to accomodate the rise.

Pretty good without the conventional additions. If you must, add grated cheese before folding - very different than the usual simple fried egg scramble, and the delicate taste is excellent. I like to salt & pepper when folding in the yolks.

Try finding that....

Piperade - streetside table

6:00 pm I parked in front of Piperade - in a good part of town, but after hours, lots of street parking.

Piperade - streetside table

Our dinner yesterday was excellent:

Garlic soup - a summer broth flavorful with shrimp and egg yet the garlic was delicate, not hit-me-over-the-head aromatic. A Basque sort of thing, the flavors came through only after the soup cooled to warm, worth waiting for.

Duck Breast - Excellent, tender, and plenty of it. Good sauce reduction on the plate with a pleasant array of veg's, from almost al dente to soft, flavorful sliced onion.

My friend had an appetizer of oysters on a sort of fish porridge - it put a big smile on his mug.

Orange blossom beignets were warm and pleasant - coffee had citrus notes as it should.

We ran into one of Fringal's founding fathers at the next table leading to a spirited discussion of whether our famous Mayor will run successfully for any office at end of term, or if he'll be a Plumpjack kind o' guy - with temps in the upper 70's, a very satisfying visit - Piperade's staff was welcoming and attentive. Could we ask for more?

gueuze or geuze belgian beer in SF?

Have to say, bottled beer is generally a problem vs. fresh. Though I had a stunning bottle of Dogfish Head IPA once, it didn't travel far - Wilmington, Delaware.

Rare is the bottled beer that holds it head high, and as time & distance since bottling goes by, expect degradation. Have doubts about Vinnie's bottling venture, but hey, gotta make $$. Maybe he'll succeed this close to his brewery?

Hidden City Cafe is one of the East Bay's best brunch spots. Who knew?

Har! Just about fell out of my chair when Hidden City's front door appeared on screen. Reliable + good eats....but Willow Wood market in Graton has it beat for breakfast. Underwood's better for lunch.

Not to take away from Hidden City - enjoy eating there every time.

gueuze or geuze belgian beer in SF?

Great Scott, man - you drink bottled beer, haulin' A from out of state?

For a variety of excellent, fresh, cask conditioned Belgians, motor to this brewpub:

Russian River Brewing Co
725 4th Street
Santa Rosa, CA, 95404
Sun. through Thurs. from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Fri. and Sat. from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Visiting San Francisco from Ireland for 4 Days

Good stuff - won't empty your purse:

For a fun time, stop by the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar for Happy Hour - check the twice hourly indoor rain storm -

When the band floats to the center of the indoor lagoon, you'll know you've had a San Francisco experience.

Also, munch at Rose Pistola just before seeing Beach Blanket Babylon - you really haven't seen this town until you've attended a performance. Note that Club Fugazi [Beach Blanket B.] serves no food - only drink ---> Reservations required!

Up for oysters or more? Check O'Reilly's Holy Grail - the place is entirely decorated with antiques you might enjoy - parking readily available across the street in multi level parking garage, a huge plus in San Francisco

Tad's Steak House....??

My friend's report: Nothing's changed. All comments here true.

I'll pass!