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Erin Bennett's Profile

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Montreal restaurants using locally sourced ingredients

I know there have been many posts on Montreal restaurants lately, but I have a specific question: what restaurants are using locally sourced ingredients? Are there any that are using more than others or do a better job using those ingredients?

As background, my friend and I will be in Montreal for the weekend. We generally like hanging out in neighborhoods (as a opposed to central commercial districts) and eating locally based food (coming from San Francisco, I can say that some favorites are Frances, Cotogna, Pizzaiolo, Rich Table, Chez Panisse). It would be great if anyone is serving grass-finished beef and that sort of thing.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can provide!


Thinking of Leaving SF for Berkeley or Oakland. Crazy?

More than a year after my first post, we just secured a place in Rockridge. Now we're looking forward to exploring all the food Oakland and Berkeley have to offer.

First question: Is Monterey Fish the best fish market?

Thinking of Leaving SF for Berkeley or Oakland. Crazy?

For several reasons, we ended up staying in San Francisco . But I can't lie: the thought of giving up the routine of going to all my favorite San Francisco provisioners--including new ones, like Fatted Calf in Hayes Valley--played at least a small role in the decision (yes, I know that Fatted Calf is at the Berkeley market on Sundays). That said, you gave such comprehensive and thoughtful answers that I've used your recommendations often when I've been in the East Bay. So, thank you!

Fatted Calf
320 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Knife-Skills Class

Another question: Can anyone recommend a knife-skills class? I know there are many in the Bay Area, but I'd particularly like to find one that teaches how to sharpen knives with a whetstone.

Meat Cleaver in SF Chinatown?

I'd like to buy a good meat cleaver in San Francisco's Chinatown but have no idea where to go. Can anyone recommend a kitchen supply store that might fit the bill?


Thinking of Leaving SF for Berkeley or Oakland. Crazy?

Wow! I'm so grateful for all of your thoughtful and thorough responses. And, yes, bbulkow, we are moving; I'm convinced (except for somewhere that compares to bulk at Rainbow, for which I will make a special monthly trip on a 20% off day). Now it becomes an issue of neighborhood. Dare I ask what Berkeley or Oakland neighborhood you all think has the highest density of the places mentioned within walking distance or a short drive? I suppose I will find out today. Off to look at houses...

Thinking of Leaving SF for Berkeley or Oakland. Crazy?

I'm thinking of moving from SF to Berkeley or Oakland, but wonder if all my favorites here have comparable or better spots over the bridge. (Really, I am ignorant on the topic; I have no intent to anger those who think the Berkeley and Oakland have far superior options!) Some of my favorites: Rainbow (particularly its bulk section, including Rancho Gordo beans), Bi-Rite (great selection of grass-fed meats and pastured poultry, super knowledgeable staff), Claravale milk, Saturday market at the Ferry Building, Tartine bread and sweets, Blue Bottle and Four Barrels, Prather Ranch Meat Co., Ports Seafood. I'm not worried about restaurant selection, just about provisions for day-to-day eating. Please advise!

J. LeBlanc Oils

Thanks. I did see that, but thought it might be inaccurate, as I went to Bi-Rite and asked if they ever carried the brand, and the person I spoke with said they never had. Was hoping someone had actually seen it somewhere.

J. LeBlanc Oils

Is there any place in San Francisco that sells J. LeBlanc oils? I'm particularly interested in their nut oils. Thanks!

Bar Avignon

Has anyone been? Sounds promising.

Fall Trip Planning: Umbria and Le Marche

My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy next fall with a few couples. We will only be there for a week, but will rent a house together and stay quite close to whatever town we choose. So, it's imperative that the town have plenty of excellent restaurants, which is, of course, a subjective term. We're looking for unpretentious restaurants serving simple food traditional to the town, the kind that make it easy to spend hours having dinner without even noticing.

We'd like to go somewhere in Umbria or Le Marche. I was in Umbria in August and really loved the green, gray aspects of the scenery. I was in Gubbio and the area immediately around it and know little else about Umbria except from Michael Tucker's recent book. I haven't been to Le Marche, but have heard that it's not exceedingly touristy and has excellent food. A town that would make it easy to enjoy whatever mushrooms are in season would be fantastic. Proximity to wineries would also be great.

Please advise on some towns--and restaurants--we should consider. Thanks!

Sep 21, 2008
Erin Bennett in Italy

Group Dinner in SF: Cool and Good?

Some friends from New York are visiting us in San Francisco this weekend and would like recommendations for a "cool place for us (12-16 people) to have dinner." I would add my own criterion of excellent food. So far I've come up with Kokkari, A16's back patio, Frascati's upper level, Mamacita, Zuni, and Absinthe. Any thoughts on these ideas or recommendations for other places?

PDX: Cake / compressed / fresh yeast?

Does anyone know where to buy cake / compressed / fresh yeast in Portland? Thanks!

Milk CSA or buyers club in SF?

Here's a link that has Mr. Moo's phone number, though I don't know if it's current:

Where to find Caputo flour?

Thanks! I went to Lucca, and they do have it.

Where to find Caputo flour?

I'm looking for type 00 Caputo flour for pizza dough. Has anyone seen it in San Francisco? I was thinking of looking for it at local Italian markets, but thought I would check to see if anyone knows off hand. Thanks!

Best Butcher in San Francisco?

I’m interested to hear what butcher people prefer, especially for organic beef. What about for stocks (chicken, beef, etc.)?

Excellent Pina Coladas on Maui?

I'm looking for an excellent pina colada on Maui. Made from scratch would be great! Good atmosphere / view is optional. We're in the Lahaina area, but I would go anywhere on the island.

Also, does anyone know where I could find cold coconut?

North Beach with Kids

Can anyone recommend a North Beach restaurant that would be novel for kids but also has good food and is not too touristy? Thanks.

Breakfast/Brunch near Westlake, Ohio?

My husband and I will be in Westlake, Ohio this weekend for a wedding. Any recommendations for chowish breakfast/brunch places near Westlake? We would also welcome any recommendations for good coffee in the area.

Aug 11, 2006
Erin Bennett in Great Lakes

In-Laws Want to Eat Californian in SF

They're flying in tomorrow and would like to eat Californian for dinner, but nowhere too formal. Any ideas? The northern part of SF would be preferable.

Best Eggs Benedict?

My husband and I are Benedict junkies. The dreamiest traditional kind is at Chouquet's on Fillmore and Washington. Gently toasted brioche, delicate ham, and a fluffly but rich hollandaise. My favorite alternative is at Mamacita on Chestnut. They use cornbread and chipotle hollandaise. I think they've reopened for brunch.