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Paid Food Testing Event - Downtown Oakland

Does your product include olestra?

Aug 11, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

World Cup 2014 Viewing and Eats

BTW, any WORLD CUP recs for Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos ? Are those bars on Castro nice spots? Any good ethnic options?

Hmm, it looks like the TUE/WED semis will be my last chance to analyze WORLD CUP@ADESSO.

Jul 03, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

World Cup 2014 Viewing and Eats

Oh I was at a meeting at a downtown hotel so went to PRESSCLUB to analyze the USA-BEL game (wanted a place with food, not just drinks).

GOOD: was not crowded, was a neat space, the sound was good. TVs were decent. the DEVILED EGG ($7) were good. I think they have one of those "all day happy hours" ... like $3 off beer until some time in the afternoon. I think most beer people would like their selection but it was less interesting to me [I didnt want to drop $15 on a beer, and a few too many American and lighter beers for me] ... I didnt realize they didnt have cocktails ... until the bar person apologized about not being able to do a bloody mary.

BAD: The CRAWFISH CHOWDER was about a B- ... for $12 (no happy hour deal on food) ... although the FRITTERS [?] which came along with the soup were good. But really what annoyed me is the best viewing table was reserved for OLEG AND FRIENDS ... and OLEG didnt show up until +23min and his friends didnt show up until +80 ... seriously (they looked like tourists who had been shopping and touring?) ... it did seem like one of the hostesses was a bit abashed to be turning away people who wanted to sit there [this was the long table at the bottom of the stairs ... it could have held 8 people easily, and in a crowded environment, probably 15. It was occupied by ... one ... OLEG ... for most of the game ... Maybe he was a friend-of-the-house].

It was sort of a strange crowd (Obviously it was basically a pro-USA crowd ... I personally didnt really care who won. But I enjoyed watching the US, which is generally not the case, e.g. the game against POR was overrated. I mostly want NED not to win ... I dont like the current crop of whiny, thuggish NED (senior) players.

Jul 03, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Who are the best food/restaurant bloggers in SF, and where do they eat?

Is MBAUER principally incompetent or sleazy, both or neither?

Jun 20, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Farmers market line ettiquite

Signs may help more with some problems than others, but they dont mechanically solve the problem ... they arent cognitive failures and a "nudge" isnt quite enough.

CHEESEBOARD also has a sign saying "please return the condiment units" (grated cheese/chilli flakes, special green sauce) to the central area, and people certainly do not do this.

If they added a sign, at most it would give "crowdsourced enforcers" the higher ground, as they could point to it, rather than get into an argument about what the norm is.

I see these kinds of things from places like CHEESEBOARD and TARTINE as an example of the failure of communism in action, as most of the patrons are likely to be communist sympathizers.

Jun 18, 2014
psb in Not About Food

Another best burgers SFBA list to create ripples

Wes Burger = good, but not $13 good.

Jun 18, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Farmers market line ettiquite

I think often with these kinds of questions it's not really a matter of right or wrong, but knowing how to deal with it in the moment (although in this case I suppose there was a bit to talk about ... but people here have asked question not far from "the waiter spat on me ... should i have complained?").

Yeah, it's hard to know what to do at that point since manhandling her bags would be an escalation ... and with that option, or just jumping in front, details like your age/gender/size might factor in ... and verbally insulting/mocking her is best done if you have a certain kind of wit and can read the immediate crowd. What I might have done is to take out my smart phone and taken a picture of her [actually at a farmer's market, i would probably have had a real camera, so that would have been an option too] ... I probably would have added some commentary about what kind of captioning I was going to add to the picture on uploading.

BTW, I agree with the analysis that if you return before the line moves, that a "de minimus" and life goes on as before. But if you are gone while the line advances, your bag at most stays fixed ... I suppose it is nice not to have it "slide" back to the beginning ... that is sort of self-regulating in terms of matching the cost to your actions and ambient conditions.

--------------------

For people in the SF Bay Area: The conflict I most often get into with people is at CHEESEBOARD when they "dispatch" a member of the party to hold a table when they are still 10 people from the front of the line. On occasion I've just sat down with "the tables are for people who have picked up their food already" ... and I can usually go toe to toe with people who make unpleasant comments ... It's usually along the lines of "so do you think you are the most clever person in the line to have thought to grab a table early ... or are you just more rude?" The only time it was a little awkward was when one party had an 80 year old, but we ended up splitting the table [it was the kind of situation where if it was all your group, you would have accomodated that number of people at your table, but usually a stranger wouldnt have crowded in at that point]. Although the 80 yr old was standing in line, so it wasnt a totally preposterous situation.

Jun 18, 2014
psb in Not About Food
1

Seeking kaymak

Oh, the KAYMAK and MULBERRY DRINK at CIYA RESTAURANT drink were two of my favorite items on my Turkey visit ... so I'd be interested as well, if you track down either.

I have a vague recollection I had some kaymak on a dessert plate somewhere outside Turkey, but I'm not able to recall where.

Jun 18, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Cheese pizzas?

Fro east bay (berkeley/oakland) PIZZA MODA might be worth your while. I didnt have a pure cheese pizza, but their mushroom pizza is not over the top toppings-wise and I thought it was quite good. I hated their salmon pizza however ... which was over the top. Ok tnx.

Jun 13, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

World Cup 2014 Viewing and Eats

Oh yeah, I saw that on your link ... unfortunately the CH software prevented me from replying.

Might go see URU-ENG there.

Ok maybe BARCLAY is SYSCO+ ... but in re: the link which says "they have 3-4 big screen TVs" ... well maybe 2 x 42" and one small one behind the bar. Nothing really big. I'd rather have watched the game at LAVALS or the FACULTY CLUB.

Boy that match was like watching BARCA on a bad day ... with IKER off kilter on top of that.

Jun 13, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

World Cup 2014 Viewing and Eats

I am at BARCLAY right now for ESP-NED. It is a shit venue for watching the game (the crowd is not into the game, so unless you are in the corner of serious fans, it's almost just on in the background). I've watched a lot of Euro futbol at COMMONWEALTH and the crowd is knowledgeable and more or less reasonable (except for some annoying ARS fans :-)), but the TVs are too high and I personally dont like the food that much (price-perf), although better than SYSCO-based places ... nice staff.

I was intrigued about ADESSO, but could not verify they open before 5pm. Are they indeed opening for morning/noonish games.

The BARCLAY food sounded reasonably high concepr but just seemed SYSCOish.

Jun 13, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Craftsman and Wolves, Happy Moose Juice, Xanath, Zen Yai, Smitten, Tosca, State Bird (San Francisco: Day Four)

>how much I'm enjoying your posts!
>
Me too, great posts and good perspective.

I havent been to C&W in a while but I like(d) it. Although perhaps my fav items were the sweets not savories. Did you try any of the elegant looking desserts?

Jun 06, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurant to recommend for a very special wine (Cheval Blanc 1950)

This thread/situation/drama is extremely fascinating to me.

It's like getting genetic counseling ... better to know or not to know?

Or to turn to Financial Engineering ...
>I hate to be the bearer of bad ...

vs.

>I am skeptical of blanket prouncements
>about how a wine will age.
>
Maybe POLISAX can sell M. LORRAINE the wine equivalent of a (Naked) Credit Default Swap on Pechartier's bottle.

Anyway, M. LORRAINE is one of my fav posters here (for sheer expertise, levelheadedness, and gentility), but good luck to you M. Pechartier.

Jun 03, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurant to recommend for a very special wine (Cheval Blanc 1950)

Wow.

This is like Sideways 2.

And Burger Joint it is.

Jun 03, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Linzer torte in the Bay Area?

Doesnt 20TH CENTURY CAFE still have both kinds of torte, LINZER and SACHER?

May 23, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Pizza Moda - Berkeley

Mushroom pizza: quite good
Salmon pizza: awful
Desserts: a weak point
Crostini: not bad

But the mushroom pizza will bring me back.

I thought service was generally pretty friendly.

May 22, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Tashi Delek: Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian & Bhutanese in El Cerrito

>Enjoying the Indian food in West Bengal
>(e.g. Kolkata thanks to psb ... chili chutney
>yesterday at Dynasty Hotel in Guwahati was
>astounding. Regards from Shillong.
>
Oh you didnt ask for recs for Guwahati/Shillong ... however I only lived there for some months between ages .1 and about 1.8, so my dining out was limited.

Did you have any of the Super (Bhoot) Chillis? They are from that part of IND.

My parent designed/built a good part of the airport there, should you have flown in.

>Interesting topic I will
>return to when we get back,
>is why American Indian food is so
>comparatively unsophisticated.
>
BTW, I have actually found a very good source for Bengali food in the South Bay. However it is by contract not a resto. We had a very, very good ROHU KALIA on Monday ... OMG. (and DAL and SHUKTO, and KOCHU BATA, and MALAI CHINGRI and and DEEM and NUTUN GURER SHONDESH, and MOCHA (banana plant blossom, although i dont really like mocha/thar), and BEET CHOP ... maybe forgetting 2-3 things).

http://kolkatakuisine.blogspot.com/20...

ok tnx.

May 15, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

20th Century Cafe, SF - Get the Russian Honey Cake & Chocolate Chip Cookie - So Good! with PICS

> Someone commented to me that this looks like
> Jerry Garcia. ;)
>
what are those green leaves? :-)

May 07, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Saravana Bhavan in Sunnyvale

Wow, that is an incredible story. Good find.

May 07, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

South Bay Cafes?

"Et alii" indeed ... "Eatzalot's Commentaries on the Cafes on Castro" ...

Thanks for the spectacular answer. This is very useful to me. It's sort of amazing these places are open till 10/11 ... which is hard to find in SF.

>people acquainted with Marcus Gavius Apicius,
>Fernand Point, Molokhovets, et alii in DSRC
>
touche. (I had to google Molokhovets).

May 02, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

South Bay Cafes?

Hi, thanks for those recommendations. I'll check out Red Rock. I probably should not have listed power at all as a concern. Which leaves the annoying parking ... but I live in SF, so I'll deal :-)

Hmm, the Peet's Partner is an poignant coincidence, for reasons I wont go into.

May 02, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

South Bay Cafes?

Hi, can anybody recommend a cafe in the South Bay.

Desired Parameters:
--I mean a non-Starbucks where I can work on my laptop or read papers for 2 hours. I have my own wireless, but it would be helpful if they had free Wifi and power.

--Los Altos/Mountain View/Cupertino/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara (trying to avoid Palo Alto/Stanford ... I know about places like Keplers and Coupa Cafe)

--I really dont care that much about the quality of the coffee ... so I'm not expecting Blue Bottle. I mostly drink Iced Coffee anyway. Decent pastries would be nice, but that's like a 3rd order consideration.

--I suppose parking is not really an issue in South Bay.

Tnx.

May 02, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Jibarito?

Whoa, file that under mini-road trip ...

http://www.solfoodrestaurant.com/sol_...

Good find!

Apr 24, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Xiao Long Bao in the Bay area?

>Panisse has always been outside of the City
>
yes, i am aware of that ... Chez Panisse and I arrived in Berkeley at about the same time. I am sitting in 94720 right now.

My point is what one usually associate with "the burbs" ... let's say Walnut Creek ... doesnt really apply to Shattuck Avenue. A residential street in on Twin Peaks is more "burbish". Or consider Sloat past Stern Grove ... that's basically a suburban street for a few blocks, strip malls included.

Now if you just mean "burbs" in the spatial sense rather than cultural, ok whatever. It's one thing to say "i prefer to spend my time in happening parts of the city ... FiDi, Tenderloin, Mission, Marina, Haight etc" but it would be odd to say "Sure, let's go out to Lake Merced/West Portal, but no, I dont want to go to downtown Berkeley".

Apr 24, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Jibarito?

This is probably a long shot, but any places in the SFBA doing a JIBARITO SANDWICH? Or are those only avail in Chicago?

Apr 24, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Xiao Long Bao in the Bay area?

>Chez Panisse started 43 years ago in burbs.
>
by that standard, most of SF are the 'burbs.
certainly anything say west of Park Presidio/19th Av, or south of say Cortland?

Apr 24, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Last minute advice for a Boston Chowhound visiting for 4 days

Oh, I forgot to add LIGURIA BAKERY FOCACCIA (short hours, go early ... you're ostensibly young enough not to worry about carbs). Another moderately priced sitdown option not to far from your base is OSTERIA DEL FORNO (have not been in a while).There is also that ARGENTINE TRUCK near Fisherman's wharf ... I dont remember how much that cost. Cheap enough to experiment.

Speaking of Bao, I still havent been to BAONECCI, but might be an option.

BTW, I thought the KUMQUAT FLAN at COMAL was fantastic. In fact I was quite impressed with COMAL overall. Or was it LOQUAT. It as the most PANNA COTTA-like flan I have had.

There are some crazy cheap items on the D&A CAFE HAPPY HOUR MENU, but I only go to the one on CLEMENT ... isnt there one in Chinatown? I once texted a friend "I think I made a mistake ... I bought $11 of food from D&A" and she responded with "You are going to die."

Apr 22, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Last minute advice for a Boston Chowhound visiting for 4 days

Here are some "currente calamo" thoughts while waiting for traffic to die down ...

The cheapest food-centric options are clearly "one item meals" ... sando, pizza, burrito, burger, shawerma; prepared foods ... delis, ethnic markets, tactical options from fancier places.

With more people, there are some fantastic bargains ethnic food-wise, but this his a harder problem with two people.

I think some good options are in the ULTRA CHEAP (<$10) category are SAIGON SANDO, MISSION BURRITO/TACO, INO BURGER, 24th STREET PIZZA SHOP, CHEESEBOARD.

(I do not include places like ROTTEN CITY or SOUTH BAY stuff, or other stuff in weird locations in the city, like MARIPOSA CAFE, DARK HORSE, BROKEN RECORD, CHINESE PANCAKE ... all of which would be a waste of vacation travel time ... I "heartily" endorse going to Ymte over just eating ... Ymte is a world class thing, while a MISSION BOWL BURGER is just a good burger).

So any money you save by eating at those places, buys you some extra money for more splurgy stuff.

There are a lot of good sandwich offerings in the $10 range ... PAL SANDO, WISE SON, GREGOIRE ... you can probably do some more research here. [I am no longer recommending LOCAL BUTCHER and KITCHENETTE is still closed?]

For prepared foods, you can try the very cheap to-go deem sum places ... some are better than others, but there are a few near your base in Chinatown. There are some decent options at some Italian delis ... but maybe those are covered adequately back home. In Berkeley a place like LA BEDAINE is a bit of a splurge, but if you buy just a couple of desserts, you can easily split those and try several things for <$15.

I know Boston people are heavily involved with ICE CREAM. You might try some of the boutique ice cream places. Also cheapish for two. There are two options here ... exotic modern flavors, e.g. SECRET BREAKFAST, and EXOTIC FRUIT options [MITCHELLS].

If you go up to Napa or Yosemite, I would stop in Berkeley and do CHEESEBOARD, a crown jewel of the East Bay. Get the $2.75/slice pizza and go to the cheese store and get some cheeses for your trip ... a major asset at the store is you can buy fancy cheeses in small quantities ... you could probably get 4-5 cheeses in $3-$5 size portions [and taste those that you buy plus 2-3 more]. Obviously you can pick up some bread-type items ... ARIZMENDI in the mission is a reasonable alternative to the Pizza/Bakery but no Cheese sales. You can hit LA BEDAINE on your way to the freeway. If you like beer you can go to LEDGER on the way inbound. The have some good belgians for ~$10/large bottle ... although extended refrigeration may be an issue given your parameters. CRIXA also good but different direction in Berkeley.

More good deal on prepared foods: TARTINE BAKERY ... maybe 1-2 items from CRAFTSMAN/WOLVES.

If you are near GGPARK, YUMMY-YUMMY is a good deal. #29/#30 are around $10.

TONY PIZZA SLICE not too far from Chinatown is quite good. I havent been to NAKED LUNCH but that may be interesting. If you want to go somewhere that's a bit of a splurge but not over the top, maybe BARBACO.

BULKOWS recommendations are ... humorous (isnt OUTERLANDS still closed? Or did they re-open earlier than expected?)

p.s. re: Yosemite ... there are decent side-of-the-road burger places in GROVELAND, if you want to spend more time than fast food/INO in TRACY. It looks like TIOGA PASS RD is closed [?] so it looks like TOULUMNE MEADOWS not an option. GLACIER PT I believe is open, so that's worth a drive/hike for the classic view of HALF DOME (per A. ADAMS). There is an Afghan spot in Tracy I believe, if you are really really interested in this option.

p.p.s. Dont leave food/food packaging in your car in Yosemite ...

Apr 22, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area
1

LAKSHMI BAZAAR (West San Jose) prepared indian foods

>I've found that freshness counts for more than
>just about anything else with jelebis.
>
oh very much so, the "extreme form" of which is to send someone out of the house to the neighborhood guy making these in the morning and basically get the right out of the oil into your paper bag, essentially. i.e. like getting hot donuts.

a key detail about the veg items here are they are not mushy [well excepting the bharta, of course]. the GOBI was "al dente". sometimes a problem at places that cook in large batches. the bits of paneer in the that curry were a little blah and the chicken had a weird chalky/dry taste ... maybe just cheap chicken? it's strange how it could taste dry like that after swimming in the "butter sauce".

> Aventinus Eisbock
>
yes, that was quite a wow ... forgot how complex this beer was. why dont people fall in love with unique and singluar tastes like this -- or say AYINGER CELEBRATOR -- instead of yet another IPA.
(I met BOYK at the TRIPLE ROCK FIRKIN FESTIVAL but not much on the menu of ~25items looked that interesting to me)

Apr 20, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

LAKSHMI BAZAAR (West San Jose) prepared indian foods

Hey, has anybody been to this Indian Grocery in a small strip mall on MOORPARK just off LAWRENCE EXPY?

They have a number of North Indian dishes in the fridge in entree sized portions [about 1.25lbs] for $6.99veg/$7.99non veg.

The GOAT CURRY was really, really good and a very good deal for the amount of meat you get ... much more than any of the similarly priced "dive class" restaurants [Pakwan/Shalimar/Nan+Curry), and the "gravy" is quite good ... I've had more refined cooking at at say $13/entree places but unless I was looking for the white table cloth resto dining experience, this is a better option for me.

The BUTTER CHICKEN wasnt that good ... edible, but it gets old about half way through ... while when it came to get goat curry, I got up in the middle of the night, took it out of the fridge, reached into the container and ate some more standing there in the dark. I will be in the area on Monday and will probably buy 3 containers.

The BEGUN BHARTA was also quite good. Waaaaaay better than say LAHORE KARAHI. The ALOO-GOBI was decent ... let's call it third place among the stuff I tried, taste-wise. My Mom (Indian) liked it more than I did. But perhaps the least unhealthy item I bought (the cooking is a little oilier than home cooking, but not as oily as many of the desi restos). I talked her out of getting one of the OKRA/BHINDI items, but we probably should have tried one (often i've gotten over aged okra ... what is the term in english for an over aged vegetable ... not one that is slimy/rotten but kinda dried out? dessicated seems too fancy).

Per the three YELP reviews, the service is a bit surly, but who cares. It's just the cashier. Somewhat amusingly, it gets 2 starts on the Yelp.

The JILIPIS/JELABIS are better than what I've had from a number of restos. Although perhaps some of the sweet specialists are better.
The LADOOS are decent, but those are not a personal favorite.

The samosa were pretty good. I think a friend of the family brought over some previous that batch was better than the three I bought on this visit. Chutneys were ok.

They seem to offer prepared-on-demand chaat, but I didnt see a preparer, so I didnt bother with this.

I was rather surprised at the quantity of the veg/non-veg entrees they had on a Monday afternoon ... I wonder if a lot of Indian Professionals in the area just stop by after work for pickup food, rather than cooking.

But you must try the $7.99 GOAT (9/10 price performace), and EGGPLANT (8/10 price-perf).

I also recommend AVENTINUS EISBOCK beer.

Apr 19, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area
1