psb's Profile

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Pinhole Coffee (Bernal Heights, San Francisco)

Well two considerations:
--i like their "shaken" iced coffee, which is hardly the order for purists
--i like blue bottle and used to find it remarkable anybody would prefer say four barrel [i've updated my "priors" since]

the woman who runs it, her "pedigree" is NYC Blue Bottle I believe. I think much of their business is grab and go ... not a lot of seating/lingering. At least some of her pastries are from one of the bakeries on Cortland ... LITTLE BEE?

Friendly. The owner clearly recognizes many regulars and their kids etc.

I think some aspect are still a work-in-progress (i mean that at face value, not as an oblique criticism ... as in things are changing, not things need to be fixed).

Dec 08, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Cafe St Jorge [San Francisco]

>had some quite awful dessert-type items here.
>
I meant to write "pastry-type items"

>That all being said, I'll probably be there
>
That being said indeed. The $7 toast with hazelnut butter and baked pear is awful. The pear is just a warm sliced pear ... nothing "interesting" from the baking. But more relevantly, there is something rancid about the whole thing ... I dunno if from the hazelnut or nutmeg? (And I dont have the nose of a bloodhound ... so if I think it is rancid and others dont, it's more the explanation will probably use the words "cognitive dissonance" or "emperor has no clothes" rather than "supertaster".

ugh.

the pesto sando they used to have was ok. the bimby?

Dec 08, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Cafe St Jorge [San Francisco]

>I was not happy with the pasteis de nata
>I had at Cafe St. Jorge.
>
I usually dont slam small businesses for "merely bad food" but wont hold back if they are insulting, sleazy etc. But since CSJ is out of it's infancy, I will say I've had some quite awful dessert-type items here.

Perhaps things have changed as their staff has grown, but for some time I took the "home made" label here as a warning rather than an endorsement, preferring pastries made elsewhere (and not all of those).

I think they are friendly, they have decent hours now, reasonable parking situation, the internet is good quality, the benches are somewhat uncomfortable but ok, and I dont think I'm violating "institutional norms" if I work on my laptop there for and hour or two. Coffee is middle of the pack ... if you are coffee-focused, no brainer to go to PINHOLE CAFE a couple of blocks up CORTLAND.

I wish they had a wider selection more substantial foods as well, but I can certainly understand they might not have wanted to get into handling more meats etc.

That all being said, I'll probably be there for two hrs today ... I actually just opened up the browser to consider alternative venues for a latte and laptop lunch.

Dec 08, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Chennai Kings now open in Mountain View

>Full of cricket decoration, artwork, and TV broadcasts.
>
Do you know if they are going to stay open later than normal to show the full day of play during for the AUS-IND TEST SERIES?

I see the close at ~10ish, but the matches should go past that.

Dec 03, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Truffle Dinners 2014

Because the waiter said so.

Nov 30, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Truffle Dinners 2014

It certainly appeared to me to be a "torchon of air with free duck foie". maybe $18 (i brought a bottle but wasnt paying for dinner).

Nov 29, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Truffle Dinners 2014

>Oliveto last year, and the white truffle aroma
>and flavor was much less potent than Delfina's tonight.
>
I "ended up" at OLIVETO on I believe the last day of their truffle festival and really didnt think they were "all that" but I dont have enough experience with truffles to put them on the spectrum.
("The emperor has no clothes" kept going through my head).

I was sort of irritated at what felt like a bit of upselling to me, but in fairness maybe most of the people there were there for the truffles and what I construed as "pushy" was just "information".

I write "ended up" because we were there for a friends bday with the dinner date selected long ago and we were unware we were walking into truffle week. Again, I have limited experience in this realm but my main bone of contention was their recommendation to put truffles on stuff which seemed much to strong flavored to want or need truffles ... I mildly said "is that a good fit?" and the waiter said "yes it's great!" but I think I was right that it was a waste of truffle in some cases.

Oh, I also thought they were extremely skimpy on the bone marrow on the >$70 ribeye ... although possibly some of it had melted. I thought they ribeye was good but not fantastic ... it was too moist. The steak we had a BOX BELL was better.

So are they [OLIVETTO] semi-flagrantly ignoring the FOIE GRAS ban?

That was the second place that week a staff person at a resto rolled his eyes about the FOIE LAW, said "it's not so bad" [about the ducks] and said they were trafficing in FG.

ok tnx.

Nov 29, 2014
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

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