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In town Dec 26-28. Where to go?

We were underwhelmed by dinner at Da Flora - we ate slowly and our mains came out over cooked. Good things seem to be said these days about Rose Pistola (check the listings) and people are very happy with Perbacco.

For red sauce style Italian (great pizza) try Tommmasos.

Tommasos is no reservations, make sure you call to book a table for any of the other restaurants (including Da Flora).

Dec 23, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

So, did Bi-Rite Creamery open on Dec 1st as promised?

We paid $2.95 for a scoop (about a small scoop and a half) along with an additional 75 cents for a SMALL drizzel of hot fudge topping.

Way too much money for what we got. The chocolate is just chocolate ice cream, the salted carmel is good stuff.

Dec 19, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Lobster for the Frugal Chowhound in SF? (The Impossible Dream?)

And I would expect it's a even better deal if you pick them up at warehouse by SFO.

Dec 18, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Source for duck and goose liver in San Francisco area

If you're looking for Foie Gras it would seem that Sonoma Foie Gras would be the spot but the web page gives no contact information:

Polarica has always listed both liver and foie gras for sale. No idea if they stock it or what quality or freshness they offer.

Liberty Duck in Sonoma County would be another source to check with:

Checking with the companies should get you answers about what's available and where.

Dec 14, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Any recent experiences at Garcon?

We ate at La Provence and thought the food was sad, the service uncaring, and the place cold and dead. We were there on a weeknight and the place was empty. We'll not go back to La Provence while Garcon will get another visit.

So much depends on what you expect and the energy in the restaurant the particular night you're there.

Dec 06, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Any recent experiences at Garcon?

We were there about 3 weeks ago for the first time. Lots of fun, lots of energy, staff is very French, except for the hostess who had a sour look on her face for the entire time we were there.

Food was good, not great. Salads were very good but over dressed. I had the frisee with lardons and the portion was big but too much mustard dressing. My wife had the beet salad and again too much dressing. Next time we eat there we'll ask them to go lightly.

My wife had the mussels as a main. Good enough but she thought it was a one flavor dish - got boring after a while.

I ate the Petit Sale and oh boy was it good. I love this kind of bistro dish. It's served in a cast iron skillet. The bottom of the skillet is a layer of lentils with the meats sitting on top. The prok butt was good, the sausage ok, and the foie gras was a very nice added dimension. the skillet was clean when they took it away from me.

Skip desert. We each had something an our impression was that they bought the deserts elsewhere - and weren't very special.

The wine list seemed on the expensive side, I ordered a 2001 Morgon for $48, it was a very good wine but that's costly.

Salads seemed big enough to split between two people - do that and skip desert and the price would be pretty resonable.

Dec 05, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Lobster for the Frugal Chowhound in SF? (The Impossible Dream?)

No need to fly lobsters (and pay the cost of shipping), just go to the New England Lobster Company and buy them live. We've always had very very good lobster from them. They're just north of SFO, CASH ONLY, call to check hours that they're open.

170 Mitchell Ave.
South San Francisco,CA
Phone: (650) 873-9000

Dec 05, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

SF & EB Bakery Suggestions?

A couple more to consider:

Noe Valley Bakery on 24th in San Francisco. The web site makes it look like a cake decorating operation but they're a full line bakery.

If you go you'll be close to the 24th Street Cheese shop - don't miss it.

Also the Chestnut Bakery in the Marina (next door to A16). I've been by in the morning and the bakers are pretty well finished - I'd call to find out what time of the day things are getting baked.

Dec 03, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

SF & EB Bakery Suggestions?

Take a look at the San Francisco Baking Institute:

They are a teaching facility but have been very helpful any time I've contacted them. Would be worth ask your question to see what doors they could open for you.

Also in a thread about mini hamburger buns someone mentioned Pan-o-Rama Bakery. It's the wholesale bread operation run by Real Restaurants. Click on Pan-o-Rama on the web page - again, might be worth a call to see if they'd let you visit.

Dec 02, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Bad Experience at SF House of Bagels

I bought a mixed dozen bagels (plain and egg) there about two weeks ago. They were tough (WAY beyond chewy) and had been baked too long (dry).

So bad that I started baking my own water bagels and it's easy and the results have been great.

Nov 08, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Had "A Gourmet Experience" lately?

K&L wine shop
The Wine House
24th street cheese shop in Noe Valley
the markets on Stockton Street in Chinatown

Oct 24, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Patio-dog friendly in SF?

Consider Tangerine at 16th and Sanchez - outdoor tables
Or Cote Sud on 18th just above Castro (they have an inclosed patio)and I'd call to make sure a dog would be ok.
Or Foreign Cinema (outdoor patio)on Misson for upscale.
Or Dolores Cafe for down scale -outdoor tables.
Or Delfina Pizza - outdoor tables.
Or Chow on Church at Market which has a patio in the rear.
Or Cafe Flore which has a patio but I'm not a big fan of the kitchen.
Or Blue Plate which has outdoor tables in the rear.

Oh, too many choices, I'm getting hungry.

Oct 24, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Memphis Minnie's - Disappointment

I have to agree with Mogravey. We went once, ate pork ribs. Found them to be short on flavor, long on fat. The sides - dry corn bread, one flavor greens, grocery store quality coleslaw.

Oct 21, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

utopia cafe for lunch, finally

Went there for lunch today on the above notes. YUK!

Salt and pepper fried squid was a squid steak cut up into pieces - nicely fried but without seasoning or flavor.

Orange chicken had NO chicken - it was fried bits of batter. We complained and they didn't charge us for the dish - the only thing right about this place.

Sep 03, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

uncured fatback source?

Just came back from Wah Liam Market, on Irving between 20th and 21st in the Sunset District. The butcher said they have fatback - fresh not frozen.

The store is a fruit and vegie market in front, also has a fish counter that we didn't look at.

Aug 08, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

uncured fatback source?

I just got back from Lucky Pork and they said they have it frozen. Is that of any use for pates?

Aug 04, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Santa Rosa fruit stands?

We'll be driving from San Francisco to Santa Rosa to Calistoga and back to the City tomorrow (Thursday).

Any fruit stands (or stores)we should stop at?


Al Sharff

Jul 20, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Redwood City Monday lunch?

Any suggestions for Monday lunch in or around Redwood City?

We’d like to find something more interesting than “chain restaurant” type food - we’ve had a lot of mediocre Italian food in that area.

Upscale or downscale we’d be interested in hearing about it. No Indian food but everything else is of interest.


Jul 15, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area

Incanto - recent reports?

Yum! We ate there about a week ago.

I started with the tripe salad, my wife had a small serving of spaghetti with sardines, currants, and pine nuts.

Mains were roasted lamb neck and the fish stew.

The tripe salad was very interesting- the tripe offered no flavor and a good texture (very very thinly sliced). The flavors came from the "sauce" elements of lemon and other things that I don't remember.

The pasta was surprising as we couldn't think how the flavor elements would come together but they did perfectly. The pasta was a true "al dente" which wouldn't have pleased me. If I order pasta I'll ask them to cook it more than their norm.

The fish stew didn't sparkle. It was a Monday night and the fish had been around too long. Nuff said.

The roasted lamb neck was heaven. A huge portion, wonderfully cooked, fun eatin!.

The waiter was a little uninformed. When I asked about the preperation of the tripe salad he didn't have much information to offer other than the preperation of the tripe (cooked, frozen, then thin sliced). His ability to explain the red wines by the glass made think he never drank wine.

All in all a great experience. I'd suggest you eat meat and not fish. If you're worried about cost you could have a salad and a large portion of pasta. If you don't know Italian wines I'd suggest you make them explain the list - the wines are not cheap.

It's a small space but we didn't notice a noise factor. When you book your table ask them to put you in a quiet place if you prefer - I think Madam runs the front of house.


Jul 06, 2006
sharff in San Francisco Bay Area