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establishments that barter for meyer lemons

In the spring of 2000 I sold 68 pounds of Bearss limes to Berkeley bowl for $25.
A few years ago we had a surplus of over a hundred pounds (after giving away a bunch and making endless jars of marmalade). But the Bowl would no longer take them, nor would Whole Foods. I think it might be something about legality/insurance. We went to the Shattuck Farmer's market and gave them away to Food Not bombs, after bartering a few to the Mexican food stand in exchange for supper. Sadly our tree is declining, whether due to drought or old age: I planted it in 1971 and they do have a limited life span. You know you're getting old when you outlive a tree.

Berkeley farmer's markets are open to Berkeley residents to sell backyard produce -- I think there's a small fee. But since other vendors charge $4/ pound for Bearss limes, we might get some flak if we sold them cheap.

Dec 17, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Imm Thai, Berkeley

Delicious "Su Kho Thai" ($8) as listed on the menu. Spicy enough for me, but a bit on the sweet side, just a little sour; there were no condiments that I could see for do-it-yourself seasoning and it could be a bit more sour for me (lemon or vinegar). On the other hand it was extremely flavorful and chock full of porky goodness. Highly recommended; however the bench seating against the wall is very uncomfortable. Bring a cushion and a backrest.
When I searched for "Imm Thai" on line the first hit was for a very expensive place in Washington DC.

Dec 08, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Recommendations for best NYE dinner in Oakland Chinatown

I am tentatively planning NY Eve dinner at Mandarin Garden on Shattuck Av in downtown Berkeley. We did this last year and it was great, and we had Thanksgiving there as well (13 at table).

Dec 04, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations for best NYE dinner in Oakland Chinatown

If you have a large group, New Gold Medal has an upstairs which is semi-private and very nice.

Last time we were at Chef Lau we got them to close the door (and we are of the Caucasian persuasion). I am tall, so I closed the window above our table -- I didn't ask permission.

I think the Chef Lau "on the wall" items are also on the menu -- except for the frog dishes, also the fresh seafood -- it's fun to look in the tanks and pick out your unlucky dinner creature. Also pea leaves which are always good. And some of the "wall" items are on the "set menu" handouts. Sturgeon "two ways" is good -- they deep fry the cartilaginous "bones". Other good items are steamed oysters (on the shell, in black bean sauce), also crab with ginger/scallion.

Dec 03, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Crab season is upon us

We arrived for dinner at 5 PM and it was almost full when we left -- in the past we have also found it quite busy at dinnertime. I am not familiar enough with crab to assess its weight but it was quite lively when they removed it from the tank.

Nov 25, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Crab season is upon us

Wonderful whole crab (ginger and green onion) at Chef Lau in Oakland Chinatown (8th and Harrison) tonight. It fed four of us. Meat was sweet and clean. Carapace full of succulent crab goo.
$21.99.
Corkage fee zero.

Nov 22, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Pho Ga : SFBA Dish of the Month November 2014

I wish people would give an address in their review.
On the other hand, Google is quick:

Wing Wah Pho Ga
1212 E 12th St
Oakland, CA 94606
b/t 13th Ave & 14th St in East Oakland

Phone number (510) 533-6690

Nov 05, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Partridge in the East Bay or SF?

Last year, around Thanksgiving time, B Bowl had them frozen.

Oct 27, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Cotton Candy Grapes

They were at B Bowl, starting last year.
They had them this year too but I did not see them the last time I was there.
I bought them last year -- they really do taste like cotton candy. The first grape is great, the second one is OK, after that I found them strange and cloying.
They are not so sweet as some of the other grape varieties.
I did not buy them again.

Oct 20, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

North Beach/Telegraph Hill/Chinatown [San Francisco]

Oct 16, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Affordable, vegan friendly restaurants in SF or East Bay area?

Golden Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
1301 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94612
b/t 13th St & 14th St in Oakland Chinatown

Oct 15, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Black Cod - Where to Get It???

Black cod filet is normally $20 per pound nowadays. It goes to China now.
Berkeley Bowl and Whole Foods have it all the time. From time to time Whole foods gets (frozen) "whole" black cod -- it is not really whole, it is headless. We tried it once and it had too many bones to make it worthwhile.

Oct 05, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

O'Mai Cafe on Clement: Kobe beef banh mi, Vietnamese iced coffe in Mason jars -- and anatomically correct Bun bo Hue [San Francisco]

from SF Menupages:
Spicy Kobe Beef Banh Mi prepared on french baguette with pickled carrots, cucumbers, onion and cilantro $7.95

Sep 27, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch near Golden Gate Park / Cal Academy of Sciences

I highly recommend the deYoung cafe but it is not open Mondays. The cafe in the Academy of Sciences is very good.
http://www.calacademy.org/visit/shopp...

Sep 19, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO Envy Apples

At Berkeley Bowl (non-organic) $2.09/lb

Sep 08, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Mandarin Garden in Berkeley still good?

I'm the last poster on all these threads!

We hadn't been back to MG but it's a matter of being very busy. By coincidence we were there for Thursday dinner last week, just the two of us, for an early dinner.
We got a warm welcome from Nadia, the young co-owner/hostess, who recognized us.
We had the Szechwan Fish Filet with Bean Chili Sauce ($13.95), a huge portion. We took the leftovers home and had the sauce over plain tofu the next night. Also the pea leaves (~$11) and brown rice. All delicious. Nadia insisted on comping us with the Mandarin Glazed Banana ($5.95) which was perfectly prepared -- crunchy sweet glaze.

They were doing a good business, mostly young people. Also a number of families, clearly "moving-in" students at UC with their parents. All customers were Chinese except us.

Aug 30, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Sichuan Peppercorns & Chili Bean Paste in East Bay? SF?

... and the package at 99Ranch was labeled "Prickly Ash" -- with a small parenthetical "peppercorn" with no mention of Sichuan. They were cheap and relatively dry, so I imagine there are better quality ones available.

Aug 17, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Sichuan Peppercorns & Chili Bean Paste in East Bay? SF?

I bought a package of Sichuan Peppercorns at 99Ranch in Richmond (East Bay) just a few weeks ago. They were on a very high upper shelf in the spice section.

Aug 17, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Afghani food at SF Costco early August 2014

I've seen Bolani products at Whole Foods Berkeley, also Berkeley Bowl. I've never bought them but was very impressed when sampling them when they were being demonstrated. Dips, sauces, breads, also frozen items. The eggplant and the pumpkin, in the frozen section, were excellent. A bit pricy by my standards but I am a cheapskate.

Aug 16, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

ethnic markets in EB (esp Afghan/Indian)

Ted’s Delikatessen
1984 Monument Blvd
Concord, CA 94518

Polish mostly, also some Russian and other East European.
Seems to be open Tuesday - Saturday.

Aug 04, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Los Cilantros in Berkeley

Five of us had a very nice dinner here. It's open for dinner Friday and Saturday only; may open during the week for dinner next month.
We ordered a lot of food and ate it all, so maybe the portions are not so large. We had guacamole with chips, cabbage salad, chill relleno, barbacoa, carnitas, one tamale, and two specials: ceviche (halibut) and chicken empanada. Everything was delicious EXCEPT that most of the chips were stale. But the tortillas that came with the barbacao and carnitas were freshly made. Then we had three orders of the flan; it's a very dense version, made with coconut milk, fresh organic strawberries on the side; quite delicious. We had been told that beer and wine were available and that there would be a small corkage fee. We brought in two bottles of wine and she graciously decided not to charge corkage this time. Total before tip was about $95.
Highly recommended.

Aug 04, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

2012 - Gaumenkitzel [Berkeley]

Four of us had a very nice meal here, early on a Sunday evening. Not many people there when we started, but about half-full when we left.

We started with two house-made pretzels, then had four entrees from the "specials" menu: two pork belly ($18.50), two coho salmon ($17.50). The salmon was perfectly cooked. It came with arugula salad. We substituted spatzle for the mashed potatoes. The pork belly (roasted, with a beer sauce) was accompanied by mashed potatoes and caramelized onions.
I'm not a connoisseur of German beer; we followed the waitress' suggestions and were very pleased. Portions were generous, so no room for dessert. Service was excellent.

Good food, good value, highly recommended.

Jul 25, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

First visit to San Francisco and dont know where to begin??????

Bring warm clothing -- it can be quite chilly in SF in August.
Will you have a car? If not, some restaurant recommendations from this board might involve long rides on public transport.
Be sure to take the cable car at least once -- especially the one that goes down Hyde Street all the way to Fisherman's Wharf -- and sit or stand on the outside of the car.

Jun 27, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Blenheim's at Monterey Market [Berkeley]

The Bowl is selling a new variety called Madeline which is very good -- get the ones that have spots on them, and let them ripen up a bit. Almost as good as Blenheims.

Jun 22, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Dragon Gate - New Taiwanese Food Venue in Oakland

Four of us had a very nice dinner here on Solstice Saturday. We arrived at 6 PM and were the only patrons, and they acceded to our request to turn the TV volume down (college baseball World Series!?!). By the time we left there were other tables occupied.
Service was very good. There were several waitresses. We brought in wine ($10 corkage) and our waitress suggested we order the assorted cold plate because it would go well with the wine. The cold plate had slices of five-spice tofu, pork tongue, anise beef, and jellied pig ear, all very good. There were mugs on the table but no tea was provided.
We had the stir-fried basil eggplant and the "three-cup" calamari. Both were fragrant and tasty, with lots of basil, though not much sauce.
The "idiot noodles" had a number of items, including basil, ground pork and cubes of crispy pork belly, but again no sauce, so not anything like dan dan mein.
We ordered two items from the very extensive skewer list: lamb kidney and pork cheeks. Both were perfectly cooked, but rather expensive: $4 and $5 for two skewers, each with four small pieces of meat.
We ordered the grilled "salt and pepper smelt" which was disappointing. Five fish (sauries) each impaled on a wooden skewer, rather dry. Fortunately there was a lemon wedge which helped.
Our general impression was that the cook was doing a very good job. The food was very flavorful -- I love basil and garlic -- but not overly spicy/hot except for one skewer that I ordered "spicy." Also no bowl of chili sauce on the tables.
The bill was about $75, including two bowls of rice and one corkage fee, no leftovers. That's rather expensive for a place in Chinatown but this was a cut above. Also it's not quite in Chinatown.

Jun 22, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Shandong House rebrands itself as Xi'an Gourmet [San Francisco]

I finally tried this place for a very early Thursday dinner -- only one other diner came in, but I had left by 5:30.
I had two dishes from the House Specials:

#7: "Black Coat Stomach, Intestines Soup" ($9.95). The "coat" is evidently meant to be "Goat" though I was told it was lamb -- and indeed it was lamb, not goat. I was also warned that there were no noodles but in fact there was a generous amount of mung bean noodles. There were many slices of very tender (and very fatty) lamb, and some chewy strips of lamb tripe (stomach) but, sadly, no intestine. Instead there was a lot of thin slices of liver, overcooked, and some delicious slices of kidney. The broth was very rich, slightly spicy, and got more intense as I ate it. I would not order this again because of the overcooked liver.

#6: Steamed Cold Noodle with Sesame Sauce ($5.25). I thought this was not as flavorful as the same dish I had at TerraCotta Warrior. There was something lacking, though the texture was fine. I took the leftovers home, and then I realized it just needed salt! Odd that I didn't think to put salt on it at the restaurant.

They had a selection of cold dishes in a display case at the back, some of which are on the menu, but it is always fun to ogle the options. I was told "three items, two vegetable, one meat, for $6.99."

Link to my experience at TC Warrior:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9688...

Jun 13, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Dragon Gate - New Taiwanese Food Venue in Oakland

I took a very long walk to get here today -- but the kitchen was closed for remodeling. They hope to open tomorrow (June 11).

Jun 10, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

Cotton Candy Grapes

I tried them last year when they first appeared at the Bowl.
First grape was interesting.
Subsequent grapes became cloying and disgusting.

By the way I tried a few different varieties of California grapes today, and they were not sweet enough. It's too early in the season.

Jun 09, 2014
Joel in General Topics
1

Los Cilantros in Berkeley

I stopped in today and talked to the owner (a very nice woman named Dilsa). She confirmed that the $9 price on the website is for THREE tacos.

A new offering is barbacoa, for which she is charging $14. When I said that sounded expensive, she said it comes with five tortillas and was enough for five tacos. She was kind enough to make me one barbacoa taco, which was delicious -- I could not eat much more today.
The barbacoa is made with beef, but she will soon make a goat version as well. She'll have the barbacoa all the time, not just on weekends.

Open until 2:30PM on weekends.

Jun 01, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay BBQ

Smokey J has reinstated "burnt ends" but only on Mondays.

May 30, 2014
Joel in San Francisco Bay Area