little big al's Profile

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Belcampo Meat (Russian Hill, San Francisco)

Haven't had a meal, but I must admit, as one who regularly shops Prather Ranch, Marin Sun Farms and Olivier's meats, the prices at the meat counter gave me quite the case of sticker shock. Saw no need to return, especially in light of some labor action going on outside. Any idea what that was about?

2 days ago
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Appeals court deals blow to Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

In general I agree with Robert in this as in all things, but in my world there also exist non-motorey boats powered by sails or sweeps that could serve to harvest oysters as they did in the Chesapeake bay in my lifetime.( Even easier because there's no dredge to haul.) But a lease is a lease and I'm afraid that's it, but imagine a real commercial sailing operation bringing protein to the foodshed. I'd pay to see it.

Jul 18, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Is there something going on with the site for iphone again?

Me too.

Jul 15, 2014
little big al in Site Talk

A Clean Well Lighted Place For Birds [San Francisco]

They did however have sacks full of "fetal"eggs that never got through the infundibulum. What does a fella do with them?

Jul 14, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

A Clean Well Lighted Place For Birds [San Francisco]

Hey Ernie! While the meat is generally darker, denser and richer than chicken, it's really all about the skin. Properly done on the Weber it's like it wraps itself in bacon.

Jul 14, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

A Clean Well Lighted Place For Birds [San Francisco]

I asked, and the answer was either $20 or $28 each(See note re; English in O.P.). By the pound rabbit is available at FPFM Saturdays from Devil's Gulch Ranch for $9.50 lb. which seems to be the going price wherever there's rabbit.

Jul 13, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

A Clean Well Lighted Place For Birds [San Francisco]

sorry, meant "won't buy the last one".

Jul 13, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

A Clean Well Lighted Place For Birds [San Francisco]

Just back from another successful "hunt" at San Francisco Poultry, on the west side of the last block Grant Ave. near B'way. Todays bounty was a 3.75 lb. guinea fowl for $18.00 (head and feet included, natch). The funny thing is all birds are priced by type, not weight. There were also silkies, chukars,rabbits and assorted chickens. All product is kept behind glass, and picked out and bagged by ladies in smocks and hairnet, like a "clean room". Also birds are cleaned in a glassed in back room as clean as the front. There is absolutely no "pong" of poultry at all. I am reluctant to share this because there is not always Guinea fowl (my very favorite) available, so whatever you do promise you won't but the last one. Not a lot of English available, so be prepared to point and smile.

Jul 13, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Any good cheap souvlaki in SF proper?

Check out my recent post on North Beach Gyros at Powell and Union. Great pita (although it doesn't split).

Jul 05, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Gyros North Beach [San Francisco]

I thought I'd seen an earlier entry, but couldn't find it on the search feature, so I'm starting a fresh one. Stopped in for lunch today and was almost totally thrilled by the results. It's a very clean and friendly joint and the gyros (pronounced guy-rows by the waiter, I think they're Turkish) are not some mystery meat from Kronos central, but recognizable bits of beef/lamb or chicken cooked on a vertical spit.
We split the grilled combo with both gyros, lamb kebab, chicken kebab, kofta (meat loaf)kebab, salad and cajic,(turkish tzatsiki) and the most extraordinary pita I've had since Greektown. We ordered a small falafel and the waiter also brought some free hummus. I normally disdain boneless skinless chicken breast, but the chicken kebab was perfectly tender and succulent. The lamb was my only disappointment being cooked a little more than my preference, but I'd wager if one specified medium rare, one would get it. The salad was a little bland, but we ate that too (for politeness).
The slightly toasted pita and the real animal based gyros more than compensated for any small mis-steps. Living virtually around the corner, I expect we'll be regulars as long as they last. (It's a tough neighborhood you know!) On the corner of Union and Powell.

Jul 04, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite Fish and Chips for F and C Friday?

I also nominate Codmother at the woff. She serves a credible "Baja" sauce that is better than the packet of tartar. Also Red's Java House serves a pretty good Cod f+c, but the atmosphere (I coulda been somebody Chahley...) makes it perfect. Ask for the fries well done.

Jun 27, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Buying Live Soft Shell Crabs

I bought 2 yesterday at Ferry Plaza Seafoods for $6 each. I didn't weigh them, but they were large and still moving (although somewhat dreamily). Got some scallops for La Principessa (who thinks softies are too much like fingernails) and they all fried up a treat. Nice "dry" texture on the scallops btw.

Jun 01, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Where does the meat come from?

It's like Nelson Algren's advice about running into an acquaintance from long ago. "Don't ask him where he's been. Maybe he's been to prison. Maybe he's been to Hollywood. If he's been to Hollywood, he'll tell you."

Mar 06, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Fish/Veggie/Asian Suggestions for North Beach/Fisherman's Wharf [San Francisco]

If you're really confined to the wharf, for a quick lunch, The Codmother on Jones St. has the best most reasonably priced Fish and Chips in The City.Strictly al fresco.

Feb 13, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Harmony Restaurant in Mill Valley

I think I have it dialed in. The dim sum I've tried ranged from merely overpriced (2 beancurd skin rolls $5.50) to terrible (steamed chia shiu bao so ammoniac that I couldn't eat them).
On the other hand their "weekly special" with a noodle upgrade and some most excellent "house special beef" and sides is about $8.50 (take out only) and is excellent food and flavor value.

Feb 02, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

National Pie Day 2014

One of my all time favorite jokes because it translates so well.
"I only like two kinds of pie."
"Really, what kinds?"
"Hot pie and cold pie!"
I bet it's even funny in Basque.

Jan 23, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Best place for Dim Sum in Chinatown, not touristy [San Francisco]

I second Lai Hong Lounge. Product can vary, but all the steamed things I've had check out, and the baked pork bun is truly unique in my experience. I am not satisfied with any other since. An impossibly thin skin is stretched over an unctuous Cha Shiu filling and ends up with a kind of dutch crunch crust. Wow! Also great stuffed tofu skins. Get the salt and pepper wings, but avoid duck chins and coffee ribs. Stick with the steam and you won't be sorry.

Jan 22, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a great restaurant to convert a non-fish eating person in the South Bay

I know you said no Asian, but any reputable Cantonese seafood joint ( like our beloved Yuet Lee in The City) should manage some salt and pepper squid and scrambled egg and prawn. Face-free and mild flavored.

Jan 20, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Trouble Coffee Company - One Inch Thick Cinnamon Toast, SF - who's tried it?

I think there are 2 establishments with "Red Door" ( like there are two with "Java House" ) in their appellation. (I've never been to either one.) The dildo-y one is at Pine (Bush?)near Franklin, the other is in SOMA, so the characterization may not be so far off.

Jan 19, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Three nights, working, on the cheap. Please feed me. [San Francisco]

Not the best restaurant in North Beach, but one of the cheapest (and an old favorite of mine) is good old U.S. (for Unione Sportiva) on Columbus. Dinner specials from $10.00 and calamari and pasta or veg. (1/2 order, believe me it's plenty) on Fri. night for $9 last time I checked. Next door, fancier and a little more expensive, but still good value is L'Osteria del Forno. More upscale Northern Italian vs. U.S.' southern Italian/ East coast Italo' -American style. Another rec. for Yuet Lee, Calvin Trillin and I both like it.. Codmother on the wharf is the only place I'd consider eating, although I've heard that Tanguito is also okay.

Jan 18, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Chicken & Pie in Petaluma [Now Topsy's Kitchen]

But is there chicken pie?

Jan 01, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Lil' Porkhouse, new BBQ in San Rafael

Any reports on the new location in Corte Madera where Max's deli used to be?

Jan 01, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Best restaurant bars with a view of the kitchen? [San Francisco]

"Work fascinates me, I could watch it for hours." But seriously I second State Bird.(But I haven't been since the re-model.)

Jan 01, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog

Mollie Stones Sausalito has about 4 cases. I bought 1 to try, but this year I liked Strauss' version almost as much as my own.

Dec 24, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Help! Where to have late dinner in North Beach or Financial District? [San Francisco]

Yuet Lee salt and pepper crab. Yum!

Dec 06, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Sam's Diner on Market [San Francisco]

So the show is tomorrow and not one opinion. I guess I'll just go for the fried chicken unless anyone stops me. Any advice there?

Dec 02, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Sam's Diner on Market [San Francisco]

Going with a bunch of friends to Book Of Mormon and we're thinking of having dinner and a brief lesson on Mormon cosmology there. Any thoughts on the chow there? (We've got the cosmology covered.)

Dec 01, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

What to do with leftover chicken liver mousse?

Sounds gross to some, but many years ago the deli Wolfies (of blessed memory) in Miami Beach featured a deep fried chopped chicken liver sandwich. You might try something like that but egg battered and grilled like a monte christo.

Dec 01, 2013
little big al in General Topics

Local Bread Substitution for Pepperidge Farm Classic White

Chestnut St. bakery in SF makes a nice densely textured white bread that is reminiscent of P. Farm and also a thing we had in Mass. 50 years ago called "Monk's Bread" made by Trappists and similar to "English Muffin " bread. Makes lovely toast.

Nov 29, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to find brioche?

I'm a huge fan of La Brioche, but they might be a bit overwhelmed by the holidays. If it's just for bread pudding TJ's had rolls and loaves the last time I was at my local last Sat. on Mason St. But those brioche "slices" from La Brioche would be heavenly!

Nov 26, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area