little big al's Profile

Title Last Reply

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

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

Where to buy genovese basil in SF

Trader Joes had some plants a few weeks ago, but the day length is too short now to support healthy growth.

Nov 18, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Do you make Mincemeat Pie with meat, with suet; or with nothing of the sort?

The late Merle Ellis published a recipe, available online that includes beef round, beef tongue and suet. I made it about 20 years ago and loved it. Haven't done it since because La Principessa thinks it was "gross". She liked it, but she still thinks it is "gross". Go and figure.

Nov 17, 2013
little big al in Home Cooking

Please share meat suggestions for Christmas

Big Big Al was justifiably renowned for his scalloped oysters. Get a few jars of medium oysters, lots of butter, cream, and real common crackers (can be ordered from Vermont Country Store) and even oyster haters will come around. I follow the tradition.
At about $6 a jar, it won't break the bank.

Nov 17, 2013
little big al in Home Cooking

Tosca bought by Spotted Pig (NY) team [San Francisco]

Were the fried artichokes just hearts (like at county fairs) or whole artichokes (like in the Roman Jewish quarter)? The latter would be worth the noise for me.

Nov 17, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Dungeness Crab Prices 2013/2014 Season

I agree, but the price should be somewhere between wholesale and retail. That way the fishers and the customers both benefit.

Nov 16, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Dungeness Crab Prices 2013/2014 Season

Alioto-Lazio has them lively and enthusiastic for $5 lb. Why bother with the drive? Also they're never dicks.

Nov 16, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

CA Dungeness crab season (recreational) began 11/2, commercial starts 11/15, good catch expected

Some Cantonese seafood joint should answer for you. Yuet Lee or R and G for instance. She gets the crab and you don't, and the restaurants just smell like Chinese food.

Nov 10, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area
2

nice cardoons anywhere

Saw some smaller cardoni at Knoll Farms Saturday last but one and would have bought them but I was leaving town. Was unaware of the other gradation designations, but of course. These looked like large , but not pre-historic celery if you know what I mean.

Nov 07, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Bask in North Beach? [San Francisco]

I was pretty excited about baby eels until I looked at the menu and saw they were surimi. Feh! I guess we ate all the real ones.

Nov 06, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

If you had three meals left to eat in SF, where would you go?

Good seafood not too upscale sounds like Yuet Lee(Cantonese) or Sotto Mare (cal-ital) to me.

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

If you had three meals left to eat in SF, where would you go?

Remember Calvin Trillin's mythical restaurant "The Casa Della Maison House, Continental Cuisine"?

Oct 31, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area
1

If you had three meals left to eat in SF, where would you go?

Forgive a pedantic old classicist, but hoi polloi (no definite article required since hoi = the) actually means "the masses". I'm not sure that is what you meant.
But I am glad that you found GGP open. I also enjoyed my last dan tat there some months ago. It was still warm.

Oct 31, 2013
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area