little big al's Profile

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Ferry Terminal Farmers' Market: Saturday 2pm sharp closing? [San Francisco]

If you're a merchant mariner, a longshoreman, or a Hell's Angel, "Frisco" is allowed, "San Fran" never.

Aug 14, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Ferry Terminal Farmers' Market: Saturday 2pm sharp closing? [San Francisco]

There are other farmers' markets open on Sunday, for example the one at Fort Mason has all the charm ( and just as much interest historically) as the ferry plaza at about 2/3 the price. Opens at 9;30 which leaves plenty of time to get to L.A. (Please, if you love our city, don't call it "San Fran".)

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

Ferry Plaza Seafood in North Beach, San Francisco

I was hoping that they would also be a retail outlet, since the neigborhood could use a good fish store more than another restaurant. Alas. But Sotto Mare does sell retail and apparently will continue to do so under the new owners.

Aug 12, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Doughnut Dolly, Berkeley

Call me a cranky old fart if you will, but even more than dogs at farmers' markets, toddlers' butts on food service counters should not be tolerated. As the ginger man said, "Sh#t's sh#t Marion, even on judgement day."

Aug 09, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch at Fisherman's Wharf [San Francisco]

San Jose #3 doesn't have a spit. Too bad , I live nearby and love me some al pastor, but re-heated on the grill is. Not the same.

Aug 07, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

What time is best to buy fish from the docks in HMB?

Can't speak for the best time, but the last salmon we got (oh so fat and red and delicious!) was about 25 lbs., and they aren't allowed to cut them up, so be ready to drop between 2 and 3 hundred bucks and make plans to share with friends.

Aug 03, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Where I can I get good dry aged steaks?

Prather Ranch in Ferry Plaza dry ages all their beef (I think for less than 21 days) . Try their chateaubriand cut for about $15. Very tasty, and sliced across the grain is tender enough for me. Also Olivier's sells a "paleron" cut, a flat iron roast with the central gristle left in. Cut up into steaks with this gristle left in it makes tender tasty steaks just like my butcher daddy used to bring home. Petrini's used to call
them "fluff steaks".

Jul 28, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

Do you like or dislike the new format ?

Didn't need it and don't like it. Also, incidentally, the first line of reply over-runs the time/date "stamp".

Jul 26, 2014
little big al in Site Talk
6

NEW: Elmira Rosticceria - sandwich, coffee shop, breakfast/brunch in SF Tenderloin - any reports?

The last few times I've been in they had no lampredotto, a real disappointment for me since my thrill was all about the tripe. Did you notice if it was back?

Jul 25, 2014
little big al in San Francisco Bay Area

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?

Jul 23, 2014
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