little big al's Profile

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What is the most exciting restaurant you've eaten at in the SFBA recently?

I wouldn't have gone on my own, but some out of town guests had to eat at the new Tosca, and i really liked it (on their "dime"). Stand outs were pig tails (can't get those at home), crispy fried taters, and anchovy fritto (the best "value" on the menu.) Both the snap peas and artichokes were great, but minute portions. Drinkies were great, but at $12 expectations were high. I could live without hand-cut cubes and a little more Negroni in my Negroni.

Pheasant… any recommended places to eat out or buy?

I've seen pigeon.

Pheasant… any recommended places to eat out or buy?

San Francisco Poultry on Grant Ave. has pheasant, chukar (?) and guinea hen. Usually. Also rabbit. Very clean, not stinky.

4 nights in San Francisco - any recommendations on where to eat?

Love the cheese portioning/cutting wheel at Spec's. My favorite faux dive. A sign warns "The management has spared no expense in providing a convenient and regulation-sized alleyway for the settling of physical disputes. Use of inside premises for the same will result in the imposition of the dread '86'". Great sailor memorabilia.

4 nights in San Francisco - any recommendations on where to eat?

All hounds know I'm a big booster of Yuet Lee at Broadway and Stockton. The original houndish place as cited by none other than Calvin (Bud) Trlllin. Too bad it isn't crab season, but the salt and pepper squid is superb as is the dry fried beef chow fun and scrambled egg and shrimp. Also clam and black bean sauce.

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

If any of y'all want to read an interesting and very informative book on coffee and how best to brew it, check out something called
" Joe-The Coffee Book" (Rubenstein)
It's written with specific instructions for all kinds of coffee, coffee drinks, etc.
Of course it's written by New Yorkers(!) but whadda ya gonna do?

Booming Dim Sum (Outer Sunset, San Francisco)

You are right. I was the one who didn't notice.

Booming Dim Sum (Outer Sunset, San Francisco)

All hot or prepared food is taxable. Dine in or take out makes no nevermind. I'm surprised you never noticed. Sandwiches are taxable but a loaf of bread and a half pound of bologna isn't.

What are your thoughts on the city's coffee offerings?

...Just got back from a latte at Cafe Trieste... Perfect. I think it's a matter of
"you like what you know". Coffee preferences are probably pretty regional, as is evidenced by my Michigan cousins, who find SF coffee undrinkable! Too strong! Too dark!

Dim Sum Club (Russian Hill, San Francisco)

Believe it or not, my otherwise perfect wife does not enjoy dim sum. I see a mention of "western breakfast" and wonder if I could get myself around some of those yummy eggplant thingies while she chows down on ham and eggs. Any idea? I can't find a breakfast menu on their web page.

Bit of a challenge... [San Francisco]

Sometimes bland is okay. I never would have ordered scrambled egg and shrimp if a Chinese friend hadn't insisted, and I'm a happier man for it.

Live and Freshly Killed Chickens at King Poultry & Produce in San Francisco Chinatown

Peasants? Just kidding, same outfit (as Melanie pointed out) has an operation on the east side of the last block of Dupont Gai (Grant Ave.). Look for the place that looks like a laboratory. Sometimes there are rabbits.Guinea fowl mmmmmm.

Bit of a challenge... [San Francisco]

It's never too late at Yuet Lee and everything is always cooked fresh and it's not that far out of their price range.

If we find ourselves at the piers... [San Francisco]

The Codmother (@ Jones St.) is the only place that's "worth it". DO NOT bother with chowder in a bowl. It's canned chowder that just ruins some not quite first rate sourdough bread. Even the seagulls don't like it.

Original Joe's in North Beach [San Francisco]

Agree with the good but not great review. However the french fries are great. Probably twice fried in rice- bran oil with crisp outsides and tender insides. Still good when they are cold. Frito misto was memorable too.

San Fran Michelin

Mia colpa Melanie; You have twice my insight and four times my graciousness of expression. Or is it the other way?

wok

I'm no expert on wok cooking, but I know that true wok hay cannot be achieved on most home stoves. My friend Leo Wong's mom (of blessed memory) had an industrial stove and extractor fan installed in a separate area of her kitchen to get it. Might as well stick with a frying/saute pan otherwise.

Aug 31, 2014
little big al in Cookware

The Italian Homemade Company -- Fresh Made Pastas, Piadini, and Cassoni on Columbus Avenue [San Francisco]

Re; Robert Lauriston yesterday, "If a peasant eats a chicken, one of them is sick."

The Italian Homemade Company -- Fresh Made Pastas, Piadini, and Cassoni on Columbus Avenue [San Francisco]

No. The price $10.88 was for 12 oz. of fresh strozzapreti. I also purchased and (enjoyed the next day) 8 smallish polpette.) They cost another $9 bucks or so. ("You get no strozzapretti with 8 meatballs".Andrews Sisters , Dave van Ronk et. al.) They were worth the fare.

The Italian Homemade Company -- Fresh Made Pastas, Piadini, and Cassoni on Columbus Avenue [San Francisco]

Yes, raw pasta, no sauce. Portion for two. I didn't serve it with the meatballs because I know better.

The Italian Homemade Company -- Fresh Made Pastas, Piadini, and Cassoni on Columbus Avenue [San Francisco]

Once again you are right Robert. But nonetheless in spite of some other posters' snark, I am no piker. I shop at FPFM , buy field eggs, Rancho Gordo Beans,Prather Ranch meats and never look for the cheapest food. But I never thought one would have to get a "quotation" for pasta. When he brought it to the register the price was marked on it and I bought it because I was curious. I mentioned that it was good and should also have given them credit for their excellent polpette, and the piadini looked great.
I wish Mattia and Alice all the best, but my real question was who thinks that is a reasonable price point for pasta. I'll certainly go back, but unless that was an anomaly, I'll stick with the polpette.

The Italian Homemade Company -- Fresh Made Pastas, Piadini, and Cassoni on Columbus Avenue [San Francisco]

My corner store here in N.B. stocks it, albeit in different packaging. Even at $11 hr, $14 is still too much to pay for noodles! Since it's fresh, pasta for 4 could run $28 without the sauce. It's cucina povera for god's sake.

The Italian Homemade Company -- Fresh Made Pastas, Piadini, and Cassoni on Columbus Avenue [San Francisco]

Fourteen bucks a pound for pasta is not "too good to be true". In the '50's no one spent 2 hours of minimum wage for a pound of noodles. Like I said, they are sweet people, and are making an effort, but if that's what it takes to make pasta in North Beach, than I might have to "choke" down something from the Pasta Shop, or even Eduardo's (my local dry favorite).

The Italian Homemade Company -- Fresh Made Pastas, Piadini, and Cassoni on Columbus Avenue [San Francisco]

I stopped in after work to check it out and got .75 lb. of strozzapreti (which seem like I imagine hand cut noodles would be, kind of thick-thin, with an interesting bite) and I myself almost choked when they cost $10.88. I bought them and enjoyed them and spent the rest of the evening wondering off and on about price/value in the world of food. What's the most any of you all ever paid for a noodle? They are a charming couple though.

thoughts on bread knives

I bought a very expensive bread knife from New West Knife Works and couldn't be happier. The secret is the serrations are "wave" shaped rather than pointy. There are cheaper versions of this type available. The differences with this shape you can cut warm bread with it, it can double as a meat slicer, and it is easier to sharpen.

Aug 23, 2014
little big al in Cookware

Food Souvenirs from San Francisco

All salami are salumi, but not all salumi are salami.

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.

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".)

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.

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."