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03/08 Ubuntu: From The Same Folks That Sold You Bottled Water

I dispute that it is any more labor-intensive than many restaurants that, for the same money, serve meat/shellfish/etc.

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

03/08 Ubuntu: From The Same Folks That Sold You Bottled Water

I ground my spices in a mortar and pestle--even after 12 hours at work. Marble. I doen't think pureeing by Cuisinart is much different than by fork and sieve.

I think you COULD, given the made ahead reductions and stocks, make the dishes in 30 mins, for that is how long vegetables take to cook (max). Work in their kitchen awhile and see.

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

03/08 Ubuntu: From The Same Folks That Sold You Bottled Water

I don't think I am. I think the "vegetarian restaurant" (for such is a restaurant that doesn't serve meat/fish/fowl even if the chef demurs) + yoga studio swayed me. Food prepared with a high level of skill, quality and creativity doesn't have to be cheap because it doesn't have meat--if I go to FL/CP*/Manresa and have vegetables, I expect them to be $$$. But who the hell knows. Maybe I was led astray by this statement on the Website:

Our philosophy reflects an appreciation for all of the people in our community who contribute daily to producing the Ubuntu experience. Ubuntu features a delicious menu of daily-harvested organic food, with a focus on farm-fresh produce, much of it from our own biodynamic gardens. Ubuntu, briefly stated, is "humanity toward others", which is the basis of this community-focused restaurant.

Or maybe I'm just an ironic bitch who expects too much from people who make that kind of statement, not realizing that the "community" they refer to are those who drive Beamers.

*CP's statement was to prove that local, freshly harvested, not heavily sauced "new Cali-cuisine" could be high-end--in 1972. Different message, different expectations. Here I think a chef in 2007 wanted to open a restaurant in Napa where there's already lots of fresh&local and seized on this caring yoga thing as a gimmick and then went with the touchy feely while wanting to get high prices.

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

03/08 Ubuntu: From The Same Folks That Sold You Bottled Water

Ha! I'll miss your wit. Wait, I can still read it!

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

03/08 Ubuntu: From The Same Folks That Sold You Bottled Water

Thank you for your courteous reply. (As I thank rw for her constant level-headed kindness.) I actually asked the support team to delete my account and checked here to see if they have--not yet.

What a very complicated topic. By "most vegetarians can afford" I meant the kind of committed people who have become vegetarian for ethical choice--as I did prior to completely falling off the wagon (I still refuse to eat more than a pound of meat/chicken/fish/week). A lot of those people have given up earning $$$$ to devote time to those causes. Because of that, they would have trouble affording the precious wide-open-old-growth-wood-in-Napa space and vegetarian food that is Ubuntu. But I didn't know that when I went in. I read about Ubuntu as a "restaurant and yoga studio" interested in a certain kind of ethos of sustainability, etc. I wanted to go because I believe in those things, too, though too much "Berkeley" drives me crazy (and Gratitude does). Was even willing to have a bad meal to support a new place that would cater to vegetarians and the world. What I felt when I walked in was something different: a cashing in on a certain trend of taste and ethics. The taste part doesn't bother me but the ethics does. If a chef really believes in this ethos, why not be creative AND affordable? Because you believe in sustainability and freshness if you earn enough?

Perhaps I would have enjoyed the food. I'd rather feed a few people in my practice who have lost their jobs--or get them their meds for free.

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Really great East Bay desserts?

Well, I'd probably like it better, then. I don't like creamy much.

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Relocated from Vancouver, want to treat hubby

Unless La Ciccia has gone downhill, it would be a wonderful, wonderful experience with lovely welcoming people. Perhaps with prosecco replacing the champagne. It's in south Noe Valley on the border with Glen Park and full of hills-or-not walks in pretty little Victorian streets. I had a house about 6 blocks away up and slightly off Church. Also less of a drive for you (tho parking is tough!) in a very safe neighborhood with, quite often, more pleasant walking weather in an early evening than downtown.

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

03/08 Ubuntu: From The Same Folks That Sold You Bottled Water

I know. Disappointing you was the hardest. =)

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Really great East Bay desserts?

"Serve things that a fancy restaurant would toss." Does that mean they do not obey the health codes? As in "curdled=gone bad past its serve-by?"

No amount of shoe-stringness justifies that, if that's what you're saying.

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

03/08 Ubuntu: From The Same Folks That Sold You Bottled Water

I am worse than you. Months ago I walked into Ubuntu and walked out after noting the "yoga" atmosphere, the for-vegetarian-cuisine high prices and teeny servings others had (OK the prep takes work and that costs. But giving a bit more of the vegetables doesn't cost that much.) I felt the place was selling itself on a feel-good vibe that would have been matched if it was matched by prices most vegetarians can afford. My post generated a flurry of support for Ubuntu that verged on cult-development and, I felt, putting-down of my opinion that quite put me off. Here's my post:

I hate to sound like the Grinch but we walked out of Ubuntu yesterday at lunch. The space was vast and open but verging on the overly-upscale-precious. I love vegetables and was vegan for a decade but when the server said, "I advise ordering two or three a person because they are tapas-size," I looked at the prices. I don't love vegetables enough to spend $9 for cauliflower or $14 for a small, not-the-best vegetarian pizza*. Not for lunch. Not if I have to pay $40-$60 for lunch for two (and potentially up with drinks and tips) that doesn't have a smidgeon of really high-price ingredients and is on bare wood tables.

To compare, we had dinner at Terra the night before. $95 plus tip, not including drinks. Appetizers: absolutely delicious ribolleto, a large portion we couldn't finish, and panko-crusted fried oysters on crisp pork belly squares in a balsalmic reduction. Main dishes: huge pork chop in a caper sauce with sides of Yukon gold mashed and sweet cabbage with homemade chorizo and Maine lobster tail (fairly small) and scallops (three large) over mashed potatoes in a wine and parsley sauce. All this in a Michelin-awarded restaurant with exquisite service--by our waitress, our bread replenisher and tablecloth sweeper and our water pourer, white tablecloths, excellent bread, a beautiful space, and charming and welcoming hosts. And last night we went to Zuzu for tapas. Had incredible Spanish tortilla (omelet) with potato and fennel, baked pork ribs with onions in balsalmic sauce, paella, Petrale sole. The tab? About $38. We were so grateful for those meals and the charm and graciousness of the service, we left 30% tips both nights.

It's a free country. Ubuntu can charge what they want. But it was over the top for me.

(I tried to access the site for the prices to be absolutely sure but it kept crashing my browser. I'm still at the hotel in Napa.)

*People jumped on this statement but I was simply responding to the OP in the thread, who actually tried the pizza.

Apr 04, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

NYT Berkeley article

My dog plays with several manicured poodles at the MLK schoolyard. Granted, one of them is really a Rockridge resident...

Mar 30, 2008
lintygmom in Food Media & News

A Russian/Ukrainian style cheesecake

My grandfather, who was a baker, used to make a cheesecake in a square pan. It was no more than 2" high and had on top a butter and sugar crust that was crackled and the butter was liquidy at first. It was NOT Paskha, the Russian cheesecake with the Sabayon lemon sauce and had no nuts in it, but was a simple dish. Does anyone know the name? I think it began with the letter K. A recipe for it?

Thanks

Mar 30, 2008
lintygmom in Home Cooking

homemade coffee extract?

drink twice as much

Mar 26, 2008
lintygmom in General Topics

homemade coffee extract?

My inlaws used to make very good coffee extract in a machine that very slow filtered it--definitely cool water was the way to go for smooth delicious brew.

Mar 25, 2008
lintygmom in General Topics

Place in Berkeley that serves Horlix ice cream?

I was just throwing it out there. In all honesty, I don't like ice cream at all.

Mar 25, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Place in Berkeley that serves Horlix ice cream?

Sketch on Fourth? I don't know about Horlix.

Mar 23, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

Sorry, SHE!!!!! I'll use he/she or she/he from now on.

Mar 23, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

I had the almond pound cake there and it was amazing. I've heard Tangerine is good, too. Have you bought from there?

Mar 17, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

What restaurant has most impressed visitors?

Is he single? =)

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

I like Jerusalem Organic--and the food's fresh made for you. And cheaper per amount, I think. Zand's is great but very pricy and basically a deli--which serves the OP well, I think.

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

What restaurant has most impressed visitors?

For those who would enjoy it, that would be great. But it's not for the faint-hearted/elderly/intolerant.

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

A. Don't drive so fast in the neighborhood--even on Rose. Two people were killed already this year on Marin. I go from Rose down MLK to, say, Sweet Adeline's in 8 minutes, not speeding during rush hour am to get to the freeway. Dwight's a lot closer and San Pablo can go fast until you get to Solano.

B. I don't think he's going during dining hours. He's making to-go packages for his trip to Elk.

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

What restaurant has most impressed visitors?

You are so right!

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

I live in N. Berk. DO NOT drive up University! Heavy, inconsiderate traffic. Go straight N on San Pablo to Cedar, turn R and continue straight up to Shattuck and turn L to Vine. Or even better, up Cedar to MLK then turn L to Vine and R on Vine and park just west of Shattuck on Vine--walk around corner to Cheeseboard.

Yes, dense and compacted! Love those stomach bombs!

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Unusual and Amazing Cookies in SF or Wine Country?

Masse's on Shattuck right near Saul's has some good cookies. And financiers/macarons. How wide is your definition of "cookie?" I love lamington's ( http://www.joyofbaking.com/Lamingtons...) from Bakesale Betty, which has pretty good cookies, too, but not too unusual. Crixa Bakery on Adeline just off Shattuck near Ashby has cookies: http://www.crixacakes.com/archives/co...

And the Hopkins Street Bakery, which I usually find terrible, has very good cofffee shortbread cookies with chocolate chips. Right near Gioia pizza, most authentic East Coast pizza in the area.

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

Get the pico de gallo on the side? Reheated or even cold burritos are delicious to me. I agree about sandwiches and salad greens--if not eaten the first day or even if wrapped tightly they take a real nosedive in taste and quality.

And the ma po tofu with crab reheated like a dream in small quantities, making sure the crab got hot but not over-cooked.

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

Also, I think picking up some cake to go would be good--at Masse's near Saul's or Crixa. Crixa's dense gingerbread would make a great lunch with coffee and maybe some cheese (from the Cheeseboard), an apple or pear and crackers first! Or a pre-cooked chicken (bbq but not really) from the Safeway on Solano! Really is yummy in a rich and greasy (hence reheats well) way.

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

Indus Village is super yummy. Especially the five tandoori lamb chops for what is very little money. Great choice!

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

Five minutes from Sea Salt to CV--straight north on San Pablo and then turn R onto Solano. About 1/4 mile up on the left. Taqueria Talavera (or Talavera Taqueria--never can remember) is another few blocks but you can get the food at Montero's on the corner of San Pablo and Solano. Then, head back down Solano to San Pablo, go left a few blocks south to Buchanan, turn R, stay on R, and get on the freeway, verging to the left to get on 580 rather than stay on 80.

Berkeley is really small and during the day traffic is not much of a problem. You could also stop at Cafe Fanny for croissants and some bread at the corner of San Pablo and Cedar on the way to Solano. And if it's open, Taxi Brousse has Senegalese food that reheats well.

I love leftovers.

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area

Rob.Laur.,Chemchef,Morton, JT et al: Berkeley-Five Take Away Lunches?

A surprisingly good and cheap place to pick up stuff for lunches might be Bacheeso's right across the street from Sea Salt. It's a buffet, so you could really load up on the cold salads (though not the lettuce-based. With time they produce slime.) and the roast turkey/mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes, etc. Taqueria Talavera on Solano has great mole in a good sized portion and Jerusalem Organic Kitchen up at the top of Solano has very good Middle Eastern. You could also stop by Zand's and buy some of her admittedly price Persian. And if you like spicy, I've eaten for three days from leftovers from China Village, especially the ma po tofu with crab. And the noodles with sesame sauce (tan tan?) Very spicy, soupy, very filling. Cumin lamb should heat up nicely, too.

Mar 16, 2008
lintygmom in San Francisco Bay Area