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SF Sourdough Revisited

I periodically try local sourdoughs and hope maybe things change, but found them not have that same tang/bite I remembered from my childhood.

The one I like the most is Josey Baker Bread's Country Bread. Not crazy sour, but I like the crust and crumb.

I'm about to try to make my own with extra long fermenting to see if I can increase the sourness.

Recommendations for mid-range sushi? [San Francisco]

One more suggestion to throw into the mix for the quality-price-value ratio: Sugoi on Valencia, near Beretta. Most rolls and nigiri are under $8.

Dec 16, 2014
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

And there there was another contender in the space for selling reservations. This one is called Reserve and has a bit of a twist.

Dec 09, 2014
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Where are you buying your turkey?

Way late to the post, but for future reference, you can get a BN turkey from 4505 meats in the Mission or Good Eggs (who'll deliver).

Dec 03, 2014
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone used Good Eggs/Fair Share specialty food delivery services?

I use them every week as I've found it convenient to get produce delivery.

I'd rather go to a farmer's market to explore, but my schedule doesn't allow for it.

Quality is pretty good. Prices are slightly higher than what you'd pay going direct to the vendors (e.g., 4505 meats).

They do occasionally make mistakes (e.g., item ordered, but not delivered), but they've resolved them quickly.

A nit pick is I think their site runs slowly on Chrome.

Aug 28, 2014
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Non-Cronut Line at Dominique Ansel?

I went 2-3 times during the Fall/Winter last year on weekdays. 10 am was way too late. The times I went shortly after 9:00 am, I got one of the last cronuts. Waited about 30 min.

After having waited in line, I probably wouldn't wait again, but consider a knock off or taskrabbit.

May 08, 2014
leefc in Manhattan

Cookies, the custom ones

You can try "Hey Cookie." She started out delivering to bars and parks, but I think she still does personal deliveries, too.

Apr 21, 2014
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Startup Sells "Prime" Reservations (Table8)

Startup Table8 is now partnering with select restaurants to keep some reservations off the books and selling them at a premium to diners.

Not sure how a I feel about this yet. Although OpenTable charges restaurants, diners have an equal chance to get the reservation. With Table8, the table goes to those willing to pay extra.

Although not stated in their plans, it would make sense to extend the concept to allow bidding.

Apr 15, 2014
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

PizzaHacker First Try [San Francisco]

Went yesterday and the place was packed. I had the Margherita and the Winter Pie.

Crust - for me, that's the best thing going here. It's interesting and has a nice texture. Slightly sourdoughy. I found the edges to be more tasty that the center. I would've liked the crust a little bit more charred.

Flavor - Margherita. I enjoyed it's creaminess and flavor. Tried it with the optional chili paste and thought it overpowered the pie. Winter Pie - while I enjoyed it, it seems to be too much of one note and needed something else.

Ambiance - crowded, noisy, and reminded me of a college bar without the stench.

Overall, I think it's a good use of the space and I'd return.

Another Pizza worth trying is Rustic, on 24th @ Mission. I ask for my pies extra crispy there.

Jan 31, 2014
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

SFO - Terminal 3 - any recs for a carryon breakfast?

I usually get the pre-made sushi that's near Max's.

In EWR, I am a fan of Balducci's if you're flying United.

Jan 07, 2014
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Food delivery in Pacific Heights? [San Francisco]

I've used and for delivery services and both have been pretty good for variety. There's a couple other competitors in this space that I haven't used yet (, etc...).

Something with a slightly different model is I just tried last night and had a good experience with both the delivery and food. It's kind of like restaurant takeout without a restaurant.

Nov 01, 2013
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Mayday, mayday, grayelf on a collision course for SF Bay Area in... May

Went to Hi-Lo just before 8pm on a Saturday and the line was significant, but manageable. Probably about <10 minutes to order.

However, they were already all out of the brisket. If you see a long line, take a peek at the board behind the counter for what's already '86'd.

Apr 23, 2013
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Chef's tasting menu at Mr. Pollo [SF]

I've never made a reservation. I stop by either early (e.g., 6ish) or later (e.g., 8ish) and typically put my name on a list for them to call me when they're ready. If it's going to be a while, I'll have a drink nearby.

edit: you could also call... (415) 374-5546

Aug 01, 2012
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Root Beer -- housemade or good bottle selection??

Indeed Brewcraft does sell Root Beer extract (as well as Ginger Beer). Have tried them both, but moved on to experimenting on my own to get the taste I want. Here's a book I got a brewcraft for ideas.

May 01, 2012
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Lot 7 [San Francisco]

Went on Sunday. Service wasn't particularly attentive, but I'll chalk that up to it being Sunday around 8:30 pm.

We ordered:

Oysters, 4 of each. Worth sampling, though the server said the shucker was new and there were some sand bits. They did throw in a few free oysters though, because it took a while get our order.

Seafood chowder. Flavor was excellent, good chunks and flavorful. Texture, though, was a little starchy. My guess was that it was the bottom of the pot at the end of the day. I'd like to try it another time.

Beet salad. Very few beets. Lots of fried fritters. Would've liked it better if there were more beets.

Mussels. Probably the best dish we had. Good flavor, tender. Wish I had more toast to sop up the broth.

Creme brulee. Nice crusty sugar, custard was a bit too sweet for my taste.

Pear tart. Pretty crumbly. Ok, but wouldn't order again.

Overall, I'd return to give it another chance, but after a couple more weeks. Assuming they're working out some kinks.

Mar 16, 2012
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

La Lengua Chronicles - My Project for 2012 [San Francisco]

Ambitious list. I live right there, too. Here's my selected commentary.

3369 Mission – Ichi Sushi (Japanese) - a lot of people like this place, I find it nothing special, other than the lack of competition in the immediate vicinity.

3286 Mission – Al's Café (Diner) - I've enjoyed every standard greasy spoon item here, especially the specials.

3235 Mission – Dell'uva (Wine Bar) - not a fan of the ambiance, but had surprisingly good brunch here. I thought the potatoes were much better than expected, better than the main dishes.

3230 Mission – El Zocalo (Salvadoran) - I like the pupusa here, but it's also El Slowcalo.

3226 Mission – Mi Lindo Peru (Peruvian) - I like the ceviche mixto and the chowfa (fried rice).

3215 Mission – Locavore (New American) - Get a burger during lunch, it's basically the same as the dinner version and cheaper.

3211 Mission – Taqueria Cancun (Taqueria) - equivalent to the old burger commerical of tasting just the patty, I get the vegetarian burrito with black beans and no sour cream.

3193 Mission – El Patio Restaurant (Mexican) - this is where I get pupusa instead of Slowcalo. I'll admit Slowcalo is better, though.

Front Porch - I'm partial to their gumbo and fried chicken.

Good luck.

Mar 13, 2012
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

CSA recommendations for 2012?

I also did FFTY for a year or so. In general, I had a good experience, but just canceled this week because their delivery date to my zip didn't work for my travel schedule. Regarding the freshness, I did get some spoiled items, but I could never tell if it was them or me as I wasn't home for a few days when boxes were delivered.

Have you considered another Capay Valley option, the Capay Valley Farm Shop / Farmshares? Not exactly a CSA either, though. I haven't seen much written up about them, but am considering them.

Jan 10, 2012
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

First NYC visit freak out - going to Midtown; need help

about that coal fired pizza on the west coast....

Oct 02, 2011
leefc in Manhattan

Best Sushi in Shanghai? (Quality over Quantity)

I've been here for a few months and generally don't eat sushi that often for fear of not being able to ask/understand where the fish is from. Whereas in the states, I'm having sushi every week or so.

But you're right, with all the native Japanese folks there seems like there should be a few top quality places.

I've been hearing good things about a few places, but haven't been yet:

Shintori on julu lu
Sushi Bar in the Pudong Shangri la

I'll be curious of what you find.

Jul 19, 2009
leefc in China & Southeast Asia

Toisan/Taishan and Guangzhou Recs?

I went with the fam a few years ago and pretty much relied on the locals recommending places and Lonely Planet. Based on the relatively loose standards of addresses, plus the frequent changes, it might be rough to get rec's from people who aren't closer to the action.

Jul 19, 2009
leefc in China & Southeast Asia

Newish Pizza place near 30th St. and San Jose Av in SF?

Just went there on Saturday for brunch.

We had a trouble deciding between two pizzas and they offered to make it half and half.

Pizza Valle Verde
Mixed vegetables, fresh tomato, mozzarella and pesto sauce

Pizza Margherita
Fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and pecorino cheese.

The pizza reminded me of hole in the wall pizzas I've had in Connecticut. The crust was thin, crispy, and light. Toppings were sparse. All in all, I liked it for ~$10 and ~14" pie.

I found that the Pizza Valle Verde side of the pizza suffered from being a bit moist. The pizza got soggy through the meal. I wish someone would implement a draining mechanism for pizzas to prevent this.

Service was spotty not snotty. Very nice folks, but I get the sense that they're still working out timing and consistency.

Unexpected: for weekend brunch, they've got omelets for ~7.50.

I live fairly close by, so I'm sure I'll be back.

Oct 20, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Leaving SFO over a much time should I afford?

I fly out of SFO almost every week and say that you'd be cutting it close. Maybe about 30-60 min cushion of safety. It all depends on how comfortable you are with running for flights and sweating. This is coming from a guy who tries to minimize his time at the airport.

The variables
- Your flight might get delayed incoming
- Deplaning - if you're sitting in the back, add on 30 min before your're out of the plane
- Cabbing and getting to Milbrae
- Security on the way in. You just never know.

Like others have pointed out, you'll have a different ticket. Also, like Windy pointed out, there are other food options at the airport. Terminal 3 has a decent selection (relative), though pricey.

So if you feel like you can deal with the variables, go for it.

Aug 11, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Gilory Garlic in San Francisco?

fyi - just went to rainbow and they currently have garlic from winters, ca. so at least relatively local.

Aug 04, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

John Campbell Irish Bakery, SF report & pics

I stumbled across this place on Sunday and thought it warranted a write up. At first, I thought it was the bar, but then realized hidden back a bit was a bakery. I hadn't heard the phrase "Irish Bakery" and wondered what was inside.

The answer: all kinds of scones, a few kinds of crusty breads, sandwiches, and other baked goodness.

Things I tried:

Mini Crusty Bread Loaf - a smaller baguette. Great for not having to commit to a whole loaf. To me, the crustiness of the bread was excellent. Very light and even great toasted the next day.

Blueberry and Bailey's Scone (2 separate kinds) - overall ok. A little dry. I had them the next day, so maybe it was drier than it would've been the same day. Had it next day because I was so happy with the next item.

Focaccia Breakfast Sandwich - Perfection in the morning. I didn't expect it to be so good. Ham and egg on on focaccia roll with carmelized onions on top. It's the type of thing I'd like to have every morning. The satisfaction of a gut bomb, but without seeming like one. I had it warmed. You could have it cold, but why?

Staff - went with the recommendation of the friendly person who worked there - Lily.

Jul 28, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Gilory Garlic in San Francisco?

Does anyone know of grocery stores where one can get Gilroy grown garlic? I've noticed that the garlic at Safeway, Trader Joe's, etc... are from China. In my opinion, I prefer the fuller flavor of Gilory garlic. Any better options than driving down to Gilory?

Jul 16, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Ring-a-ding-ding cocktail bars

Have you looked at Bourbon and Branch? 1920's, but should know how to make a drink.

Ha Ra Club? A little dive-ish, maybe Sinatra on a gritty day.

Bourbon & Branch
501 Jones St, San Francisco, CA

Ha-Ra Club
875 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Jul 15, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Phyllo dough (fillo dough)

like what others above said....the 2 places i've looked for it and found it in the frozen food section.

Rainbow Grocery
1745 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Safeway Food & Drug: Grocery
2020 Market St, San Francisco, CA

Jun 05, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurants with Private Dining in SF

ok since my first two suggestions didn't go over well and one was out of a lack of due diligence on my own part, here are a couple other ideas...

1. foreign cinema - on my list of places to try in dine about town and noticed they can do big private events.
2. presidio officer's club. been to a wedding and a private meeting there, but you'd need a caterer.
3. yank sing (or a host of other chinese restaurants, but this assumes you'll have a chinese banquet) at rincon center.

Foreign Cinema
2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

Jun 03, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurants with Private Dining in SF

Old school banker style at the Carnelian Room in the BofA building.

Kokkari Estiatorio - elegant Mediterranean

Kokkari Estiatorio
200 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94111

Carnelian Room
555 California St., San Francisco, CA 94104

May 31, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area

Sebo Sushi: opinions? [San Francisco]

Just went to Sebo last night and wanted to share a perspective.

Fish - across the board very fresh and tasty. Cuts were on the smaller side. (Had nearly all the maki - medium fat toro, fresh water eel, scallops, horse mackerel, half beak, etc...).

Service - to me pleasant and relatively knowledgeable when i had a few questions.

Ambiance - subtle, not overly noisy, dimly lit.

Cost - about $125 without tip or alcohol.

Thoughts: I've been a lurker on this board picking up recommendations for the past few months and generally enjoying them (Koo, Kingdom of Dumpling, the pretzel croissant at the Berkeley Farmer's market, etc...). Sebo was the first place that inspired me to post a comment.

In my opinion, not worth it unless you have a lot of money to burn. Yes, the fish was very good and there's a pleasant overall experience. There are also nice touches like the fresh wasabi. However, I think the value for the cost wasn't there for me to warrant a return. I say this is mixed, because though I liked it overall, I don't value the experience over the fish and cut size to justify the expense.

As others have noted, this is a very specific kind of experience that's best reserved for those times this is exactly what you want.

Ps. One caveat is that I would consider going back and eating at the bar, which I think is a different experience at sushi bars.

Mar 23, 2008
leefc in San Francisco Bay Area