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Four Barrel Coffee, SF - they sell Dynamo Donuts here

This is my favorite coffee place in SF! (They have now been roasting coffee here for a while.) I like their regular coffee, haven't had espresso or any other coffe drinks. I've tried the banana creme donut, chocolate/cinnamon, bacon/maple! donuts, all great. The chicken/croissant sandwich is good for a pre-made sandwich, I've had it several times.

The employees are happy and friendly. The place is clean. There is a turntable set up and often a record playing. I brought them a record once to add to their collection, and the guy behind the counter said that lots of their records were brought in by customers.

Putting money in tip jar, but server has turned away

I work in the service industry and a large amount of my income is from tips (and I pay taxes on tips based on my total money ring). I like people to know when I tip. There is a place I go for take out sandwiches that is very busy. They have quick service and sometimes hand out free cookies to people waiting in line. There is a tip jar at the cash register. I try to have my cash ready with the tip included. When I hand the money over, I say "Keep the change". If I need to get change back before tipping, depending on the situation, I might try to get eye contact while I am dropping the tip in the jar, or I might even hand the tip to the counter person if it is a big tip.

Mar 05, 2009
hot breath in Not About Food

Northern California Road Food

At Eureka there is the Lost Coast Brewery on 4th st. Hwy 101 north is 5th st, and 101 south is 4th st., so if you are traveling north it will be one block over. They are open for lunch and dinner. Good Pub food and local Eureka beer. The Great White wheat beer is my favorite.

Just north of Eureka is Samoa and the Samoa Cookhouse. This is used to be a lumberjack cookhouse. It has a little logging museum. I've been there a couple times for breakfast, very basic, but good and as much as you can eat.

Jun 24, 2008
hot breath in California

Silly Eating Habits

Bottlecaps candies must be eaten in order if they come wrapped in a roll. But if they come in a box or package where they are loose, I shake out a handfull, no high-grading (can't put back ones I like least), and eat from least to most favorite. So cherry first, cola second, grape and orange are interchangeable, and rootbeer for last. I was doing this last night. My root beers were all that were left on the coffee table and my husband reached over to grab one and I said, "NOO, you have to take them out of the box, those root beers are MINE!" The box was 3/4 full. I turned 40 last week.

Jun 24, 2008
hot breath in Not About Food

Silly Eating Habits

torty - I do that too, not with pho but with small red leaf lettuce around sliced Morning Star vegetarian patties with the Sriracha and hoisin, though I am not vegetarian.

Jun 24, 2008
hot breath in Not About Food

Canned Pumpkin--How Do You Use It (Besides Pie)

Pumpkin and ancho pepper cupcakes with Chai spice cream cheese frosting are probably my best cupcakes.

Jun 11, 2008
hot breath in General Topics

Good/Favorite Summer Cocktails?

This summer at the bar I work at, a popular vodka has been the Absolut Ruby Red (grapefruit vodka).

Ways I like it:

Ruby Red & San Pelegrino Limonata

Ruby Red, tonic water, splash of grapefruit juice, splash of cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. (A co-worker called this a "little pink dress" though I couldn't find it listed as such in any of my drink books.)

Jun 11, 2008
hot breath in Spirits

Where can I buy animal shaped cookie cutters in SF?

I've seen animal cookie cutters sets, letters and seasonal shapes at Michaels Arts & Crafts (container of about 25 plastic cookie cutters - and cheap too), though I don't see much on the website now. Out of the places already mentioned, Spun Sugar and then Sur La Table have the best selection of loose metal cookie cutters. I've seen cookie cutters in the "Super" Long's Drug Store in Oakland too.

Does anyone ever order hot water with lemon?

I work as a bartender and I do not consider it to be weird or high-maintenance to order hot water with lemon. I do not charge for hot water and lemon, or plain soda water.

Jun 09, 2008
hot breath in Not About Food

Pistachio Muffin Recipe?!

Here is a cupcake recipe I have made several times:

Chocolate/White Pistachio Cupcakes

White Batter:

8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter room temperature
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup crushed pistachios
¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream

Chocolate Batter:
Same ingredients as white batter.
Reduce flour to 1 ¼ cups and add ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground pistachios. Set aside.

Electric mixer, beat butter and sugar till light an fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix till combined. On low speed beat in half the flour mixture, followed by the milk; end with the remaining flour mixture. Mix until incorporated, do not over mix.

Put both batters in each cup side by side. Bake for 22 to 24 min.

Pour Pistachio White Chocolate Frosting on top after the frosting has cooled to slightly warm.

Pistachio White Chocolate Frosting

This frosting works well “drizzled“ over the top, or if cupcakes do not rise above the wrappers. Stays fluid till completely cool.

1 cup heavy cream
12 oz coarsely chopped white chocolate
½ to ¾ small package pistachio pudding
Lt green food coloring


¾ cup heavy whipping cream
12 oz coarsely chopped white chocolate
1 tsp pistachio extract
Lt green food coloring

Bring cream to a boil, add pistachio pudding or extract, stir, remove from heat add white chocolate, stir till incorporated. Chill 5 min.

Jun 09, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking

Birthday cake for a dog that the humans can eat too

Here is a link that has four dog frozen treat recipes. Dog ice cream and pupsicles. Making it yourself you can control the portion. I think the pupsicle recipe recomends freezing in an ice cube tray with a rawhide as a popsicle stick.

May 29, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking

Problem grinding sliced almonds

I used to have a little (I think it was) Krups coffee grinder that I used for grinding nuts and spices. This worked well for grinding almonds.

May 28, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking

Leftover Chocolate Cupcakes

A co-worker of mine had been really into making ice cream lately. I set aside my leftover cupcakes (not that there are usually many left over) for him and he cuts them into pieces, frosting or not, and stirs them into the ice cream right before it goes into the freezer. Cupcake chunk ice cream.

May 28, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking

colorful cupcakes

I have used a "neon" food coloring that I found in Safeway that was a very intense pink. (It may have been Schilling brand?) I used this on some strawberry cupcake frosting for a little girl. They were super pink. I recently bought some hibiscus powder at a natural food store to try out as a food coloring. I used it to boost the pink color of a rhubarb sauce that topped cupcakes. It was a more natural color, more of a mauve.

May 28, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking

Root Beer Popsicles

I make Root Beer popsicles from an extract called "Homebrew". I got it from a beer making supply store. I just got a different brand (Stoltzfus) that I haven't used yet but bought it because I couldn't find "Homebrew" in my new neighbrohood. I got it online, Amazon.

May 28, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking

Birthday cake for a dog that the humans can eat too

Well, this is way late for your Dog party, but I am going to put this out there anyway. My dog loves the Frosty Paws Dog Ice Cream, and I just bought the ice cream bowl attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer so I had the idea of making ice cream for the dog. I found some dog ice cream recipes on the internet and used some of the ingredients to create my own. I can't recall the exact measurements for the ingredients, but one recipe I used nonfat yogurt, cooked carrots, apple sauce, brewers yeast and peanut butter. Blend in blender and follow directions for the ice cream maker. If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can just pour into little cups and freeze, (my dog is not picky about the consistencey of her ice cream). I put a dog biscuit into each cup before I froze them.

Another recipe was just nonfat yogurt, cooked mixed vegetables and brewers yeast. (I have been finding ways to incorporate brewers yeast into her diet because I've heard it makes your dog less tasty to fleas.)

Neither of these ice cream recipes tasted as gross as they sound, though I would never make this for myself.

May 28, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking

Can you get any good food in Springfield, IL?

We just got back from a trip to Springfeld where we were attending a (motorcycle) flat track class. Our hotel was right downtown but our class was out at the fairgrounds. I wrote down addresses for some of the places found on CHOW. We flew into town and didn't have a car so we were kinda limited as to where we could go. First night we walked around the downtown area and peeked into Augie's. The menu looked good and I liked the looks of the place but it was a little pricey and so we kept looking. We ended up choosing Saputo's because it was a block away from our hotel. My husband liked the food, for me the food was fine, nothing special, basic italian, but the service was good. The place was dark, had an older crowd, and had the TV playing in the background. The next day we missed breakfast and I saw Jungle Jim's through the cab window as we were getting close to the fairgrounds. It looked like a local greasy spoon and I would have liked to go there. That night we got a ride with some people in our class to a BBQ restaurant called Smokey Bones, (don't have a clue as to what part of town this was). This place was packed, and seemed family and sports oriented. The portions were huge and the meat was good. The morning we were leaving was a Sunday and we were trying to find breakfast near the hotel. We ended up just a few blocks away at the Cafe Brio which was by far my favorite spot of the trip. Very casual, almost felt like I was back in the Bay Area (Ca.), the food was great. I had a an egg, hollendaise, ham thing that was great and my husband had a burrito with sausage that looked really good. A few of the guys in our groups went to Tea Thyme for breakfast right near the hotel, and they gave that place the thumbs up.

Best Breakfast place in Eastbay

I like the Homemade Cafe, and Blackberry Bistro (4240 Park Boulevard). Blackberry Bistro has good potato pancakes.

Fun Bar with good food!

On the more divey end, Red's Java House (Pier 30 - Bryant & Embarcadero) is definitely a San Francisco experience. It has basic inexpensive food (burgers, dogs, fish & chips) it is near the ballpark and has a patio with a view of the water. There is a bar, good margaritas and bloody marys. Great on a sunny day.

how to get crispy skin on underside of whole chicken

I've seen a bunch of differnt styles of "Beer Can Roasters" lately. I have two different ones, both take a little effort to clean, but it is THE BEST roasted chicken I've ever made. I found one the other day at The Grocery Outlet, seen one at Bed Bath & Beyond (I think, check their website). They are pretty inexpensive so I bought several and gave them to my friends.

May 10, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking

Freezing stuffed peppers

When I make my Mom's Chile Relleno Casserole, I will make several trays and freeze them. (It has some similar ingredients to your stuffed peppers.) I bake them until done in glass pyrex baking dishes, cool them wrap in foil and pop in the freezer. To reheat, leave foil on till almost reheated take off foil to brown top.

May 10, 2008
hot breath in Home Cooking


Asbach Hot Toddy (good for cold nights):
hot water
sugar or honey (or add a shot of Barenjager (honey liqueur))

Asbach Sidecar(made similar to a margarita, but with brandy instead of tequila):
In pint with ice
Asbach (double shot)
orange liqueur (half shot)
lime juce splash
sweet & sour (fill rest of pint)
Shake, strain into "martini" glass rimmed with sugar.

May 10, 2008
hot breath in Spirits

Food for a shark-themed party?

I made a cake for my brother once that had blue (and white) frosting peaked to look like waves. Pepperidge Farms makes those little fish shaped crackers in rainbow colors. I put them on top. I recently found that they also make pretzel fish as well.

Here is a recipe for Shrimp and Tilapia Ceviche:

1 lb. Tilapia fillets cubed
1 lb. Shrimp (raw, peeled, deveined)
8 garlic cloves chopped fine
juice from 4-6 limes (enough citrus juice to cover fish)
juice from 2-3 lemons
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 red onion chopped finely
1 serrano pepper (deseeded and minced)
(I have also used mild jalapeno as well)
1 cucumber peeled and sliced thinly

In a large pot boil water and add shrimp for 1 -2 minutes. Quickly cool shrimp, (add to bowl of ice water or run under cold tap in strainer). Place cubed tilapia and shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix in lime and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Add onion, chile, pepper, garlic, salt, refrigerate for another hour. Right before serving add and mix in cilantro and cucumber.

May 10, 2008
hot breath in General Topics

Tipping at a Tea Service

Yes and Yes, maybe... Are you orgainizing the tea? Is it a small or large group? Many places have a policy for adding gratuity onto the bill if it is a group. I had never been to a Tea Service before and was invited to a "Bridal Shower" tea. The group consisted of mainly bartender ladies and relatives of the bride to be. Many of us had never been to a Tea Room and were looking around to see what the others were doing. Our "server" did a great job, we had a lot of fun, the sandwiches were great. Another woman was there to read people's tea leaves. It was cool. This is how we worked out the bill: The woman who arranged the Tea Service added a 20% gratuity (I think the Tea House added 15% to the bill and we bumped it up to 20%) divided the bill by the number of guests minus the Bride and the two Mums. Some of us kicked in more for a larger tip.

May 10, 2008
hot breath in Not About Food

cocktails you've invented that worked or didn't

I really shouldn't admit that I liked this...This drink was made because we didn't feel like going to the store one more time.
Pint glass with ice
2 shots Absolut Citron
Fill almost to the top with Cactus Cooler
Top with Lipton Black Tea (iced) for "Long Island Iced Tea" color
Be sure not to tell anyone you did this (oops).

May 10, 2008
hot breath in Spirits

Margarita Recipes

This is the closest recipe to what I would make at home (with the lime and lemon zest), though I would use less orange liqueur and more tequila. Key is the ICE. Use small ice cubes, or crushed ice. Lots of it.

May 10, 2008
hot breath in Spirits

Best Bread Pudding in the Bay Area

DeLessio deli in San Francisco (Market & Valencia) has the best (croissant brioche)bread pudding that I have had.

Is Sausalito Worth a Trip?

I don't have suggestions for food in Sausalito (though I lived there 8 years) but the Ferry is a great idea. Check out the Ferry Building as well. Hog Island Oysters, Cowgirl Creamery (cheese). There is a Farmers Market Tues. 10am -2pm & Sat. 8am to 2pm.

If you are into spirits take the Blue & Gold Ferry to Alameda and walk (a bit of a walk) to the Hangar 1 distillery. They have tasting hours Wed. through Sat. and Distillery tours on Sat..

Good local beer?

The Reality Czech is MY alltime favorite beer. Zeitgeist in SF also has a tap handle for Moonlight.

Good local beer?

Speakeasy Brewery is a San Francisco brewery (Hunters Point). Even better than stocking the fridge, take them to the brewery. They are open to the public Fridays between 4 and 8pm with beer on tap and brewery tours. I don't know if they sell bottles out of the brewery, but you can find Speakeasy bottles lots of places in the Bay Area. for more info.