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Have you ordered spicy hot food and then complained about it being too hot?

We seem to have a a lot of Peruvian restaurants in the the SF Bay Area and in my experience, the main dishes are not hot but are served with side sauces that can pack quite a bit of chile heat.

It is up to the individual diner to add the condiments as desired.

I believe this to be true for most Mexican and Central American cuisines as well.

1 day ago
pamf in General Topics

Flatware buying tips?

You might want to check the Cookware board. This gets discussed a lot.

Here's one:

May 19, 2015
pamf in Cookware

Headed to Moonraker in Pacifica for AYCE Fish n Chips tonight (Thursday deal)

I have not tried their fish and chips, but they offer them for about the same price for a regular portion at lunch ($15), so if you can eat more than one portion it's a good deal.

Try to get there early, before 6:30, and perhaps you can combine the AYCE deal with their $1 oysters and discounted drinks for happy hour.

It's pretty cloudy now but that could change by late afternoon/early evening. The views are nice, sunset is at 8:11pm today.

May 14, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

Holy and Hungry - a new Cooking Channel series

Scripps Network, same people that own Food Network.

May 12, 2015
pamf in Food Media & News

Ever tried HelloFresh?

I have not tried them but I got the same $40 card, so I had a look through the website, didn't seem to have many interesting choices, so I skipped it.

I did try one of their competitors "Plated" with their first order discount, it was kind of fun to unpack the box, but the resulting dishes were a bit underwhelming. There was a short discussion about Plated here a couple of months ago. I would expect many of the same comments would apply to Hello Fresh and the other one "Blue Apron" that has been advertising a lot lately.

May 11, 2015
pamf in General Topics

Microwave replacement recommendation

I am sorry to hear about your bad experience with Panasonic because I have owned two Panasonic units with the Inverter technology. This feature does the best job of re-heating and defrosting food evenly than any other microwave I have ever used.

I do agree that the plastic latch on the door looks pretty flimsy (and this was not a cheap unit ~$150). So I have made it a habit to handle it gently, no slamming it shut and I do not fully close the door when it's not in use. Hopefully that will increase the lifespan, however it's a bit difficult to convince other household members to remember this.

May 10, 2015
pamf in Cookware

Yay!! New Sandra Lee TV show coming to ABC

Not quite as busy as the old TWOP, but was set up by some of the old staff.

Some regular posters from the old SLop forums are on board. Since Aunt Sandy has been on the down low for the last couple of years most of the snark lately has been directed at Pioneer Woman.

Tardigrade, IMHO her worst ever concoction was the slow cooker meatloaf.

Mexican Wines

I think it has to do with customs and the duty that needs to be paid. Perhaps also that the total production is still pretty small for exporting. Come to think of it we don't see many Canadian wines in the US either.

I would highly recommend a visit to taste the wines. The Valle de Guadalupe is close to the city of Ensenada and about a two hour drive from San Diego.

Check the Mexico board here on Chowhound for discussions about the wineries and dining in Baja.

May 08, 2015
pamf in Wine

48th wedding anniversary dinner in SF

Gitane is a very romantic space with a Spanish influenced menu. On the same block is Cafe Claude with a French bistro menu but some California influences. Both easy walking from Union Square.

A little further of a walk are Acquitane and Cafe Gaspar. Mourad is the new restaurant from the chef at Aziza for Morrocan.

Walking a little farther down to the Embarcadero (the waterfront)you might try Coqueta for tapas.

I am sure you will get lots more reccos, just check the online menus and see what appeals. Happy anniversary!

May 07, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

Cafe Gibraltar closes.

According to their website they will be having two final dinners on Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th.

They will offering 3, 4 or 5 course prix fixe meals. Details and menus on the website.

May 07, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

is there a place where I can find some reliable Sonoma wineries itineraries?

Don't forget to check out the Sonoma Wine Roads website, to view their maps and get a good idea of travel involved going from area to another. The distances can be deceptive and a lot of the roads are narrow, twisty and not always clearly marked.

It looks like they have a new feature on the website that lets you create and download your own customized maps.

The Alexander Valley (extremely beautiful scenery) and the Dry Creek Valley are good areas to concentrate on if you have limited time, since there are a large number wineries that are located close to each other.

Also many Sonoma County tasting rooms offer complimentary tastings and other discounts based on a promotion they have with VISA Signature cards, so if you have one of those you can check and see if the wineries you are interested in participate.

Lunch at Pier 39 for large group [San Francisco]

Sympathies for the loss of your mother.

There are two restaurants near Pier 33, which is not that far from Pier 39. Hillstone is a national chain that serves steaks and standard American food. Looks like they could handle a group your size and everyone could probably find something on the menu to their liking. The other restaurant near there is called Butterfly and that's kind of a California-Asian fusion type of place.

Also in the Pier 39 complex itself is the Crab House (yes it will be full of tourists, depending on when you plan on going) but they specialize in seafood if your group would like that.

May 04, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

North Beach Pizza is right at 3rd and B Street in the middle of "downtown" San Mateo. I don't think they sell slices (just whole pies) but they are the closest to what I think of NY style that you can find around here.

I would take the recommendation for Pizzeria Delfina in Burlingame as being the best pizza, but that is more Neopolitan style, but the pizza and other dishes are all excellent if you want something a little different.

May 03, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite things to buy at Nugget Market

Glad to hear that they are now open in Marin. I will have to make a trip up north.

When I spent a lot of time for work in the Sacramento area Nugget, especialy Vacaville, was a favorite. Their prepared foods were always great. They have an in house executive chef and you can see the cooks working behind the counters.

Fresh meat and seafood were always excellent (although pricy, but you pay for quality).

I would try whatever looks good to you, with a reasonable expectation of quality. I will post again when I have a chance to try out their new Marin locations.

May 01, 2015
pamf in California

Pacifica Update - Spring 2014

Devil's Slide Taproom has been added to our regular rotation. Great for a casual weekend brunch/lunch. Nothing fancy, burgers, sliders, wings, some other sandwiches, but it's all tasty. Also reasonably priced.

Get the garlic fries.

I am not a beer expert, they have about twenty on tap and more by the bottle. My SO is happy with the selection. The wine list is short but good. I just get a glass of their rose and I am happy.

Outdoor seating is dog friendly.

Apr 27, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

New season: Heartland Table

That's too bad, but FN is still showing the reruns on Sunday morning at 8:30 am. For fans of the show or those who didn't see it the first time around.

Tips to cut grocery bill

Sorry, I have to say that I have had the opposite experience with the optician services at Costco.

It took three tries for them to get something acceptable. That was on the optician side, who are contractors with Costco.

Then when I finally got a prescription that I could live with, when I went to pick up the lenses, they gave me one blue and one green. This is the Costco side. I told them that the different colors were not acceptable and the clerk told me that "everyone" orders them that way so they can tell the right from the left. I did not order them that way and because I actually have blue eyes I would look a little odd with one green eye. So that was four tries (over about 2 months) to get a working pair of contact lenses. Never again.

Apr 20, 2015
pamf in General Topics

Another tipping question?

It was discussed extensively on the SF Bay Area board last year.

Apr 18, 2015
pamf in Not About Food

Feedback on Russian River/ Napa Itinerary

Did you make your reservation at the Copain Winery? If so no worries. However, it's my understanding that what they serve is not exactly a full lunch, but more of an assortment of cheese, charcuterie and such to pair with a tasting of their reserve wines.

I think pinotho may have been thinking of the restaurant Bistro des Copains in western Sonoma which did close a few months ago. (A shame because it was a charming spot).

I am sure you will enjoy your visit to Copain though it is a beautiful location and a truly elegant tasting experience.

If you are at Dutton Goldfield, in Graton, there are a couple of casual restaurants right nearby, one is Willow Wood, where you could pick up a little breakfast or a sandwich to fortify you before tasting.

Apr 15, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

My experience with rental cars in areas that have a lot of toll roads/bridges is that you pay a flat fee per day above the rental charge. So whether it is more expensive or not depends on how much driving you are doing. It's usually worth it for the convenience when you are in an unfamiliar area and you don't know what or where the tolls will be, it also helps if it's a business expense and then is just part of the total rental expense.

In the Bay Area, especially the GG bridge which no longer has cash tolls, your license plate will be photographed and you will eventually get a bill. If it's a rental and have not pre-paid, they will eventually bill you too.

If you live in the area there's really no reason not to get a device. They are free and they charge your credit card a small amount and allow that credit to ride until you use it up and then charge you again. They send out quarterly statements.

Apr 13, 2015
pamf in Not About Food

question about old cooking tv show!

Is this what you are thinking of:

The Surreal Gourment

Apr 02, 2015
pamf in Food Media & News

Mazzetti's Bakery / Pacifica

If you are still looking into Italian bakeries in the Peninsula area, you could try Galli's Sanitary Bakery on Grand Ave in South San Francisco and Lunardi's markets (San Bruno Ave and Skyline or the one on El Camino in Burlingame, just south of Millbrave Ave). I am not sure who Lunardi's gets their pastries from.

Apr 02, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy scrag end of winter March 2015 edition! [old]

It was a fun browse and resulted in 4 books purchased but the total damage to the credit card was only about $22 including shipping.

Most expensive was a Batali book at about $6, then two French books at about $4 each and something called "Mosh Potatoes" which purportedly has recipes from some heavy metal stars. This is a gag gift for my SO (and may end up getting passed along to one or other of his musician friends) that was $3.

Mar 31, 2015
pamf in Home Cooking

Mazzetti's Bakery / Pacifica

Are they still cash only?

Mar 31, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

Good vacation rental where I can roast a pig outside?

Perhaps, not exactly your dream, but the Surf Spot restaurant in Pacifica has a pig pit on premises and they have cabanas that you can reserve for private parties. I have no idea what the rates are for this, so you would have to check with them.

There is plenty of parking, they often have live music, it's a short walk to the beach and there are 3 motels (nothing fancy) right there on the beach for those who want to stay. You may also be able find a nearby house rental through airBNB or other service.

Mar 29, 2015
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

Donato Enoteca, Redwood City

Wow, Nick's and Winter's on the same night, you are really going retro-Pacifica, props to you. I am sure you will have fun if you approach it that way.

As far as those "famous" crab sandwiches, they are rather mayo heavy. Maybe you should split one and order a couple of other apps/salads to round out your meal.

Welcome to my town.

Donato Enoteca, Redwood City

You will be driving quite a long way out of your way from HMB back to SF, if you go to Redwood City or Woodside (who knows maybe you enjoy the driving).

However, there are some good spots right along Highway 1 you might want to consider. La Costenera (Peruvian) has a gorgeous setting directly overlooking the ocean, you can walk down to the beach from the restaurant if you are so inclined.

Cafe Gibraltar is pan-Mediterranean in a lovely small romantic room just one street up the hill from Pillar Point Harbor.

Pasta Moon is Cal-Ital right on Main Street in HMB proper. Very solid food, nice but not overly fancy ambience and good service.

When you are in Pacifica, your best bet is Puerto 27, also Peruvian. The food is comparable to La Costenera but it's a more casual type of vibe. They have good views of the beach but are actually located on the other side of Highway 1.

Have you ordered from Plated

Yes, I tried them. A few weeks ago I twisted up my knee and was having a tough time getting around for shopping, driving and cooking. The options for delivery and takeout are pretty limited where I live, so curiosity got the better of me and I checked out the link.

If you go through the link here on CH, you could get three meals for two for $24 (total six portions, three different dishes) which would regularly cost $72. Free shipping. I think this same deal is available with coupon codes from other media too.

You do have to give them all your info up front including credit card before you can even see what's on offer.

Selection was pretty limited and I guess it changes from week to week, and probably changes from location to location as well.

It was kind of fun to get the first box with all the stuff, but the resulting dishes were kind of dull. Certainly not anything we could not of made up on our own, since we are compulsive pantry stockers. We only needed the fresh meat and veg. Portion sizes are small-ish but they do provide nutritional information on every dish.

The items I received were all at the low end of the price scales $12/plate. They did offer other items, such as steak or salmon that were as much as $26/plate. At this price point you just might as well go out to a restaurant.

As far as prep and cooking, no difference, so you are just skipping the shopping.

Ingredients that were provided were of good quality but no better than I can buy locally.

I cancelled after the the first shipment. Which you need to do quickly because they will automatically charge you and send a default order ($72) if you do not.

Lastly, excessive packaging. I will save the insulated box and ice packs for taking out on picnics this summer, but I cannot imagine getting one of these every week, my recycling bin would be overflowing.

Host gifts for challenging hosts

I think you came up with the perfect solution for this situation. The book was discussed during your visit so it was thoughtful of you to remember and send it to your relatives.

I also like HappyBaker's suggestion on Penzey's. If you look at their website they have dozens of different gift boxes ranging from about $10 all the way up to $200. Something to keep in mind for future gifting.

I understand about gift cards, it's just like giving cash. Some families are OK with this and with others it can get a little touchy.

In Memoriam: French Food at Home

Ennuisans, may have been a bit early when he started this topic in January, but it looks like it has finally happened.

The last episode that was picked up on my DVR was 3-Mar-2015 and Laura has not been on the schedule, so far, for the rest of No the month. I checked this on the CC website, both the daily schedules and on Laura's chef page. This is sad because I still enjoyed watching the old reruns even those that I have seen many times.

Although a little bit of solace remains for Laura fans. She just posted today about a series of short videos that she made with friends in Paris. It's about hosting a dinner party and you can find them here:

Mar 20, 2015
pamf in Food Media & News