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best fresh duck in Tucson?

Hi folks -
This is a long shot, but thought I'd ask. Is there s place in or near Tucson - market, farm, whatever, where I can get a fresh, not previously frozen, whole duckling for cooking?
If so..I would love to know. Thank you!

Sep 15, 2008
cacao in Southwest

Mint Leaf on Shattuck (Berkeley)

Hello:

girlfromberkeley, curious if you did check out Mint Leaf? And if so, what you thought? Although, "milder than Khana Peena" sounds too mild for me....

your comments welcome! Thanks!

Feb 26, 2008
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

Incanto Farmers' appreciation dinner

I have been meaning for a while to go to Incanto, since I adore rustic Italian food.
I see they are having a Farmer's Appreciation dinner on Feb 4th. As I am keen on the
'know your grower' concept, I am thinking this is a good time to finally go! My other half will be out of town, then; I know it is a communal dinner, anyway, but I was wondering if any of you out there in Chowhound space were also planning to attend? Anyone else from the east bay, perhaps?

And, has anyone one been to this special dinner before? Comments?

Cacao (aka, Cyndy)

Jan 26, 2008
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

restaurants in Noe Valley near the Ministry?

I am planning to go to a concert at the Noe Valley Ministry (21st & Sanchez) tomorrow night. given the weather, I was wondering if there's somewhere nearby to get a bite to eat before the show; someplace low key and not too pricey. I know the neighborhood isn't exactly great for places to eat, so I'm not going to be too picky; but fast food is out. Is there anything within an easy walk to the Ministry? It would be nice to scour for parking only once... if there isn't anything, a suggestion or two for somewhere not too far away and parkable (hah) would be helpful.

We especially like Indian and Thai, for reference.

thanks!

Jan 25, 2008
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

Wild Mushrooms

Hi -

I can't help you in Menlo Park other than to suggest Whole Foods, but you will pay, dearly. Up here in Berkeley, the Monterey market on Hopkins St. has great prices on well selected mushrooms. The (infamous) Berkeley Bowl has a great selection, too, but higher prices and frustrating parking.

Of course, even better, learn how to forage for your own ;) Like I have. the Mycological Society of SF is a great bunch of fungi friendly folks to learn from... mssf.org

cacao

Nov 17, 2007
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

'halfway' between Berkeley and Sacramento??

Thanks, you guys are great! :) Vacaville I already had pegged as a likely 'um.. no'... But, Benecia I'd not even thought of. And Napa! An excellent idea, surprised I didn't think of that. Sounds like our best bet; I don't think he's ever been there.

Apr 03, 2007
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

'halfway' between Berkeley and Sacramento??

I have a friend who's visiting CA on a business trip and is 'stuck' in Sacramento. I live in Berkeley. We're trying to see if we can arrange to meet up for dinner somewhere roughly in between, on Sunday. I'm not at all familiar with ANY place to eat North of Albany, really! If my friend drives most of the way down here, I'd at least like to shorten his driving time a little. Can anyone recommend a decent place to eat, near either side of the Carquinez bridge, say? Or just as far from Berkeley going North as you can go and still get decent food :)

I'm hoping for somewhere definitely NOT a chain restaurant, and preferably not in a mall (stop laughing!). A more-elegant-than-storefront setting would be nice. Cuisines : "Cal-med", Italian, good seafood, Thai maybe... would be good choices for us. Steakhouses or Mexican - no not our thing.

I know it's a bit of a tall order, but, any advice?

Thanks so much!

Apr 03, 2007
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

seeking NOT trendy but tasty, in SF

Hi folks:

Looking for a restaurant recommendation for a non-trendy but tasty spot; French or Italian would be good, for taking some friends out to dinner to. ( I say 'non trendy' as a way of saying not super crowded and busy with a bar scene, where you can't hear yourself speak, and most patrons are in the 20 something age bracket... no offense to anyone who likes that scene!)

My friends are NY expatriates, and appreciate fine dining that tends towards 'classic' cuisine (though they appreciate good Thai food, I happen to know, so other cuisines are not out of the question). They (as do I) also appreciate quality service, so, that & atmosphere are important along with the food! Somewhere either near-ish to the Embarcadero area (hah), OR not too difficult for parking (hah!) would be great... suggestions, anyone?

Thanks, - cacao

Feb 09, 2007
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

What happened to Vanni's?

Do not fear! Vannis' will be back, in a new locale, near Lalime's on Gilman. A waitress there told us so about 2 months ago. We had questioned her about a closing rumor we'd heard.

The new Vanni's will reopen around April, she told us. (we have been regulars there for some time, and will miss them in the meantime!)

-Cacao

Nov 28, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

something unusual in cranberry sauce?

Cooked cranberry chipotle 'salsa'; with tangerine juice, red onion, diced red pepper, and one deseeded, rehydrated, chipotle pepper.

Nov 22, 2006
cacao in Home Cooking

To Brine or not to brine? . . . that is my question.

I am contemplating the same dilemma - to brine or to presalt a la Judy Rogers?

What I really want to know is, of those here who've recommended brining - have you also tried the long presalting technique? I want to know how those two methods compare... from a source other than _Cook's Illustrated_, for instance :)

-Cacao

Nov 20, 2006
cacao in Home Cooking

the 'new' Yoshi's - anyone?

Yoshi's mini review:

Overview: very good food; a definite improvement over the old menu. But I did find the prices a bit high for what you got, and the service was 'trying a little too hard' (but this may have been our particuara server).

We had the edamame dou (outstanding - I nhave never enjoyed soybeans so much!) with garlic and soy on one side, and chili lime on the other. The garlic soy pods were delectable; good for sucking on :) ) We moved on to the house seaweed salad (I forget the name on the menu) - a lovely presentation, and quite tasty mix of seaweeds and daikon shreds, surrounded by cucumber slices and marndarin orange bits. If you like seaweed (I do), you'll appreciate this. We then had the 'jewelry box' of sashimi bits in a sqaure molded form; pretty and fun, but pricey; and the rice chips served with the dish were far too greasy for my tastes. slightly wilted radicchio was also served, for scooping purposes. A somewhat comoon tasting spicy tuna roll followed, followed next by the wonderful, wonderful, miso glased cedar planked salmon (meal highlight, in my eyes). Simple but perfectly executed. Not much on the plate, however, for the price, I felt.

Service was .. well, I got tired of hearing "awesome" "beautiful" and "excellent" - our server was not entirely professional, but he did seem to be trying. It was also fairly busy, so I give them a bit of benefit of a doubt in the service department.

Tab was ~75 for two; with one beer and one sake (which was overpriced - the menu price and what I was charged were $3 off - but we didn't have time to make a fuss over it, due to it being showtime).

Verdict? I'd return if I was in the mood to 'splurge', but the menu is too pricey for a casual bite before a show, methinks.

Cacao

Oct 02, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

the 'new' Yoshi's - anyone?

Another Yoshi's in SF? I didn't know. 'Fillmore Jazz district'?
Guess I haven't been downtown in a while.

Anyway,
I will be sure and report on my experience at 'the new' Yoshi's in Oakland, after this weekend. Hopefully the food matches the quality of the music, which I already know is sure to be 'up my alley'.

-Cacao

Sep 28, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

the 'new' Yoshi's - anyone?

Hi folks:

I'm going to a jazz show this weekend at Yoshi's, and I'm planning on eating there, - since I want to get there early and ghopefully get a good seat for the show!

I see the restaurant has a new chef, and a new menu online.. without prices listed (don't you just *hate* that?) Has anyone been to the 'new' restaurant yet, and can comment on the food and the prices?

Thanks,

Cacao

Sep 28, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

Best duck (for cooking) in Oakland Chinatown?

Well, I was wanting a duck *today* and not wanting to spend the exhorbitant $ for a fresh one of the Libery/Grimaud variety in the specialty markets, so I ended up getting a frozen one at Jacks. I wish I'd read the post about Yet Sun mkt before I'd left the house, since they've got fresh - definitely wil try them next time!

Surely Libery Ducks can't be beat; but it takes some advance planning to get direct at their very fair prices. I ordered a Liberty duck directly from them this past Xmas and was wowed; I definitely will order from them again, when planning and funds converge appropriately!

We'll see how the cheap, 'everyday' duck turns out... thanks for the advice.

Cacao

Sep 17, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

Best duck (for cooking) in Oakland Chinatown?

Hello:

This is a bit of a cooking question, but it's definitely geographically
specific - Please let me know (nicely!) if this post should be elsewhere on the boards.

I'm wanting to find the 'best' (freshest, tastiest) whole duck to take home for cooking, yet I'm and not quite up for paying the high prices per pound of, say, Andronicos. I'm thinking Oakland's Chinatown has got to be a good place to look .. I know there's no shortage of tasty _cooked_ whole duck, but I Want to do the cooking myself. But I don't know where to go, specically ... I know the produce markets can vary widely in quality, for instance, there. Any recommendations/ideas?

Thanks!

Cacao

Sep 16, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

bran muffin

Hello:

I am quite partial to the 'low fat' (you wouldn't guess it) Blueberry Bran muffins at Bel Forno in North Berkeley, in the 'triangle' between Longs and Safeway at Rose and Shattuck. It helps that I live very close by! But I am very particular about my muffins, and I particularly love a good bran muffin. Theirs are maybe a bit sweet sometimes, but they are LARGE muffins, a good bit of crispness to the edges, lots of fiber and lots of berries, too.

-Cacao

Jul 28, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

Cafe Claude - what to order?

Just a brief report - we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner last night at Cafe Claude. The service is very good there; efficient without hovering. Good bread was brought promptly to the table - I hate when that doesn't happen! The have a small but interesting wine list. My only complaint is that the portions are quite small for the price, I felt. We had the special goat cheese and herb stuffed figs wrapped in prosciutto (very good - the filling was divine), the cabecou goat cheese salad (very nice), the special pasta of the day (with few, but perfect, mussels), and the Coquille St. Jacques which was not what I thought it was going to be, but it was very good! Dessert was the cherry claflouti, which was a bit dissapointing for me. It really, really, deserved more cherries! and less overly eggy custard (in my humble opinion).

Overall, a nice evening, and I would go back. Maybe to try one of the larger plates, or for lunch, next time.

-Cacao

Jul 23, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a fun restaurant in N Berkeley

A bit closer to North Face is Jimmy Beans on Gilman and .. 9th or 6th. Simple fare, but I know their brunch is quite tasty! Lots of veggie fare on the lighter side. Pretty casual, so kids would be fine.

http://www.jimmybeans.com/

Low key, family friendly Indian at Cafe Raj on Solano closer to San Pablo. They are very friendly there, and the food is not so heavy as most Indian. I wouldn't reccommend Ajanta with kids (and I had one bad meal experience there...

)

have fun!

Jul 21, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area

Cafe Claude - what to order?

Hello:

I'm going to Cafe Claude Saturday with my sweetie, what should two non-beef/pork eaters order, there? The menu petit plats sound good (the coquille st Jacque in particular..) what are portion sizes like?

thanks for any 'feed' back,

cacao

Jul 21, 2006
cacao in San Francisco Bay Area