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East Bay BBQ for catering or takeout

When I worked in Hayward, we always got our catered BBQ from Carmen & Family, on West A Street. They were a star in the galaxy of Flint's/E&J/Ernie Goode. We always favored their ribs and their chicken. Haven't been in a couple years, so my advice is to stop by and taste. actually, you want to do that anywhere you'd consider for catering. Enjoy!

May 17, 2013
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Any place one can buy Kouign Amann in SF?

Whenever I need a dozen or so, it's Starter's booth at the Wednesday Albany farmers' market. They always have plenty, in several varieties. $3.75 unfilled (my preference), $4 for the others. Also got a nice spelt loaf last time.

Wednesdays 3-6 PM
Solano Ave just west of San Pablo
Parking is no problem, especially if you ride a bike.

PS Also a very nice sorbet vendor right next to Starter, half a dozen flavors at least.

Nov 26, 2012
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Best California Zinfandel or Cab $10 and under?

I have favored Joel Gott vintage zin for years--but it runs around $15 at BevMo.

A little more in your price range is Rosenblum Vintner's Cuvee--$7.99 at BevMo, $6.99 at TJ's. Never a bad wine, and some years actually pretty good. This year, a little sweeter than I expected, not too complex, but drinkable and affordable.

Aug 04, 2012
ShepherdBGoode in Wine

Best burger in Berkeley?

Perhaps not destination fare, but good when in the neighborhood:

Al's Big Burger
437 San Pablo Ave, Albany
Juicy 1/3 pounder, flame-broiled more or less to order, hits the spot with retro toppings (lettuce, tomato, grilled onions).

Pyramid Brewery
901 Gilman Street, Berkeley
Large and juicy, cooked to order, not much char, again fewer toppings is more to my taste, although the bacon is pretty good. Convenient because I'd drag myself across the street with a broken back before I ever again entered T-Rex, where the service has consistently been so insultingly bad that I guess it must be my own fault.

When in Frisco, I like to hit Joe's Cable Car because I ate there often when working nights.. I've had a better burger in nicer surroundings, but Joe's makes me feel middle aged again. "Joe grinds his own chuck daily."
4320 Mission Street at Silver, SF

Jul 01, 2012
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

What did you have for breakfast today? Part 2

2 pieces of Church's fried chicken, and a mug of black French press coffee. No eggs, meat, fish, or bread in the house this AM 8-p

Jun 25, 2012
ShepherdBGoode in General Topics

Chicken fried steak with white gravy, fried okra, and buttermilk biscuits around the Bay Area?

Still think the best CFS I've had in Cali is at the Bluebird in Hopland. No okry, though, only ever had green beans there. And, it's been a couple years...

Ole's gets second best--the cream gravy has a bacon-and-honey essence. Yeah, I know.

May 26, 2012
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley hound in East Cobb

My pleasure to spend a week in East Cobb with family. My sister is very health-driven, and c ould not believe thaqt all I wanted was some of the great Atlanta fast food and street food. I moaned and bitched, and here's what we got.

Waffle House is Waffle House. Only, I never been to one. Although they are on every corner, we drove a few miles to my bro-in-law's favorite. More menu than I expected. Had the rib-eye, eggs, & hash browns, lots of gravy on everything. I was very happy. Service was quick and friendly--somebody hit a couple Marvin Gaye tunes on the juke, and staff and diners joined in a sing-a-long. This place was on Roswell, couple miles south of Johnson Ferry.

Sam's BBQ #1 has been touched on this board. 3 of us had ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and Brunswick stew. The ribs were smoky and salty, with real good bark, and worked well with both habanero and Carolina sauces. I rather had St Louis instead of baby backs (my hometown style is Oakland CA, mostly a blend of Memphis and Texas styles, and nobody eats baby backs). Pulled pork was smoky, moist and tasty; the Carolina sauce did its thing to tie the sandwich together. The Brunswick was tasty, but pretty thin. The brisket was smoky but that's all, too dry for me--we took it home along with the smoked corn, and added it to my sister's beef vegetable soup. Yummy.
Sam's is at 4944 Lower Roswell Rd, xxDavidson, in Marietta.

Oak Street Cafe was a mixed blessing. We got seated immediately at 1 PM on Father's Day, then the service slowed down. My request for tequila instead of vodka in my bloody mary earned me the blankest look I've had in a while. The whole staff took time out to stare at our table. Bro-in-law's eggs Benedict were pronounced "eggselent"; Sis and I both had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, which surprised us by appearing in sandwich form. Our portions were very large--we each took a half sandwich home. At $70 + tip, it was an OK meal. 45 Oak St, xxBush, Roswell, in the SOCA shops.

The contrast, not surprising, was that for $27, four hungry guys feasted at Mr Taco in Roswell. I really enjoyed the cochinita pibil tacos--they don't advertise a cochinita plate, but I bet they'd make one. Nephew #1 had the mole special--4 chicken enchiladas drowned in mole sauce and white cheese. All the rest was tacos, then we sat back and burped and grinned. I brought a menu back home, and will be showing it at my various favorite taquerias around the East Bay, just to be helpful. 893 Holcomb Bridge Rd, #200, Roswell.

Also had a Five Guys stop coming down from up Nawth. You all know about it, and I liked it better than In'n'Out, the current Cali fave. The peanuts are a sweet touch.

Did not get to Zaxby's, although I whined and bitched and basically begged. However, at the airport going home, I hit Paschal's for a meat-and-three. Just love Paschal's, best reason to fly Delta I can think of.

Also, BTW, did not meet one person who was not friendly and congenial well above the call of hospitality. Thank you all for another great visit to Atlanta.

Shep

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Oak Street Cafe
45 Oak St, Roswell, GA 30075

Mr Taco
893 Holcomb Bridge Rd Ste 200, Roswell, GA 30076

Five Guys
658 Dawsonville Hwy, Gainesville, GA 30501

Jun 22, 2011
ShepherdBGoode in Atlanta

Marin Breakfast

Second Le Croissant--for the bowl of creamed spinach with poached eggs--for the thick, meaty bacon--even for the oatmeal--and for the gossip at the counter, if you are wise enough to sit there.
Skip the croissants, though. They are huge, but kind of soggy.

Aug 05, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

My. God.
I have spent a grand total of 8 hours in Italy, and it was in Naples, 1967. I could hardly wait to get a slice of real Napoli pizza, as the guys from Jersey and Providence had been braggin' it up all the way over. And it was soggy and underdone. And now you're telling me that it was supposed to be that way? Yoy, and double yoy.

Aug 01, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in General Topics

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

How much of our eating habits are imposed by our conditions of employment? When you have 1/2 hour for lunch, Olive Garden is a bigass improvement over McD's, Jack, Carl's and the other greasy fried places that abound. You can run in, run out, and fool yourself that you ate a real meal.

Aug 01, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in General Topics

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

When a kid in PA in the 50s-60s, avocado was a special treat to ceremoniously shared around the table. Funny to go in the service, get stationed at San Diego, and find heaps of avocados in the mess hall, 3 meals a day. "Here, man, take one with you." And then to come back to PA a few years later to find that everybody's making guacamole.
i'm kind of a locavore, but I dig that you can get fresh lemon grass at Lucky supermarket.

Aug 01, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in General Topics

Chilaquile Tour --> SF and East Bay.

When the craving strikes, i head to the "Gillman" Grill, since it's 2 blocks away. Their version is eggs, with chips and chopped onions scrambled in, and topped with melted cheese. served with black beans, and a tomato salsa that resembles canned diced tomatoes, but without the canned flavor.

The chilaquiles at Tacubaya seemed pretty much like nachos; no desire to return. If I want nachos I'll go to Juan's Place.

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Tacubaya
1788 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Juan's Place
941 Carleton St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Aug 01, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Friday foodie tour in Berkeley

My favorite item at Hopkins Street Bakery is the Anzac cookies. Semi-sweet and coconutty, great soaked in milk or tea, and I've had a couple last for literally a year in the bag without any noticable change. Good with peanut butter, too (what isn't).

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Hopkins Street Bakery
1584 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA

Jul 30, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Your favorite frozen meal

Just finished a Stouffer's Mac & Beef, while reading "What do you mean by fine dining?" That's way up there on my list. I'd rather eat the entrees than the full meals, then have some fresh veg, grilled asparagus or something.

So how do you roll, when you're nukin' it from the freezer?

Jul 29, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in General Topics

What is the "Southern" equivalent of Italian-American "Baked Ziti"? Potato Salad?

Yams. Baked yams.
Mashed and mixed with bourbon and butter, and baked again.
No dam marshmallows, either.

Course, I'm referencing Georgia here.

Jul 29, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in General Topics

Excellent pozole at La Palmita (Berkeley)

OK, I did get by on Saturday, and let's just say I had posole 3 times, the weekend. It's the red version, spicy but not thermal, and came with a plate of chopped cabbage, chopped onion, lime quarters, & oregano. O mama.
They have also added tacos to the menu since my last visit, and I had one with carnitas, just to see. Very tasty, and 2 could make a lunch.
The guy taking orders said they will be offering various caldos as often as possible.
Thanks again, ernie.

Jul 19, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Excellent pozole at La Palmita (Berkeley)

Yes it's good grub, and since I live nearby I get there whenever I want. But often enough, what I want is tacos, and Chipotle does an adequate job on those.

That said, ernie's description of the posole is alluring, bet I get by there tomorrow.

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Chipotle
34893 Newark Blvd, Newark, CA 94560

Jul 16, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

How/Why did you pick your screen name?

A very dumb joke/pun--too much Chuck Berry and not enough Sunday school--thought about the Good Shepherd one day, and "Go, go, go, Shepherd B. Goode!" Waited years for someplace worth using it, and here you go. Shortened by laziness to "Shep".

One of my favorites, just for how it sounds, is "heidipie".

Jul 16, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in Site Talk

Shameful Food Secrets

In the 70's, I was an alarm tech on the night shift. We had keys to various premises, to go in and work when they were closed. One of them was a candy factory. HAHAHAHAHA!
Feeling vaguely guilty, I eventually asked about their attitude toward "tasting". Their response, no matter how much I stuffed myself with, it wouldn't be a drop compared to what they spilled on the floor. Eat all I want, just don't remove any from the building. ALL RIGHT!
My favorite was always the chocolate-covered peanuts, which they did very well. Imagine a hot tub full of chocolate-covered peanuts.....

Jul 14, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in General Topics

Albany: Aangan Indo-Nepalese?

Yo, rw.
That site is the graveyard of restaurants, like Afghanistan is the graveyard of generals. Maybe someday some genius opens a nice parrillada there, so Shep doesn't have to drive to Richmond for a grilled chix fix.

Jun 24, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Best to-go fried chicken in Oakland / East Bay?

Culina's is good, if you like big, crisp breading. Tore UP a Superbowl party with that mess.
Jodie's is the same--love it fresh hot fried to order, but I've walked in off the street and walked out in 5 minutes with 8 pieces, too.
Merritt Bakery is very good in the thinner crust department, also pretty centrally located.
BUT, who forgot Porky's Pizza, 1221 Manor Blvd, San Leandro--510-357-4323--still my hands-in-the-box favorite. Fresh hot crispy crust, nice size pieces, tastes so good it's almost healthy. They still don't open till 3 PM, so call ahead.

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Merritt Bakery
203 E 18th St, Oakland, CA 94606

Culina
1650 Park St, Alameda, CA

Jun 24, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Recipe for Sleek?

Tami, I learned about sleek at your family's place! Ate there the day you opened, and many times thereafter. What a house of love! Worked at WYEP then, so a shot-and-beer breakfast at Sam & Bernie's, hoagy for lunch at Larry & Carol's, but for dinner always Khalil's.
The salads and side dishes were the most special part, okra in tomato sauce, and the foul maddamas. And the hot bread. And the kibbee nayee. Thanks to your mom and dad and family for making life better on Semple Street.
Wade

Jun 01, 2010
ShepherdBGoode in Home Cooking

Suggestions on cafes and restaurants in North Berkeley/berkeley Hills area

The coffee place across from Monterey Market has decent enough omelettes & scrambles, also the soup is often good (ymmv). It's a hangout.

Shep

Jul 09, 2008
ShepherdBGoode in San Francisco Bay Area

Seafood in Portland

Thanks all for comments, we're on the way. Will review if we find something good.

Shep

Jul 09, 2008
ShepherdBGoode in Pacific Northwest

I miss Isaly's ham salad!

Square pizza makes me think of Beto's--one out by CMU and one on Banksville Road. Their square-cut pies were a delicacy of my youth. Tried Beto's again a couple of years ago, and the thrill is gone. Even the "hot & greasy" factor could not redeem these cheerless slabs. Goodby Beto's, hello Lanesplitters!

Jul 08, 2008
ShepherdBGoode in Home Cooking

Seafood in Portland

Hi, NW 'hounds.
Will be in Portland a week in July, and got the skinny on Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, and BBQ. Thanks for thoughtful, detailed posts.
BUT very little on seafood. We'd like to have at least one major fish dinner while in town, and even though it don't look good for salmon, there should be a ton of alternatives. We'll be staying mostly in Northwest, couple days downtown, and have wheels. Less interested in the exotic than the well-prepared. Price not a real obstacle, if you think the quality's there.
Thanks again,
Shep

Jul 07, 2008
ShepherdBGoode in Pacific Northwest