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Umami Burger SOMA-Seriously? (Long Review) [San Francisco]

So true. I'd take a Shake Shack burger over Umami any day. Love Nopa and Mission Bowling Club. Like but don't love Marlowe and Zuni. Not a fan of Five Guys or Super Duper, would take In-N-Out over either.

Alternative to State Bird? [San Francisco]

Highly unlikely that you would be the first in line if you get there at 5:30. I don't know how many seats they hold for walk-ins, so I can just give my experience as a data point.

Alternative to State Bird? [San Francisco]

You wont necessarily get into the first seating showing up at 5:30. I met friends there who got in line at 4:30 on a weekend and we didn't make the first seating. If its a weekday your chances are better probably.

Umami Burger SOMA-Seriously? (Long Review) [San Francisco]

Yep, ate there once and thought everything tasted too sweet and not enough beefy essence. I feel the same about Roam "Artisan" Burgers, too much focus everything but the meat, where the primary focus should be.

High End Dining with Great Wine

How's the list at Galatoires's? I just glanced through it as I wasn't drinking wine the night I was there, but it seemed pretty deep and they've gotten Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for several years.

Aug 25, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Forge Pizza now open (Oakland)

Hah, well the food did come out really quickly. yes $6 and $8. Beer was nice and cold and tap was clean.

Forge Pizza now open (Oakland)

Finally made it here last night, early outdoor dinner on a beautiful warm sunny evening. Had the fried cheese curds and roasted shishito peppers apps – peppers were great, sizzling from the wood oven with lime roasted in the cast iron skillet. Cheese curds were fine, not too greasy but bland and tomato sauce with them was totally flavorless, not worth the calories for me. Well made cocktail at $9 is a bargain these days. Really good beer list and I like that you can get a 20 ounce beer. Had the mushroom pizza and pepperoni pizza, both really good, each had several other ingredients – sausage, olives, peppers. Loved the crust, slightly sour, perfectly cooked. Sauce and toppings wise I think Boot and Shoe is better, the tomato sauce lacked the piquancy of B&S/Pizzaiola, but these were very good and I’d go back for sure. Service was great, they let us order apps/kids meal first, modified their cocktail to make it less sweet, etc.
And before Robert calls out Boot and Shoe again for their loud music, know that Forge was blaring a 3 cd rotation of Styx/Boston/Foreigner at top volume on this beautiful evening, which was worse than anything I’ve ever encountered at B&S or Pizzaiola.

you go away for a week, and the food you miss most is....

Hey daisylover, did you ever make it to San Francisco? I haven't seen any reports from your numerous requests on this board?

If you ever end up at The Stinking Rose ... [San Francisco]

Yes, I ate there once, shortly after moving to San Francisco when my father-in-law came to town and insisted on eating there (and early in my marriage when I was infinitely more tolerant of his shenanigans). I have no memory of what we ate except for the mediocrity of it all. He also dragged us to the Buena Vista Cafe, which is OK if you’re just getting an Irish coffee, but he insisted on crab omelets as well.

Peche - excellent

We were there last week. Agree about the crab pasta, generous amount of delicate crab and perfect simple sauce but the pasta was overcooked. Oysters on the half were impeccable. Wife liked the seafood salad crudo but I wasn't so into it, also had the tuna crudo - fine, but not outstanding. Fried fish sticks were prefect. I know its a different focus, but I thought the dishes at Cochon were better thought out overall, though we did like Peche quite a bit and would return.

Aug 18, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Yes, agree about the coffee, but we made do. We actually had a very good espressos at the café inside Peaches record store on N. Peters street. I had super low expectations but we were in a time crunch and it was right in front of us - nice surprise.

Aug 17, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Has anyone been to "Mission Cheese"? [San Francisco]

I prefer it more as a cheese shop, as I find the staff incredibly knowledgeable and informative, the selection great and their storage impeccable. Its also closer to my house than Rainbow, so I can't really comment on a comparison as I don't get to Rainbow much and am not so into the hippy vibe. I thought their cheese plates were a little skimpy.

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Reporting back after 5 nights of sweet August humidity. Don’t people get sick of love letters to New Orleans? Alright, just one more.
Arrived on the red eye, was able to check into the Omni at 6:00 a.m. and a glorious 3 hr. nap, then straight to EAT for brunch. Red Dress Run was just ending (or so we thought, turns out the party went well into the night and we later nicknamed the red menace and/or red plague after having drinks spilled on us and/or almost being thrown up on – nice N.O. color for the first day though). Great brunch of poached eggs over fried greens tomatoes and country ham with biscuit, wife had the poached eggs with grits and grillades – first time having these and they were great, what gives the grillades the acidity? Minor quibble: $3 - 4 ounce glass of OJ from a gallon jug. Beignets from Café Beignet – nice, fried to order. Insectarium and Imperial Woodpecker snowballs snack – perfect on a 90 degree day. Dinner at Cochon was excellent – fried oyster and bacon sandwich, some type of lard mousse on toast, fried chicken livers with pepper jelly, crawfish green tomato gratin, mac n cheese – spacing on the rest. Everything was excellent and very reasonably priced, except for the N.O. food slant this place could be in San Francisco. Minor quibble: Cow wee Cocktail was way too sweet. Wandered through Dirty Linen night picking up free cocktails and cookies on our way over to Divino Gelato for dessert.
Next morning we had coffee from Spitfire – good, no great, then out to Mandina’s for a lunch of fried soft-shell crab with a crawfish etouffee on top, great seafood gumbo and buster crab remoulade – classic family style place. After a day at City Park we stopped at Angelo Brocato for a box of cannolis and variety of cookies to keep at the hotel and snack on over the next couple days – freshly filled cannolis were very good. Took the St. Charles Streetcar out to Dante’s for dinner. If there is a more genteel way to travel I have yet to come across it, our daughter was lulled to sleep with her head on the window sill and slight breeze coming in – perfect nap before dinner. We arrived early, it was empty, a little funky and I was starting to doubt our choice, but it filled up quickly and everything was great. Perfect Sazerac, shrimp and grits with red eye gravy – amazing, blackened red fish with an herb salad that contrasted perfectly, some charcuterie, boudin rouge and a nice spicy cauliflower with raisins. Hiked up the hill to watch sunset over the Mississippi after dinner then streetcar back – great evening.
Monday we took in an Imax screening at the Aquarium (the zoo, insectarium, i-max, aquarium multi ticket is a great deal) then headed to Parkway for a roast beef and oyster poboys – excellent, then quick visit to the cemeteries. Dinner at GW Fins for their Coolinary August 3 course special – I had cioppino, jolt snapper with lump crabmeat and panna cotta, wife had some greens, crab stuffed soft-shell crab and pecan pie. Seafood was well prepared and obviously fresh. Minor quibbles: cocktail was horrible – they need to up their drink program and the overall vibe was very corporate restaurant, less soulful than the other places we went- this is our signature app, this is our signature entrée, etc. Food was good though and very comfortable big booths that were great since daughter fell asleep during dinner.
Tuesday - Shrimp and oyster poboys at Domilise’s on the way to the zoo. Domilise’s gets the slight edge over Parkway but could be because the poboys weren’t wrapped in paper so bread was crunchier – really loved this place, super friendly and low key. Walked to Hansen’s for snoballs around 11:30 – arrgghh not open til one. Couple of pims cups at Napoleon House before afternoon pool time at the hotel. Dinner at Galatoires: absolutely loved this place – should be required for any N.O. visitor. As arrived we were asked if we had a preferred waiter – have never been asked this before so had no answer – then as we were being seated in the back of my mind I recalled Hazelhurst had kindly given me recommendations but I was too dense to put two and two together at the time. We had Bob – he was fine but a little aloof. Crab maison, shrimp remoulade and foie gras to start (with foie gras banned in CA I can’t resist when out of state.) We ate a lot of shrimp on this trip but these were the best, the freshness is self-evident as soon as you bite into one. I had shrimp etouffee and wife had crabmeat gratin, fried shrimp for the little one and black bottom pecan pie for dessert. Everything was awesome. I did a couple vieux care’s and a sazerac in lieu of wine. Minor quibble: drinks were strong and well made, but clearly not top shelf booze (but at $8 a pop a relative bargain). Kind of sad that this piece of living history is surrounded by the Hustler Club and trinket shop.
Wednesday: Coffee slushies from Café Du monde, surgical strike at the French Market for voodoo dolls, Aquarium then lunch at Mahoney’s - chicken liver po-boy with slaw for me oysters/salad for wife. My daughter scarfed down 6 fried oysters and only later learned they were oysters “oysters?, I thought it was chicken”. Hansen’s – yes open, worth the effort, you can get syrups that aren’t sickeningly sweet and somehow the fluffy ice holds up without melting in the summer heat. No dinner reso so we walked over to Peche and got a table after a short wait. Oysters on the half, crabmeat pasta, fried fishsticks, tuna crudo seafood salad, gumbo and perfectly tart rum based cocktail. Everything was very good but I think I preferred Cochon overall.
Thursday: Parasol Bar for spicy shrimp po-boy, oyster platter and very good cup of red beans and rice. Po-boys not as good as the others, but still solid. Didn’t realize how close this was to Coquette which was having a $20 3 course lunch special when we walked by – should have hit that instead. Picked up sweets for our dog sitter at Sucre and had some ice cream and a macaroon – excellent sweets. Cochon butcher for sandwiches for the plane as well as some Andouille, smoked deer and country sausage to bring home. Last 2 hours spent at the N.O. State Museum Katrina and Mardi Gras exhibits – perfect ending.
Random notes: It’s incredibly easy to get around the city on public transportation and the NOLA Transit app is great, shows routes, nearest stations, next bus/streetcar, map, etc. and uses GPS so you know how close you are to your next stop and don’t need to burn your data plan. Also, most restaurants/snoball shops/poboy shops seem to be closed 1-2 days per week, so check before making plans. Thanks for all the tips.

Aug 16, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Quick questions about Sunday night - I'm thinking about Coquette instead of Dante's for dinner - any opinions? Coquette is doing the Coolinary August $35 dinners but no menu posted yet. I can't say I'm 100% sold on the fusion aspects of Dante's menu, but like the idea of the long ride on the St. Charles street car. Do either offer the opportunity to dine outside?

Aug 06, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Well she does like to dress up, likes the ceremony of fancy restaurants and is a seasoned restaurant kid, having gone to restaurants with us in San Francisco since she was born - so we are very much looking forward to Galatoires. I'm just not sure she would make it through five consecutive nights of such meals.

Aug 04, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Commander's lunch special looks like a real bargain - and if the choice of soup allows one to get the turtle soup even better. I also see that we're in town during "Coolinary August", which opens up too many possibilities for our 5 night stay - though from what I can tell most of the high end restaurants already do lunch specials. Just a matter of balancing how many long meals I can get the 6 year old to tolerate.

Aug 04, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

What time is best to buy fish from the docks in HMB?

Not sure about buying the fish but we attempted to head down to HMB around noon last Sunday and abandoned the trip at Linda Mar because of insane traffic, so would not recommend afternoon.

The FiveThirtyEight Does Burritos

Agree with this, its got the heft but not the quality.

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Thanks, the Children's museum wasn't on my radar. Will probably get the multipass for the zoo-imax-Aquarium noted by Shanefink. Maybe we should have come for a full week.

Jul 31, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Cool thanks for the tip

Jul 31, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Well lounging at the rooftop pool is also a major part of the plan. Believe me this is a pared down list. Last time I was there I thought man what a great city can't wait to come back, then 26 years went by so its hard not to try to cram a lot in.

Jul 30, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Sorry but I didn’t think “another visitor seeking advice” would garner much interest.
San Francisco Hound headed to New Orleans mid August for 5 nights - would be grateful for any feedback on our proposed itinerary.
Our crew: myself, wife who doesn’t drink, and our 6 year old daughter. I haven’t been back to N.O. since a couple visits in 1988-89 while visiting my sister at Tulane, once during Mardi Gras. My wife and daughter have never been. Staying at the Omni in the French Quarter.

Saturday August 9 arrive 5:15 a.m., red eye
Breakfast EAT Nola (brunch 9-2:00); or The Old Coffee Pot (Opens at 8:00, near hotel); and
Café du Monde (beignets, café au lait)
Aquarium/Imax/insect-butterfly
Dinner-Cochon (7:00 reso);

Sunday August 10- City Park
Café Beignet for beignets/coffee
Lunch: Mandina’s (on way to City Park, opens at 11:00)
Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls
Dinner – Dante’s Kitchen (7:00 reso); Columns happy hour on the way
La Divina Gelato for dessert

Monday August 11 – Zoo,
Domlise’s Po Boys (closed Sun and Thur) on way to Zoo
Hansen’s Sno Bliz on way home
Dinner: Domenica happy hour pizzas – clam pie; Angelo Brocato for dessert – cannolis, etc.
Preservation Hall Jazz show 8:00

Tuesday August 12 – Aquarium/Imax Movie/Insectarium
Lunch: Napoleon House, (mufalettas, pims cup);
Dinner-Galatoires (6:00 reso)

Wednesday August 13
Lunch: Luke ($20 lunch special T-F);
Dinner: Toops Meatery ? (Tues-Sat, near City Park); Dick & Jenny’s ? (closed Monday, open 10-3:00 on Sunday; 11-2:00 and 5:30-10:00 all other days)?; Boucherie (Tues-Sat)?

Thursday August 14 – 6:00 return flight
Mr. B’s (BBQ shrimp, gumbo Ya Ya) – lunch
Cochon Butcher for sandwiches for flight; or City Market for mufalettas
6:15 flight out

Jul 30, 2014
sunnyside in New Orleans

Afternoon tea places for a birthday?

Dartealing at 3rd and Bryant. I took my daughter there for tea/lunch and thought the food was solid and liked the atmosphere more that Lovejoys (seemed brighter/cleaner). Kind of stealth from the outside, you'd walk right by it if you weren't looking for it. I'm not a tea drinker so I can't speak to the tea quality.

http://dartealing.com/

The FiveThirtyEight Does Burritos

After several years of avoidance I decided to give the La Taqueria burrito another try a few weeks ago. It was small and limp from steaming, so small in fact that I had to get a taco from Taqueria San Jose just to fill me up afterward - I problem I've never had with any other burrito in the city. I'm a regular burrito guy though, I don't like sour cream and guac in it and they didn't put anything extra to make up for the extra space these items usually take up inside. I also find it annoying that there is no containers to get any of that green sauce to go nor do they give any chips with the (relatively) expensive and small burrito.

I know, I know, people say why get a burrito at a place called "La Taqueria", but when you essentially only have three items on a menu - burrito, taco and quesadilla, you should be able to get them right.

Best Wineries in Sonoma County

Yikes. What am I paying you people for anyway - hah.

Best Wineries in Sonoma County

Yes a year later and 90 something replies, yet still no report back from the OP.

Best Wineries in Sonoma County

Actually Scherrer makes fantastic pinots.

Belcampo Meat (Russian Hill, San Francisco)

Yeah I don't buy much red meat, but I'm hooked on Olivier's, his cuts seem a little different than most, the quality it great and about the same prices as Whole Foods (and he's around the corner from Mr. & Mrs. Misc.). I picked up a pack of hot dogs from Belcampo ($12 for 6 iirc) that were awesome, pretty dense and true beefy flavor (my boss picked up a pack as well and thought they were too salty).

Zuni Cafe, 2014 [San Francisco]

I know you preface by saying you had a decadent meal, but was that meal shared or did you eat all that solo? Sounds great either way, its been a few years since I've been back there.

Wine country central location

I'm a fan of Sebastopol, not too far South of Healdsburg, lots of great wineries in the area, the new Barlow Complex outside town with good foodstuff, close to Wildflour Bakery, Freestone cheese, etc., close to Petaluma – Della Fattoria, etc., not too far from SF. I suppose it depends where you want to mainly spend your time. The town of Sonoma is pretty far from Healdsburg but a little closer to Napa.