Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

sunnyside's Profile

Title Last Reply

Trip Report

Yes, Tommy Nevins - good deduction. We sat outside on the patio.

Aug 19, 2015
sunnyside in Chicago Area

Trip Report

San Francisco hound in Chicago for seven days two weeks ago. Traveled with my 7 year old daughter and stayed with sister and bro-in-law in Wilmette. Trip was sort of last minute and relatives are somewhat ambivalent about food (or at least not as obsessed as I generally am), so didn’t get to all the places I wanted to try.

First night Lou Malnati’s delivered to the house, so good introduction to Chicago deep dish (In SF I like Little Star, but they’re not traditional Chicago style, using a cornmeal crust). No complaints but from the pictures/descriptions, I think Pequods sounds more up my alley. Beforehand we hit a brewpub in Evanston for some pints of Revolution – completely spacing the name of the pub. Smylie Brothers Brewery for beer and Q the next night. Of the ribs, pulled pork and brisket, ribs were the best, but all just so so, same for the beer. But really nice eating outside while radical thunderstorms swept in. Picked up a 4-pack of Off Color Brewing’s Apex Predator farmhouse ale from the Artisinal grocery store in Wilmette, which was outstanding. The following day we hit Glazed and Infused for donuts and coffee (both excellent) and Au Cheval for lunch. My daughter and I just happened to wander into Au Cheval right after they opened at 11:05 and it was already full – people must have been lined up. Got lucky and got the last booth right away – the host said they are packed from the minute they open until they close. Awesome bloody mary and honey-fried chicken was excellent. French fries my daughter had might have been some of the best fries I’ve ever had. Would love to go back and try more of the menu. Checked out the French Market and picked up some kool-aid pickles and BBQ sauce from Lillie’s Q, some chocolate from Lolli and Pops and gelato from Black Dog – balsamic strawberry was great. After checking out the Sears Tower and Architecture tour the next day we hit French Market on the way home for lunch. Excellent pastrami sandwich from Fumare Meats, tasty mini donuts from Beaver Donuts and one strawberry lemongrass macaron from Vanille Patisserie. Another day we had lunch at Big Jones in Andersonville. Boudin Rouge app – I was thinking it would be a hot sausage, but was sliced and cold/room temp, served with really good pear chutney and unique dense rye bread, but I wouldn’t order this again. Fried chicken was very good, really crunchy cornmeal crust, side of greens were great, but the side of beans were way too sweet, virtually inedible. Sister’s shrimp and grits were excellent. Nice simple homemade chicken and dumplings. Dinner at Depot Nuevo in Wilmette one night. Food is just OK, but the chips are really good, the margaritas were good and it was great sitting on the beautiful porch outside while the kids could play on the lawn. Had an excellent super buttery biscuit with strawberry butter at Windy City Pie in Wilmette. Got to see the Cubs beat the Giants at Wrigley and had a generic Chicago dog there. Never made to any of the Rick Bayless places so I hit Tortas Frontera at the airport for a great cochinita pibil torta before the flight home. Need to get back and try some more places, but had some really good eats.

Aug 19, 2015
sunnyside in Chicago Area

Good spots for Nitro Cold Brewed coffee in SF, especially near or in Hayes Valley

I had it at Taylor Maid Farms at the Barlow in Sebastopol a month or so ago, but didn't notice any froth - just tasted like cold brew coffee to me. I'm pretty sure it was served with ice, which according to the article sfchris linked is a no no.

Pizzeria Delfina

The clam pie is one of my favorites there. They serve it with red sauce so not like they are generally made on the East Coast FYI. They get a nice intense brine from the clam juice. I think because they use cherrystones instead of those Manila clams that are much milder in flavor.

Most underrated restaurants in San Francisco

Second that on Ramen Underground, I made the mistake of wandering in there starving one Saturday afternoon and it was pretty bad.

Blue Bottle swallows up Tartine.

Interesting. I've gotten the NO iced in Oakland about once every month or two for the last several years and it has always been served in a paper cup, which I hate for iced coffee. I didn't even know they had plastic cups.

Perdition Smokehouse (downtown Berkeley)

Finally made it here Saturday night. Had the two meat plate and the portions, including two sides, were very generous and price was reasonable. Brisket was good, not great, but I liked that they asked if you wanted a moist or lean cut (moist please), ribs were just OK, too salty, dipping in the vinegar sauce helped, next time I’ll try the sausage. Cowboy baked beans were great. Greens weren’t great, needed more vinegar and maybe more of a hock flavor, but adding the vinegar sauce helped these as well. I tried three of the four sauces, house, hot and vinegar and thought they were all really good – didn’t try the mustard. Cornbread muffins were good. Tap list was pretty amazing. 40 beers on tap and they had 3 specials at $4 per pint, a saison, pilsner and an IPA. I don’t know if this is a daily thing, but it was really nice to see in this day of 12 ounce beers for $8. I also like the system of getting your food and beer separately, so if you want another beer you just pop over to the tap bar instead of waiting in the longer food line. I’d say the Bay Area still has a need for a better Q joint, but this place is much better than 4505 and eminently more affordable. If I lived closer I’d pop in regularly just to get work my way through the beer list.

Pineapple Whip near Balboa Park BART [San Francisco]

I’ve been twice now and am a fan of the Dole Whip with li hing powder. I’ve never had a Dole Whip at Disney or li hing powder before, but it’s a unique flavor profile with the salty sourness of the dried plum cutting some of the sweetness of the Dole Whip. I tried the kahlua pork rice plate which was basic but good – didn’t have that liquid smoke flavor of some of the fast food Hawaiian places and felt light and healthy-ish.

My daughter likes the massive shave ice – some syrups are sweeter than others, but the cherry was nice, not too sweet.

Agree that the service can be slow, and I would not venture there to wait in line on a hot weekend. Just for clarification, the place is called Pineapples and the specialty is called a Dole Whip.

Chronicle top 100 2015

Speaking of which, how is Miss Ollie's not on this list?

SF birthday dinner for a 7-year-old

Mission Bowl is great, but they have really limited kiddie hours.

SF birthday dinner for a 7-year-old

Urban Putt mini golf in the Mission has solid food at the restaurant upstairs and besides the mini golf there is wack-a-mole and some other games downstairs.

I took a group of 7 year olds for my daughter's birthday last month and they had a great time. The golf is fun for adults too with some interesting San Francisco themed and Rube Goldberg type holes.

Grocery Outlet - April 2015

Woodenhead Mendocino Zin - $9.99 - good, low alcohol, non-jammy style.
Humboldt Creamery chocolate chip ice cream $1.99 - never had this brand before but it was very good and creamy.
Absinthe One brand absinthe from France $14. They claim it retails for $60 - not sure why I bought this.

Geary location.

Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria, Geyserville

Finally made it to this place Sunday night as part of a mini vacation - couple nights in Sonoma this past weekend and was really impressed with everything. They aren’t breaking any new ground but everything tasted at its peak, perfectly balanced and boldly flavored. Grilled romaine salad – essentially a perfect Caesar salad with impeccable anchovies and Parmesan served with excellent grilled bread. Frito Misto was similarly perfect mix of veggies – often the squash in these are mealy but peas, squash, string beans and cauliflower maybe were each at their peak of ripeness. Pasta with peas and prosciutto, brown butter, sage – perfect rendition, sweet non-mealy peas. Two pizzas, the Salsiccia and the Inferno – excellent. Crust to me is similar to Pizzahacker, nicely chewy with a rustic sourdough-ish tang. Small but interesting wine list and reasonably priced by the glass/liter selection. Had an excellent trousseau gris rose – can’t recall the winery and a Moonlight Brewing Co. Death and Taxes (or two).

Bonus points for being able dine outside in the beautiful patio in shorts while imagining the cold fog back in SF. Double bonus points for the Locals Tasting room next door with eight or so different small wineries represented. Kids fell asleep in the car on the drive over an my sister graciously agreed to wait with them while they napped and I killed a half hour or so wine tasting while waiting for our table.

The night before was dinner at Bravas Tapas Bar, which didn’t really impress. In fairness though I spent Saturday afternoon at Wind Gap Winery’s open house, which is quite a decadent affair for wine and food, so my palate might have been a little fatigued.

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana 02/27/10 [San Francisco]

Late to the party, but had lunch here today for the first time. Cocktails were excellent –I had a pisco punch and my boss had a mango something drink with a lot of spices on the rim. The Cebiche Power I think it was called was really good , boldly spiced and interesting but a little steep for the size at $18. I had the lomito saltado , which was good if a little boring. Boss had a fried calamari entrée that was the weakest dish and actually tasted like the squid wasn’t fresh. They start you off with complimentary potato and plantain chips with 2 little dips that were good. The place is massive, with lots of different atmosphere depending on where you sit. We were out on the enclosed patio overlooking the water, which was nice, but must be really nice when they open up the tent flaps . Agree with Ridge that cocktails and cebiche at one of the many bar areas would be a good way to go.

Is "calamari steak" available in SF?

Chicken liver pasta? Never had it but that sounds great. The first recipe that popped up when I Googled it is the NY Times' recipe with Morels, 4 egg yolks, creme fraiche and prosciutto. Man oh man I've got to make this.

I had the calamari steak at the Sandbar & Grill in Monterey a few years back and it was quite good and tender.

The pizza shop (24th St., Mission) [San Francisco]

Picked up 4 pies for my daughter’s birthday party Sunday – 2 pepperoni, one plain and one roasted red pepper. Even by basic NYC slice comparisons these were all below average and pretty flavorless. Pasquales on Sloat beats this place by a mile for this type of pie. Extra minus half point for being cash only.

New Shanghai Dumpling King? Less than a block from my house? [San Francisco]

uh, not really. I usually stick with the XLB, stir fried noodles Shanghai style and I also like the pan fried pork buns.

I actually think the XLB across the street at Rice Valley are better, thinner wrapper and better broth, although the filling is really loose and soft and kind of disintegrates into the broth.

In other news in this Sunnyside Chinese restaurant triangle, as of yesterday Lucky River is now Ming Garden. There is a change of ownership in the window but when I looked in the same ducks were hanging and the menus were still Lucky River. So not sure if this is an attempt to distance themselves from the recent spare rib sidewalk tenderizing incident or if there will be a whole new menu.

New Shanghai Dumpling King? Less than a block from my house? [San Francisco]

I agree completely with this assessment. But I cut them a little slack because I live around the corner and they have big tables and no wait, so good for last minute groups. The Balboa location was one of my favorite places, but I feel like that location has never been the same since the ownership change some 4-5 (?) years ago, and this location has never been as good.

Rye Project, Newish Delicatessen [SOMA, San Francisco]

Dropped by today and tried a small pastrami on rye. They have a small for $11 with ¼ lb of meat or a large (or maybe they called it something more exaggerated) for $14 with ½ lb. The pastrami was sliced paper thin and was such a minuscule amount that 90% of the taste of each bite was bread. The bread was good and had a strong rye flavor, but they toasted it, which only accentuated the dryness of the sandwich due to the lack of meat. Maybe I didn’t read that they were going to toast it, but it’s not the traditional way deli pastrami sandwiches are made, so I didn’t even think to look. Since I was getting it to go I asked for mustard on it, but was told to put my own on, so had to unwrap the whole thing and mustard it up, then pack back up before leaving.

The whole thing felt like a colossal rip-off and I left hungry and annoyed.

West Oakland Suggestions

So glad you enjoyed Miss Ollie's, it might be my favorite restaurant in the Bay Area. I went recently again for lunch and it was as consistent and good as ever. Also convenient to pick up some sausages at Taylor's on your way out if you get there before they close.

West Oakland Suggestions

Miss Ollie's

Tasting menu for neanderthals?

Second La Folie, I've never left hungry.

Wise Sons or Millers East Coast Delicatessen for pastrami sandwich ? [San Francisco]

I thought the thickness was one of the things they got right. It's the relatively smallish size and consistency that keep me from getting them regularly. I haven't tried Rye Project, but I wasn't a big fan of 1058 Hoagie or Deli Board. The meats lose their distinctiveness when they're sliced that thin, you lose the individual texture.

Agree with Robert that Langer's is the best in the West and never miss a stop when in LA. I spent 5 years living a block and a half from Katz's and still love them, but Langer's has better bread.

Franklin BBQ pop up mid-May?

Absolutely - super social and fun, the time passed quickly.

Franklin BBQ pop up mid-May?

I braved the line at Franklin and found it to be one of the rare uber-hyped places that actually lived up to the hype. While I still imagine his pop up will be the best BBQ in SF, I doubt it will be as good as the original locale. It is also likely to be less hassle to fly to Austin for the weekend than brave what promises to be epic lines for the pop up.

The Habit [Hamburgers] open in Alameda

All right, CBB v. MBB is a better fight. Although I've eaten CBB burger many times, its been over 15 years now since my last one - but my recollection is that its a much thinner burger so you can't really get it rare or even medium rare. Am I remembering that right? Had the MBB burger three weeks ago and it was as good as ever - but I've never gotten it at happy hour. MBB easily.

The Habit [Hamburgers] open in Alameda

I hardly think you're going to get someone to argue that In-N-Out is better than Shake Shack. Pick a real fight.

SF Trip 2015

C’mon – cut tatsu some slack, from his profile you can see he’s a regular chowhound contributor. At worst it’s an inartfully worded opening – and as someone whose attempt at humor often falls flat and/or offends I sympathize.

Having said that, more info would be helpful, as this is just a list.

Una Pizza is good if you like strict Neapolitan style, but there are lots of other great pizza styles to try. I would go with something more unique to San Francisco – Pizza Hacker or Gialina/Ragazza.

I love Brenda’s for po-boys and her other place Brenda’s Meat and Three, but these are New Orleans/Southern menus, not something I’d spend a meal on if I was traveling here.

B Patisserie is great, but might also consider Neighbor Bakehouse – again this will depend on where you are staying, transportation, etc.

State Bird – try to make a reso now or prepare to get there early and wait in line.

Smitten is good, but also look at Mr. & Mrs Miscellaneous (only open during the day), Bi-Rite and Humphry Slocombe for ice cream. Mr. & Mrs. is my favorite.

Your Favorite $5 or under bites in San Francisco

Estrellitas pupusas, Alemany Farmers Market - $3.50. For $5 you get rice and beans with it.

NEW: Neighbor Bakehouse in the Dogpatch, SF

Stopped in this morning and grabbed the blackberry and pistachio croissant, mushroom and manchego tart, sauerkraut and roast pepper tart and some little cake with candied orange peel. All were outstanding – I especially liked the sauerkraut tart. Nothing over or under baked, perfectly balanced and bold flavors and nothing was dry. They’ve really jumped to the head of the class in the SF pastry department. (un)fortunately I drive right by this place on my way to work every day. Just what my waistline needs – thanks a lot chowhounds. Will try some bread next time.