Dave MP's Profile

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Phoo Pwint Store - Source for Burmese Pickled Tea Leaves in the Inner Richmond, SF

Despite the red color of the packet, and the little picture of a red chili that's included, this is the NON-spicy version. I forget the color of the spicy version.

Jul 03, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Phoo Pwint Store - Source for Burmese Pickled Tea Leaves in the Inner Richmond, SF

A few weeks ago, I noticed a storefront with Burmese writing while walking through the Inner Richmond. Inside, it's mostly crafts, but there's also a small food section with Burmese groceries. I asked about whether they had laphet (tea leaves) and sure enough, there are two types available -- spicy and non-spicy. I tried one packet, and made a tea leaf salad at home. It was great -- the packet comes with a small bag of tea leaves (approx the same amount as you'd get in a single order at a Burmese restaurant in SF), plus a packet of crispy lentils and sesame. I mixed that with: crispy shallots, peanuts, cabbage, tomato, fish sauce, jalapeno, and lime. Awesome.

I went back last week and bought several more packets. They are less than $1 each. This time, I still made a great salad, though the crispy lentils were a bit on the stale side. The tea leaves were fine though, and even the stale crispy bits didn't ruin the salad. I love being able to make this at home, and am happy there is a good source close by now.

The packets have Burmese and English writing, but it's a product of Thailand.

Address is: 744 Clement St @ 9th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Jul 03, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area
3

*July 2009 COTM* SPICE: Parsley, Mint, Dill, and Sweet Basil

I made this salad over the weekend and it turned out great. I really liked the dressing. I didn't include any nuts, and I just used cucumber slices instead of grated cucumber. To add a bit more spice and color to it, I added nasturtium flowers. Worked well with the flavor in the dressing. The salad is in the top-middle of the photo

Jul 03, 2014
Dave MP in Home Cooking

Beijing Resturant (the Alemany location) - what is recommended? [San Francisco]

I don't think Beijing Restaurant is a good place to go if you're looking for spicy food. I think the best things there are Northern Chinese specialties, which aren't meant to be spicy at all...so it doesn't surprise me that you were disappointed in that regard.

I had the bing at Tianjin Dumplings in Oakland yesterday, and while it's very good, I still think Beijing Restaurant does it better. And like others say above, the noodles, pancakes and dumplings are the things to order here. It's disappointing that the fish dishes and the three-flavored vegetable dishes weren't good...but I can't say I'm that surprised.

As for prices, I agree it's a bit higher than some other places. But I don't remember the prices being unreasonable, either.

My current favorite for Northern Chinese food is House of Pancakes on Taraval. However, if you go there expecting spicy food, you'll also probably be disappointed. Stick to the dumplings, noodles and pancakes, with some veggie sides.

Dave MP

Jul 03, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Best choice for blender/processor combo? Cuisinart?

A big reason I'm interested in buying this is for the cuisinart/food processing part. I don't need it very frequently, but I've found that it would occasionally be really useful.

So, is there a better cheap food processor I should buy?

Jun 27, 2014
Dave MP in Cookware

Best choice for blender/processor combo? Cuisinart?

About 6 years ago, I owned the Cuisinart blender/food processor combo, like the one here: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store... I'm pretty sure it's the exact same one, and I'm considering buying it again. However, I'm curious to know if there are better options which are roughly in this price range.

I currently own an old, not-so-good blender, and I don't have any processor at all. However, I don't really anticipate using them much (maybe 1-3 times per month, each), so I don't want to spend a lot of money. Mostly will be using for things like soups and pesto.

Any advice would be appreciated. Basically it boils down to this: should I buy this Cuisinart product again?

Jun 26, 2014
Dave MP in Cookware

How to end up with tender pork chops when cooking in a cast iron skillet?

I like the method outlined in janniecook's post here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/712178

Jun 24, 2014
Dave MP in Home Cooking

Kim Son in the Richmond - SF - Photo Report

Had a nice meal at Kim Son in the Outer Richmond the other day. I always forget how good this place is. Plus, portions were huge

Jun 24, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area
5

Rolling Out Cafe on Taraval - SF

I went to this bakery this morning. Decor isn't super amazing, but the woman at the counter was friendly and it was pretty quiet for a Saturday morning. We tried only one pastry—a caramel chocolate croissant, and it was surprisingly delicious. Flaky and very buttery croissant, slightly undercooked on the inside, and filled with a small but appropriate amount of caramel/chocolate mixture.

This experience made we want to try some of their other offerings (which include egg sandwiches, chicken and waffles, and various baked goods). Has anyone else tried it?

It's at 1722 Taraval. http://www.rollingoutcafe.com/

Jun 22, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Stir-Fried Tamarind Eggplant

I used this recipe as a base, although I used tamarind concentrate, so I added some extra and also added more sugar.

Also added some finely chopped shallots, which I included with the garlic. Also threw in about half of a jalapeno, diced, to add a bit of spice. Also added a few halved cherry tomatoes. Didn't have basil, so I omitted that.

So I guess I changed this recipe in several ways, but the base sauce was still basically the same, and it came out great.

Jun 18, 2014
Dave MP in Recipes

ISO celtuce AKA asparagus lettuce or wosun

I bought some at Sunset Super the other day in SF. Not too thick, but firm and fresh. I think it was $1.20 per lb

Jun 14, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Outdoor brunch this weekend?

I would return for the food. It's a bit more "fancy" compared to other stuff in the neighborhood which I think is equally good, if that makes sense. But I really liked everything I ate, and I think it would be interesting to try it for dinner.

I am, however, a big fan of Istanbu'lu which is across the street, and would probably have a hard time choosing Sabur over them if given a choice.

Jun 09, 2014
Dave MP in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor brunch this weekend?

Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions. We ended up at Sabur, which was perfect for us. We had a reservation, though it wasn't crowded on Saturday AM, so we wouldn't have even needed one. What I personally ate was more of a lunch than brunch: baked goat cheese w/ red peppers, "biscuits" (which are sort of like savory donuts), borek (spinach and cheese), and the potato/turnip pancakes w/ sour cream.

The patio there is nice, but it's quite sunny and had limited umbrellas, so we ended up sitting indoors, which was fine.

I'm glad to have all these ideas though...will serve me well in the future.

After lunch, I went to the new(ish) self-serve froyo place in Davis Square, iYo Cafe, which I thought was very good. Had tart boysenberry yogurt, and I liked the toppings selection.

Jun 09, 2014
Dave MP in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor brunch this weekend?

Interesting idea...how big a group could they accommodate in the back patio?

Jun 04, 2014
Dave MP in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor brunch this weekend?

Bummed that Bronwyn doesn't serve brunch on Saturdays. That place looks interesting! (although I have no idea if they have outdoor seating)

Jun 04, 2014
Dave MP in Greater Boston Area

Asian Market between Worcester and Newton?

Are there any good Asian markets in MetroWest area, preferably close to the pike? I'll be driving from Western MA to Newton on Friday, hoping to pick up some Chinese ingredients (tofu, dumpling wrappers, jarred goods, sauces, veggies)

Russo's will actually have a lot of things I need, if not everything. But I wasn't sure if there are other options for Asian markets in Framingham or Newton that could work too?

Dave MP

Jun 04, 2014
Dave MP in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor brunch this weekend?

I'm looking for ideas for a good spot for brunch/lunch on Saturday. Anywhere in Somerville, Cambridge, Brookline or Boston would potentially be okay (though ideally not south of JP). Ideally I'd like to go somewhere with a nice outdoors space.

Some places I have thought of are Neighborhood Restaurant and Sabur, which I think both serve during the 11-1 hour and have outdoor seating. If there is somewhere else that fits the bill, particularly one that takes reservations, I'd love to know about it. Are there other places I should know about? Probably want to avoid Newbury Street, and would consider South End but not thrilled about it either. Cambridge or Somerville or Allston would be ideal.

Thanks in advance,
Dave MP

Jun 04, 2014
Dave MP in Greater Boston Area

Recent visit to Hanoi, Vietnam - Report

Yep, the price has definitely increased!

Jun 04, 2014
Dave MP in China & Southeast Asia

Walking into Nopa without a reservation on a Friday night [San Francisco]

If you are okay sitting at bar or communal table then it almost definitely won't be a problem.

May 31, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Walking into Nopa without a reservation on a Friday night [San Francisco]

Just wanted to provide a little report, because last night (Friday night) three of us arrived at Nopa at 7:30 pm with no reservations and managed to have a great meal. We gave our name to the host, who put us on a waiting list in case a table opened up, and meanwhile hovered near the bar and communal table to look for opening seats. Within 10 minutes, people were leaving, and since there were three of us, a waiter helped us arrange a corner of the communal table so three of us could sit and talk easily. There were some other people waiting for the communal table too, but it seemed like nobody really had to wait more than 30 minutes to get seating there. Plus plenty of parties of 2 were able to sit at the bar. Once seated, we ordered drinks and then food, and had a great meal.

Highlight for me was a salad with trumpet mushrooms and poached duck egg, but we also had the baked beans and the avocado toast which were great. Also shared the pork chop, which I hadn't had in a long time, and it was delicious as well. Service was excellent, even while sitting at the communal table—we shared everything, and courses came one at a time, which made for a leisurely meal.

At about 8:30, I received a text that a table was ready for us, and then the host came over to check on us too. By that point we were already happily eating at the communal table, so we didn't make a switch. But had we waited, we would have been seated in the dining room approx 1 hour after arrival. Not bad.

I was worried that it would be really chaotic trying to get into Nopa on a Friday like this, but I am happy to report that it wasn't. I would definitely do it again.

Dave MP

May 31, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Recent visit to Hanoi, Vietnam - Report

Nice report! I also tried the egg coffee at a place in the Old Quarter. I liked it...reminded me of egg nog mixed in with coffee, which I like doing sometimes during the holidays.

May 31, 2014
Dave MP in China & Southeast Asia

YALAHAFA (Yet Another L.A. Hound Asking for Advice) on Great Eats in SF Proper (Muni accessible, non-high end)

I think your list is very good, and I will comment on the places on your list that I have been to:

State Bird is great if you can get in!

Bar Tartine is also great. I really like it best for brunch, where it is more affordable, and you can still have the langos (fried bread) which is basically the best thing.

I liked Kin Khao okay when I went, but I would not recommend it to someone visiting from LA. My full report is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9166...

La Ciccia is one of my favorite restaurants, especially for the octopus stew.

Zen Yai Thai has good boat noodles, but there are a lot of places in LA that have better ones (or at least just as good). I'd skip this.

Mandalay is great for the Mandalay Special noodles. You could also consider B-Star in that same neighborhood for Burmese-fusion.

I think Mission Chinese food is okay if you're in the mood for that kind of thing. But I think if you are only here for a limited time, you could do better.

Ha Nam Ninh - I really like this place, but I still have never had their bun bo hue because they always run out. They only have it Fridays, and by dinner time, it's always gone, so you really need to go on Friday for lunch if you want it. This could be great for you in terms of getting offal in the soup (make sure they give it to you). But what I usually get there is the hu tieu nam vang, dry w/ soup on the side. It's awesome.

Hai Ky Mi Gia - I also like this place for the duck noodles.

Lers Ros Thai - I haven't been here in a long time. I'm not sure I would really recommend Thai food to anyone visiting SF from LA, since every time I eat Thai food in LA, it's way better than what I get here. But if you insist on eating Thai food, this could be a good option.

Bi-Rite is good for ice cream. Also consider Humphrey Slocombe.

B Patisserie is great and worth a visit for delicious pastries. I've had luck buying whatever has most recently come out of the oven.

I now think that San Tung is really only good for the chicken. My strategy now is to order it take-out and eat it in the park or at home. It could make for a good snack after a visit to GG park. Put the phone number in your phone so you can call in your order. I wouldn't bother having a sit-down meal here, though.

Smitten Ice Cream - I am personally not a fan. It tastes like frozen whipped cream, which for some people is awesome, but not for me.

Turtle Tower - Good for simple chicken soup. Nice fresh rice noodles. But I think you might enjoy the other Vietnamese options in the TL better.

NOPA - I haven't been in a long time, but I like it. Fun atmosphere, good food.

A16 - Only ate here once, but I really liked the pizza. Also nice atmosphere.

Aziza - Ate here so long ago that my opinion probably doesn't count anymore, but could be an interesting option.

Hope this helps!
Dave MP

May 25, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Pizza Moda - Berkeley

I ate here recently and had a pretty good experience. The main downside was that I didn't love the crust on the pizza...it had a slightly bitter flavor and was a bit too dry in the thick part, and meanwhile not quite crispy enough on the bottom. We had one with onion, fennel and the spicy chicken sausage, and I thought these were fine. A small 12 inch pizza is listed as serving two people, but it came sliced into 8 medium sized slices, so we split it 3 ways along w/ two other things.

Kale caesar salad was pretty straightforward and not especially interesting, but it was made with baby kale which was tender.

Macaroni and cheese, which I tend not to order at restaurants, was actually a highlight for me. It's made with fontina, cheddar and gorgonzola (though you can't really detect the gorgonzola...it's used sparingly), and also had leeks in it. The sauce was creamy and the cheese blend really worked for me. If you like mac and cheese, this one is worth trying. You can add pancetta to it, which we did not do.

May 22, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Recent visit to Hanoi, Vietnam - Report

I spent a few days in Hanoi a few weeks back, and had some very good food. Most were places that I never would have known about if friends hadn't recommended them (although for all I know some have been discussed on Chowhound), but they are pretty accessible to anyone, and are all within walking distance of the Old Quarter. Google maps worked very well for us while in Vietnam, and works to find all of these places.

Eel noodle place at 9 Phủ Doãn, at the corner with Chân Cầm. It's called Miên Lu'on Phu Doan. We tried both a dry version and a soup version of these noodles for breakfast, along w/ some fried donuts to put in the soup. The eels are little and fried till they're crispy, and the soup had glass noodles and lots of crispy shallots. I actually slightly preferred the dry version, which had a bit of vinegar and was slightly sour, but not too sour.

Bún Chả 34 Hàng Than. This was probably my favorite meal I ate in Hanoi, and it was very affordable. Grilled pork and grilled meatballs served in a light fish sauce/broth with pickled vegetables, and a plate of thin rice noodles on the side to dip into the pork mixture. We also ordered nem (fried spring rolls) which were good here. Popular place, we went for lunch. Address, unsurprisingly, is 34 Hàng Than.

Cha Ca La Vong, which is at 14 Chả Cá, is maybe the most touristy place I went to, but I liked it and was glad I checked it out. They have only one dish -- the turmeric fish. We each had one serving, and it wasn't super filling, so we ended up getting more food later. Two servings per person would be enough for a big dinner, but it would get a bit expensive, too.

Bún Bò Huế O Xuân which is at 3 Quang Trung, Hoàn Kiếm. Bun bo hue is a speciality here, but we had two other Hue dishes: banh bot loc and banh beo. They have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/B%C3%B...

Two places in Ngu Xa, which is a little islandish thing at the south part of West Lake. This would be a far walk from the old quarter, but a very short taxi ride. Walk wouldn't be that bad, though. Anyway, we tried one place on the southeast corner of the main intersection, which had its main dining rooms upstairs. This "main intersection" is the one smack in the middle of the island, and it's super busy with restaurants in the evening. We tried pho cuon, which is like pho wrapped up in rice noodles (like pho in reverse), as well as a big sour Thai style hot pot. Seafood here was excellent quality, and veggies included water spinach and banana blossom. Not super cheap, but considering the quantity and quality, a very good deal. Still like $12 per person, so when I say not cheap, I am talking about Vietnam street food standards.

The other place we went (a few days later) seems to be the original spot in this neighborhood, on the southwest corner of the street. Here we ate pho chua (sour pho noodles) and pho chiên phồng (puffy fried rice noodles w/ sauce and veggies and meat). We also got more pho cuon.

Hope this helps some folks who are headed to Hanoi soon. We also made use of this very helpful map of street food (some of the places I ate at are on here, though it lists some alternates for the eel noodles...I think our place was excellent though). https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...

Dave MP

May 20, 2014
Dave MP in China & Southeast Asia
1

Made in China Restaurant - San Bruno, and maybe opening in SF?

Did you get anything else?

Apr 25, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Is my toaster oven dead?

Did you mean to say "not alone" or "not along"? The two have result in some potentially different meanings, so I wanted to check.

Apr 24, 2014
Dave MP in Cookware

Is my toaster oven dead?

On Friday, I made some toast in my toaster oven for breakfast, and then later used the bake setting to prepare mochi (the kind that is in the hard rectangles that expands when baked). All seemed fine.

On Saturday, I went to make toast again, and the toaster oven didn't work. Nada. The light does turn on and it appears to be toasting (makes the ticking noise), but nothing gets hot. I tried it on bake setting and toast setting.

It's a pretty old toaster oven (I actually don't even know how old, but seems like 6+ years at least), so it wouldn't surprise me if it died. But do toaster ovens just suddenly die like that? Literally nothing changed between when it worked on Friday and when it stopped working on Saturday. Already tried fiddling with the electric chord, and we checked the outlet (no problems), so it's gotta be the toaster.

Maybe it's time to buy a new toaster oven?

Apr 24, 2014
Dave MP in Cookware

Last minute advice for a Boston Chowhound visiting for 4 days

I like a lot of these suggestions. Good round up, psb!

I'd say definitely visit some bakeries: Acme in the Ferry Building, Arizmendi (in Mission or Sunset), B Patisserie, 20th Century Cafe, Tartine. All of these are pretty unlike anything you find in Boston.

Vietnamese is also good here compared to Boston, especially in the Tenderloin. But I also like Yummy Yummy, suggested by psb.

I would also get some Burmese, since Boston only has one Burmese place (I actually really like it) but here there are many options.

Also, tacos and/or burritos: Taqueria San Jose, Taqueria Vallarta, Papalote, Cancun, etc.

For Mexican sit-down (still not at all fancy), I like La Torta Gorda on 24th St. for brunch or lunch.

For Chinese, I've been taking a lot of guests to House of Pancakes, which is a bit of a trek, but different from anything I know of in Boston.

We have great burgers and pizza here, but I think you have those in Boston as well, so I personally wouldn't focus on that. But if you are craving that, so be it.

Have fun!

Apr 22, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Made in China Restaurant - San Bruno, and maybe opening in SF?

Based on a google image search, seems like that might just be 'green onion pancake'

Apr 22, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area

Made in China Restaurant - San Bruno, and maybe opening in SF?

Takeout menu is in both Chinese and English. Here are pics of two sections but there is a lot more

As a side note, they are closed on Tuesdays.

Apr 22, 2014
Dave MP in San Francisco Bay Area