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ISO pork/beef/chicken bones

Man Sung - the chicken breast and back frames are $0.80 per pound and the wing tips are still $0.50 per pound. These are not free range chickens. They make good stock, nonetheless.

Cafe St Jorge [San Francisco]

Some of us live in Hayward, the 'Heart of the Bay', our city's silly slogan. We are also a 'nuclear free zone' but in any case fortunate enough to go to Silva's. In any case the bakery is great, its Azorean. They make tasty things including Portuguese Pao Doce, a very finely grained cornbread, many pastries including the Pasteis de Nata. Its worth going to. They're almost at the frontier with San Leandro.

Malassadas or Filhos kinda near Hillsborough

Some Hawaii residence and expatriates started a discussion on Facebook about malassadas or filhos, the Azorean or Madieran very eggy, very tender hole-less fried dough rolled in sugar that has been a touchstone of our gustatory fantasies. One such person lives in Hillborough, NJ and it would be really a good thing if there were exemplars of malassadas that she could find closer to where she lives than in the land of the alohas (and high rise towers). Anybody?

Oct 13, 2014
Ericruo in New Jersey

Hatch Chiles are here ...... 99 cents a pound.

Not at the Hayward Safeway at 22280 Foothill this evening; they had no idea what they were. Maybe at the Safeway in Castro Valley since it is a more upscale market

Two for Chihuahua, Chihuahua

Cristina,

I think you are probably right, but the waiters were telling me chihuacle. I think your blog is terrific and I frequently tell my fiancé, who lives in D.F. about what you've written.

Jul 24, 2014
Ericruo in Mexico

Two for Chihuahua, Chihuahua

We had a really great and inexpensive breakfast at Enrizo's at Calles Mirador and Berlin in the Mirador section of the city. There are two others one at Technologico and Altamirano and the other at near the Plaza San Angel. They're open from 8 am to 3 pm. Their website is www.enrizosrestaurante.com.

We had their house coffee, café de la olla (it has Mexican cinnamon, canela in it), and had four burritos between the two of us - two with asado de puerco - red chile sauced pork stew; one each of chile pasado, which I have been told is made from a dried chile chihuacle - this was made with tomatoes, and pork cut into a small dice; and another with chicharron de pella (chicharron with a little meat on it) made with tomatillos. They were served in a thick, and I think hand-made, pan-toasted wheat tortilla. They're not the SF Bay Area type of burritos that have beans, rice, the filling, sour cream, shredded lettuce and a little pico de gallo salsa. These are a purer expression of the guisados that filled them. Their cooking has integrity and honest cooking. The burritos were only $16 pesos each and a wonderful breakfast in a nice place with clean bathrooms was something like $114 pesos before tip.

They have a much larger breakfast menu and the menu changes over for lunch at 1 pm. The lunch menu, like the breakfast menu, has daily specials. We intend to go back during our trip.

A fancier place with a superb view of the Cathedral of Chihuahua from El Meson del Catedral's second-floor location, literally next to the Cathedral. Their website is mesondecatedral.uau.mx. They have both inside and outside dining areas. Its a kind of steel and bare wood sort of decor but its not overpriced. They have a full bar and wine list; I did not look at the wine list.

I had my long sought 'holy grail' dish of tacos de tuetano (beef marrow). They're cooked in a hot cast iron dish that they bring to you along with corn or wheat tortillas, we picked corn, and the usual sides, cilantro, lime quarters, and two sauces, a pico de gallo and one made with a mix of red chiles including mirasol (I wonder if this is like the Hunan facing heaven chile??), chile california, and chile chihuacle, if I am remembering this right. This dish is the Fergus Henderson goes to México. Very nice and probably a dish to make cardiologists everywhere shudder. That was $94 pesos.

I had a duck enchilada in mole poblano. It was well executed and pretty but the mole was just sweet and had no bite. My fiancé had a rib eye steak expertly grilled. It was about a half inch thick and came with a grilled chile, big grilled green onion, and grilled nopal.

I also had a Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Añejo (the Chihuahua distillate of their agave, known in English as the 'Desert Spoon'. It was very nice. I am awaiting two bottles from the mountains and I'll post once I taste them. I understand that while Sotol is the drink of the State of Chihuahua, its really not that well known in the City of Chihuahua and is just now getting some market and mind-share. There's a dish we did not try that uses scallops and Sotol at the Meson de Catedral but I am a sucker for duck so that will have to wait.

The whole dinner for two including a drink each came to about $50 US before tip.

Jul 23, 2014
Ericruo in Mexico

Walker Apples, Graton

I have never seen a press up there but they may have one or know of people who do. You might give them a call.

O'Liberty Duck by Sonoma County Poultry

One of the minor joys of my life is meeting the delivery person on the streets of San Francisco a few times a year. My favorite episode was meeting the delivery truck on the last block of Grant before Broadway. He stops there to deliver feet or heads or something to Man Sung. The big white delivery van swooped in to park. I pulled in behind him. I got out hurriedly, walked over to the driver and told him my name, handed over cash and he got out a big white plastic bag and handed it over. People are sure that its the narcotraficantes in action, but its just me getting my Liberty ducks, usually for seared duck breasts with cherries enriching a duck glacé made from the rest of the critters. Recently we met on Columbus avenue and entertained some Canadian tourists.

nukadoko, nukazuke, nukamiso

I too am interested. We used to make tsukemono in tupperware containers when I was growing up, rather more pedestrianly than you! The left-over rice that didn't make it to becoming musubi for lunch, went into the container in the other refrigerator along with the salted hakusai (nappa cabbage), some ginger, and it was deemed to be ready when the lid blew off. Still, it was pretty good, although these days, I'd add chile and garlic.

Tamales Oaxqueños in Oakland

In the discussion about how various people found Los Unicos de Cuernavaca closed, Moto opined that Tamales Oaxaqueñas was better. I have been a fan of Los Unicos, I once bought 12 dozen and fit the tamaleras into a Honda Civic for a party. I have to say Moto is correct, Tamales Oaxaqueñas is a very worth tamale maker.

I went by today and got the sortida, several of each, a baker's dozen for $40, usually $4 each. They have both banana leaf and corn husk tamales. Today there was mole rojo, pork, chicken, vegetarian. Although the seasoning is obviously different the banana leaf tamales reminded me of lau lau. Good mix of masa to filling, I wished they were more picante, but that's antithetical to most of their clients' tastes. Very small space with a few chairs and tables to sit at. Okay neighborhood before dark.

Yamada Woks...?

Maybe ask Tokyo Fish in Berkeley or Soko Hardware?

Tashi Delek: Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian & Bhutanese in El Cerrito

Like American Cheese with????

GREEN BEAN DATSI - (Bhutanese dish) Homemade American cheese & chilly 8

SHAMU DATSI - (Bhutanese dish) Shiitake mushroom, American cheese, chilly 8

I hope and trust its farmer's cheese and not Kraft!

Chowdown at SF's Grand Hot Pot Lounge

We were too few to try to sample the breadth of the menu to get an idea of their cooking vision and execution and get the Hot Pots. Sorry.

Chowdown at SF's Grand Hot Pot Lounge

A few random comments about the meal.
I thought that the spicing was not as strong as either Ancient Sichuan or China Village and I like the more assertive seasoning in general. There are some ex-wives who assert that I have burned out taste buds, of course the next one says that I'm kind of delicate in my ability to handle chiles.

I liked the tofu skin salad, the tofu tasted clean and the celery had a nice crunch. I liked the restraint in seasoning this dish.

The bitter melon was interesting. I am generally not a fan of bitter tastes but it was a pretty preparation, shaved strips of bitter melon with a honeyed dipping sauce and the contrast of bitter and sweet was nice.

I very much liked the texture of the bean jello, but as one of our number said, the red chile sauce was too sweet.

The Chong Qing chicken had nicely fried bone-in chicken nuggets with the chiles. Good flavor.

I did not care for the cat fish. It was muddy tasting and the broth didn't get to shine as a result. The China Village version is strong chicken stock with lots of ginger and some flatfish filets perfectly cooked. In both versions, the chile floating on top is all show-biz because the chiles are not ground up. They add a flavor but not much heat. My Mexican fiancée thinks this is a kind of parlor trick and it would really be good if they would just mince the chiles.

The dry fried tree mushrooms were very good, the restrained seasoning let the mushrooms shine through.

The hot and sour potatoes were interesting because of the sourness and I liked them.

Snow pea leaves in broth, good dish, they didn't overcook the vegetable.

The noodles were all a little mushy for my tastes. Flavors were simple on the garlic noodles; they had stips of jalapeños and red bell peppers intermixed. It was that hybrid variety of jalapeño that's got some tiny amount of heat and mostly tastes grassy. I didn't get much of the dan dan mien sauce, so I don't know how this stands relative to QQ Noodles or Xian Gourmet versions.

Guilin Rice Noodles had a very slippery texture, nice flavor but not a revelation.

I took photos of the food with my iPhone but the ones I can upload are the pre-enhanced ones and they all look dark and uninteresting. I will see if I can fix them and post later.

Chowdown at SF's Grand Hot Pot Lounge

Ten chowhounds gathered today at the Grand Hot Pot Lounge, 3565 Geary, SF to sample their Sichuan fare.

We had the following appetizers:

1. Pancake with Beef, a kind of beef filled baked pastry;
2. Couple's Delight, thinly sliced beef and a squash or melon with chile and Sichuan pepper;
3. Bean Jello in Red Chili sauce, home made bean jello;
4. Shaved Strips of Bitter Melon with a honey sauce;
6. Tofu Skin salad, rehydrated dried tofu skins with small batards of celery;
7. Spicy Numbing Pig's Ear, thinly cut pig's ear in a red chili sauce;

Mains:
1. Chong Qing Chicken w/ Explosive Peppers;
2. Live Cat Fish boiled - like the 1,000 chili fish but with skin on cat fish chunks;
3. Dried Fried Tree Mushrooms, a mix of enoki and another, more dense mushroom whose name I forget, cooked with a little chile and Sichuan Pepper;
4. Hot & Sour Shredded Potato, a sour version of the shredded, nearly crisp potato of this cuisine;
5. Garlic Noodles (this was a dish stemming from the waitress mishearing 'dan dan noodles' as 'garlic noodles', not bad but not;
6. Dan Dan Noodles;
7. Minced pork sautéed with pickled long beans
8. Snow Pea leaves in broth;
9. Guiling Rice Noodles

Mapo Doufu - SF Dish of the Month November 2013

yes, in English and presumably in Chinese. There were lots of things up on the wall that were not on the menu.

Mapo Doufu - SF Dish of the Month November 2013

A couple of nights ago I had one of the best, if untraditional, mapo dofu versions I've ever had, at Xian Gourmet at 3741 Geary (near 2nd Avenue) in SF. It was MPDF with sliced fish filets. The flavors were clear, a restrained use of chile oil but picante nonetheless, they didn't stint on the hua jiao and it wasn't gritty as it can sometimes be. I would have preferred more and more tender tofu, but that's a pretty minor quibble. The small white fish filets were latitudinally cut and were cooked to just past the jelly texture stage, very nice flavor and texture contrast. I didn't see the dish on the printed menu; it was on the wall.

I do think the very best version I've ever had was at Jai Yun, but that was more of a deconstructed and purified version, but that place is beyond my normal means.

mid-November apple picking?

Not picking, more like selecting what you want of the apples that are ripe is Walker Apples in Graton. They're going to be open until December. They have, inter alia, Arkansas Black and Pink Lady apples.

Walker Apples, Graton

Went to Walker apples today. They had Pippins, Greenlings, Winesaps, Golden Delicious, Pipins, Jonathans, Baldwins, Fuji, Rome and more I can't remember. I got some Winesaps, Baldwins, and some sweeter varieties like Golden Delicious, and Fujis for my nine-year-old who only likes sweet. I like fruit that has some complexity and a depth of flavor.

A box of 40 pounds is now $27, up $2 for the first time in a few years. The dry farming makes a big difference in flavor.

Mr. Walker said that they'd have Arkansas Blacks starting in two weeks for about a month thereafter. He said that there would be Pink Ladies on the same time frame. I am going back up there in a couple of weeks because my daughter likes the Pink Ladies and love the Arkansas Blacks.

I had lunch, smoked lamb ribs, and two sides at Pack Jacks in Sebastopol. Still nice but I really don't like all of what seems to be cinnamon in the beans, and they seem undercooked. They had pulled pork today, unusual for them. The plates are $15, service is by the owner's son and he's nice but untrained - he makes empty trips back to the kitchen.

best takeout Newark / west Fremont / Union City near 84 / 880N

Curry Corner in Hayward?

Chihuahua, Artisinal Sotol, La Magia de Mi Tierra

Sotol is the distillate of the Sotol agave variety that is to Chihuahua sort of what Tequila is to Jalisco, only of course Tequila has an international following and Sotol is hardly known. In the City of Chihuahua, factory made Sotol is easy enough to find but the artisinal Sotol is hard to find. The artisinal Sotol tends to be more flavorful that the factory made Sotol, though not necessarily better, it depends on who makes it. I mentioned in a previous post that La Magia de Mi Tierra sells Sotol that comes from a very small distiller on the Durango side of the border between Chihuahua and Durango. I tried the yellow and the clear versions and bought a bottle of the yellow. The yellow spends a little time in wood, hence the color and sugar from the wood, one hopes its wood, but it is very nice. La Magia de Mi Tierra is located at Ortiz Mena 2033, Fraccionamiento Vermont, near the Fiesta Inn. Also bought some vanilla beans. Good place for espresso, coffee beans, chile pastes, and spicy jam.

Sep 01, 2013
Ericruo in Mexico

Need recommendation for pasta with scallops (or shellfish)

How about Café Sport? Once upon a time they used to have pasta with white sauce full of garlic and mayonnaise, I think, and a passel of shrimp and lobster. Don't know if they still do it, can't eat it anyhow, allergic in my dotage.

574 Green St San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 981-1251

Also think Chinese, like Yuet Lee or some such dried scallop and pale onions with noodles, e-fu noodles.

Perfectly Ripe Peaches

I think you mean Gowan's. I went over to Wolfe Ranch in Brentwood and got some very nice Fay Elberta's. Wolfe Ranch will close soon for the stone fruit season. The Hayward Farmer's Market, which is my local, will have O'Henry Peaches, another favorite, this weekend or next.

Chihuahua, good coffee beans, good steak

I travel with home roasted beans which I buy green from Sweet Maria's in Oakland, California along with a coffee grinder and a French Press coffee maker. They roast their beans into the second crack, as that's the local taste, still properly done. I generally prefer the nuances of a lighter roast. Good beans nonetheless. His chile pastes are seriously hot and good.

Sorry to have missed his Sotol. At my future brother-in-laws home, I had a taste of Sotol from Madera which he had infused with quince, peaches and raisins. - wow, was that terrific. If the Sotol at la Magia de mi Tierra is as well made, it would be worth a stop.

Jul 21, 2013
Ericruo in Mexico

Oakland - Tian Jin Dumplings

Illiterate in Chinese, sorry

Menu says:
Tianjin pork bun
Vegetable pork bun
Biscuits (pan-fried cake)
Smoked egg
Pan fried pancake fruit
Vegetarian chive pie
Pork cabbage pie
Handmade pork chive dumplings
Handmade pork cabbage dumplings

frozen:

"According to personal taste can order one day in advance, minimum order 50"

The pork & chive and the pork & cabbage plus:

Pork and celery dumplings
Vegetarian San Sun dumplings
San Sum dumplings (pork, chive, shrimp and egg)
Beef and carrot dumplings
Flounder and celery dumplings

Oakland - Tian Jin Dumplings

Had a nice lunch of decent Xiao Long Bao and fish filets in Wine Sauce at Shanghai Restaurant. Thought the bao were decent, kind of 'B' in its execution, likely frozen and steamed up. The fish filets were nicely cooked, the wine sauce was good but too thickened up.

When we walked out, we found a place that's just about to open: Tian Jin Dumplings at 989 Franklin, Suite B- only take out. They are going to be open 7 days a week, from 8 am to 6 pm. They only had the pork and chive dumplings, $6.75 for 15. This may be a very interesting place! The dumplings clearly are hand made. They had the Robot Coupe box outside their booth and they were hand rolling the dough as we walked walked by.

El Paso - El Chapparal

I was in El Paso and had a late breakfast at El Chapparal Cafe #1 on my way back to the airport. They're at 6560 Montana Avenue, they're open daily from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm except for Thursdays-Saturdays when they stay open to 8:00 pm. Ph. 915-771-7191. Its located in a small commercial strip on Montana Avenue.

It has a Mexican American cafe where you can get a hamburger or a steak but our breakfast demonstrated they can really cook. We had breakfast special of Huevos Rancheros with chicharron, $4.59. The table salsas were red and green. The red was made with arbol chiles, good heat, great flavor. The green salsa had jalapeños and was brightly acid. The chicharrones were a different type, Chicharrones de Pella - smooth, soft, not hard-fried, seasoned with cumin and maybe New Mexico chiles, really terrific.

The food had integrity.

Jul 21, 2013
Ericruo in Texas

Chihuahua, good coffee beans, good steak

Just back from a first time visit to the City of Chihuahua where the family of my intended lives. A nice discovery near the Fiesta Americana in the Colonia Quintas del Sol is La Magia de Mi Tierra, at 2033 Blvd Ortiz Mena. They sell gourmet items from Mexico, they roast their own coffee from Chiapas, Veracrua and Oaxaca and they also sell expresso. You can get coffee, chocolate, chile pastes and moles in glass jars, vanilla, and great big sticks of canela, the Mexican cinnamon. Sometimes they have the artisinal Sotol (the Chihuhua distillate from a kind of agave - pretty darn good stuff when well made) which they get from the mountains near Durango, not the Sierra Tarahumara. Really nice and helpful people. We spoke in Spanish but I think they also speak English. Ph.614-437-0565.

Also ate what we could of a giant piece of good steak at Los Mezquites at Avenida Cuahtemoc 2009, Not inexpensive, salad made at the table with canned little bitty corn, and other goodies. Good beef, well prepared, they make a salsa at the table for the meat. Not touristy. Nice ambiance.

Jul 21, 2013
Ericruo in Mexico

Suncrest Peaches - now, Gravenstein Apples - 8/1

Reporting back from Brentwood... Plenty hot there today. The full box of picked Suncrest peaches is $20. Tomatoes, striped Brandywines (?). some Beefsteak, some green $2/lb. U-Pick for Elbertas and a White Peach. They said that Monday might be the last day for these varieties of peach because of the weather. If you like peaches, go!

Suncrest Peaches - now, Gravenstein Apples - 8/1

Off today to get a box of Suncrest peaches from the Peter A. Wolfe Ranch at 164 Payne Ave. in Brentwood. It's a short season, so its time to take advantage of this wonderful peach. www.peterwolfe.com They also have Sugar Lady White Peaches for picking. They also generally have honey and tomatoes but it may be a little early. 8 am to 2 pm today, generally 9 am to 4 pm.

I talked to Mr. Walker last night and he said that Walker Apples would open August 1st with Gravensteins. Walker Apples is at the end of Upp Road (really) off Graton Rd in Graton (near Sebastopol). Their apples are not irrigated and have a lot of flavor. He grows 25 or more varieties; free tastes of what's been harvested. They will be open from August till late October or early November. Wonderful apples, very nice people.