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East Bay Rrstaurant for celebrating birthday

I recommend China Village on Solano.

Sep 07, 2011
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for food/caterer for BDay party at Oakland zoo

El Pollo Loco does some good and inexpensive catering options.

Mar 03, 2011
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Sticky Toffee Pudding search

Costco sells it ready to bake. Probably not as fancy as you need, though...

Mar 03, 2011
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Heritage Bird for Thanksgiving

My recommendation exactly. Last year we ate an organic free range Willie Bird, but this year we're planning the 4H route.

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Willie Bird's Restaurant
1150 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Jul 21, 2010
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Hot Fudge Sundae in SF

Fenton's is worth almost any drive.

Apr 23, 2010
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Best English Breakfast Tea?

PG Tips is good if you like milk in your tea. For a straight-up tea drinker, the tea is a bit on the harsh side.

Apr 23, 2010
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Best English Breakfast Tea?

Why not support a local company?

Might Leaf out of San Rafael makes a very good English Breakfast. The cost for their loose leaf is not bad at all and it's organic:

http://www.mightyleaf.com/loose-teas_...

I also second Cicely's love of Harney & Sons' tea. I actually don't like their English Breakfast, but their Earl Grey Supreme and Black Currant are amazing.

http://www.harney.com/Earl-Grey-Supre...
http://www.harney.com/Black-Currant-L...

Apr 23, 2010
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

a search for a Ham and Brie sandwich...

Mo Joe Cafe in Berkeley has a KILLER bacon (I think they use pancetta) and brie sandwich. It's served with a well-done, but typical cafe salad. They serve great coffee and Mighty Leaf teas, too.

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Mo Joe Cafe
2517 Sacramento St, South Berkeley, CA 94703

Apr 16, 2010
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to get organic turkey breast

Willie Bird (turkey producer in Santa Rosa) sells boneless smoked turkey breasts. I know they're free-range, but you'll have to check to see if they're organic. I got an organic turkey from them for Thanksgiving and it was great.

http://www.williebird.com/smoked_turk...

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Willie Bird Turkeys
5350 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA

Apr 13, 2010
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

instant yeast

Good question! I would suppose reliability?

Feb 01, 2010
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

instant yeast

The best instant yeast is made by SAF.

King Arthur Flour current has SAF instant yeast for $5.95 with free shipping:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

You can't go wrong with that!

Feb 01, 2010
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Rhubarb in SF or Marin?

I've purchased off-season rhubarb at the Nob Hill in Alameda. Perhaps other Nob Hills or Raleys also carry it?

Dec 09, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Good bakery in/near Sebastopol

If the word "amazing" is used, then I think Village Bakery's baguettes are ruled out. :(

I've been meaning to checkout Nightingale for nearly a year now. Might have to make that happen this weekend. It's just up the road.

Dec 09, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Cider Donuts in the Bay Area

I haven't seen any cider doughnuts at the Sebastopol farmers market.

Patisserie Angelica's almond and marzipan croissant, however...

Oct 22, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Wedding Cake!

I second Masse's.

They did an excellent job on our wedding cake and they always have some whole ones in their case. We had a chocolate raspberry cake covered in white chocolate.

My favorite stock cake there is the passionfruit, though. It's amazing. Go taste it!

Oct 21, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Swedish Meatballs (split from San Francisco Bay area board)

I know you're looking for a restaurant, but humor me:

1 lb ground beef (or 1/2 beef 1/2 pork), 1/2 chopped onion, few slices bread chunks, salt, pepper, 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce.

Mix. Ball. Bake at 425F until brown.

That's how the Swedes in Northern MN do it. Easy as pie. Or meatballs.

Oct 19, 2009
dotMac in Home Cooking

We're on Hegenberger! Help us!

Otzaez in Alameda has great food, serves groups with ease, and has a private banquet room upstairs that sure to be free for a weekday lunch.

They also have a full bar.

Oct 16, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Any Local Flour Mills in Bay Area?

The Giusto flour is excellent.

I purchase it in bulk bags at Andy's Produce in Sebastopol.

Oct 05, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO Bulk Candy in Santa Rosa or surrounding areas

Their phone: 707-829-9040

I don't know offhand what their bulk rate is.

Sep 30, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

ISO Bulk Candy in Santa Rosa or surrounding areas

What you're looking for is Miller's Candy Emporium in downtown Sebastopol. They have barrels upon barrels of bulk candy. Even bulk M&M's.

http://www.millerscandy.com/

Sep 29, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for Fish Tacos in the East Bay

I don't know about wine, but Juan's Place in Berkeley has a different, but amazing fish taco that's grilled instead of fried. It's a big hunk of fish in a large crispy taco shell. The fish is nicely seasoned. It's all I can ever order there. Even Juan's Place detractors I've taken there like the fish tacos.

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

Sep 23, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

The demise of american breakfast (and chicken fried steak.)

I had the exact same experience at Ole's. Their gravy is TASTELESS. I tried adding tons of pepper, but it just didn't work. Horrible.

The best chicken fried steak I've ever had was at the Black Bear Diner in Gilroy. They're a tiny CA chain with the closest locations in Walnut Creek and Rohnert Park. The Walnut Creek location is better.

Their coating is cruncy, spicy, and oh-so-perfect. The breakfast potatoes are charred, spicy, and contain the right mix of tiny veggies. The gravy is peppery. The biscuits are moist.

Just an all-around great breakfast and the best chicken fried steak I've ever had.

Aug 31, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Sebastopol: Henweigh Cafe - BBQ, fondue and chicken pot pie?

I've been twice.

1st: Sunday Brunch

Yes, it's a tad spendy at $17/each. However, you receive tea/coffee/icedtea, juice, bread, fruit, and an entree of choice. I had the eggs benedict and it was great. A wonderful start to the day out on their patio.

2nd: Dinner

I had their burger, which begs for comparison to the unbeatable Hopmonk burger. While not as good as the simiarly-priced (~$12) Hopmonk burger, it was still pretty good: 4/5 star burger I'd say. A guy at the next table ordered the half-rack of ribs and was enjoying them greatly, which made me regret getting the burger. I will certainly order the ribs next time. A large family a few tables away was sharing the giant pot of fondue and had nothing but compliment to the waitress about it.

Overall, the food there is good and I appreciate how they're trying to make great food both affordable and casual in an area with too many upscale restaurants.

I look forward to trying the BBQ night (August Wednesdays) this month.

Aug 05, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Albany - Sam's Log Cabin – What came first, the free-range chicken or the organic egg?

Ah, Sam's Log Cabin.

Home of the $7 orange juice.

Apr 28, 2009
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Picante in Berkeley--who cares?

I actually have several favorites at Picante.

Their chicken mole burrito is really good. The sweetness comes from pineapple. My wife and I like to order a side of those delicious, but narrow chips and dip some of the goodness out.

They have perhaps the best pinto beans I've had. I think it's because of the lard. A sad trend in Berkeley is to make all the beans vegetarian, but they really are better with the lard.

But if you're vegetarian, they have a good take on the veggie burrito, Picadillo de Legumbre. I always prefer roasted veggies in the burrito instead just plain bean and cheese if I'm going the meatless route. Theirs are always quite tasty, though one time when we visited right before close (like 9:45, they close at 10) they were a bit mushy.

I've also always been impressed with their non-alcoholic drinks. Iced tea is (I think) hibiscus or some other fruit-laced blend that's refreshing. I've also enjoyed all the agua frescas I've had there, though they sometimes run out of a flavor or two during busy times.

They make their own corn tortillas fresh and I've never had a raw one.

One of the plusses to going during warmer days is the outside patio to the side with the fence and fountain. When I've stressed out, there's nothing like digging into a place of rice and beans while the fountain is going.

I have only two complaints about Picante:

1. It can often get very crowded during dinner time, with lines out the door. It's best to visit for lunch or a very late dinner.

2. While you can tell that they source quality ingredients, it does make them a bit more expensive than say Gordos.

My wife have been there many times (in fact, they were quite accommodating when we asked to have our rehearsal dinner there, making sure that we had a good menu and allowing us to take over the side patio for a couple hours). We intend to visit many more.

Dec 30, 2007
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

BAGLES in Berkeley

Berkeley Bagel is *the* place for bagels in the East Bay.

My favorites are the jalapeño cheese and the olive.

Plus there's just something about those bagel dogs...with the huge natural beef hotdogs inside...

Dec 16, 2007
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Roast Chicken on Bed of Potatoes (I saw Ina do it) - Help!

I recommend the Cooks Illustrated high-roast chicken with potatoes.

http://www.recipezaar.com/23275

The brining makes it better, but it's still awesome w/o the brine.

Dec 07, 2007
dotMac in Home Cooking

Is La Fermiere French yogurt worth $4.50 at Cheeseboard? Yeah

Saint Benoît, folks, Saint Benoît.

http://www.stbenoit.com/

Best yogurt in the Bay Area. My French mother-in-law swears by it.

A bit pricey, though.

Nov 04, 2007
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

I Hate the Noah's Bagels in Berkeley, Telegraph & Durant

They're now called Berkeley Bagel.

Great bagels.

(and one of the best cafe mochas I've ever had, somehow...)

Oct 06, 2007
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area

Cinnamon Pull Aparts

I second Acme.

Sep 25, 2007
dotMac in San Francisco Bay Area