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Fey - promising sichuan menlo park

Yes, I'd not seen the other thread---more useful (fully-developed) discussion there.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/920580

Dec 03, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Fey - promising sichuan menlo park

I was just alerted by a friend of the inclusion of Fey on Michelin's 'Bib Gourmand' list.

http://sf.eater.com/archives/2013/10/...

At first, given the comments here, I was surprised Fey is recognised over Da Sichuan (let alone several other Sichuan restaurants around the Bay). But I've not heard of this list before, actually, and given the other restaurants included there I'm not sure the list compilers really know Asian food.

edit: I've not been to Fey, so just tossing this out there for those of you who have.

Dec 02, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Lagunitas: Pale Ale superlatives

I guess what you're saying is, give Widmer a try again!

Sure, I didn't mean to suggest they aim for the same target at all---I was primarily wondering whether Widmer was worthwhile, since the last time I had one of their beers was before I knew beer as something worth paying attention to (like, ~10 years ago!).

(And not to lose sight of the original post I replied to, evidently I was proving LStaff's point)

Nov 01, 2013
eethan in Beer

Lagunitas: Pale Ale superlatives

But is Widmer's beer on par with Lagunitas? It's been a while since I've tried anything Widmer because I do have a ho-hum wheat beer association with them — so I could just be proving the point — but if their sales are dwindling when their beer is middling, I wouldn't find that surprising.

Oct 30, 2013
eethan in Beer

Pumpkin Beer

Interestingly, the label actually says 'real pumpkin' on it, or it does now anyway. It kind of tastes like I imagine a beer with some pumpkin in it would, although never having brewed a pumpkin beer I don't know for sure what that's supposed to be.

Oct 30, 2013
eethan in Beer

Lagunitas: Pale Ale superlatives

What do you like about it?

I have to say that the whole 'good beer that looks like bad beer' shtick that is associated with the switch seems silly to me, but maybe the actual good reasons for the format just haven't occurred in my head yet. 32oz seems mostly like a sharing size, but probably I'd rather just share two or three (or four) 12oz bottles.

Oct 28, 2013
eethan in Beer

Pumpkin Beer

Anyone know if Bill's Pumpkin Ale has 'evolved' over the years, or if it has stayed the same?

A few days ago I saw a bottle hanging around in the singles bin and decided to grab it for nostalgia's sake, but I haven't had a free evening yet to try it again. I'm curious to see how I'll feel about it now. It was one of the first beers I found with an enjoyable flavour (i.e., one of the first beers I tried that was not a Corona or Tsingdao or whatever), and I picked it out because anything pumpkin meant 'yummy' to me (still does a bit)---funny that I never realised it wasn't brewed with any pumpkin at all.

Oct 28, 2013
eethan in Beer

Garaje in SOMA [San Francisco]

I'll answer my own question: closed on Sat.

Sep 17, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Napoletana Pizzeria, Mountain View

Do people complain about this issue with other VPN / Neapolitan-style pizza places? It appears there's a lot of harping on it w.r.t. Napoletana (here, yelp), but their pizza seems to me similar in composition to those at Pizzaiolo / Boot & Shoe, UPN, Zero Zero, Tony's. A little unscientific yelp searching shows that with far fewer reviews posted than any of those places, Napoletana has many more reviews griping about wetness. What's going on? Why is this place so particularly afflicted?

FWIW, I don't mind if the pizza is sliced right out of the oven, although if given a choice I'd let it rest (e.g., when making it at home).

Sep 17, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

New "sausage beer pub" coming to Temescal near Homeroom on 40th st. Oakland

(responding to an old post): http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSdata...

Sep 10, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

New "sausage beer pub" coming to Temescal near Homeroom on 40th st. Oakland

gloriously self-referential

(also: http://www.tablehopper.com/chatterbox... )

Sep 10, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Hamburgers - SF Dish of the Month September 2013

I have no fear of beef fat, but that ratio astounds me. I've tried 75/25 at home and found it definitely too fatty---but who knows, maybe there's some blend and technique that can make it work. I'd be game to try it, if anyone makes one here.

Sep 04, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Hamburgers - SF Dish of the Month September 2013

Oh my god, 60/40?? No way.

Sep 01, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Bells, semi good news for NYC

Aug 26, 2013
eethan in Beer

Heady Topper Dbl IPA

I like it a lot. The first time I tried it, I'd never had a beer that gave such over-the-top hop aroma and flavour without being very bitter. (I don't think there were so many late/dry-hopped beers back then as there are now, but I was also a lot less beer-aware.) So a think there may be a novelty factor in my appreciation of it. Each time I have it now (~yearly trip to see family), I remember the slight sense of awe I felt with that first sip.

BTW, have you been to the cannery? Wading---it really feels like wading---into that thick hop aroma as you enter is really unique. It feels a bit unhealthy, even.

Aug 09, 2013
eethan in Beer

Mikkeller Bar [SF]

Indeed, although I have to say the first time I saw their draft list I puzzled over the string of numbers for a couple minutes before comprehending.

For added reference, 12oz is 355ml. So they are all small-ish pours (and consistent with Mikkeller's prices for bottles).

Aug 05, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Garaje in SOMA [San Francisco]

Can anyone confirm the hours/days of operation?

The sfist link above says Mon-Sat, while yelp has Mon-Fri. (Obviously Saturday is the day I'm wondering about.)

Jul 30, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Growler regulation change in CA

Pretty sure. No one has cited a particular code to me, but my guess is they're interpreting section 25203 (http://www.abc.ca.gov/forms/ABCAct_20...) to mean that it is not permitted. Have you found any non-brewer that will fill? I have been declined before at Whole Foods, but there are not many with taps.

Jun 29, 2013
eethan in Beer

Growler regulation change in CA

Good that the regulation is being changed/clarified, but there is still a bunch of bullshit going on with growlers in this state. Breweries like RR and Bruery are coming up with this nonsense about supposed 'incompatibility' of different growler shapes and closures, or cleanliness (which is totally absurd, since RR never cleans before refills), when I think most brewers are really just reluctant to give up the glass sales.

Not to mention that CA still only allows fills at the place it's brewed. This silliness has bothered me for a long time.

Jun 28, 2013
eethan in Beer

Magic Hat in cans

First, a pretty comprehensive compendium:
http://www.craftcans.com/db.php?searc...

Next, a few of my thoughts:
Oskar Blues beers are quite good (although, I wouldn't want to be drinking Ten Fidy by the pool).

Avery makes a few decent beers in cans too; from memory, I think my favourite was the Pilsener.

Looking at the 21a website, I realise I've tried all the 21st Amendment cans except for Hop Crises (never seen that in a can, actually). HoHW and BFoD, along with Back in Black, are my favourites of the lineup. Lower de Boom is good too, but it probably doesn't tick the 'refreshing' box either.

Also, maybe of interest to someone in NJ, Brooklyn, Sixpoint and Ithaca are three breweries that I wish I could try more in California.

Jun 15, 2013
eethan in Beer

Tasting Feedback

Damnation is definitely "lighter" on the palate. I think it's a nice lead, especially if the audience may not be accustomed to the diversity of beer styles (don't know if they are or not).

WRT the porter, I can't think of anything about Payback Porter that seems edgy to me. (Actually, aside from historical usages of the terms, I'm unsure what the distinction between porters and stouts is in general, but that's another topic.)

Anyway, I think the Damnation, #3, Citra, Payback, Barleywine order sounds good, although I haven't had Moylan's Barleywine (Old Blarney?).

Jun 13, 2013
eethan in Beer

Full Sail Session Black Premium Dark Lager is worth a try...

Ah you guys were right: 11.0oz. I guess I was getting mixed up with 330ml bottles. Anyway I figured the reduced size was to help its 'sessionability' since it's still above 5% abv.

WRT the sweetness---I expected a sweeter beer, but I just felt it was too much. Black lagers are something I usually like, so I felt a little disappointed. To each his own, though!

Jun 06, 2013
eethan in Beer

Full Sail Session Black Premium Dark Lager is worth a try...

It's actually an 11.2oz bottle, I think. (FWIW, in one six-pack that I tried, most were filled with about 11.6oz by weight. Not sure what the FG is.)

I can see how this is a crowd-pleaser, but I'll go against consensus and declare that I didn't like it very much. It's better when it's pretty cold (right out of the fridge, ~35degF), but especially as it warms it was way too sweet, with the malt and roast flavours present but not particularly distinguished.

edit to note: I imagine that it'd be alright with some burgers or other food (a la deet13's grill-out) to balance the sweetness, but I don't think it stands well on its own as a beer (which is how I drank it, maybe unwisely).

May 31, 2013
eethan in Beer
1

Refuge coming to Menlo Park

Never been, but I'd guess this:

http://refugesc.com/

May 30, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Almanac Beer

Finally got around to trying the No.2, alongside RR Sanctification (because why not).

It's quite good. The tartness is nicely pronounced, but the wine barrel and/or the fruits it's brewed with give it a pleasant suppleness and make it more interesting than just the sourness alone would do. Not taking anything away from Sanctification, but it's nice to have something complementing the bacteria. I didn't pick up on the ginger, which would have been neat, but it didn't feel like anything was missing.

(Bonus review from my wife: 'good!')

May 06, 2013
eethan in Beer

Rare Bay Area appearance by Dogfish Head 120 Minute

I had it on tap a while (year+?) ago at City Beer Store in SF, when they were apparently doing an IPA week (although it could be argued that almost every week is an 'IPA week'). I think it was $7 for 10oz, which didn't really bother me especially since I wasn't going to have any other drinks after it.

I don't take notes in bars, but my memory of it was a hazy orange colour, certainly not dark, and it was quite sweet. The hop aroma and flavour were obvious and definite, but it is not a hop-bomb like many west coast IPAs. By the time I finished, I felt it was too sweet. Overall, it was interesting to try, but I wouldn't be driving to Petaluma only for it. I like many of the other DFH beers better.

Mar 29, 2013
eethan in Beer

Bakeries in Palo Alto or Menlo Park

They are a bit expensive to serve a crowd and usually you have to make it to the PA Saturday farmers' market to pick them up, but the mini pies ('I-Pies') that Patricia Kline sells are quite good.

http://www.theipiestore.com/

Mar 20, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area

Almanac Beer

I tried the Barrel Noir over the weekend, and I found it pretty good, although not too novel. I wasn't sure if it's intended to have some Belgian character from the '50% dark ale', but it mostly reminded me of barrel-aged Old Rasputin (i.e., tasted like a BA RIS)---thick, sweet, dark roast, chocolate with woody bourbon flavours.

I didn't pick up any acetaldehyde---which I'm glad of, since it wouldn't have fit in---even though I had seen your note and was expecting to. Do you think your bottle was oxidised? Or was that intentional (and I totally missed it!)?

Mar 19, 2013
eethan in Beer

Almanac Beer

Well I guess I didn't need to ask which one you liked, since I got excited and bought all three. Thanks for the tip---feeling anticipation to try them.

Mar 12, 2013
eethan in Beer

Palo Alto Dining

What do you consider to be 'the area'? It might be getting better, but I'd say that Palo Alto offers fewer and less-rewarding options for dining than most of the neighbouring areas.

Also: your budget may influence recommendations.

Mar 11, 2013
eethan in San Francisco Bay Area