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Bob Copeland's Profile

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San Francisco Genuine / Popular / Local Foods?

At your link, "Joe’s Special: a hearty mixture of beef, onions, spinach and eggs" is listed under salads. It's a main course.

The San Francisco burrito is better known as Mission-style.

old-school high-end for celebratory dinner


old-school high-end for celebratory dinner

I have had two dinners at Campton Place recently and enjoyed the food, atmosphere and service. It was a five (six?) course tasting menu with recognizable food without a lot of fussiness.

Perhaps Spruce, though they are busy enough that leisurely may not apply, except for a later seating.

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

There's a Yet Wah in San Rafael that still serves the same tasty pot stickers. Thin-skinned, pork/cabbage filling, most of the time well-browned, and maybe half the time - juicy. Located on 4th Street in san Rafael, this was the old Larkspur Landing store that moved maybe 8-10 years ago.

Feedback on Russian River/ Napa Itinerary

Merry Edwards is just around the corner from Lynmar. Less than five minutes.

We enjoy Lynmar, which has a lovely tasting area/view.

Tasting menu for neanderthals?

Thanks. I found Flour + Water to be very tasty but noisy. I was hoping for a calmer experience in a more formal atmosphere. Perhaps something more Spruce-like...

Tasting menu for neanderthals?

Thanks. I preferred the old Aziza when the food for more "country" style. Enjoyed Keiko and Aquerello.

Tasting menu for neanderthals?

Where in San Francisco would you go for a tasting menu that serves simple, recognizable food?

I've been to Campton Place and enjoyed the five-course tasting menu. The food was full-flavored and served elegantly by a professional wait staff. Portions were more than a one or two bite serving and highlighted the Chef's ability to transform simple ingredients with delicate spicing.

Quince, while using high-quality ingredients, was a little too precious for me. A fine-dining experience, which was ultimately unsatisfying (to me) as nothing was particularly memorable two days later. (OK, the serving dishes were wonderful but I can't quite remember what was on them.)

I am looking for an interesting experience with food that isn't overly fussy. In looking at the menu at Saison, Benu, Atelier Crenn, FL, etc., there are too many items that don't interest me.

I understand that it is my limitations that cause me to feel that way, but, that's who I am.

I'm happy to spend $150 pp (without wine pairing) but don't want to go much higher.

Any suggestions?

Very specific restaurant criteria

Town Hall? Not sure if they would allow menu for 15.

Downtown San night only....recommendations..

Barbacco - casual Italian, good food, good wine list. Could be lunch or dinner.

Prime rib: Marin Sun Farms vs. Niman

Haven't had either the Five Dot or Niman rib roasts.

We had a "prime" prime rib roast for dinner yesterday from Flannery Beef in San Rafael (mail order). It was wonderful. Dry-aged for 30 days (or so). Great beefy flavor. Cost was about $95 for a two-rib roast.

I buy what I call super-prime when Costco carries it (the really well-marbled pieces that they have sometimes). While that is good, Flannery's dry-aging makes quite a difference.

In addition, last summer, I compared a rib steak of his against a Lobel's rib steak. To my taste, Flannery won. And, it's cost is lower, too.

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

I may have missed them, too. I was there around 12:30 PM on Saturday, 40-50 person line. Stuck my head in to ask about the pot pies before getting in line.

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

Was there on Saturday. Looked like all they were selling was chicken sandwiches and apple pie. No displays of other baked goods.

Was told the chicken pot pie might return in January.

Essvee's annual b-day dinner quandary

I had a good meal at Campton Place over the Summer. We had the five (6?)course pre fixe (now about $102/each). Good service, food was better than I expected.

Sweet 16 Birthday Dinner in SF/area?

My son had a 17th birthday party at a Chinese Restaurant. We set up a Chinese banquet meal, customizing the selections to the taste of 16 and 17 y.o. boys. They plowed through the banquet and we actually ordered more food. We thought that the banquet was a cost efficient meal since we knew in advance how much it would cost.

With 16 guests, you can do two tables.

Business Group Dinner - Boulevard or Town Hall? Or something else? [San Francisco]

We held a birthday party for my wife at Town Hall in July. They have a private room upstairs. Food and ambiance was great. The room could be too big for 12. We had 28 seated at one long table. A dozen wouldn't be a problem. Don't know if cost is a concern - see what their minimum is.

Private Dining Question

Thanks, that helps to clarify it for me.

Private Dining Question

Robert -

So the surcharge applies to all diners, not just the ones selecting the more expensive selection?

Private Dining Question

Having a birthday party for my wife this weekend. Have a reservation for a upscale restaurant in SOMA. An issue came up and I want to see whether I don't know the usual way these things work.

We were going to offer two entrees. The list of possible choices includes some at the banquet price and some with surcharges. The restaurant is telling us that the surcharges apples to the cost of all meals - even those for the non-surcharge entrée.

Is this common? My assumption was that the surcharge only applied to those who selected the more expensive entrée... not everyone.

This wasn't disclosed to us until the final count was provided and an estimated bill was sent.

Is it my mistake is assuming that the surcharge applied to only those who ordered the more expensive selection or is the restaurant taking advantage of us?

Of 30 diners, I expect that only 10 or so will chose the more expensive item. But - of course, who knows? The restaurant does need to protect themselves in case the count goes towards the more expensive item.

What has your experience been?

I am not identifying the restaurant because they may have just not explained things well enough to us.

Looking for the best pie in the Bay Area.

San Francisco's Three Babes Bakeshop makes some great pie. I particularly like the Apple and the Salty Walnut. There was a seasonal Apple/Toffee (?) pie last fall that was super. The fillings are flavorful and the crust is tender and flakey.

Wonton Noodle Soup - SF Dish of the Month (April 2013)

I had takeout from there about a month ago. I've never dined in and don't know the staff. Perhaps others can comment on that.

Wonton Noodle Soup - SF Dish of the Month (April 2013)

There are two restaurants who make Won Ton Soup that I enjoy:

1. Yuet Lee - 1300 Stockton St San Francisco
2. Gum Wah - 345 8th St Oakland

Both have a good flavorful broth and have shrimp-bases wontons. Each costs about $6-$7 with a meat included. I like the BBQ pork Soup at Yuet Lee and the Roasted Duck at Gum Wah.

Best thin-crust pizza in Marin?

Picco is very good. For N.Y. style, West Brooklyn and Gaspare's in San Rafael are good.

Where to buy a 10-12 quart (max!) travel cooler for carry-on flight?

I recently bought a soft-sided, collapsible insulated bag at a Wal-Mart in Taylor Texas to bring back a frozen smoked brisket. I surrounded the brisket with ice, kept it in my hotel room for 1.5 days, brought it to the airport, put it through the security checkpoint in Austin with the ice still in it. It passed through security, kept it in the overhead compartment and dumped the remaining ice out once I got home. It worked well. The bag cost about $13.

Where to buy a wok in SF, Daly City, or nearby

Once upon a time, many decades ago, I purchased a brass Queen-size headboard from Macy's at Union Square and carried it home via Muni. Not only did I get a few looks, I was able to protect myself from the crowds on the bus.

The Great Wonton soup quest (trying to find east coast style wonton soup in SF)

The Yet Wah in San Rafael is still open and has the same - great - pot stickers. Thin-skinned, crispy, gingery, most. They remain my standard for pot stickers. Nowhere else comes close.

The Great Wonton soup quest (trying to find east coast style wonton soup in SF)

I enjoy the Won Ton Soup from Yuet Lee (B'way/Stockton). I order the the BBQ Pork soup which has several large slices of somewhat fatty BBQ pork in a rich broth. However, the Won Tons themselves are shrimp (or most so). The melted pork fat adds to the richness of the broth. I suspect that other toppings result in a less-rich broth. Available with or without noodles. I really like the broth - the Won Tons less so.

ORIGINAL JOES..North Beach! [San Francisco]

My wife and I went to Original Joe's on Saturday. We arrived at 10:10 AM and waited for seating until they opened at 10:30 AM. We were fans of the counter at the old restaurant and sat there this time as well.

Walking through the restaurant, they did a nice job of decorating with lots of red leather booths and a private dining room facing the street. The counter was deep inside and sat perhaps 8-9 seats. The marble counter top was nicely done and faces a smaller exhibition kitchen than before. The total length was perhaps 60%-70% of what they had before. However, the counter seats are served from the dining room side as the inner section is used for kitchen prep.

A couple of important changes - they now have an Executive Chef overseeing the activity and the food is served through a pass. Quite a difference from the old restaurant.

We ate somewhat lightly - sharing a burger/fries after starting with a cup of minestrone (thick/hearty-light on veggies - and arancini (yes - at Joe's). The arancini, served as 5 small rice balls with cheese inside, on a bed of fresher tasting tomato sauce than a Bolognese sauce. The burger is pre-weighed and is smaller than the old burger. Onions were pre-mixed into the meat and the onion pieces were too large for my taste as they didn’t soften during cooking. They changed the fries from the old thick cut fries to more of a traditional large fry. Not as unique as the older style. In general, portion sizes seemed small as compared to the old restaurant. Certainly, enough food but not the meal and a half as before.

Daily Specials are served Monday through Friday only and Osso Buco didn’t make the cut.

The meal was fine if you didn’t have memories of the old place. No doubt, it is a work in progress and it’s good to have Original Joe’s back.

Favorite Cakes in the Bay Area

A recent discovery is the following cake from Emporio Rulli in Larkspur. Comes across as light and airy - you would think it barely contains a calorie... (Most items from Rulli are excellent.). San Francesco cake is pricey - about $35 if I remember correctly.

SAN FRANCESCO… Baked meringue base & vanilla sponge layers filled with fresh raspberries and pastry cream; topped with whipped cream and crumbled, baked meringue

Emporio Rulli
464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA

Rotisserie and Wine

I ate at R&W around the same time as you in a party of four. We odered the Cheese puffs (wonderful), enjoyed the corn sticks and the sides.

We were disappointed with the Prime Rib as it was difficult to share for four. Good flavor but not a generous portion.

The Porchetta was good - about the same as Roli Roti's. That was easier to share amongst the four of us. The sides were good - mac and cheese, and the broccoli with pine nuts, raisins and cheese.

We shared trhe pie of the day - apple - and thought that it was very good - particulary the crust. Someone knew what they were doing with that.

What made the evening somewhat offputting is that the table for four was tiny. The entrees come on very large plates which are designed for sharing but two or three of those along with personal side plates along with a couple of side dishes just don't fit on the table.

Good meal, though awkward juggling all of the plates.

Roli Roti
, Hayward, CA