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Private Dining Question

Thanks, that helps to clarify it for me.

Jul 07, 2014
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Private Dining Question

Robert -

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

Jul 07, 2014
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Jul 07, 2014
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

http://threebabesbakeshop.com/

Jun 06, 2013
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Apr 01, 2013
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Apr 01, 2013
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area
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Best thin-crust pizza in Marin?

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

Feb 20, 2013
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Aug 09, 2012
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Jul 06, 2012
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Mar 02, 2012
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Mar 02, 2012
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

ORIGINAL JOES..North Beach!

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.

Jan 30, 2012
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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

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Emporio Rulli
464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA

Feb 17, 2011
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

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Roli Roti
, Hayward, CA

Jan 05, 2011
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Harris Steakhouse, San Fran

Bryan's Fine Foods in Corte Madera dry ages their beef. Best beef I've ever had from a supermarket. At Christmas, the Prime - Prime Rib was only a couple of bucks more expensive than Costco's Prime. If you want an aged Roast, New Yorks or Rib Eyes, I swear by Bryan's. Same family as at Laurel Heights, but a differnt store.

Jan 05, 2011
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Harris Steakhouse, San Fran

Last year, I ate at Harris' and ordered the Prime Rib. I thought that it was very ordinary and I was disappointed with it. I much prefer HOPR for Prime Rib as it had more flavor and was more tender.

My dining companions had Rib Steaks at Harris' and they enjoyed them. They chose more wisely than I.

As mentioned by Condor below, the Prime Rib from The Palm resaurant in Miami (and NY and DC- where I have also dined) is also very good. In my opintion, better than HOPR.

HOPR is the better value considering the sides.

Jan 05, 2011
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

R. I. P. Neldam's Bakery - July 17, 2010

After 80 years, Neldam's Bakery is closed.

Happened to stop by yesterday to pick up some Butterscotch Tidbits, a favorite of mine, and there was a small sign announcing that Saturday was its last day. A small but steady group of customers came in while I was there, some picking-up birthday sheetcakes, and others just to say goodbye. A KTVU cameraman was filming some comments by long-term customers.

The end of a era...

Jul 18, 2010
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite Daily Specials

Jimmy Bean's - Berkeley
Monday - Spaghetti anfd Meat Balls
Tuesday - Sausage or veggie lasagna
Wednesday - Manicotti
Thursday - Meat Loaf
Friday - Fried Chicken
Saturday - Paella
Sunday - Mexican Fiesta.

Jun 30, 2010
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite Daily Specials

Today -- it's Tuesday. which means that I get to go to Rosamunde Sausage Grill on Haight for the burger.

Where do you go for the rotating Daily Specials? Lunches or dinners.

Some that I know about:

Rosamunde Sausage Grill - San Francisco - Tuesday - Hamburgers
Memphis Minnie's - San Francisco - Wednesday - Smoked Pastrami
Mexicali Rose - Oakland - Wednesday - Chicken Mole
Grand Cafe - San Francisco - Monday - Pork
Grand Cafe - San Francisco - Tuesday - Veal
Grand Cafe - San Francisco - Wednesday - Suckling Pig
Grand Cafe - San Francisco - Thursday - Game
Grand Cafe - San Francisco - Friday - Fish
Grand Cafe - San Francisco - Saturday - Beef
Grand Cafe - San Francisco - Sunday - Couscous Royale
Wayfare Tavern - San Francisco - Monday - Smoked Pork Chop
Wayfare Tavern - San Francisco - Tuesday - Pan Seared Trout
Wayfare Tavern - San Francisco - Wednesday - Grilled Veal T-Bone
Wayfare Tavern - San Francisco - Thursday - Smoked Sonoma Pork Ribs
Wayfare Tavern - San Francisco - Friday - Fish & Chips
Wayfare Tavern - San Francisco - Saturday - Abalone Steak
Wayfare Tavern - San Francisco - Sunday - Chicken Pot Pie

Monday Lobster Nights?

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Rosamunde Sausage Grill
545 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Mexicali Rose Restaurant
701 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607

Royale
1326 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

Jun 29, 2010
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Yet another SF first timer...help fill in my plan's gaps

My suggestion is that you go as early as you can. It does get crowded. I go at 8:00 AM when parking is easy and the crowds are fewer.

Jun 17, 2010
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Hungry Hunter, near SFO

The name says it all. It celebrates failure. A good hunter would never go hungry...

Jun 01, 2010
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Dry aged beef?

Bryan's Fine Foods in Corte Madera has great dry-aged beef. (Same family as Bryan's in San Francisco.)
Bryan's has both mid-west corn fed beef as well as Califonria beef. He is the supplier nationaly for Dean and Delucca's catalogue.

Available in-store or through his website.
http://www.bryansfinefoods.com/

He also offers custom-blend ground beef - mix brisket, chuck, short-rib, etc. to your likng. Amazing selection of choices.

May 19, 2010
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Susie Cakes in Marin

I stopped at Susie Cakes last Friday, the day before it's Grand Opening. I bought two cupcakes, one Vanilla with blue/green icing and the other, Vanilla with Coconut Icing. Neither one blew me away. They were a little sweet, and yes, heavy on the icing. Cake was on the dry side.

They also have pudding and I bought a butterscotch toffee flavor after the sales person said that it was the best she ever had. I thought that it tasted a little burnt and didn't compare favorably with either the butterscotch pudding from Lark Creek or the butterscotch creme brulee from the Buckeye Roadhouse.

The cost for the three items was almost $13.00 - too high for what they were.
The cupcakes from Frosting Bake Shop in Mill Valley werre MUCH better, IMHO.

It's located near Victoria Pastry which still has excellent cakes and I hope that Susie Cakes doesn't drive Victoria Pastry out of business.

Jan 28, 2010
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

SF bakery advice--Short notice, special birthday cake for this Saturday

I would use either Schubert's Bakery at 521 Clement St, (www.schuberts-bakery.com/index2.php) or Victoria Pastry at 1362 Stockton St. (www.victoriapastry.com/contact/defaul...). Both make great cake.

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Schubert's Bakery
521 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Nov 17, 2009
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

pot stickers in sf

I've always liked the pot stickers at Yet Wah (Clement and 24th Avenue).
Thin-skinned, nicely browned, gingery. They are still my standard.
I haven't been to Eliza's or Eic to compare.

Sep 18, 2009
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Local fresh ravioli

I like the Jumbo meat ravs from Lucca deli on Chestnut Street. Better filling to wrapper ratio than many. Not sure what connection, if any, they have with Lucca's on Valencia.

It's a combination of beef and spinach in the filling.

Jul 07, 2009
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Yuet Lee for Sale?

As simple as it may seem, I really like the Won Ton Soup at Yuet Lee. The broth is tasty.

Mar 11, 2009
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Chinese food in Marin county?

I've found a handful of one-hit wonders (at lest for my tastes).

Chrysanthemum - San Rafael
Pork Egg Foo Young

D J Chinese Cuisine - Larkspur
Mongolian Beef
Fired Chicken Wings
Cherry Pork (for the kids)

Yet-Wah - San Rafael
Pork Pot Stickers (thin skin, gingery)

Mar 09, 2009
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Best cookies in the Bay Area?

Another excellent cookie in the East Bay is Neldam's Butterscotch Tidbits. Baked only on Thursdays, these bite-size butter cookies have little butterscotch pieces throughout. Delish!

Bakesales Betty's Ginger cookies are soft and wonderful. To my palate, more tasty than the crisper ginger cookies from La Farine.

Emporio Rulli makes a great assortment of little Italian cookies - perhaps 30 different varieties - which results in a very attractive presentation. They also make great minature cream puffs, eclairs, fruit tarts, canolis and the like. Bite-size and colorful, they were a hit at a summer party last year.

Mar 04, 2009
Bob Copeland in San Francisco Bay Area

Anything like Harry Caray's or PJ Clarke's in Boston?

Looking for an upscale American bistro-like restaurant in Boston serving American food. Things like steaks, burgers, chicken, seafood and other specialties.
Thanks.

Feb 16, 2009
Bob Copeland in Greater Boston Area