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REALLY spicy food in the Bay Area?

"nearly brought tears to your eyes" ... that's hot?

The single small ball of fried dough was so hot that the triggered convulsions in my stomach ( when the hot hit the stomach ) caused me to stagger, doubled over, into the street, where I vomited my dinner into the gutter.

I had a padrone so hot I was blinded for 5 seconds (Cesar, 2003). This effect is due to pain so intense that your brain forgets you have an optic nerve.

AAachi Appakadi isn't that hot... the spice in the dishes is rich and complex. Big fan.

about 11 hours ago
bbulkow in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I'm not crazy about third wave drip but third wave espresso is swank, on a really slow pull where the sour mixes with the crema with a slight bitter kick.

about 11 hours ago
bbulkow in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I want my cold brewed coffee on tap, without having to go all the way to Bicycle.

Come down the peninsula. We've got less of all that stuff.

about 11 hours ago
bbulkow in San Francisco Bay Area

Seeking Harbin Beer

Harbin is a very interesting food place because the city was founded by the russians as the penultimate stop on the trans-siberian ( I stayed in the first building of the city, the russian-architecture hotel ), who brought in germans as engineers, and koreans as workers. The city went Japanese for a while but you'll see little evidence in the city's restaurants --- and now has been chinese for a while.

Most tourists know Harbin for their winter Ice Festival. The railroad runs over a huge bridge over the river there, and in the winter it's the world center for ice sculpture. The place is very northern and very cold.

There are very solid dumpling shops (think Everyday Beijing +++), interesting korean places, and a few russian places still left. The guidebooks say the restaurants are color coded (white, red, blue, I think) .... and those german engineers brought their beer tech.

The sweetness in Harbin reminds one of a Kolsch. It's a very pleasant beer, although I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Wes' description seems spot on.

I try to keep an eye out for it, and I saw it in some chinese place in the last month, but my mind just doesn't remember exactly which place. Sorry.

REALLY spicy food in the Bay Area?

I had an interesting spicy experience this weekend.

Izakaya Ginji, in San Mateo, has a "Takoyaki Roulette", where out of the 6 takoyaki, one is spicy. I had it once before, it was good and fun.

I had it again this weekend --- and it nearly killed me. I'll leave out the graphic details, but it was easily the single hottest thing I've ever eaten. Yes, I've had the old prince of wales habenero hamburger. I make my own hot sauce out of Carolina Morugas. These takoyaki, like Padrones, you end up eating a few and then biting really hard, so you're not gingerly eating.

I'm also getting fonder and fonder of Ginji. They have a broader menu than Kokko yet have better skewers.

Jeffrey's in Menlo Park - now open

Is Jefferey's closed? I drove by yesterday hoping to get a burger and it was dark --- but maybe that was the rain-o-pocolypse fear?

I can imagine their competition with 5 guys is fierce, but every time I go in they have a decent crowd.

Restos/Bars serving Tom and Jerry drinks? [San Francisco]

Most refugees from the Midwest might turn up their noses at something other than the pre-made "tom and jerry batter" they've grown up with. The batter would typically be mixed with mid-grade rum (not brandy) at the relatives I had in the greater minnesota area.

Here's a random recipe for a tom and jerry, notice it doesn't start with nog and allows any dark spirit:
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bevera...

Chef Ma in San Jose for Chengdu, Sichuan Cooking

My best source for chinese tips in the south bay recommends Shao Mountain in West San Jose (Lawrence).

Likely similar to Shao Mountain in Fremont --- my buddy hadn't been to the "old" one.

I haven't seen any mention here on the board of the SJ branch --- thoughts?

Smoking Pig BBQ in Fremont, quite good

I just googled a bit and couldn't find a definition of "full cut". The ribs were very full.

Smoking Pig BBQ in Fremont, quite good

There are a number of threads about Smoking Pig in San Jose but none about Fremont. The fremont location is better situated, has a larger beer selection, is easier to find, and has two MONSTROUS SMOKERS the likes of which I haven't seen (they're about 15" tall).

The location is on Mowery near Paseo Padre. It's a converted other restaurant of some sort (not a denny's per se but something similar). The inside is nicely wood re-paneled, has a huge stage and nice music system, a big square bar with lots of TVs, a seating area away from the stage.

They seem to have music, no cover, either on thursday / Friday, or Friday/Saturday. They do a classic "first set at 8:30, second set whenever we get around to it." The band I heard was an excellent small blues combo travelling from Florida, they've also got people like Ron Thompson in.

On to the food. What I liked about SJ Smoking Pig when I visited and wrote about it was the excellent brisket. Since then, I've travelled to texas eating over 20 different BBQs (although not some of the classic places near Austin), and hit a few of the well regarded places in North Carolina. In the bay area, we've had Smokestack and Perdition and a few other places open.

Based on my sample last night, I think I need to sample this place a bit more --- but I'm encouraged. I think I liked Smokestack and Perdition a bit better - tenderer meats.

The style they're doing doesn't have a lot of smoke. It's not a trail dust kind of place. I didn't get the brisket, which was the star of a previous SJ visit, "off the high side". That'll be the test. It's partially all about the sauce, although the taste of the meat is quite good. But --- the sauces are as good as I've had anywhere. I had the burnt ends, which were more like massive chunks of bacon, and the ribs, which could have been more tenderer but I liked the meat taste.

What I remember about the SJ Smoking Pig was a level of irregularity, like a pulled pork that was quite dried out. I'd like to sample more of their wares, over a longer period of time.

But if I was in Fremont, and wasn't in the mood for indian or chinese, the well appointed location with solid beer list would make a "let's stop by" --- and I'll keep an eye on the music list, even though I'm not a blues fan. The wine list was amusing too --- it looks like Travieso has done a custom blend for SP.

Prices were fairly reasonable - I think it was $55 for two after tax before tip, including beers.

The place is clearly a labor of love by the guy who was clearly the owner, whatever his name was, who greeted many people and was hovering about, passing the tip jar for the band. He literally got me dancing on the small dance floor, which is easily the first time in 15 years that's happened.

Chennai Kings now open in Mountain View

They have two small TVs. When I was there, they were tuned to some rather wobbly channels. You'll have to call, but it wasn't really a rowdy cricket joint.

Chennai Kings now open in Mountain View

Had:
Something like a cut mirchi (breaded hot peppers), and a chicken curry. The menu is a bit complicated because the appetizers are the same price as the entrees --- as if someone's a little confused about the concept of an appetizer --- but very happy otherwise. All indians there and indian-normal level of spice, lots of freshness in the curry. Food also came out quickly.

Didn't try the dosas.

Re-thinking Berkeley icons at holiday time

I was at howie's on the peninsula this weekend, and continue to marvel about their Bianco. It uses a smoked mozz which is exceedingly unusual and memorable. It's really an excellent pizza (of which was have a number in greater MV/PA right now).

Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog

I'm not surprised this tastes bad. At $8/bottle, what would one expect?

I'm not going all the way to make my own custard, though.

When I get in the mood for nog (happens every few years) I pick up a carton of Clover Eggnog (without liquor) and add my own rum --- usually Mt Gay, but whatever I might have in the back of the liquor closet.

http://cloverstornetta.com/products/n...

At 380 cal per 12 oz, it tastes rich and great, by adding my own rum I control both the stiffness of the drink and overall quality.

Palo Alto Notes

Local Union 271 seems to be finding its stride, at least regarding packing people in. Haven't been in since previous report.

I was over at Coupa, and tried their burger. One doesn't usually have the burger given the nice paninis and arepas, but the burger was quite nice. It's not a "next gen" burger, but it's well spiced, comes with lots of fixings (avo, bacon), a big crunchy panini roll, solid fries, and only $12 for all that. Service was unusually slow, but it was an unusual weekend.

Panda Dumpling in Redwood City

Surprised it lasted this long. There was never anyone inside. The dumplings were fine but iDumpling around the corner had a broader menu and was always more hopping.

Golden Sallow's menu looks like fairly standard "mandarin" / (american). I don't see too many unusual and cool dishes.

Zola in Palo Alto

Thanks for the location information. I didn't end up getting to the roast shop.

If one is coming from Los Altos, I think Red Rock (MV)'s single origin bar pulls as well as anyone in the bay area.

Zola in Palo Alto

All rumors say Blue Bottle will open a real shop (not the Fraiche Blue Bottle) in the old Varsity Theater space, which has a great cozy downstairs available. There hasn't been much construction there yet, so don't hold your breath.

Zola looks like a semi-straight-ahead french (what's with all the brasserie cooking?), and I guess it's in the old Monique's chocolate space, down from Bon Vivant. According to other sites, it's very crowded for an opening because of the Portola Kitchen buzz.

Will check it out.

Aly's on Main ::: RWC

I hope this place is doing ok! I walked by a few times and it's too empty. Rarely made our list of places to go....

San Jose/Peninsula tonight

Great, Jang Su Jang would be on any Korean list of the south bay. Sounds like you had an interesting meal.

In case you haven't figured out, nothing in Korea is spicy, compared to spicy dishes in Thailand, India, China, and Mexico. That was my experience in Korea as well, so I don't think the effect was discrimination.

Alkymists: palo alto: worth a try

Huh. The "owner" who "pulled the plug" was the previous owner, so knew what the space should pull in. Looks like the "root cause" wasn't exposed.

It's a shame for a lot of reasons, but especially that the space is very nicely decorated. Hopefully someone will make good with it.

San Jose/Peninsula tonight

Aachi Aappakadai

http://www.yelp.com/biz/aachi-aappaka...

There's a few SF restaurants that have chettinad dishes on the menu, but no fully chettinad places.

S.F. cooks up plan to grow food and beverage manufacturing - San Francisco Business Times

The old produce warehouse area (south of dogpatch, on the other side of Islay Creek would seem a possibility - that big flat area between 280 and 101. There's already small food processing companies in the american can building (dogpatch proper).

These operations don't require much space.

Alkymists: palo alto: worth a try

As of 8pm Fri Nov 7, hand-taped sign in the window saying "closed for remodel". Too bad, I was looking forward to this place settling down and being a positive influence on Palo Alto --- hopefully it's a minor glitch.

Custom Cake for wife's "40"...

Any help on which part of the bay area you're in? All this discussion about the east bay.

I've always liked the looks of Studio Cake in Menlo Park but haven't tasted it.

http://www.studiocake.com/

Detour to La Casita Chilanga 2, Redwood City

Do love that Tesorito, agree fully. And a great value.

Lunch rec for San Jose...

Re: train food, I tried Cuisinette in San Carlos this week (right across from the station). Very impressed, for a neighborhood spot.

It's not a destination restaurant, but I don't love a lot of the restaurants in San Carlos. There's the refuge, but it's sometimes small and crowded. There's Lilliquoi, but it's more of a nightspot. There's Town, if you like well dressed people and average food. There's blue line, but I get a lot of pizza at work. Limon is a little fancy for most days.

Cuisinette is just a straight down the middle of the road french place. Really french. Really comforting. It's the perfect lunch spot or casual dinner, with just _tasty_ food. The definition of an excellent neighborhood place.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/cuisinett-san...

Lunch rec for San Jose...

Really depends what you like. If you take all the caltrain stops into account, there are literally 1000's of restaurants within a walk of a caltrain station. at least 100 in MV, another 100 at Palo alto, etc etc.

Michelin 1 star - Chez TJ, mountain view
Michelin 2 star - Baume, california ave
--- outside your price range :-)

I am addicted to the falafels at Med Delight. The pizzas at Double Zero in MV are good. The best beer near a train station is probably Stein's in MV. Chinese is harder because the Millbrea places are a bit of a hike from the station. Good burritos at Pancho Villa in San Mateo. For a combination of atmosphere and food I would recommend Barrone in MenloPark (cafe but good). For _coffee_ I would recommend RedRock in MV or Backyard in RWC. BlueLine pizza is good - stuffed - in MV and Burlingame.

Really, what do you like?

Dozens become sick at NAACP gala at Redwood City Sofitel

If there's an outside caterer, of course the hotel's not at fault.

This is why most hotels have strict lists of outside caterers they work with .... I bet sofitel's gets a bit stricter after this.

Two questions about Straus cream-top milk

I bet that's the understory of what TJ said to you. Stopped selling.... at the same price. Happy to sell at 5% more.