escargot3's Profile

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Food bucket list - 1 day in SF

I'm far from an expert, but I found the caneles at Fournée in Berkeley to be quite satisfying, with a tender custard filling flavored with rum 'n vanilla. I can imagine that the caramelized exterior might need to be crunchier. But I think they're quite good. Give 'em a try and let us know.

And while you're there,taste the Noisette cookies (giandujia chocolate + hazelnut)...

the ethiopian on telegraph debate...

One new-for-me item I tasted at Bar Cote is some sort of flat bread made from various parts of the banana tree, pulverized, fermented, flattened & baked. Unfortunately I forgot the name. It had the starchy texture of mochi, but with the aromatic flavor of the banana infused.

The lovely woman who is operating the resto (perhaps the owner?) said that typically it's served with bits of meat, like kefte. She also warned that I probably wouldn't like it. To that point, she was wrong.

the ethiopian on telegraph debate...

Finally tried "Bar Cote" last nite. It's located directly across the street from Cafe Colucci, which has been my fave Ethiopian place for quite some time.

Bar Cote is excellent.

We had the 100% teff injera -- and the flavor was better than Colucci's, which has a slightly sour edge. Bar Cote's iteration seems more subtle.

The veggie combo was stunning -- especially the greens and also the cabbage. Bright, clean flavors. not oily at all.

Chicken tibs -- the best I've had. complex flavors. nicely integrated.

Service: extremely warm and attentive.

I will be back soon.

Thin sliced bread for tea sandwiches

also to be found at Nordic House in West Berkeley on San Pablo, which is also a great source of other Scandinavian specialties.

Chowdown at Grocery Cafe, Oakland [Burmese]

This was a particularly extraordinary event that Melanie assembled. The meal started with condiments-- 3 versions of chile preparations: the green chiles with garlic in vinegar grabbed my heart. Another with roasted chile & oil was an earthy version of a familiar preparation. And a third with small fried fish was quite unique, and one that I kept returning to.

The hot tea consisted of 2 parts of the plant: leaf and flower. Unclear if it’s from the same plant, or 2 different plants.

One test of a Burmese restaurant is the tea leaf salad. This version arrived without any presence of lettuce on the plate. The flavor of the fermented tea leaves was dominant and delicious. More of an earthy flavor than other versions I've enjoyed.

The appetizers were really exceptional. The Ginger Salad stood out for its freshness and the smooth flavors. But the star of the show for me was the fish dip with vegetables. I think it’s a dish that’s not on the menu, but was specially prepared for us (thank you again Melanie!): a platter of delicate squash leaves w/ tendrils, bitter melon leaves, sliced cucumber and new-to-all-of-us a seed that looks like a chestnut and tastes like Stinky Tofu or Durian. Fantastic flavor that one either is crazy about or driven crazy by…

The mohinga was the best I’ve had: a contrast of textures and flavors. Made with catfish – one of the few fish that I’m not a fan of – but without a trace of fish flavor. Served over thin rice vermicelli, with a side of sliced duck egg. Chef Lue told us that in Burma it’s a dish eaten at any time of day, from breakfast to late night snack. The samusa was quite different from the South Asian variety. It was flat and triangular shaped. Definitely a dish I'd order again, and again.

We took a break at this point, and when the second round of dishes started coming out of the kitchen, I was astonished by the complex flavors of the catfish plate, and also the pickled mango pork.

perhaps because I was already feeling quite sated, what followed didn’t wow me in quite the same manner as the first half of the meal. But I would enjoy the opportunity to taste the lamb again (along with the oxtail) which Chef Lue noted in Burma both are eaten at special banquet feasts.

The meal was finished with 2 plates of sweet things. I especially enjoyed a new twist on sweet sticky rice in banana leaves.

I look forward to returning here often. Here's hoping that Chef Lue's vision of establishing a farmer's market in the neighborhood for the farmers from Burma especially to come from Sacramento and the valley to sell their produce.

Grocery Outlet - March 2015

Does anyone know if there's a difference between the wines stocked in berkeley vs oakland? And any tips on a red to grab?

Boulevard? [San Francisco]

I would add that when a bunch of us went there recently on a spur of the moment impulse, the food was excellent ($$$) and the service was fabulous.

Also stopped by a few months back wiht a group of 4 just for dessert and drinks, and we all were very happy campers.

Downtown Berkeley Food Ideas

another voice in the chorus of disappointment with Gather, and especially the attitude of staff. Miss Thing glared when I asked for ketchup for my burger, apparently an item that was considered "tref" (translation: not kosher) by the chef. (I udnerstand that policy has since changed, but still...why was it there in the first place?)

Freekeh recipes and suggestions

it's got high protein + high fiber, so it's great for a low carb diet that diabetics need.

Feb 23, 2015
escargot3 in Home Cooking

B Side BBQ in Oakland

double damn it.

Restaurant in Boulder/Boulder area recommendation?

you might consider The Kitchen or Populist. Great food at both. Not sure if the tables are far apart enough for you, but I've enjoyed meals at both. Especially Populist: creative food, wonderful prix fixe menu, and an excellent wine list.

Feb 03, 2015
escargot3 in Mountain States

Berkeley: Current favorites for flavors and ambience?

Thanks for the update. it used to be a fave destination but after a few bad experiences, it got dropped from my list. I will gladly give it another try.

Goat Cuisine in the Bay Area

I enjoyed goat biryani last weekend at Vik's in Berkeley. It's often though not always on the menu.

New Oakland Safeway complex in Rockridge. College @ Claremont... Critiques?

As a resident in the area, I have taken enormous pleasure in shopping on that block of College Ave at Verbrugge, Vino, and Cole Coffee, and especially the recently closed flower stand.

It's not just that the impact on those businesses will be huge, if only because of the huge traffic mess. as others said, this building is out of scale vis à vis the neighb.

Thank you, Jean Quan + other Oakland officials who "bent over forward" in response to corporate interests.

Saturday breakfast spot in East Bay: Good food, Not too crowded

For any vegans or vegetarians who might be reading:
the Westside Cafe in Berkeley has a tasty breakfast veggie & tofu saute w/ blackbread toast. Service is usually very slow. they definitely don't hurry you.

Easy parking in the morning. Lottsa windows and morning light.

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

Had it again last nite-- just as good as the first time.

New Malaysian in Oakland Chinatown

Went back for more goodies last nite. This time, we once again enjoyed the impeccable roti and the equally outstanding okra belacan. We also enjoyed the green curry chicken (which has some eggplant, okra, and is more soup like in consistency).

When we queried our server about the Malaysian cuisine on the menu, he quickly recommended that get a dish NOT on the menu:
shrimp sambal. It was the best dish yet. Since my plate was completely empty after I finished eating, there was no clue that the shrimp was served with shells on (yum -- more shrimp flavor!). All was devoured.

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

had roti canai at Chilli Padi the other nite. It was fantastic:
crisp side, soft interior, flavorful dipping sauce. Highly recommended.

Juhu Beach Club to open brick 'n mortar in Temescal [Oakland]

hadn't been here in a while and glad to be back. The food + service were both outstanding. This is a great neighborhood resto.

Started with the crunchy sweet & spicey popcorn appetizer (with peanuts). Thought the coriander shrimp was the best. Plump shrimp. Nicely seasoned. The Manchurian cauliflower was too sweet for my palette (but then, I prefer savory dishes). My friend thought it impeccable. By contrast, I thought the brussel sprouts were done really nicely: nothing fancy, just a simple but unusual use of spices.

The Clay Pot House on Clement [San Francisco]

Maybe instead of a review of this resto, I should actually start a thread on the different preparations of bitter melon I've enjoyed. Simply put: this location trumps all.

By way of background: A friend and I headed over to Mandalay Burmese but were put off by the huge crowd on this chilly Monday evening. Instead, we lumbered over to Clement St, quickly found a parking spot ( a good omen) and starting walking, checking out the options. Once we spied the crowd inside this low-key establishment, we knew to grab the attention of the guy at the door and let him know we wanted a table. The wait was short and worth it. According to the write up on the window, this is a resto with food from the Taishan coastal region of China.

The draw for every table clearly was the clay pot dishes. We ordered the quail and mushrooms, and enjoyed it immensely. Salt & pepper shrimp were large and plump -- deep fried but not oily -- and sweet tasting. But for me, the bittermelon with seaweed and mushrooms was amazing. I especially appreciated the addition of some tiny dried shrimp.

Not to be missed: the house-made pickled chile condiment was outstanding. The sliced chiles had a kick, but didn't burn the mouth. The pickle brine used a spice I am not familiar with, but really enjoyed. (Melanie, I sense a need for you to go tasting!) After I complimented the owner, he smiled with pride, mentioned it was his own recipe, and sent me home with a huge container of the stuff. What a holiday treat.

Westbrae Biergarten (Berkeley)

they are also the proverbial victim of their own popularity. Neighbors are furious over the crowds, the noise, the trash, the sudden lack of available street parking on the quiet tiny residential streets nearby. People are usually louder and messier after a few beers.

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

another thumbs up for Smoke -- especially the seasonal fruit pies.

wassup with the arrow sign and below it the zero?

I just opened a thread. I see these symbols and have no clue as to what they mean. Also was not able to respond to a post.

Me thinks the time is nigh to pack up and leave Chow. Too many employees with nothing much to do other than needlessly complicate and make obscure.

Dec 04, 2014
escargot3 in Site Talk

Moroccan Mint Tea

in morocco, mint tea is always mixed with some green tea, and a lotta sugar.

roasted chickpea snacks

old thread but new solution: The Good Bean (fyi a Bay Area company) packages several flavors of roasted chick pea snacks.

My fave is the sea salt, and also the black pepper, but they also have Thai coconut, mesquite cinnamon and more. Some can be found at Berkeley Bowl, or Whole Paycheck.

Nov 26, 2014
escargot3 in General Topics

Sichuan Invasion Continues -- KL Restaurant on Balboa becomes "Sichuan Table." [San Francisco]

a few of us enjoyed dim sum at the new Sichuan Table this weekend. No cart service, instead you take a sharpie and mark up a plastic-coated menu. Overall, it was enjoyed.

The usual items (har gow, shu mai, turnip cake) were excellent. The shrimp in the dumplings were especially flavorful, and the wrappers held their shape, so that was a plus. Turnip cake, not greasy. Taro dumpling was a surprise: it was not the usual deep fried bomb, but taro in a dumpling. A nice variation.

Especially enjoyed: lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice with chicken, chicken feet that had a really nice sauce, very large serving of sliced pig ear as a cold salad-kind of thing, deep fried potatoes (sweet potatoes and purple potatoes were fab) and the smoked tea duck was really great.

Missed this time, but not next: intriguing-looking durian puffs kept going past our table but we had already ordered too much to eat.

Sandbox Bakery - good things come in small packages [San Francisco]

But it seems you missed the 1 item that I thought was excellent: plain croissant.

Albeit, it's been a while since I was there, but at the time, it was my top choice: small, flakey, and with butter flavor but without dripping in butter.

Cafe Karla in Berkeley: Burmese food purveyor

i see they sell at the BB. easy to check it out -- but perhaps after T-day.

Crab season is upon us

Noticed a sign yesterday at MH Bread in San anselmo: Thurs Nov 20 dirty crab dinner.

(ps might add as an aside, their Basque almond-flour cake is fierce...)

Anyone know a great East Bay Burger joint?

GE & I (+ 1 more) were there for a late aft snack around 4pm on the weekend. I think there must have been an unexpected shift in the kitchen cause another dish was so tasteless -- the cauliflower salad -- it was actually sent back, something only done in extreme circumstances.

Burger definitely was ordered medium rare.

Since I had an incredibly perfect dinner at Rouge last month, I know that this experience was an aberration (or at least I hope so...).

ps- My experience at Zut has been uneven: On one occasion it was impeccable, and the next time, kinda dull.