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Request review of choices for Florence, Rome and Milan

Report from Milan please. Will be there in 10 days

Aug 08, 2015
escargot3 in Italy

Turin: budino

please report what you discover

Jul 12, 2015
escargot3 in Italy

Treat your self in Berkeley/Oakland, near the Claremont Hotel

wonderful cocktails at Wood Tavern...

Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg - Mitte 5 Days end of July

ditto on Katz Orange. Creative but comfortable.
Really really lovely location.

Jul 06, 2015
escargot3 in Europe

Babbo or del posto?

Without a reservation, 2 of us got in line 30 minutes ahead of opening time on a Sunday last October and easily snagged a spot at the bar. It was a stellar meal.

May 24, 2015
escargot3 in Manhattan


I see you've been foiled manytimes, but isn't one bad loaf of bread sufficient?

May 23, 2015
escargot3 in Manhattan


Their Bread was a HUGE disappointment. Soft crust is a bummer.

May 21, 2015
escargot3 in Manhattan

Denver recommendations?

so where did you go and what did you enjoy?

May 18, 2015
escargot3 in Mountain States

Downtown Denver?

I'm in Denver often and I didn't respond to your post because it works better if you do preliminary research thru the great info already posted here on this board, and generate specific questions for folks to respond to.

May 16, 2015
escargot3 in Mountain States

Satkar in Sunnyvale

Headed over to Ulavacharu this evening but saw a notice of new ownership posted on the door. Decided to go elsewhere.

Ended up having a great meal in a small hole-in-the-wall but quite clean location: Satkar. It was quite busy with both take-out orders and eat-in. The food was outstanding.

Started with Dahi Vada - appetizer of lentil dumplings in a yoghurt sauce. The dumplings are kinda dry - but smashed, they soak up the liquid and acquire a lovely flavor and lottsa protein.

Tandoori shrimp was interesting -- very smokey flavor, it arrived on a cast iron platter atop a bed of onion.

Okra Masala was extra crispy, as requested.

Chicken Makhani was the surprise: shredded tandoori chicken in a fenugreek creamy sauce with nuts. REally different.

Dal had a very differenet spicing. Can't name it, unfortunately.

And also to be noted: I loved the chapattis - soft interior, slightly blackened exterior. Even the mint sauce seemed at once more delicate and spicier than most.

It's a busy spot, so service was slow. We were happy to watch the scene. I will be back.

Where to buy baby artichokes?

ps save yourself some stress: call the Berkeley Bowl before going there and ask if they're in the store.

Where to buy baby artichokes?

regularly available (in season) at the Berkeley Bowl

places for loners Berkeley area

fonda also has a late nite happy hour. A few cheaper cocktails and some fnger food. I enjoy the margarita

Central Kitchen [Potr'ission, San Francisco]

I finally dined here this weekend. Though the food was as delicious as described by others, I will not be eager to return because the service was quite disappointing. Annoying, actually.

The food was impeccable:
- The chickpea panisse was a good as it gets. Elegant, subtle, light.
- The deep fried ricotta "thingys" were a surprise to us. The menu did not describe it as deep-fried battered. One of our party of 3 was unable to eat it.

Thus began a series of disappointments in service. With all the detail of information about the ingredients, shouldn't someone offer that it's deep fried?

- charred asparagus was lovely. Served with trout roe, I actually missed the briny flavor of other roe. But the other 2 appreciated the softer flavor. The dish also included fiddlehead ferns and a poached egg.

And here entered problem #2:
This dish arrived as we were mid-way thru the first 2 dishes, each of which had fried items which should be eaten as soon as served.
By the time we dove into the sparagus dish, the egg was cold and getting a tad tough.

And that in essence was my main problem with the evening: too rushed. The moment the last bite was scooped up by a diner, a server grabbed it from the table. What's the rush? Isn't this about slow food and appreciating the meal and each other? Then just after we asked the staffer to leave the plate and wait a while before clearing dishes -- perhaps to allow one of us to mop up the sauce with a bit of bread -- another staff person immediately came along and tried to scoop the plate off the table.

Before I end my rant, I must say the black cod was extraordinary.

The food and the service stood in contrast to one another.
As much as the food was nuanced, creative and delicate, the service was cold, rushed and inhospitable.

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.