Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Calistoga and beyond!

This weekend was filled with lots of sunshine and good eats. Saturday meant breakfast at Miller's East Coast Deli with a walk up to the Marina and up to the Marin Green field by Fort Mason where everyone flies kites. The weather was perfect.

Sunday started early. My buddies and I treated ourselves to doughnuts from Bob's. I went for a cake doughnut (my standard) and a maple crueler. Whenever I have a Bob's doughnut, I absolutely must have a cup of coffee to accompany it. If it's too late, I'll do decaf. It's just a magical combination.

We plugged the ipod into the rental car and headed North.

First stop: Yountville. We showed up early for our 1pm reservations at Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller's more casual affair. We used the extra time to walk up the street and gawk at French Laundry and the accompanying garden. On the way we saw a huge line outside of Bouchon Bakery. They should consider renaming Yountville "Kellerville"

There were people in sun chairs at the traffic lights making bicycles stop at the stop signs. I fully agree that people should obey traffic laws but the attendants in lawn chairs seemed a bit excessive. We walked around the mini downtown, surveying overpriced gourmet ingredients, blown glass sculptures, and sheepskin jackets. We still were close to an hour early.

Ad Hoc seated us early. The brunch menu that day featured "Roscoe's their way", chicken and waffles with trumpet mushrooms and pecans. For starters, there was a tray of Bouchon Bakery goodies, and for dessert peach sorbet with cookies. We also partook of the strawberry sangria. The chicken was extra crispy like KFC's, and the mushrooms were nutty and soft. Sooo good.

While we were at the restaurant, the server recommended some wineries that were "by appt" The first Schramsburg was booked, but the second place, Terraces, booked us when we called. We drove with our full bellies up the Silverado Trail to the tiny winery. We were given the security code to enter the gate and drive up the dirt path. The tasting room was more like their home and office. They made 5 small batch varietals of wine, and I picked up some Chardonnay.

After the winery, we headed to see the "Old Faithful" Geyser in Calistoga California. The geyser, one of only 3 or 4 geysers that actually go off regularly, was an adorable and beat up roadside attraction. You pay $10 to see the geyser, surrounded by a ring of palm trees erupt about 40 ft in the air for 3-4 minutes. I saw it when I was little so it was good to have my memory revived. In addition to the natural wonder, the park boasts a pen full of Tennessee Fainting Goats. If you don't know about fainting goats, than please for the love of god, watch this.

In reality, these goats are way too cute to scare. Also, they were in a pen, and I think you need to chase them to scare them. I felt too shy to scream right there in the middle of the park. We fed the goats some alfalfa pellets and dried corn. We took pictures with the llamas, and called it a day.

We finished off our evening with some sushi Donburi bowls and then saw Boat at the Hemlock tavern.

A full weekend indeed!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

37 Degrees

Formerly called 100% Healthy Dessert, my friend and I went to 37 Degrees on Taraval and 21st last night. Wow. What a delicious treat!

I ordered the Cold Noodle with Mango and Strawberry Soup, and my friend ordered the Mango Gi Gi with Honey Sea Coconut. I looked up some Yelp reviews and the Mango Gi Gi seems to be one of the most popular dishes to order.

We thought about getting the Osmanthus Jello but it was sold out. My friend commented that strawberry soup with noodles seems like a dish that a little kid would come up with "I want . . . stawberry SOUP with noodles!"

Both desserts were delicious. The menu was huge, and featured photos of everything.

The posters on the wall mentioned the health benefits of some of the menus ingredients like Aloe Vera, Coral Weed, and "Tadpoles." I want to go back and try everything.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Carte 415 Update

Went back for more yesterday. This time, the cowgirl three cheese sandwich with grilled rapini, sunburst tomato confit, and majoram. I liked the rapini inside my fancy grilled cheese, but I thought the sandwich as a whole tasted like pizza. Again, it was accompanied by a little cup of pickled vegetables, which I forgot about until after half my sandwich was consumed. I kicked myself mentally for missing out the chance to combine flavors.

I was still hungry after finishing my pizza sandwich, so I decided to splurge and follow up with their homemade yogurt with summer berries for $6.

Oh my god.

I was happy that no one was around me in the atrium where I was eating, because I made gratuitous mmm noises for the entirety of my consumption. The yogurt comes with granola and a cup of mixed berries. It was the best thing I've eaten in weeks. The yogurt was thick, creamy, and very likely strained like a Greek yogurt. I was sad that it came in a recyclable plastic container, and not a compostable container, but wow, I was okay with a little ecological transgression after the first bite.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Carte 415

Carte 415 has opened! The food cart, housed in the atrium of 101 Second Street is helmed by ex-Stonehill Tavern chef, Joshua Skenes. The cart is two blocks away from my workplace. I was excited about a new sustainable, gourmet lunch option, after receiving both a Daily Candy, and a Thrillist email announcing its arrival about a month ago. I marched down to second street on my lunch hour to find an empty atrium. I checked the website, I checked the address, and I posted on Yelp about it. Someone replied saying that they hit some delays.

I had almost forgotten about it when one of my co-workers informed me today that it had indeed opened. When I got into line, at least three people, including myself, were taking cell phone photos of the cart for blogs and Yelp reviews, I'm sure.

I ordered the charcuterie sandwich which featured boccalone cured meats on a baguette, a watercress type green, gruyere cheese and a sweet chutney. Attractively packaged, the sandwiches come in little balsa wood boats alongside a tiny corn plastic cup full of pickled vegetables. I wondered about the sustainability of the wooden boat, but I'm sure it might have something do with its ability to be both composted and re-used. My sandwich for $8 was satisfying but not large. I get scared of cured meats sometimes, because they can be too salty, but I found that the quince jam on the bread made a nice balance.

Other items offered on the menu were crudites, packaged upright in a plastic drink cup with a dome lid, as well as dirty girl tomato gazpacho.

Tomorrow I'll try the three cheese sandwich, and maybe I'll bring back my balsa wood tray to be re-used.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Delicious new food to try in San Francisco


Gobba Gobba Hey! Gobs
. Little cakes with frosting in the middle sold in flavors such as Orange Cardamom Ginger with Saffron Frosting, Strawberry, and Black Cherry Chocolate with Lime Butter Cream Frosting. I'm pretty sure they are sold at the Ferry Building, and each gob comes in a white paper sack with a great graphic branded sticker. I think this is a mobile food man just like the Creme Brulee Guy (who I also have yet to track down and can only be stalked by twitter).

Photo via.

Pal's Take Away.

This is a gourmet sandwich counter inside a tiny liquor store in the Mission on 24th and Hampshire. They have delicious sandwich creations like Almond Butter with Fresh Fruit, and Pork Sliders and roast beef with figs and . . . mmm. They are open Tues - Sat from 11 to 2:30.

This is the photo from the Burrito Justice Blog that led me to discover Pal's. It's from a post about the Sunday Streets Event that recently passed. Oh pork sliders:

On Yelp, you can see photos of a big line of hipsters waiting to eat these sandwiches. Soon I will be in line behind them.

Henry Slocombe ice cream

Gourmet ice cream on 24th and Harrison. They offer flavors like Andante chevre-strawberry jam, dulche de leche, foie gras, McEvoy Olive Oil, and carrot mango sorbet. Toppings like whipped cream, and balsalmic vinegar. I could use a milk shake right now.

Anthony's Cookies

I have cookie cravings on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. I will try these cookies out asap. They have headquarters on 25th and Valencia. In my dreams, they are open late, so that I can get a cookie after going to the Attic or the Phone Booth.


Another nomadic or pop-up restaurant (Does anyone out there know the term for this restaurant phenomenon?) in the Mission. This Sunday dinner is housed in the Stable Cafe on 17th and Folsom and serves French Cuisine. Two seatings a night for a prix fixe of $60 ($30 extra for wine). I have yet to experience one of the many restuarants that only appear on one evening inside another restaurant like Mission Street Food inside Lung Shan Restaurant, Radio Africa Kitchen inside Coffee Bar, and Melissa Claire's Kitchen inside Velo Rouge Cafe. Also, I think there was one called Just Herbs on Sutter, but I can't find it. Anyone out there know what I'm talking about?
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