Posts filed under SF Big Eat

Big Eat Day 16 - Empanda University

I am on a quest to know become an encyclopedia of deliciousness. As part of this quest I am eating 100 items off of 7 X 7s Big Eat list in San Francisco. It’s hard work but someone’s got to do it. During Labor Day weekend my family traveled to SF for the weekend: gluttony ensued. Going to the city? Need first hand recs? Then click here. #48 Argentinean Beef Empanadas at Venga Empanada

Empanadas are one of those specialty foods that drive people made with lust. To be in this category the food should be a) portable b) relatively hard to procure and c)something that people beg you to bring around based on your ethnic heritage. See also: Lumpia. Whenever I tell people I'm half filipino the next words out of their mouths are "Oh my God. I love lumpia. Do you love lumpia? Can you bring some over?"  If you aren't filpino you have said that to a filipino friend/ acquaintance/stranger you met on the street. Don't be ashamed, I don't hold it against you. I love lumpia too! And I have done the same thing with empanadas a million times.

It started in high school when my friend's Mom introduced the whole concept. She is an amazing cook. Even in Chile I almost never had empanadas as good as hers. I still dream of them. Each country makes empanadas differently so when my family found ourselves in the Mission we decided it was business time. There was only one empanda listed on the Big Eat but we sampled them at three places... for the blog of course.

First Stop: Empanada del Pino at Chile Lindo

Chile Lindo is a sweet little stand selling the relatively hard to come by Chilean empanda. (My first empanda love!) Chilean empanadas are large (2 would be a complete meal) and four-sided. The most common, the empanda del pino is filled with a savory ground beef mixture, raisins, a slice of hard-boiled egg and an olive. They are baked not fried.

I studied abroad my junior year in Chile and I think back on this time fondly as the no empanda left behind tour. Chile Lindo brought back some nice memories and made a solid empanda del pino. I liked the pebre (salsa) they served with it too. Recommended.

Next up came Venga Empanadas which was on the list. We had a spaz attack while ordering and tried three empanadas including the recommended argentine beef, a walnut and bleu cheese (!),  a mushroom empanada, hibiscus drinks and some alfajores for good measure.

Venga empanadas is small, cute and clean. I'm guessing it's relatively new. Argentine empanadas are generally half circles baked with a crimped edge. The empanadas were served with chimichurri (green parsley-olive oil salsa) sauce. I'd classify that chimichurri as bomb-ass delicious. That's technical food taxonomy terminology.

My friend Dahlia described the meat empanada as having more Italian spices than the Chilean del Pino which makes sense since there are tons of Italians in Argentina. My son described it as "Can I have an alfajor if I eat all my empanada?" I liked it well enough but I prefer the flavor of the pino empanda from Chile Lindo. I think the places where Venga Empanadas excelled are the non-traditional offerings such as the blue cheese and walnut and the mushrooms. I recommend the alfajor cookies too. Fresh and not too sweet. Those cookies crumbled perfectly.

Verdict: Go to Venga Empanadas for variety, kick ass chimichurri and perfect alfajores. Go to Chile Lindo for pino/ground beef.

Our last stop was El Majahual for Colombian empanadas. To get there we smushed too many people in the car like clowns and made some illegal U-turns. Arnold said this was to "complete the Colombian experience." Heh.

Like most countries Colombia has many different varieties of empanadas. At El Majahual they serve empanadas vallunas which come from Cali, Colombia. Empanadas vallunas are made with a yucca-flour based crust and filled with red meat and mashed-potatoes. They are deep-fried, delicious and fit in the palm of your hand. Usually they are served with a Colombian salsa called aji. Like most things Colombian, I love them. As K-Stew would say "I love them. I love them. I love them."

On that slightly snarky note I'll conclude South American empandas 101. Any questions? Favorite empanada-related wisdom to share?  Leave 'em in the comments.

Posted on September 30, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 16 - La Super Chile en Nogada

I am on a quest to know become an encyclopedia of deliciousness. As part of this quest I am eating 100 items off of 7 X 7s Big Eat list in San Francisco. It’s hard work but someone’s got to do it. Arnold is a teacher which means that Labor Day weekend marks the division between the easy living of a one-working parent family to a two-working parents family. Usually we spend the weekend stewing in the dread of our lives going from easy living to exceedingly hectic. Not this year. This year I got smart and booked an escape to the city. It was time to go on our very first family Big Eat.

#47-Pierna Enchilada Torta at La Torta Gorda

La Torta Gorda is a gem. It's tucked away on 24th street near the top of the Mission and from the moment you walk in its obvious that it is a restaurant run with heart. The space is sweetly decorated with a pale pink ceiling, serious San Francisco style moldings and a lovely back patio.  We elected to enjoy the outdoors and ordered the specified torta, a "vampiro" (beet-orange juice combo) and on impulse a new-to-us dish that I saw in the window called chile en nogada.

The "vampiro" came out first. Did I totally order this based on the name? Yes. The "vampiro" came in a plastic goblet larger than my child's head and was deliciously beet-y and refreshing. Also? You get to feel saintly when you drink beet juice. This is important to your psyche when you are about to get crunk with your meal plan.

Next up came the Torta. I am a torta fan and this one was good. The bread was soft yet crunchy. The fillings were fresh and on point but I believe the pork filling is what got this one on the map, it was heavenly. Crisp and fatty and salty and everything that pig aspires to be. It was mixed in with small chunk of pineapple which kept everything in perfect balance. We got the "Jr." size and it was more than enough.

It's obvious to me that the people who put the torta on the list have not tried the chile en nogada because the moment I saw it my torta became irrelevant.  I mean that sincerely and I am a person who is very reverent with tortas.

chile en nogada la super torta

Chile en nogada is a poblano chile filled with the world's most delicious picadillo of ground beef and fresh and dried fruit. On top of this amazingness is a creamy sauce made with walnuts and sherry. The top of the dish is coronated with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Chile en nogada is a dish to eat when you are ready to blow-it-out! Mexican food expert Lesley Tellez from the M'ija Chronicles described it as baroque which is perfect. It is Liberace style food. Decadent and wonderful and everything that you did not know you needed.

Verdict: Go to La Super Torta and bow down to the queen. Tell her you were sent by her most loyal servant La Notorious MLE.

PS-For a more detailed description (and recipe!) for chile en nogada check out Lesley's wonder blog here.

Posted on September 17, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 15-House of Prime Rib

I am on a quest to know become an encyclopedia of deliciousness. As part of this quest I am eating 100 items off of 7 X 7s Big Eat list in San Francisco. It's hard work but someone's got to do it. # 46 Prime Rib at House of Prime Rib

About a year ago my friend and I were both at the tail end of lengthy and frustrating job searches. At some point during the process we decided that we would celebrate (our eventual) new jobs by hitting up a SF institution. When we both locked down great new positions we made it happen. The House of Prime Rib has been serving up insane amounts of red meat since 1949. It was time for us to find out what all the fuss is about.

The ambiance of House of Prime Rib is really interesting. It's very fancy and homey and old school but also strangely dated. Our booth sported a pink and mauve fresco featuring kitty cats picnicking in a forest green+mauve color scheme. In a way though the datedness makes it even more endearing. Fancy but not stuffy it is obviously a place for a special jtreat (many around us where celebrating family birthdays). The House of Prime Rib feels like a well-loved piece of furniture, well-made and not pretentious.

The first thing that House of Prime Rib serves you is some A+ Plus sourdough and restaurant butter. You KNOW what I mean by restaurant butter. It's the butter that compels you to slather it on with an abandon you would never use in your own home. I loved the bread. Sourdough in the city just feels right.

At House of Prime Rib you don't choose between entrees. You choose what size of Prime Rib you think you can handle. The sizes range from very large to insane. After you've eaten a loaf of bread and some (ahem) butter it's time for prime rib! The servers come by with this extremely alarming... uh meat transporter thing? Wait, it's a mobile carving station. Yay vocabulary!

Sorry for these pics, they are from my phone (camera fail). These pictures make it look really gross, it was strange but not gross. It is fun/scary to watch them slice off your Prime Rib. I am not too faint of heart when it comes to ingesting either meat or fat but I swear I felt my arteries closing up when I saw how large my serving (smallest size available) was.

Did I mention that it was served with dinosaur sized-sides including Yorkshire pudding, bakes potatoes, creamed spinach etc? I feel a little alarmed just looking at the pictures again. It was a TON of food. If you have friends that rejoice in large quantities and friendly service by all means take them here! I thought I would pass out waddling to the car.

Verdict: Overall I am really glad we went there. It was a fun outing and the staff were fantastic. I feel that it is an experience kind of like Medieval Times, a fun time, but not necessary to repeat. It's obviously an institution and I enjoyed trying it out. I think ones experience of this restaurant greatly depends on their wish to eat large quantities of Prime Rib. Me, not so much, but maybe you want to! If you do, I can't think of a better place.




Posted on August 27, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 14-Going Gluten-Free Part 2

  I am on a quest to know become an encyclopedia of deliciousness. As part of this quest I am eating 100 items off of 7 X 7s Big Eat lists in San Francisco. It's hard work but someone's got to do it. This is Part 2 of a trip to eat Gluten-Free Big Eats in San Francisco for my friend Debi's birthday. Part 1 can be found here.

One of the most interesting things about the gluten-free life is the joy when you find something that is "suprise gluten-free" like... macarons! Yes! Macarons are gluten-free. So, we ate a lot of them.

#43 Macarons from Paulette Macarons

With Ginger Elizabeth's Macarons located directly across from my dentist (the cruelty!) I am spoiled rotten and often dissapointed when I try macarons in other venues. Once I had them at Miette and they were terrible. Paulette's passed the test though. Each flavor was distinct and we had fun judging each of them reality-show judge style. We ate so many I can barely remember which was which so I'll let the pics do the talking.

Verdict: Eat the rainbow.

#44-Kelvin Made Ice Cream at Smitten

Did I mention it was not warm the day we went? Of course it wasn't, SF is fickle like that. After our epic macaron throw down no one was particular excited about ice cream, especially not since we were shivering in our wind breakers but sometimes it's like Lord of the Rings. You must push further than you think possible!

Because you will be rewarded, and richly with some of the best ice cream I've had. Smitten Ice Cream is made to order with liquid nitrogen.  It is fresh, creamy and deliriously delicious. I can't even recall what flavor it was, something about rosemary, lemon or caramel? We had a few different flavors. I do remember that despite the fact I was shivering and high off macarons that I really, really, really wanted more of that ice cream.

Verdict: I am smitten with you Kelvin.

Duck Larb at Les Ros Thai

#45-Duck Larb at Les Ros Thai

After four straight desert stops a palate cleanser is in order and what better than some blow your face off hot thai food, am I right? Les Ros Thai has an outpost in Hayes Valley and we made it the last stop of our day. The ambiance is pleasant, the service is exremely attentive and the food is much more economical than the storefront would imply. The Larb was pretty intense in terms of the spice and flavor but it was balanced nicely by the richness of the duck fat. I can imagine that this salad would be really appealing on a sunny hot day.

Verdict: A nice way to cap off the sugar rush.

Posted on June 10, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 14-Going Gluten-Free Pt. 1

I am on a quest to become an encyclopedia of deliciousness. As part of this quest I am eating 100 items off of 7 X 7s Big Eat lists in San Francisco. It's hard work but someone's got to do it. After the success of my epic Birthday Big Eat it was decreed that among our friends we would stop doing birthday parties with gifts, cake etc and instead... well Big Eat for everybody's birthdays. My friend Debi recently had to go gluten-free so for her birthday, we set out on the very first gluten-free Big Eat.

Debi-Livin la Vida Gluten Free

#40-Rice Burger at Sandbox Bakery

Rice Burger at Sandbox Bakery

Sandbox Bakery is located in Bernal Heights which I somehow have never been to. A tragedy indeed because 1) it's adorable and 2) Sandbox Bakery is there. The Bakery itself is adjacent and full of intoxicating smelling pastries there were most defenitely not gluten-free but the rice burger was gf heaven. The flavor was excellent and the texture of the tofu reminded me of fois gras (sans guilt). It was creamy and rich and asianly delicious.

Verdict: Rice Burger, I'm not going to play coy. I've been thinkin on you.

Carnitas Taco at La Taqueria

#41 Carnitas Taco at La Taqueria

I'm going to level with you. I do not know why this is on the list. Was it good? Yeah. Did it change my life? Not in the least. I'm not sure if we went on an off day or if the list-compilers have a sentimental fondness but none of us found this taco to be extraordinary in any way. Solid? Yes. Would I eat it again? Sure, but you don't drive around on a scavenger hunt to eat average tacos, not in California and certainly not in the Mission.

It makes me wonder if this is an institution or if there is some sort of ambiance that I missed out on? I wasn't able to go inside because it is located on one of those chunks of Mission St. where it's almost impossible to drive let alone park. We ended up dropping someone on the curb in a hysterical flurry and then eating these double-parked packed in the car. Our universal reaction was 'meh'. I feel that eating food in the car was a more exciting event than these tacos. Plus they had pinto beans in the tacos. I do not approve of pinto beans in my tacos.

Verdict: Carnitas taco, you left a taco-shaped whole in my heart.

Why on earth are these tacos so mediocre?

Deflated by the bad weather (drizzly-boo San Francisco!), the fact that our next stop (Mission Chinese) was closed and the feeling that this day was not living up to the level of Birthday fun that I wanted for Debi we stopped to re-group. And by re-group, I mean eat Salted Caramel Ice Cream at Bi-Rite and buy random stuff at Tartine. Ooh, Aaah.

Afterwards we were revived enough to eat... more dessert. More on that next time. ;)

Posted on April 30, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 13-Double Date with Jordan Knight

A few weeks ago I called my friend Lisa with some good news. "I got us tickets to go see our boyfriend perform in SF. Be prepared to Big Eat beforehand." This made Lisa very happy. I submit Photographic Exhibit A.

Obviously our boyfriend is Jordan from NKOTB. I know that many of you do not understand my love for them. Judge me as you will. We've been in an imaginary relationship for 20+ years now. It's safe to say I'll be loving him forever. Ahem.

"Emily you are so awesomely notorious baby. I'm so glad you are my imaginary girlfriend. You are a rockstar. Now I will sing you a sex-ay song in my falsetto voice."

I am just sane enough to realize that my "relationship" with Jordan is almost entirely in my head so I have no problem stuffing myself with food before hooking up for our annual visit. This is the best part about imaginary relationships. No worries about garlic breath or distended stomachs.

#38 The Little Star at Little Star Pizza

My friend Jeannie hypothesized that Little Star was the reason she gained 20 lbs when she moved to the city. My formative research shows that this is a strong probability. Quality deep dish pizza is few and far between on the West Coast and Little Star shines in our barren deep dish pizza wasteland.

The pizza itself has all the important components. Pleasingly oozy? Check. Chock-a-block with fresh ingredients and flavor? Check! The crowning glory was the amazing cornmeal crust that tasted light and crunch and airy like it was made out of the freshest croutons in the world. Lisa and I spent 20 minutes discussing its merits and frankly I'm not sure that was enough time.

Verdict: Go eat pizza. Bring your stretchy pants.

#39 Puka Punch at Smuggler's Cove

Waiting around for concerts to start is a waste of my limited leg power so we decided to have a little Sunday night happy hour at Smugglers Cove. I was disconcerted as I dragged Lisa to a building that had no markings, blacked out windows and a very uh "suggestively" dressed woman entering the building. She was not going to be pleased if I accidentally dragged her into a brothel. She hates it when I do that.

Despite our concerns we entered the creepy building.  Our jaws immediately dropped open like cartoon characters. Smugglers Cove is like crossing the threshold from San Francisco to Pirates of the Carribbean. It is three stories of Captain Jack Sparrowness.

The specialty at Smugglers Cove is rum (duh) and the menu is like a textbook on rum with little piratey drawings. We were instructed to try the Puka punch which was both giant and satisfying but what I really wished we could try was a drink that was being set on fire behind us. FIRE! Cinamon scented FIRE!

Verdict: Who cares what you drink there? This place is an ex-per-ience and there is rum! Toss some back until you are just punch drunk enough to walk yourself safely to see your "boyfriend". Not too much though. The girl next to me at the concert was drunkenly slurring "I just NEED Jordan in my LIFE" to the security guards. My friends, that is amusing but way too drunk. No more rum for her.

Posted on March 20, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 12-Sactomofo

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. Sacramento has a burgeoning food truck scene and every few months a local group has been organizing a mobile food festival called Sactomofo. The third incarnation was located within walking distance of my house. Even better? There was a Big Eat venue on the list of out of town attendees. Thank you so much Sactomofo organizers for bringing Chairman Bao to me!

#37 Pork Belly Bun at Chairman Bao

The upside of this scenario is that I did not have to figure out how to find this truck on a random day in San Francisco, the downside is that Sactomofo is crazy busy with hour-long lines at all the trucks. Not exagerating at all, Sacramentans are food truck crazy.

By the time we got to the front of the line everyone around me was getting grumpy. "This better be worth it" grunted the guy behind me. I couldn't help thinking the same. I was hungry cold and very concerned that I would be dissapointed.

I needn't have worried. It was extraordinary. Chairman Bao does a modern take on buns. They have two kinds baked and steamed. The baked are split in half like a sandwhich and the steamed are rolled up like a puffy taco. If I had to choose one to love forever in domestic partnership I would go with the Big Eat list and pick the pork belly. The pork was absolutely luscious and piled with pickled daikon to cut the richness. The bun itself was both toasted and soft. I feel jealous of myself just by looking at the picture. Memories....

This is an example of a steamed bun, I don't remember exactly what these were. One was tofu and one was, uh, something else delicious? It was all so good that everything dissapeared before I had the chance to store the wonder of each one in my long term memory.

Ugh, more mystery deliciousness. I'm sorry dear readers. I've failed you! I have no idea what kind of bun this way, all I can say, is eat it!

Verdict: I waited in line for an hour to eat this and I didn't get pissed. Instead my friends and I shoved them in our faces with a glee that is almost indecent. If that's not a glowing review, I don't know what is.

Posted on March 11, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 11-Birthday Big Eat Part 5 of 5

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. On my birthday my friends took me to the city to make some hard-core headway on this list, it was fun. I wish you had been there with us. :)

Our original plan for my birthday was to eat a little, walk around a little, eat a little etc. We totally followed the plan, except for all the parts that didn't involve eating. We literally ate all day. I'm sure you can see from the pictures that we didn't have any fun at all.

At this point we were feeling full which is natural. If you don't leave the Ferry Building full of delicious food, you did something wrong. We decided it was time to take a break from regular eating. It was time for tea and snacks.

#35 Soup Dumplings at Shanghai King

I had never tried soup dumplings before but my two friends with Chinese affiliations were very excited about them. Betty was actually very excited about the whole menu at Shanghai King and in charge of the ordering. This resulted in us somehow accidentally ordering a whole "pre-dinner" meal at Shanghai King. That Betty, she's so bad she's good!

Soup Dumplings are exactly what they sound like, steamed dumplings filled with soup. You eat them very strategically with chopsticks to hold the dumpling and a spoon to catch the soup.

They are not only fun to eat but they are delicious with a capital D. I usually do not care for brothy soups, but this liquid was just like heaven. I swear I heard the Cure playing as I bit into the first one.

Verdict: Eat them please. You will be smiling like these two if you do.

#36 Pistachio Meatballs at Flytrap at Zaré

After "tea" we had to haul-ass to meet our dinner reservation at the only "fancy" dining establishment on our agenda. We reasoned that after a hard day of non-stop eating it was time to have a relaxing sit-down dinner. Zare is a sort of Persian/Mediterranean style restaurant that is decorated in a very classic San Francisco style. It's all about moldings, candles and burgundy walls. A perfect end to the night.

The task of eating pistachio meatballs somehow devolved into the bone-marrow, pulled lamb, pisco sour, pomegranate martini, deconstructed lemon meringue pie scenario as pictured below. To be quite honest I cannot recall much about the meatballs specifically but Zaré as a whole was a lovely experience. The service was perfect and the ambiance was classy yet relaxing. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.

Verdict: I think the insane aftermath of our meal will tell you all you need to know about Zare. Go there. Eat anything and enjoy!

Thanks so much for following along on this culinary adventure. I hope that it gives you some great ideas for the next trip you take to San Francisco!

Posted on February 19, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 11-Birthday Big Eat Part 4 of 5

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. On my birthday my friends took me to the city to make some hard-core headway on this list, it was fun. I wish you had been there with us. :) #33-Ahi Burger at Gott's Roadside

Ahi Burger at Gott's Roadside

Gott's roadside is when the crazy-town eating started to kick in. I don't remember being hungry at this point, which is not to say that I didn't want to eat more! Gott's is a hamburger import from Napa, it's kind of a farm to fast food kind of place. The ahi burger was refreshing, the tuna was seared well and the Asian flavored slaw gave it nice texture. On a normal day I would've been super-happy eating a sandwhich of this caliber, but... it was Big Eat day. A strange day when good food, suddenly seems... average.

Verdict: The ahi burger is good. I would eat it any day, but it did not change my life.

#34-Warm Egg Salad Sandwhich at Il Cane Rosso

During the process of procuring the Ahi Burger my friend Betty was left unsupervised in the Il Cane Rosso line where she was tasked with getting the Egg Salad sandwich. Despite the fact we had already eaten about 3 full meals she still came back with the sandwich AND a panzanella salad. What can I say? She can't be tamed.

If none of us was blown away by the Ahi Burger, the blame can be placed on the Egg Salad Sandwich. It was so unique. The bread was almost like a focaccia crouton and the creamy salad was perfectly seasoned with tarragon and other (hmmm, it's good, but what is it? fresh herbs). In a million years I would never have chosen to order this menu item. Quite frankly, I thought it sounded gross but it's discoveries like these that make this adventure worth it. It's so exciting to try something new and love it!

Verdict: Yes it sounds gross but it's not, it's the opposite of gross. It is marvelous!

PS-The panzanella was rockin too.


Posted on February 12, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 11-Birthday Big Eat Part 3 of 5

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. On my birthday my friends took me to the city to make some hard-core headway on this list, it was fun. I wish you had been there with us. :)

#32 Sweetwater Oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co.

The SF Ferry Building is paradise. What is better than eating delicious food while looking out at the Bay Bridge? But scary things lurk even in paradise and when we came upon Hog Island Oyster Co. I knew my moment of reckoning had arrived.

Sweetwater Oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co

I'm not an oyster virgin (I had some crazy deliciousness when I was in NOLA) but I do have a tendency to develop food neurosis. This happened immediately prior to eating these beauties.

As I got ready to slurp the oyster my brain went crazy like this

"OMG. Are these things alive? Is it going to start wiggling in my mouth. I can't handle that. Maybe it will wiggle down my throat. Holy crap! I have to eat it anyway, it's on the list. I'm supposed to be brave and try new food experiences. EAT THE OYSTER. JUST DO IT WUSS."

Obviously, it was a very calm moment. Get ready to experience it in picture format.

Verdict: The experience was very harrowing. I have no idea if they were good but I ate one!

Posted on February 5, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 11-Birthday Big Eat Part 2 of 5

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. Everything on the Big Eat List (so far) has been good, but some items are revelatory. They are so good, you have to talk out your feelings after eating it for days. Scream sorbet is like that, it's a game changer.

#31-Seasonal Flavors at Scream Sorbet

Scream Sorbet
Scream Sorbet

We found Scream Sorbet at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. All my life I've thought of sorbet as the cheap second I have to consume since I don't digest dairy well. It's possible that I might even hold an illogical grudge against sorbet. Why can't I just have ice cream? It's all your fault sorbet!

Scream sorbet has mended the fences and then some.

After a short sampling my posse decided the only logical course of action was to order all six flavors. The next 20 minutes were spent eating, moaning and generally falling in love with sorbet. There were three fruit flavors and three nut/chocolate flavors. They all changed my life.

Scream Sorbet is special because it's made in a Paco Jet which can micro-puree anything. The guy at the stand told us he could put a chair in and make chair sorbet with a paco jet. I'm not interested in chair sorbet, but hazelnuts micro-pureed into the most amazing dairy-free treat I've ever tasted are welcome any day.

Verdict: It's called Scream Sorbet for a reason. Go get yours.

Posted on January 29, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 11-Birthday Big Eat Part 1 of 5

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here.

For my birthday last fall my friends took me to the city to Big Eat for a day. We thought it would be a kind of leisurely day. We'd eat, wander around see some stuff and eat some more. We totally followed that plan, if you cut out everything but the eating.

#28-Apple Fritter at Bob's Donuts

In a nod to normal eating patterns we thought we'd start with pastries. Bob's donuts is a small hole in the wall on a street that I don't think I've ever seen before which is weird seeing as I grew up around these parts. At first bite the apple fritter was relatively unremarkable, but as we kept sampling it something weird happened. It got better? Perhaps it made the list because it has magic properties of persuasion?

Verdict: It was good, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Donuts at Bob's Donuts

#29-Egg Custard Tart at Golden Gate Bakery

Big Pastry Box-Little Door

Golden Gate Bakery is an institution and it's Egg Tarts are legendary. So much so that you will buy a dozen of them for 5 people and ignore the cranky Chinese ladies behind the counter when they throw a Cantonese hissy fit cause you didn't see the "Don't take pictures sign".  The lingering shouts of "Respect the sign. Don't take pictures" will fade into the distance as you bliss out in egg tart heaven. The crust is incredibly light, you can practically feel the individual layers, while the custard somehow tastes like egg without being off-putting. I am not a huge egg fan but I had to stop myself from hoarding all 12 for myself.

Verdict: Don't take pics. Just bring cash and your appetite.

Egg  Custard Tarts from Golden Gate Bakery

#30-Hamburguesa at Don Pisto's

From Golden Gate in Chinatown it's a short walk over to Don Pisto's in Little Italy. We were planning our first "meal" of the day to be brunch at Don Pisto's which is kind of a hipster Mexican place. Everything there was good. We should know because we tried about half the menu.

Breakfast Delights at Don Pisto's

The crowning glory however was the Hamburguesa, a burger that is marinated in bacon and onion. Yeah, you heard me right, marinated in bacon. When it arrived at the table it seemed unassuming compared to the chilaquiles and tacos and other fancier food we had just eaten. Upon reflection I believe that it's humble appearance is all part of the hamburguesas devious plan to charm you. The second you get close to that thing the intoxicating pull of bacon hits you in the face. The smell is crazy town and I mean that in the best possible way.

I would show you pictures of  us eating hamburguesa but our facial expressions are indeecent.

Verdict: Hamburguesa, where have you been all my life?

Hamburguesa at Don Pisto's

Did that seem like a lot of food? Probably, but we haven't even scratched the surface. This is a FIVE part series. :)


Posted on January 24, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 10-Business with Shrimp on the Side

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. Can I share a pet peeve? It pisses me off when bad food is served at work conferences. I know from experience that conference food is expensive and I'm filled with indignant rage when I am sequestered into eating crappy-yet-surely-high-cost food. This goes double when I'm in a city where delicious inexpensive culinary delights abound. I ran into this recently in San Francisco. SAN FRANCISCO. Land of delicious food. It was ten kinds of wrong.

Is bad food a serious problem in the scheme of life? Absolutely not. Is it solveable? Heck yeah! When confronted with the steam tables of wilting vegetables, dry chicken and goopy salad dressing I had to say "Enough! I will get fat on good food, not mediocre food". I dramatically(in my head) unpinned my nametag and set off for the nearest Big Eat locale. There were two within walking distance: one was a gigantic alcoholic drink at a nearby bar. That sounded fun and extremely inappropriate. Instead I chose to head down the street for some Soul Food.

#27-Po'Boy at Brenda's French Soul Food

Black-eyed Peas and Brenda's Soul Food

Brenda's is a small shot gun of a restaurant that's decorated in a sort of modern nod to New Orleans. I like modern stuff and NOLA so Brenda's and I got off on the right foot. Also right away they brought me a dish of toasted Black-Eyed Peas. Yum!

Watermelon Iced Tea and Brenda's Soul Food

At this point I was really in a pleasant mood. With a full-time job and a small child I don't get to spend a lot of time by myself and yet here I was in the middle of the day. In San Francisco! And it was sunny! And there were toasted black-eyed peas! I was euphoric, so I decided to splurge on watermelon iced tea. A good choice, it was just sweet enough. I patted myself on the back and left with nothing else to do began to grin at random in an annoying manner at all the other patrons. When the waiter came I assaulted him with my good mood and ordered the po'boy triumphantly and gleefully. PO'boy! Yay!

Shrimp Po'Boy at Brenda's Soul Food

I really have no idea what a po'boy is supposed to taste like but I liked this one, the bread was very squishy and soft, the shrimp were crisp and there was a mayonnaisey, slightly spicy sauce. I like bread, mayonnaise, shrimp and spice, so there's really nothing going wrong there for me.

The sandwich was also served with pickled watermelon rinds (strange but good), cole slaw (nice and crisp) and french fries ( a win every time). I ate it all with satisfaction.

Verdict: Go to Brenda's. Enjoy a po-boy. Call me in the morning.

Posted on January 15, 2012 and filed under Mighty List, Project EAT, SF Big Eat.