Monday, February 29, 2016

I'VE GOT A NEW WEBSITE--YEAH! LET'S CHECK IT OUT!

While blogger has been fun, I figured after 5 years or so it was time to upgrade to a new cleaner look and what not. This meant leaving blogger as my platform for hosting. If you didn't get redirected when you landed here and are reading this then please go to placesiveeaten.com to see all my posts which I imported over (that was fun). Thanks and see you at the new page!

Friday, February 26, 2016

SINGLE SERVING: SAFEWAY WAFFLE BREAKFAST SANDWICH...YES, SAFEWAY!

Oh, Safeway! I guess sometimes it is nice you can count on your local grocery store to offer up some trashy junk food like stuff for breakfast. Leave it to them continue offering up mass appeal food on the heels of their waffle donut and cinnamon rolls the size of baby's heads. I guess it was fortuitous I came across this as I am on my breakfast sandwich kick this year and if they are going to offer one, why would I not check one out?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

POPSONS BURGERS IN SOMA....THE BURGER JOINT PARADE CONTINUES

As one burger place closes, another opens. Isn't that some kind of proverb or something? Or they were talking about a door, right? As Marlowe gave up their Marlowe Burger spin off spot, it wasn't long before another burger place moved right on in. The folks behind Causwells are pulling a Marlowe and spinning off their burgers into their own spot with Popsons Burgers. They opened a couple weeks and normally I'd give them some time to get settled, but in this case, the building they are in is on the chopping block for teardown and new build so I thought I'd try them out before the wrecking ball came swinging through.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME...AND DONUT CREAM PUFF THINGY

Back at La Boulangerie de San Francisco I felt I couldn't resist this lovely (not so) little round cream puff donut like thing that was calling my name. Seems it is called a tropezienne and can come in larger sizes too! It's a brioche cake bun with puffy thick cream filling and coated with sugar granules and powdered sugar. It's almost like a round eclair without the chocolate. This one was about the size of a regular hamburger for $3.50. The minute you bite into it the cream comes gushing out and luckily enough there is enough of the filling to go with every bite. The bread is somewhere between a brioche bun and donut--sturdy yet still fluffy. The sugar on top gives it a bit of crunch too. It is a dessert that seems light and airy but has the heft of a "real" dessert like I go for. I can only image this in a large tort form. Soft, creamy, crunchy, sweet goodness--enough to make me want to traverse back across town to the Fillmore District to get another one. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

SINGLE SERVING: BREAKFAST SANDWICH JOLT 'N BOLT CAFE DOGPATCH

Me and the SO have done just a bit of traveling over the years and one thing I've noticed on our journeys, breakfast is a big deal, particularly in European countries. Yes, they have the cereals, yogurt and sometimes egg things, but they also do a lot with meats, cheeses and breads. At first I was like, oh wow, I can make a sandwich for later! Eventually I came to appreciate the protein offerings especially in the ham and white cheese forms we found most often. I bring it up because this weeks breakfast sandwich brought to mind those foods when I picked it up at Jolt 'n Bolt Cafe in the Dogpatch--the neighborhood that has been up and coming for about 10 years now.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

THE WHOLE BEAST AT THE YARD MISSION ROCK.....MEAT, MEAT AND MORE MEAT

The Yard at Mission Rock is this thing the Giants built in one of their parking lots across from the stadium. It is a collection of shipping containers housing a couple food places and a North Face Store of all things. Honestly, I'm pretty sure this is just filler since they got city and voter approval to build their not so little complex in that parking lot, thus no way to know how much longer this place will be around. One of the food places is called The Whole Beast, a name that is pretty fitting as they like to celebrate whole animal cooking. I'd vaguely heard of some pop-ups they'd done and they have another sort of permanent for now space at The Hall on Market Street, so being into meat, I knew I would get by eventually to try them. I just wanted to wait till after baseball season ended. The place is a combo food and beer hall and there was no way I was going to be around a bunch of drunk Giants fans--living near the park is enough. Since I'm relatively near this place, I actually made several trips by here to try as many options as I could, with varying degrees of success.

Monday, February 15, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME...AND FRENCH TOAST! MADE OF CORNBREAD!

Yes, a day late and dollar short is how it is for food news this week. That's what happens when VDay falls on Sunday and between work and going out with the SO, the whole day just gets away from you. But here it is and I'm staying in this breakfast sandwich vein in a way by serving up some french toast. I have a love/hate kind of thing with Town's End Restaurant & Bakery. The SO likes them, they are close to the live place and we do so like that free basket of small bread bites they offer up when you sit down. For me, they are just a bit on the high end for brunch--seriously--$15 for eggs and bacon? I just can't, unless of course, someone else is paying, then my cheap ass is all in as I won't have to walk far to get some food. We made our way over there on a recent Sunday at the invite of a friend. I decided to take the opportunity to try something different. I went for the cornbread, blueberry French toast with lemon ricotta cream and real maple syrup for about $14. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

SINGLE SERVING: BREAKFAST SANDWICH THE PIN UP ALL-STAR DINER

Lately, I've had this thing about breakfast sandwiches. It seems like such a simple thing to pull together--some bread, egg, maybe cheese and bacon or ham or some other meat and voila--instant breakfast. This town is full of them to be sure. Stop by most any deli, diner, sandwich shop, etc. that is open for breakfast and you can find some version of this combination. Even Super Duper Burger is doing one, which I did find tasty and affordable. Thing for me is to be able to run by a spot and get one and still get to work on time. Sometimes that can be limiting as the less time I have to spend on the T-Line the better. Thus I've been making forays out to see what is on offer sort of near me that won't break my budget or be too hard to obtain. As on the previous post I mentioned I returned to The Pin Up All-Star Diner to nosh on their biscuit combo thing, so it seems like a good place to start my new Single Serving Series, which for now, will cover breakfast sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

THE PIN UP ALL-STAR DINER AT YERBA BUENA....MORE NOT DINER PRICES IN SF

This is what a week of not feeling well does for ya', you don't feel like eating or doing anything. Such was my case last week and why I took a little break. No blogging is not hard, but I only felt like collapsing on the couch and falling asleep in front of the TV. Haven't we all been there before? Anyway, I'm back in action and rolling into a relatively new diner spot in town. Located in the complex that is Yerba Buena Gardens area, sits The Pin Up All-Star Diner. Are they the easiest thing to get to? Not really. Plus, being tucked back into the complex, beyond the merry-go-round and upstairs, to the right of the ice rink (yes there is an indoor ice rink in San Francisco!) you won't exactly stumble across them unless maybe you are headed towards said ice rink. I noted their opening a few months ago and wanted to give them time to get their legs so to speak before swooping on by.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND BREAD PUDDING LA BOULANGERIE STYLE!

La Boulange was a San Francisco success story that got sold to Starbucks and like most things that get absorbed by larger companies, it then disappeared. But the original owner didn't want to let go and worked out a deal to regain the name and reopen a few of the locations. Thus did Pascal Rigo revive the patisserie to now be La Boulangerie de San Francisco. The first of the locations to re-open is on Pine St. near Fillmore in Pac Heights. To be honest, I had no idea they were there as I'd only followed the whole drama casually. I came across this location on a recent wander through the city. Since there is no time like the present as they say, I stopped in to see what was on offer. It's a small space, but they do have a fair number of sweet and savory things to choose from. I think we all know where I was veering toward. I guess I was intrigued by bread pudding as a loaf cake and had them plate up a slab. The offered to warm it up and I said yes! Things like this are always best served warm to hot. It had that nice pudding like middle with a very nice crunchy crust on the outside. It wasn't too sweet with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, I think. It had almost everything you think of when having bread pudding. For me, it really could have used some kind of liquid topping--caramel, chocolate, cream, whatever, to get it over that hump to "must have this again" kind of thing. Maybe I'm spoiled, most places I've had this, it comes with some warm sauce ladled over the top. Okay, it is an expectation I guess and doing it this way is much less fuss and mess, plus, you can probably upsell a coffee or cappuccino with it. I do give kudos for the very large and thick slice I got all for $3.75--which definitely meets my desserts with heft need too. If worse comes to worse, one could always get a hunk to go and then just add what sauce trips your trigger when you get it home. And no one will judge you for what you are eating and you can enjoy your guilty dessert pleasure in peace, while sitting on the couch, in your sweats, watching the Food Network. Or maybe that's just me, oh well. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

RUDY'S CAN'T FAIL CAFE IN EMERYVILLE....WELL THAT'S MOSTLY TRUE

Over there, that's that place on the other side of the Bay Bridge. For those of us who live in the city, over there can sometimes be difficult to muster up the energy to get to. From trying to rustle up a car to battling bridge traffic to wading through the BART crowds to finding out BART doesn't even stop in Emeryville--it feels tiring and a bit of a hassle. But every now and then the SO and I, usually on a Sunday, feel the need for a visit to an overly large Target and maybe a swing through IKEA, just because. Food choices in that little area can be uninspiring. From the cafeteria at IKEA to the chain places at that strip mall cum main street thing next door, they are not exactly the off the beaten track eats I like to look for. However, there is a small outpost nestled somewhere between the super furniture store and the I need to pick up some household supplies stores, it's called Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe and we usually end up there since we don't want to drive around Oakland looking for another place to eat. Yep, those are our standards, plus it is a diner and you know I'm totally into those.

Inside Rudy's on a semi-cloudy Sunday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

MOSCOW AND TBILISI BAKERY IN RICHMOND DISTRICT....NOT RUSSIA, BUT STILL LONG WAY TO GO

I'll travel most anywhere in this town to try out a bakery. Even when that includes getting on the 38 Geary (which some locals call "the dirty eight") and making the long arduous journey out to the hinterlands of San Francisco known as the Outer Richmond. It's not quite Ocean Beach, but when you live on the exact opposite of the city, it may as well be. Every now and then, I get a hankering to check out far flung hoods to see what is going on in areas of town often enshrouded in fog. I was out that way again recently and decided to stop into one of my favorite bakeries in town, Moscow and Tbilisi Bakery at Geary and 20th Street. I've known about this place since I practically moved to this town. I stumbled across while getting to know the city in the beginning and at the time thought I'd found a little gem of a place, but was saddened it too time to get there. Thus, whenever I am in that part of town, I always make a point to stop in. It's an old-school place specializing in homemade Russian fare and baked goods. While I know many folks are aware of it already, I figured I'd post it up to show you what drew me there in the first place.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND SOME MR. HOLMES BAKEHOUSE

Since I've been unable to drag myself out of bed at an ungodly early hour to hit up Mr. Holmes Bakehouse to get the hot selling treats, I end up with whatever is left when I just happen to wander by, remembering, oh yeah, this place is here. Mostly because I don't really wander through the Tenderloin  and those who do are probably looking for trouble. Still, even though pickings are slim, I did run across this thing they were calling a bacon cheese danish. It's a savory and yet they call it a danish. Obviously I can't pass up something that has two of my favorite foods--bacon and cheese. Even though it was late afternoon and this had been sitting out awhile and was room temp, I still liked it a lot. It was all buttery layers of flakey croissant like pastry with ample chunks of bacon and what I'm pretty sure was Parmesan cheese. This gave some tasty bite to it. Added bonus on this is a secret inside layer of bechamel sauce. It was like a surprise creamy flavor when you bite into the danish. All this really needed was an egg and you'd have a hand eaten version of a croque madame or something. While they do run roughly $4.50 a pop, it is on the larger size of some you get in this city. If they weren't so hard to get to for me, I could see this as an every morning treat. I'm sure it is even better warm and fresh out of the oven. Between this and the chocolate chip cookie I had here some time back, I need to just bite the bullet and force myself to get up early one weekday morning (forget weekends people) and MUNI (ugh!) my way over there. If they two treats I've had so far from them are any indication, then all the effort and praise they've earned so far are warranted. Plus, I really need to try that cruffin thing before it becomes too passe. Don't wanna be behind on my Instagram-able food trends now do I. I will skip the ubiquitous shot of their neon sign however. Also note, flavors can change daily here, yet another reason to have to get up early and go. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

ODE TO AN OLD FASHIONED....DONUT THAT IS

I think that I shall never see something so delightful as a donut. Okay, it doesn't rhyme but I feel I've made it clear me fondness for desserts, particularly those with heft, as I call it. And donuts fall squarely in that category. It is also my go to dessert when I have trouble figuring out just what I want. (The SO will tell you this happens often) Fortunately for me, there does seem to be a Happy Donut or its equivalent in most every neighborhood and corner of San Francisco. Many are 24 hours too, which is handy for late night cravings and you just don't want to drag all the way to Safeway and hassle with standing in line for a single donut. Not saying I haven't done that, just saying don't like doing that. Don't judge, just admit we've all done it at least once, whether it was a donut, ice cream, cookie or whatever treat trips your trigger.

The donut (or doughnut) evidently has a disputed history of creation.  Was it the Dutch in the 19th century? An American ship cook in late 1800's? An English dowager in early 1800's? Really, who cares, let's just give a kudos to whoever first thought of making a ring of dough then deep frying and covering it in sugar. And double kudos to whoever was first to add fillings and frosting. They should really get respect for elevating a basic dessert pastry. While there an array of choices, the one I always seem to gravitate toward is the old fashioned. Thus, herewith, my salute to a classic.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

FOOD TRUCK QUICK BITE: KHAO SAN THAI FOOD....I SHOULD KNOW BETTER

It's a chilly, damp Friday night. I'm just finishing work and the SO is picking me up as we made a last minute after work decision to pop on by the SOMA StrEat Food Park because we are lazy didn't want to cook or order in anything. It's a sparse crowd, but it is early on a Friday night, they are open late and I'm sure hungry drunksters will be by later. The choice of food trucks on this night also seem to be limited as most we see we have eaten at already. The SO gravitates toward one and when I look, I realize it is Khao San Thai Food. Ugh, me and Thai food have a love hate relationship. I enjoy that it's spicy and comes with veggies, I hate that it is pricey and the portions seem really small to me. But I feel in an adventurous mood and decide to go with it anyway since I haven't tried these folks before and want to keep an open mind.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND A BISCUIT TACO!! WOOHOO!!

Isn't this a great way to start off a New Year's resolution? A biscuit taco from Taco Bell's breakfast menu! Actually this was the morning meal deal that came with a hash brown and a medium drink for about $4. I wasn't going to do the meal but turns out this place has Diet Mountain Dew on the fill your own soda fountain and seriously, do you think I'm gonna pass that up?! These things actually came out awhile ago but I just hadn't gotten around to trying them. They just built one of those new Taco Bell Cantina things in my hood. They serve beer and wine and have lots of wood accents, you  know, it's all white trash fancy. One morning I rolled in with the intention of chowing down. Originally I ordered one with bacon (duh!), egg and cheese. But when I got it, the bacon were bits and they were cold. As in, didn't get warmed up in the microwave or whatever. Nothing is worse than cold bacon bits as the parts that are fat get all creamy like lard. Totally unappealing. I took it back and they didn't even blink an eye and just gave me one with sausage, egg and cheese instead. Fortunately, the sausage was cooked, though it wasn't like hot of the skillet. The eggs were more crumbled than scrambled and it gave them a weird texture as if they were originally either powdered or frozen then cooked up, odd. They also were not hot of the griddle and this lukewarm-ness kept the cheese from even getting close to melting. You can see that in the picture. The biscuit taco itself did actually taste like a doughy biscuit, though it didn't hold together well and cracked open along the bottom, much like a crunchy taco shell would do. Eating it all together, you get the flavor sense of an egg, cheese and sausage biscuit that is just ever so off and not quite right. It definitely is not a replacement for the real thing. Though if you are drunk or hungover, you could probably trick yourself into believing it is tasty and will help soak up all that alcohol. (Isn't that what Taco Bell food is all about?) As for the hash browns, yeah, um, potatoes and grease. Pretty fast food standard there. As a Southerner, I'll take a pass on getting this again, it is kind of a sacrilege to eating the real thing. A shame really when there are so few quick affordable food options for this type of thing in San Francisco. It wasn't a total loss. I was able to get in two Diet Mtn. Dew refills plus another to go for my walk to work, so there was that.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

EATING AT DENNY'S IN SOMA. WAIT?! WTF?! WHY AM I EATING AT DENNY'S?

Something unique, sad, disturbing and highly emotional happens when one turns 50--you get a notice in the mail that you are now eligible for an AARP card. That's when it hits you, wholly f**k I'm like my parents age or something. It can be a distressing and emotionally crippling moment when you see that envelope in your stack of mail. My first impulse was to light it on fire and send it hurtling over the balcony railing like a phoenix in the night. But I stopped myself (barely) as my neighbors might not approve and I'm not sure our apartment fire insurance is totally up to date. I then popped open a bottle of wine and decided to open it and see just what they are shilling for the I don't quite feel that old set.

They purport to offer a lot if you join all those smiley, aged, slightly grey haired folks who seemed to "be enjoying life after 50." Personally, I think they just got the good meds and live in a place without a high cost of living and can retire at an early age. But this is San Francisco and we are not all afforded that opportunity. Still, I pored over the literature and ran down their list of things you can get discounts on when you flash that little red card around. While I personally have no use for auto coverage or being trapped on a cruise ship with other old folks, I was interested in some of the food places you could get a discount. We don't have a Dunkin' Donuts here so a free donut a day with coffee purchase was out of the question, but seems you can get 15% of at Denny's--that bastion of roadside stops where truckers and the elderly can commiserate over aching backs and butts while swigging an endless cup of coffee and noshing on a grand slam breakfast any time of the day. While I won't say this was the one thing to put me over, it did convince me to sign up me and the SO for a membership (though beware, your junk email will increase two-fold with scams and trash when you sign up--it is a flaw in their system).

I waited patiently the few weeks for the card to arrive and when it did, I made it a point to try out my discount and hit up the local Denny's in SF. Yes, I know what you are thinking--we have a Denny's here? Well, we do, right down on Mission at 4th Street, across from the Metreon and that behemoth of a parking garage. It's been there forever and it is also 24 hours, in that neighborhood. While I didn't relish hitting the place up at 3am, no matter how interesting it would have been, I convinced the SO to eat there after we saw a movie recently. At first, this was more of a lark than anything, but then I saw where Pete Well's, the revered food critic of the NY Times reviewed Senor Frog's in Times Square and I thought, if he can do that without too much side eye, I can do Denny's with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Monday, January 11, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME...FIRST OF THE YEAR!! and a day or so late

Why not kick of the weekly food digest with a little brunch on the go. Here we have a new offering from a fave local bakery, Neighbor Bakehouse. This is their version of a croque madame, except it is more of a hand held, open faced sandwich. You've got a whole grain thick slice of toast topped with green onion, cheese, bacon, egg and some kind of cream b├ęchamel like sauce. It's part of their ever expanding offerings and outside of a being a little too toasted along the edges of the bread (meaning tad burnt black), the basics here are good. You can taste the egg, cheese, bacon and onion flavors quite clearly. I do think the onion could be reduced some as the the long green tops did get a little chewy. The egg isn't all runny like you'd normally get, but it is right at the edge of almost being like that (see below pick). Here it works since this is an item for takeaway and not sit dine in. Toppings are also piled high and hearty and if this is all you are having for breakfast it will fill you up. Considering it is pretty huge for only $4.50, it is a relative bargain bite for San Francisco. While the one I got was still warm, I'll say if you just happen to get them fresh out of the oven, they are probably even better. Kudos to Greg and the gang for the new offering. I saw they also have some savory bread pudding thing they are serving hot out of a crock pot, hmmm...interesting, though I'll need to wait till next time to try. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

JERSEY IN SOMA....IS IT JUST ANOTHER PIZZA JOINT?

Plus, does San Francisco really need another pizza place? Those seem like philosophical questions for enlightened foodies, but really, it's just a question. A lot depends on what they are doing and if they are bringing anything new to the table to make theirs stand out from all the other choices in town. To let you off the hook on the titular question, Jersey is not just another pizza joint. Yes, they offer different kinds of pizza pies to nosh on, but they also offer an array of other dishes with a New Jersey, East Coast, Italian food comes to California kind of theme. I think what initially got me and the SO intrigued to try the place was they opened on 2nd Street between Mission and Howard, a stretch of road that after work hours and on weekends becomes a literal ghost town. The idea we could just roll down the street and walk in was enticing, and of course, the pizza was a draw too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 THE YEAR THAT WAS IN MY FOOD REVIEWS AND STUFF

Hey, what better way to start the New Year than lazily rehashing running down some of my most read posts from 2015!! Surely, you can't be fed up with lists just yet, we are only on day 5 and you've got 360 more to go! Bare with me though, as it is a short list, it is not like I'm counting down the Hot 100 or something (sigh..miss Casey Kasem--random thought). Looking back, I can't really tell you why the following got read more than others. Luck of the draw? Good search engine keywords? SEO's? Hot spot of the moment? The reasons why are endless. And just to help blow one of your New Year's resolutions, I'm offering this up close view of some trashy eating I did while down in Texas. That's right, it's a cinnamon roll from Cinnabon. This is what close to 900 calories looks like, even before I add the extra icing I got on it to push it over 1000! Gotta have goals.

I don't think I really need to review this for you but, it was brown sugar, lots of cinnamon, cream cheese frosting (plus a little extra) and very doughy. Probably a little too doughy for me, I'd have liked it cooked a little longer. As you can see the outer ring is not that lovely light brown color you'd expect from a properly cooked one. And there was a tad too much cinnamon. Neither of these stopped me from eating it, though it did dampen my enjoyment of it somewhat. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

FOOD ROAD TRIP: THE BARBECUE STATION SAN ANTONIO TEXAS...STILL EATING THE MEAT

Happy New Year, it's like a week of meat people! But really, if I'm going to be in Texas, why not go with something they do a lot of. My goal was to try a couple of the more popular barbecue joints in San Antonio. After searching the internet web-a-jig for what folks like, I did the Rudy's thing and now I'm rolling into The Barbecue Station. They've been doing this for 23 years (at least that is what the sign out front said) and if you can smoke meat and stick around that long in Texas, it must be good right?

yes, they've got that Texas bbq joint look down pat

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: RUDY'S COUNTRY STORE AND BAR-B-Q SAN ANTONIO TEXAS YA'LL!

After 4 6 day weeks in retail fun land, business slows and it's a good time to get away for the end of the year. That means jumping on a plane and heading down to Texas to catch up with the SO who's been visiting family there since Christmas. I got some fam there too so we will all be catching up. I figured I'd hit some full on meat places while I was here because it is Texas after all and you can't come down here without having their version of barbecue. (hint: it's a lot of smoked stuff) Searching out which places seem to have a following in the San Antonio area several names come up. One is called Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q, a place that started out as a gas station/country store and then morphed into a chain of roadside spots to get your smoke on throughout the Southwest. We decided to roll in there the other night after seeing that Star Wars movie thing to fill our bellies with meat, and other stuff.

nothing like a tongue in cheek sign to get people to stop in. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

HOT SAUCE AND PANKO IN THE RICHMOND...A REVISIT BEFORE BUILDING DEMOLITION


As I was cruising through the food news during the week it came to my attention that Hot Sauce and Panko's building was being demolished and they would be moving out to an as yet unknown locations. This was one of the first places I reviewed nearly 5! years ago when I first started this food blog thingy (it was also one of the first to get a lot of views). You can read down memory lane on that experience by clicking here. While they will be reopening somewhere, sometime, just thinking about it got me wistful for when I first started blogging with the innocent thrill of "this will be fun", "maybe it will turn into something", "I could make a career out of this!" Okay, so maybe a couple of those didn't really turn out to be true, but whatever. I still find small joy and fun trying out far flung places on the edges of San Francisco. Obviously I still find this worth it since I'm still doing it 5! years in! Did I mention that already? Anyway, I figured why not hit them up again before the building implodes and see how the years have been to them.

I think the signs are trying to tell us something.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME.....AND BUNDT CAKE!

I hadn't been by Neighbor Bakehouse in awhile and since it's the holidays I'd though I would run in and see if they have anything new and sweet I could scarf down. And lo and behold, but what to my wondering eyes would appear but brown sugar cinnamon bundt cake. I'm always on the edge with  bundts as they run the gamut from good to not so much. Plus they don't usually come with icing, which in my world, can cover up a lot of sins and things that can go wrong when making this kind of cake. Here we basically have a pound cake with a swirl of cinnamon and brown sugar and a dusting of powdered sugar on top for $3.50 a slice. It's a decent sized slice, close to Texas toast size and thickness, comparable to ones you'd get at say Peet's or Starbucks or most any coffee shop in town. I was a little worried it might be dry but it felt heavy in my hand and that translated into a very moist piece of cake--yeah! The swirls added light touches of holiday flavor without being overly sweet. There is a nice crust on the outside which is both crunchy, cakey, almost like a brown sugar crumble. Like a good pound cake it also had a nice butteriness much like you'd get in a croissant. And while I am a fan of icing on cake, here I don't think it was needed and probably wouldn't have added much to it either. This was like a dense, moist, crumbly, touch of sweet coffee cake bundt that works just as well as a morning, late afternoon or after dinner treat. I'm pretty too, if you needed a whole one to spruce up a holiday party, you could probably talk them into selling you, though be prepared to pay a little extra and accept the fact you won't have any leftovers to take home for later. 
....as a retail worker, this is what we call "hell week", so if you know of any other jobs out there with some regular M-F hours and no holidays--PLEASE drop me a line! It also means this is my last post before a little holiday break to get through this next week. So from me to you and all your friends have a happy holiday, merry Christmas and what not. I leave you with one of my all time favorite xmas tunes and I'll see you on the other side!

Friday, December 18, 2015

FOOD TRUCK QUICK BITE: ODANG UDON..IT'S NOODLE TIME!

Nothing like swinging through SOMA's StrEat Food Park when it's chilly outside. With the heated indoor seating you can grab a quick bite and nestle in from the cold. That's what me and the SO decided to do one evening and what better way to brace for briskness than with a warm noodle bowl! Seemed like a good enough reason to tuck in with Odang Udon. They are a mostly regular truck there but we'd never actually tried them, so what better time than now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

EATSA IN SOMA...IT'S HEALTHY IN A BOWL BUT I'M TRYING IT ANYWAY!

Fast, casual, healthy, affordable--all buzzwords used to try to break into a market that has become "the thing" over the last few years. Even some of the long running fast food folks have tried to healthy up their menus, not always with success. Into this fray comes Eatsa, billing themselves as better fast food and a place where new technology meets a new kind of healthy food delivery. It sounded intriguing enough for me to at least give up meat for one meal to try them out. Hopefully my stomach won't be overwhelmed with all the vegetable-ness.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND ICING WITH CAKE

What better way to celebrate the holidays than with some cake! Okay sure, I personally don't need a reason to eat cake, but it sounds better than gluttony. I stumbled across this beauty at Susie Cakes in the Marina. Yeah, I'm not sure why we were there either, I think we were just lost. But I'll take any chance to go into a bakery. I spotted this apple caramel spice cake with cream cheese frosting right away and said yes, yes, yes to a slice. It runs $6.25 a slice and they definitely give you a heft slab for that price. Kudos for having more than enough of that lovely cream cheese icing to satiate even me. The cake was very moist and I could taste the cinnamon, nutmeg and probably allspice? in each bite of just the cake itself. I will say the apple and caramel bits were a little lost on me but I was mostly okay with that as it was still a tasty cake. The icing may have been a little on the sweet side for many folks, but for me it balanced all right with the cake which wasn't overly sweet. It might have been interesting had I been able to taste maybe some small bits of apple in there, thus I would say they need to pump that up a bit more. The caramel sounds nice in a description but isn't necessarily needed. Still a tasty after meal treat, or if you are like me, an in place of meal treat. Because it's the holidays! See, still sounds better than gluttony.

Friday, December 11, 2015

GOAT HILL PIZZA IN SOMA....WAIT, THEY'RE OPEN AGAIN?!

I think I've mentioned before finding a decent, affordable lunch in SOMA can be challenging. Yes, there are a lot more options these days due to all the tech offices and what not. Problem is, sometimes they cater to them with a devil may care attitude in their pricing. For those of us who live in the hood it can be disappointing. One place I had found was an off shoot of Goat Hill Pizza, who's original place in Potrero Hill is still chugging along nicely. Then they added a location in West Portal and for awhile the walk up window place in SOMA seemed to disappear. But now it is back and the signs to grab a slice can be found at either end of Stillman street. A little strip of road that runs just below the 101. Since they are back, let's eat some pizza!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

VIVA LA TARTE IN SOMA BRINGS THE SWEET AND SAVORY

Sometimes things pop up in the most unusual of places, take for instance Vive La Tarte, a bakery run by a Belgian husband and wife that opened several months in SOMA. Howard and 8th Street to be exact. Who knew there were such large warehouse like spaces still affordable in this town that a local, organic, sustainable (and all those other hot foodie words) could afford to be in. Miracles do happen in San Francisco? Of course, being it's a bakery, you just know I was more than interested to make my way over to what can be a sketchy part of SOMA to see if their pastries were worth the journey.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND PIE!!


Nothing personal towards Thanksgiving, but now is the real holiday time and what better way to start celebrating than with some pie! Mini sweet potato pies from Charlie Frank Pies to be exact. Located in Oakland, they sell mainly at farmer's markets and such, though seems you can order directly and in larger sizes from them. I came across their booth one day and who can resist a handful of pie. And at $4.50 a pop, these mini ones are just as big (or larger) than single slices you get which can run $6 or more in the city. The one on the left was a sweet potato peach, a pie that is supposedly their specialty. The pie had some nice flavors of sweet potato and it was on the creamy side, which you can probably chalk up to the cream cheese mixed in--a pleasant touch. The crust was also slightly flaky and a little buttery. Though as far as tasting any peach in here, it was lost on me. I think I was expecting small chunks throughout or something, but seems the peach was pureed and swirled in with the sweet potato. That doesn't make it a bad pie, on it's own, it is a nice little sweet potato pie that is very tasty. The ingredients list also had pineapple on it and I totally missed that too. If you sweet potato, this is good to go, if you are looking for some peach, it was a tad lacking in that.  The other is a Caribbean ginger sweet potato pie. I was kind of looking forward to this and some great ginger flavor. However, I have to say it was a little light on the ginger. While it wasn't totally absent like the peach, it was really subtle, which I found surprising considering the dark color. Maybe that was from cinnamon or nutmeg? Couldn't tell, as those were also on the soft side. The pie filling is nice and smooth (cream cheese again) and the crust was also good as before. Thus as a sweet potato pie on it's own it is good. The ginger part, not so much. I think in the grand scheme of things, the base recipe for a sweet potato pie here is works perfectly well. I just wish some of the stated flavors--peach, ginger--could be brought up several notches and boldly proclaim themselves in each bite. I would't say no to having one again, I would adjust my expectations though to expect just a good little sweet potato pie instead. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

I'VE GOT A NEW WEBSITE--YEAH! LET'S CHECK IT OUT!

While blogger has been fun, I figured after 5 years or so it was time to upgrade to a new cleaner look and what not. This meant leaving blogger as my platform for hosting. If you didn't get redirected when you landed here and are reading this then please go to placesiveeaten.com to see all my posts which I imported over (that was fun). Thanks and see you at the new page!

Friday, February 26, 2016

SINGLE SERVING: SAFEWAY WAFFLE BREAKFAST SANDWICH...YES, SAFEWAY!

Oh, Safeway! I guess sometimes it is nice you can count on your local grocery store to offer up some trashy junk food like stuff for breakfast. Leave it to them continue offering up mass appeal food on the heels of their waffle donut and cinnamon rolls the size of baby's heads. I guess it was fortuitous I came across this as I am on my breakfast sandwich kick this year and if they are going to offer one, why would I not check one out?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

POPSONS BURGERS IN SOMA....THE BURGER JOINT PARADE CONTINUES

As one burger place closes, another opens. Isn't that some kind of proverb or something? Or they were talking about a door, right? As Marlowe gave up their Marlowe Burger spin off spot, it wasn't long before another burger place moved right on in. The folks behind Causwells are pulling a Marlowe and spinning off their burgers into their own spot with Popsons Burgers. They opened a couple weeks and normally I'd give them some time to get settled, but in this case, the building they are in is on the chopping block for teardown and new build so I thought I'd try them out before the wrecking ball came swinging through.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME...AND DONUT CREAM PUFF THINGY

Back at La Boulangerie de San Francisco I felt I couldn't resist this lovely (not so) little round cream puff donut like thing that was calling my name. Seems it is called a tropezienne and can come in larger sizes too! It's a brioche cake bun with puffy thick cream filling and coated with sugar granules and powdered sugar. It's almost like a round eclair without the chocolate. This one was about the size of a regular hamburger for $3.50. The minute you bite into it the cream comes gushing out and luckily enough there is enough of the filling to go with every bite. The bread is somewhere between a brioche bun and donut--sturdy yet still fluffy. The sugar on top gives it a bit of crunch too. It is a dessert that seems light and airy but has the heft of a "real" dessert like I go for. I can only image this in a large tort form. Soft, creamy, crunchy, sweet goodness--enough to make me want to traverse back across town to the Fillmore District to get another one. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

SINGLE SERVING: BREAKFAST SANDWICH JOLT 'N BOLT CAFE DOGPATCH

Me and the SO have done just a bit of traveling over the years and one thing I've noticed on our journeys, breakfast is a big deal, particularly in European countries. Yes, they have the cereals, yogurt and sometimes egg things, but they also do a lot with meats, cheeses and breads. At first I was like, oh wow, I can make a sandwich for later! Eventually I came to appreciate the protein offerings especially in the ham and white cheese forms we found most often. I bring it up because this weeks breakfast sandwich brought to mind those foods when I picked it up at Jolt 'n Bolt Cafe in the Dogpatch--the neighborhood that has been up and coming for about 10 years now.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

THE WHOLE BEAST AT THE YARD MISSION ROCK.....MEAT, MEAT AND MORE MEAT

The Yard at Mission Rock is this thing the Giants built in one of their parking lots across from the stadium. It is a collection of shipping containers housing a couple food places and a North Face Store of all things. Honestly, I'm pretty sure this is just filler since they got city and voter approval to build their not so little complex in that parking lot, thus no way to know how much longer this place will be around. One of the food places is called The Whole Beast, a name that is pretty fitting as they like to celebrate whole animal cooking. I'd vaguely heard of some pop-ups they'd done and they have another sort of permanent for now space at The Hall on Market Street, so being into meat, I knew I would get by eventually to try them. I just wanted to wait till after baseball season ended. The place is a combo food and beer hall and there was no way I was going to be around a bunch of drunk Giants fans--living near the park is enough. Since I'm relatively near this place, I actually made several trips by here to try as many options as I could, with varying degrees of success.

Monday, February 15, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME...AND FRENCH TOAST! MADE OF CORNBREAD!

Yes, a day late and dollar short is how it is for food news this week. That's what happens when VDay falls on Sunday and between work and going out with the SO, the whole day just gets away from you. But here it is and I'm staying in this breakfast sandwich vein in a way by serving up some french toast. I have a love/hate kind of thing with Town's End Restaurant & Bakery. The SO likes them, they are close to the live place and we do so like that free basket of small bread bites they offer up when you sit down. For me, they are just a bit on the high end for brunch--seriously--$15 for eggs and bacon? I just can't, unless of course, someone else is paying, then my cheap ass is all in as I won't have to walk far to get some food. We made our way over there on a recent Sunday at the invite of a friend. I decided to take the opportunity to try something different. I went for the cornbread, blueberry French toast with lemon ricotta cream and real maple syrup for about $14. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

SINGLE SERVING: BREAKFAST SANDWICH THE PIN UP ALL-STAR DINER

Lately, I've had this thing about breakfast sandwiches. It seems like such a simple thing to pull together--some bread, egg, maybe cheese and bacon or ham or some other meat and voila--instant breakfast. This town is full of them to be sure. Stop by most any deli, diner, sandwich shop, etc. that is open for breakfast and you can find some version of this combination. Even Super Duper Burger is doing one, which I did find tasty and affordable. Thing for me is to be able to run by a spot and get one and still get to work on time. Sometimes that can be limiting as the less time I have to spend on the T-Line the better. Thus I've been making forays out to see what is on offer sort of near me that won't break my budget or be too hard to obtain. As on the previous post I mentioned I returned to The Pin Up All-Star Diner to nosh on their biscuit combo thing, so it seems like a good place to start my new Single Serving Series, which for now, will cover breakfast sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

THE PIN UP ALL-STAR DINER AT YERBA BUENA....MORE NOT DINER PRICES IN SF

This is what a week of not feeling well does for ya', you don't feel like eating or doing anything. Such was my case last week and why I took a little break. No blogging is not hard, but I only felt like collapsing on the couch and falling asleep in front of the TV. Haven't we all been there before? Anyway, I'm back in action and rolling into a relatively new diner spot in town. Located in the complex that is Yerba Buena Gardens area, sits The Pin Up All-Star Diner. Are they the easiest thing to get to? Not really. Plus, being tucked back into the complex, beyond the merry-go-round and upstairs, to the right of the ice rink (yes there is an indoor ice rink in San Francisco!) you won't exactly stumble across them unless maybe you are headed towards said ice rink. I noted their opening a few months ago and wanted to give them time to get their legs so to speak before swooping on by.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND BREAD PUDDING LA BOULANGERIE STYLE!

La Boulange was a San Francisco success story that got sold to Starbucks and like most things that get absorbed by larger companies, it then disappeared. But the original owner didn't want to let go and worked out a deal to regain the name and reopen a few of the locations. Thus did Pascal Rigo revive the patisserie to now be La Boulangerie de San Francisco. The first of the locations to re-open is on Pine St. near Fillmore in Pac Heights. To be honest, I had no idea they were there as I'd only followed the whole drama casually. I came across this location on a recent wander through the city. Since there is no time like the present as they say, I stopped in to see what was on offer. It's a small space, but they do have a fair number of sweet and savory things to choose from. I think we all know where I was veering toward. I guess I was intrigued by bread pudding as a loaf cake and had them plate up a slab. The offered to warm it up and I said yes! Things like this are always best served warm to hot. It had that nice pudding like middle with a very nice crunchy crust on the outside. It wasn't too sweet with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, I think. It had almost everything you think of when having bread pudding. For me, it really could have used some kind of liquid topping--caramel, chocolate, cream, whatever, to get it over that hump to "must have this again" kind of thing. Maybe I'm spoiled, most places I've had this, it comes with some warm sauce ladled over the top. Okay, it is an expectation I guess and doing it this way is much less fuss and mess, plus, you can probably upsell a coffee or cappuccino with it. I do give kudos for the very large and thick slice I got all for $3.75--which definitely meets my desserts with heft need too. If worse comes to worse, one could always get a hunk to go and then just add what sauce trips your trigger when you get it home. And no one will judge you for what you are eating and you can enjoy your guilty dessert pleasure in peace, while sitting on the couch, in your sweats, watching the Food Network. Or maybe that's just me, oh well. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

RUDY'S CAN'T FAIL CAFE IN EMERYVILLE....WELL THAT'S MOSTLY TRUE

Over there, that's that place on the other side of the Bay Bridge. For those of us who live in the city, over there can sometimes be difficult to muster up the energy to get to. From trying to rustle up a car to battling bridge traffic to wading through the BART crowds to finding out BART doesn't even stop in Emeryville--it feels tiring and a bit of a hassle. But every now and then the SO and I, usually on a Sunday, feel the need for a visit to an overly large Target and maybe a swing through IKEA, just because. Food choices in that little area can be uninspiring. From the cafeteria at IKEA to the chain places at that strip mall cum main street thing next door, they are not exactly the off the beaten track eats I like to look for. However, there is a small outpost nestled somewhere between the super furniture store and the I need to pick up some household supplies stores, it's called Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe and we usually end up there since we don't want to drive around Oakland looking for another place to eat. Yep, those are our standards, plus it is a diner and you know I'm totally into those.

Inside Rudy's on a semi-cloudy Sunday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

MOSCOW AND TBILISI BAKERY IN RICHMOND DISTRICT....NOT RUSSIA, BUT STILL LONG WAY TO GO

I'll travel most anywhere in this town to try out a bakery. Even when that includes getting on the 38 Geary (which some locals call "the dirty eight") and making the long arduous journey out to the hinterlands of San Francisco known as the Outer Richmond. It's not quite Ocean Beach, but when you live on the exact opposite of the city, it may as well be. Every now and then, I get a hankering to check out far flung hoods to see what is going on in areas of town often enshrouded in fog. I was out that way again recently and decided to stop into one of my favorite bakeries in town, Moscow and Tbilisi Bakery at Geary and 20th Street. I've known about this place since I practically moved to this town. I stumbled across while getting to know the city in the beginning and at the time thought I'd found a little gem of a place, but was saddened it too time to get there. Thus, whenever I am in that part of town, I always make a point to stop in. It's an old-school place specializing in homemade Russian fare and baked goods. While I know many folks are aware of it already, I figured I'd post it up to show you what drew me there in the first place.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND SOME MR. HOLMES BAKEHOUSE

Since I've been unable to drag myself out of bed at an ungodly early hour to hit up Mr. Holmes Bakehouse to get the hot selling treats, I end up with whatever is left when I just happen to wander by, remembering, oh yeah, this place is here. Mostly because I don't really wander through the Tenderloin  and those who do are probably looking for trouble. Still, even though pickings are slim, I did run across this thing they were calling a bacon cheese danish. It's a savory and yet they call it a danish. Obviously I can't pass up something that has two of my favorite foods--bacon and cheese. Even though it was late afternoon and this had been sitting out awhile and was room temp, I still liked it a lot. It was all buttery layers of flakey croissant like pastry with ample chunks of bacon and what I'm pretty sure was Parmesan cheese. This gave some tasty bite to it. Added bonus on this is a secret inside layer of bechamel sauce. It was like a surprise creamy flavor when you bite into the danish. All this really needed was an egg and you'd have a hand eaten version of a croque madame or something. While they do run roughly $4.50 a pop, it is on the larger size of some you get in this city. If they weren't so hard to get to for me, I could see this as an every morning treat. I'm sure it is even better warm and fresh out of the oven. Between this and the chocolate chip cookie I had here some time back, I need to just bite the bullet and force myself to get up early one weekday morning (forget weekends people) and MUNI (ugh!) my way over there. If they two treats I've had so far from them are any indication, then all the effort and praise they've earned so far are warranted. Plus, I really need to try that cruffin thing before it becomes too passe. Don't wanna be behind on my Instagram-able food trends now do I. I will skip the ubiquitous shot of their neon sign however. Also note, flavors can change daily here, yet another reason to have to get up early and go. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

ODE TO AN OLD FASHIONED....DONUT THAT IS

I think that I shall never see something so delightful as a donut. Okay, it doesn't rhyme but I feel I've made it clear me fondness for desserts, particularly those with heft, as I call it. And donuts fall squarely in that category. It is also my go to dessert when I have trouble figuring out just what I want. (The SO will tell you this happens often) Fortunately for me, there does seem to be a Happy Donut or its equivalent in most every neighborhood and corner of San Francisco. Many are 24 hours too, which is handy for late night cravings and you just don't want to drag all the way to Safeway and hassle with standing in line for a single donut. Not saying I haven't done that, just saying don't like doing that. Don't judge, just admit we've all done it at least once, whether it was a donut, ice cream, cookie or whatever treat trips your trigger.

The donut (or doughnut) evidently has a disputed history of creation.  Was it the Dutch in the 19th century? An American ship cook in late 1800's? An English dowager in early 1800's? Really, who cares, let's just give a kudos to whoever first thought of making a ring of dough then deep frying and covering it in sugar. And double kudos to whoever was first to add fillings and frosting. They should really get respect for elevating a basic dessert pastry. While there an array of choices, the one I always seem to gravitate toward is the old fashioned. Thus, herewith, my salute to a classic.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

FOOD TRUCK QUICK BITE: KHAO SAN THAI FOOD....I SHOULD KNOW BETTER

It's a chilly, damp Friday night. I'm just finishing work and the SO is picking me up as we made a last minute after work decision to pop on by the SOMA StrEat Food Park because we are lazy didn't want to cook or order in anything. It's a sparse crowd, but it is early on a Friday night, they are open late and I'm sure hungry drunksters will be by later. The choice of food trucks on this night also seem to be limited as most we see we have eaten at already. The SO gravitates toward one and when I look, I realize it is Khao San Thai Food. Ugh, me and Thai food have a love hate relationship. I enjoy that it's spicy and comes with veggies, I hate that it is pricey and the portions seem really small to me. But I feel in an adventurous mood and decide to go with it anyway since I haven't tried these folks before and want to keep an open mind.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND A BISCUIT TACO!! WOOHOO!!

Isn't this a great way to start off a New Year's resolution? A biscuit taco from Taco Bell's breakfast menu! Actually this was the morning meal deal that came with a hash brown and a medium drink for about $4. I wasn't going to do the meal but turns out this place has Diet Mountain Dew on the fill your own soda fountain and seriously, do you think I'm gonna pass that up?! These things actually came out awhile ago but I just hadn't gotten around to trying them. They just built one of those new Taco Bell Cantina things in my hood. They serve beer and wine and have lots of wood accents, you  know, it's all white trash fancy. One morning I rolled in with the intention of chowing down. Originally I ordered one with bacon (duh!), egg and cheese. But when I got it, the bacon were bits and they were cold. As in, didn't get warmed up in the microwave or whatever. Nothing is worse than cold bacon bits as the parts that are fat get all creamy like lard. Totally unappealing. I took it back and they didn't even blink an eye and just gave me one with sausage, egg and cheese instead. Fortunately, the sausage was cooked, though it wasn't like hot of the skillet. The eggs were more crumbled than scrambled and it gave them a weird texture as if they were originally either powdered or frozen then cooked up, odd. They also were not hot of the griddle and this lukewarm-ness kept the cheese from even getting close to melting. You can see that in the picture. The biscuit taco itself did actually taste like a doughy biscuit, though it didn't hold together well and cracked open along the bottom, much like a crunchy taco shell would do. Eating it all together, you get the flavor sense of an egg, cheese and sausage biscuit that is just ever so off and not quite right. It definitely is not a replacement for the real thing. Though if you are drunk or hungover, you could probably trick yourself into believing it is tasty and will help soak up all that alcohol. (Isn't that what Taco Bell food is all about?) As for the hash browns, yeah, um, potatoes and grease. Pretty fast food standard there. As a Southerner, I'll take a pass on getting this again, it is kind of a sacrilege to eating the real thing. A shame really when there are so few quick affordable food options for this type of thing in San Francisco. It wasn't a total loss. I was able to get in two Diet Mtn. Dew refills plus another to go for my walk to work, so there was that.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

EATING AT DENNY'S IN SOMA. WAIT?! WTF?! WHY AM I EATING AT DENNY'S?

Something unique, sad, disturbing and highly emotional happens when one turns 50--you get a notice in the mail that you are now eligible for an AARP card. That's when it hits you, wholly f**k I'm like my parents age or something. It can be a distressing and emotionally crippling moment when you see that envelope in your stack of mail. My first impulse was to light it on fire and send it hurtling over the balcony railing like a phoenix in the night. But I stopped myself (barely) as my neighbors might not approve and I'm not sure our apartment fire insurance is totally up to date. I then popped open a bottle of wine and decided to open it and see just what they are shilling for the I don't quite feel that old set.

They purport to offer a lot if you join all those smiley, aged, slightly grey haired folks who seemed to "be enjoying life after 50." Personally, I think they just got the good meds and live in a place without a high cost of living and can retire at an early age. But this is San Francisco and we are not all afforded that opportunity. Still, I pored over the literature and ran down their list of things you can get discounts on when you flash that little red card around. While I personally have no use for auto coverage or being trapped on a cruise ship with other old folks, I was interested in some of the food places you could get a discount. We don't have a Dunkin' Donuts here so a free donut a day with coffee purchase was out of the question, but seems you can get 15% of at Denny's--that bastion of roadside stops where truckers and the elderly can commiserate over aching backs and butts while swigging an endless cup of coffee and noshing on a grand slam breakfast any time of the day. While I won't say this was the one thing to put me over, it did convince me to sign up me and the SO for a membership (though beware, your junk email will increase two-fold with scams and trash when you sign up--it is a flaw in their system).

I waited patiently the few weeks for the card to arrive and when it did, I made it a point to try out my discount and hit up the local Denny's in SF. Yes, I know what you are thinking--we have a Denny's here? Well, we do, right down on Mission at 4th Street, across from the Metreon and that behemoth of a parking garage. It's been there forever and it is also 24 hours, in that neighborhood. While I didn't relish hitting the place up at 3am, no matter how interesting it would have been, I convinced the SO to eat there after we saw a movie recently. At first, this was more of a lark than anything, but then I saw where Pete Well's, the revered food critic of the NY Times reviewed Senor Frog's in Times Square and I thought, if he can do that without too much side eye, I can do Denny's with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Monday, January 11, 2016

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME...FIRST OF THE YEAR!! and a day or so late

Why not kick of the weekly food digest with a little brunch on the go. Here we have a new offering from a fave local bakery, Neighbor Bakehouse. This is their version of a croque madame, except it is more of a hand held, open faced sandwich. You've got a whole grain thick slice of toast topped with green onion, cheese, bacon, egg and some kind of cream b├ęchamel like sauce. It's part of their ever expanding offerings and outside of a being a little too toasted along the edges of the bread (meaning tad burnt black), the basics here are good. You can taste the egg, cheese, bacon and onion flavors quite clearly. I do think the onion could be reduced some as the the long green tops did get a little chewy. The egg isn't all runny like you'd normally get, but it is right at the edge of almost being like that (see below pick). Here it works since this is an item for takeaway and not sit dine in. Toppings are also piled high and hearty and if this is all you are having for breakfast it will fill you up. Considering it is pretty huge for only $4.50, it is a relative bargain bite for San Francisco. While the one I got was still warm, I'll say if you just happen to get them fresh out of the oven, they are probably even better. Kudos to Greg and the gang for the new offering. I saw they also have some savory bread pudding thing they are serving hot out of a crock pot, hmmm...interesting, though I'll need to wait till next time to try. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

JERSEY IN SOMA....IS IT JUST ANOTHER PIZZA JOINT?

Plus, does San Francisco really need another pizza place? Those seem like philosophical questions for enlightened foodies, but really, it's just a question. A lot depends on what they are doing and if they are bringing anything new to the table to make theirs stand out from all the other choices in town. To let you off the hook on the titular question, Jersey is not just another pizza joint. Yes, they offer different kinds of pizza pies to nosh on, but they also offer an array of other dishes with a New Jersey, East Coast, Italian food comes to California kind of theme. I think what initially got me and the SO intrigued to try the place was they opened on 2nd Street between Mission and Howard, a stretch of road that after work hours and on weekends becomes a literal ghost town. The idea we could just roll down the street and walk in was enticing, and of course, the pizza was a draw too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 THE YEAR THAT WAS IN MY FOOD REVIEWS AND STUFF

Hey, what better way to start the New Year than lazily rehashing running down some of my most read posts from 2015!! Surely, you can't be fed up with lists just yet, we are only on day 5 and you've got 360 more to go! Bare with me though, as it is a short list, it is not like I'm counting down the Hot 100 or something (sigh..miss Casey Kasem--random thought). Looking back, I can't really tell you why the following got read more than others. Luck of the draw? Good search engine keywords? SEO's? Hot spot of the moment? The reasons why are endless. And just to help blow one of your New Year's resolutions, I'm offering this up close view of some trashy eating I did while down in Texas. That's right, it's a cinnamon roll from Cinnabon. This is what close to 900 calories looks like, even before I add the extra icing I got on it to push it over 1000! Gotta have goals.

I don't think I really need to review this for you but, it was brown sugar, lots of cinnamon, cream cheese frosting (plus a little extra) and very doughy. Probably a little too doughy for me, I'd have liked it cooked a little longer. As you can see the outer ring is not that lovely light brown color you'd expect from a properly cooked one. And there was a tad too much cinnamon. Neither of these stopped me from eating it, though it did dampen my enjoyment of it somewhat. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

FOOD ROAD TRIP: THE BARBECUE STATION SAN ANTONIO TEXAS...STILL EATING THE MEAT

Happy New Year, it's like a week of meat people! But really, if I'm going to be in Texas, why not go with something they do a lot of. My goal was to try a couple of the more popular barbecue joints in San Antonio. After searching the internet web-a-jig for what folks like, I did the Rudy's thing and now I'm rolling into The Barbecue Station. They've been doing this for 23 years (at least that is what the sign out front said) and if you can smoke meat and stick around that long in Texas, it must be good right?

yes, they've got that Texas bbq joint look down pat

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: RUDY'S COUNTRY STORE AND BAR-B-Q SAN ANTONIO TEXAS YA'LL!

After 4 6 day weeks in retail fun land, business slows and it's a good time to get away for the end of the year. That means jumping on a plane and heading down to Texas to catch up with the SO who's been visiting family there since Christmas. I got some fam there too so we will all be catching up. I figured I'd hit some full on meat places while I was here because it is Texas after all and you can't come down here without having their version of barbecue. (hint: it's a lot of smoked stuff) Searching out which places seem to have a following in the San Antonio area several names come up. One is called Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q, a place that started out as a gas station/country store and then morphed into a chain of roadside spots to get your smoke on throughout the Southwest. We decided to roll in there the other night after seeing that Star Wars movie thing to fill our bellies with meat, and other stuff.

nothing like a tongue in cheek sign to get people to stop in. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

HOT SAUCE AND PANKO IN THE RICHMOND...A REVISIT BEFORE BUILDING DEMOLITION


As I was cruising through the food news during the week it came to my attention that Hot Sauce and Panko's building was being demolished and they would be moving out to an as yet unknown locations. This was one of the first places I reviewed nearly 5! years ago when I first started this food blog thingy (it was also one of the first to get a lot of views). You can read down memory lane on that experience by clicking here. While they will be reopening somewhere, sometime, just thinking about it got me wistful for when I first started blogging with the innocent thrill of "this will be fun", "maybe it will turn into something", "I could make a career out of this!" Okay, so maybe a couple of those didn't really turn out to be true, but whatever. I still find small joy and fun trying out far flung places on the edges of San Francisco. Obviously I still find this worth it since I'm still doing it 5! years in! Did I mention that already? Anyway, I figured why not hit them up again before the building implodes and see how the years have been to them.

I think the signs are trying to tell us something.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME.....AND BUNDT CAKE!

I hadn't been by Neighbor Bakehouse in awhile and since it's the holidays I'd though I would run in and see if they have anything new and sweet I could scarf down. And lo and behold, but what to my wondering eyes would appear but brown sugar cinnamon bundt cake. I'm always on the edge with  bundts as they run the gamut from good to not so much. Plus they don't usually come with icing, which in my world, can cover up a lot of sins and things that can go wrong when making this kind of cake. Here we basically have a pound cake with a swirl of cinnamon and brown sugar and a dusting of powdered sugar on top for $3.50 a slice. It's a decent sized slice, close to Texas toast size and thickness, comparable to ones you'd get at say Peet's or Starbucks or most any coffee shop in town. I was a little worried it might be dry but it felt heavy in my hand and that translated into a very moist piece of cake--yeah! The swirls added light touches of holiday flavor without being overly sweet. There is a nice crust on the outside which is both crunchy, cakey, almost like a brown sugar crumble. Like a good pound cake it also had a nice butteriness much like you'd get in a croissant. And while I am a fan of icing on cake, here I don't think it was needed and probably wouldn't have added much to it either. This was like a dense, moist, crumbly, touch of sweet coffee cake bundt that works just as well as a morning, late afternoon or after dinner treat. I'm pretty too, if you needed a whole one to spruce up a holiday party, you could probably talk them into selling you, though be prepared to pay a little extra and accept the fact you won't have any leftovers to take home for later. 
....as a retail worker, this is what we call "hell week", so if you know of any other jobs out there with some regular M-F hours and no holidays--PLEASE drop me a line! It also means this is my last post before a little holiday break to get through this next week. So from me to you and all your friends have a happy holiday, merry Christmas and what not. I leave you with one of my all time favorite xmas tunes and I'll see you on the other side!

Friday, December 18, 2015

FOOD TRUCK QUICK BITE: ODANG UDON..IT'S NOODLE TIME!

Nothing like swinging through SOMA's StrEat Food Park when it's chilly outside. With the heated indoor seating you can grab a quick bite and nestle in from the cold. That's what me and the SO decided to do one evening and what better way to brace for briskness than with a warm noodle bowl! Seemed like a good enough reason to tuck in with Odang Udon. They are a mostly regular truck there but we'd never actually tried them, so what better time than now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

EATSA IN SOMA...IT'S HEALTHY IN A BOWL BUT I'M TRYING IT ANYWAY!

Fast, casual, healthy, affordable--all buzzwords used to try to break into a market that has become "the thing" over the last few years. Even some of the long running fast food folks have tried to healthy up their menus, not always with success. Into this fray comes Eatsa, billing themselves as better fast food and a place where new technology meets a new kind of healthy food delivery. It sounded intriguing enough for me to at least give up meat for one meal to try them out. Hopefully my stomach won't be overwhelmed with all the vegetable-ness.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND ICING WITH CAKE

What better way to celebrate the holidays than with some cake! Okay sure, I personally don't need a reason to eat cake, but it sounds better than gluttony. I stumbled across this beauty at Susie Cakes in the Marina. Yeah, I'm not sure why we were there either, I think we were just lost. But I'll take any chance to go into a bakery. I spotted this apple caramel spice cake with cream cheese frosting right away and said yes, yes, yes to a slice. It runs $6.25 a slice and they definitely give you a heft slab for that price. Kudos for having more than enough of that lovely cream cheese icing to satiate even me. The cake was very moist and I could taste the cinnamon, nutmeg and probably allspice? in each bite of just the cake itself. I will say the apple and caramel bits were a little lost on me but I was mostly okay with that as it was still a tasty cake. The icing may have been a little on the sweet side for many folks, but for me it balanced all right with the cake which wasn't overly sweet. It might have been interesting had I been able to taste maybe some small bits of apple in there, thus I would say they need to pump that up a bit more. The caramel sounds nice in a description but isn't necessarily needed. Still a tasty after meal treat, or if you are like me, an in place of meal treat. Because it's the holidays! See, still sounds better than gluttony.

Friday, December 11, 2015

GOAT HILL PIZZA IN SOMA....WAIT, THEY'RE OPEN AGAIN?!

I think I've mentioned before finding a decent, affordable lunch in SOMA can be challenging. Yes, there are a lot more options these days due to all the tech offices and what not. Problem is, sometimes they cater to them with a devil may care attitude in their pricing. For those of us who live in the hood it can be disappointing. One place I had found was an off shoot of Goat Hill Pizza, who's original place in Potrero Hill is still chugging along nicely. Then they added a location in West Portal and for awhile the walk up window place in SOMA seemed to disappear. But now it is back and the signs to grab a slice can be found at either end of Stillman street. A little strip of road that runs just below the 101. Since they are back, let's eat some pizza!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

VIVA LA TARTE IN SOMA BRINGS THE SWEET AND SAVORY

Sometimes things pop up in the most unusual of places, take for instance Vive La Tarte, a bakery run by a Belgian husband and wife that opened several months in SOMA. Howard and 8th Street to be exact. Who knew there were such large warehouse like spaces still affordable in this town that a local, organic, sustainable (and all those other hot foodie words) could afford to be in. Miracles do happen in San Francisco? Of course, being it's a bakery, you just know I was more than interested to make my way over to what can be a sketchy part of SOMA to see if their pastries were worth the journey.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....AND PIE!!


Nothing personal towards Thanksgiving, but now is the real holiday time and what better way to start celebrating than with some pie! Mini sweet potato pies from Charlie Frank Pies to be exact. Located in Oakland, they sell mainly at farmer's markets and such, though seems you can order directly and in larger sizes from them. I came across their booth one day and who can resist a handful of pie. And at $4.50 a pop, these mini ones are just as big (or larger) than single slices you get which can run $6 or more in the city. The one on the left was a sweet potato peach, a pie that is supposedly their specialty. The pie had some nice flavors of sweet potato and it was on the creamy side, which you can probably chalk up to the cream cheese mixed in--a pleasant touch. The crust was also slightly flaky and a little buttery. Though as far as tasting any peach in here, it was lost on me. I think I was expecting small chunks throughout or something, but seems the peach was pureed and swirled in with the sweet potato. That doesn't make it a bad pie, on it's own, it is a nice little sweet potato pie that is very tasty. The ingredients list also had pineapple on it and I totally missed that too. If you sweet potato, this is good to go, if you are looking for some peach, it was a tad lacking in that.  The other is a Caribbean ginger sweet potato pie. I was kind of looking forward to this and some great ginger flavor. However, I have to say it was a little light on the ginger. While it wasn't totally absent like the peach, it was really subtle, which I found surprising considering the dark color. Maybe that was from cinnamon or nutmeg? Couldn't tell, as those were also on the soft side. The pie filling is nice and smooth (cream cheese again) and the crust was also good as before. Thus as a sweet potato pie on it's own it is good. The ginger part, not so much. I think in the grand scheme of things, the base recipe for a sweet potato pie here is works perfectly well. I just wish some of the stated flavors--peach, ginger--could be brought up several notches and boldly proclaim themselves in each bite. I would't say no to having one again, I would adjust my expectations though to expect just a good little sweet potato pie instead.