Saturday, June 27, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: BISTRO BESTICK STOCKHOLM SWEDEN

We are still in Stockholm and chasing trendy restaurants in this town. There seems to be a little boîte around every corner and you never know which one really is THE off the grid place to go to get a great meal. This time we went on the recommendation of a local we just flat out asked "where do you go?" He said we should really try Bistro Bestick, supposedly the do variations of Swedish dishes for the modern palate, whatever that is. The nigh we tried to go they were booked up so made a reservation for the next evening to see what they got going on.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: FISKBAREN STOCKHOLM SWEDEN

We've been in Stockholm less than 24 hours and already I've noticed it has at least 2 things in common with San Francisco--hipsters and food. I have to say I've never so many dudes with beards, tattoos, skinny jeans and funky floppy haircuts, they are everywhere. Many of the restaurants we've walked past also have the same kind of look--wood or stone tables centered around a main bar with lots of clean line steel and reclaimed looking wood accents--it's a trend around the world it seems. On our first night of searching for food we tried a place that was recommended to us by a dude at an ice bar (yes, a bar made of ice. We went for the cheesiness of the experience) but they were packed and booked. That dude then recommended a place around the corner that seemed popular as of late. We walked the block over and found it was 20 minutes for a table so we decided to just drink at the bar and wait. Why not, we are on vacation. It's was called Fiskbaren.

Monday, June 22, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: CAFE CATHEDRAL OSLO NORWAY...REINDEER PIZZA!!

It's been a long day of walking and boating around Oslo and now we are hungry. Finding a place to eat is not always so easy when you are tired and menus aren't grabbing your attention. This was the unfortunate thing on this particular evening as we went through at least 5 options before finally settling on Cafe Cathedral for two reason--we were tired of walking around and Norwegian pizza. It grabbed our attention enough to say "let's do it".


Saturday, June 20, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: LOKK IN OSLO NORWAY

Yes, I'm in Oslo and it's 72! That's right, I'm in spitting distance of the Arctic Circle and it's actually warmer here than in San Francisco. Plus, the sun doesn't set until 11pm. Even then, it's still like a little speck on the horizon so it is not like dark, dark. Sort of a perpetual twilight when the sun hits the horizon. Anyway, I'm trekking through Scandinavia for a couple weeks and decided to try and be a little adventurous with the food I'll be eating. It's our first day here and after doing some research I settled on a place called Lokk (I'll let you Google translate their page). It seemed funky and interesting enough and it was only a short walk from the hotel--SCORE!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SB40 RESTAURANT, CARMEN'S, WHATEVER IT'S CALLED, IT'S STILL THE SAME OLD STUFF

Restaurants along the waterfront are a mixed bag of good, decent and I can't believe it's still around. When you live along that stretch of the Embarcadero you have opportunity of try a fair number of the places, mostly because they are close and convenient. Sometimes I see these spots that have seemingly been around forever and I think I remember trying that place and wonder why it's been so long since I've been back. One such place is SB40 Restaurant (or Carmen's as it was called for years and is still called by some folks). It's been a waterfront fixture for some time to varying shades of success. It's even had it's own business troubles which you can read about here. Somehow, it has managed to hang on despite all the machinations. I do remember my first time eating here, mostly because it was unpleasant. That was at least 7 years ago. Seeing as how they are still there with a new name and supposedly revamped menu, it seemed like a good time for the SO and I to try them again to see if things were different or if the "song remains the same."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

JUNK FOOD JUNKIE: LITTLE DEBBIE STYLE AND YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME

What can I say, if it's red velvet I'm gonna give it a try no matter how tacky it may be. Such was the case when I came across these cakes from Little Debbie at at Target recently. Though I'm sure I'd have come across them in a Walmart too. That's the thing about Little Debbie, at $1.99 a box their products cross all lines throughout the country and they make a host of product. They also do themed stuff depending on the time of the year it is, thus it was a surprise to see these in spring as opposed to around the holidays. No matter, I grabbed a box for the sake of discovery, because that's the kind of person I am. As far as color goes, that got that down pat. It wasn't too bright red, but just the right darkish red to convey the color of velvet drapes. It's covered in a "white frosting glaze" thing that really is just powdered sugar and probably milk in some form. Sweeeeetttt would be the word for this. The cream on the inside reminded me of the stuff they use to fill their Oatmeal Creme Pies, something I grew up with and kind of like but not exactly the stuff of red velvet cakes. The cake itself is moist and has the right texture though as for flavor, there may have been notes of chocolate or I may have been delusionary from all the sugar, hard to tell. I couldn't help thinking it tasted a little like their Swiss Rolls just not as chocolaty. It's like they added red food coloring to the rolls, made them square and viola--Red Velvet Creme Cakes! As a junk food nosh, they'd do in a pinch, as a red velvet substitute, not so much. I will say the SO liked them more than me, at least I'm going with that as they seemed to disappear not soon after I brought them home. Oh well, while not a total loss, actually, not a loss at all, I mean they were only $1.99. They won't fill my red velvet need but as a kitschy party fave for a 50's themed get together I'd say they are spot on. And after your second martini, it won't really matter anyway. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

STRAW IN HAYES VALLEY....YES, IT REALLY IS CARNIVAL FARE

Concept restaurants abound across the US and come and go with seeming regularity. Occasionally, they even make their way through San Francisco, though most are down by Fisherman's Wharf and aimed at tourist clientele instead of those of us who actually live here. (Yes, I'm talkin' bout you Bubba Gump whatever Co.) Every now and then a neighborhood spot opens with a gimmick but sometimes they don't stay around long as the schtick wears thin and people get bored--you know how foodies are. But sometimes an idea comes along that sounds interestingly odd and manages to overcome the kitschy factor and survive in this notoriously tough food town. One such place is Straw in Hayes Valley. A tiny little establishment specializing in carnival fare or circus fare or state fare food, whatever you'd like to call it. From deep fried to covered in powdered sugar, they are serving it up old school. I've known about them for some time but for whatever reason, just never went there. Thus I figured it was time to see what it was all about.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

RETURN OF COOKIE TIME! AND YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME

I was craving cookies again while strolling through the Castro hood and decided to roll into Sweet Inspirations as I remembered they did some dipped things. I think I was jonesing for a peanut butter chocolate hybrid but they only had the one choice today so I scooped up the chocolate chip dipped for the small princely sum of $2.65. Not a bad price as you do get a hefty cookie that is thicker than most you'll find around town. It had a lovely golden brown color and nice little crispness around the edges. As you work your way towards the middle it does stay a tad crunchy. Ultimately, one of the issues with thick cookies is the middle can sometimes either be too doughy (underdone) or too crumbly (overdone). This one walked right up to that line and touched a toe over it for me. I do personally prefer a softer, gooey center, something you won't find here. Still it wasn't so bad as it was plentiful with chips in pretty much every bite. And the addition of dipping in a semi-sweet chocolate covering for half gives you an extra jolt of intense flavor. In the grand scheme of cookies in San Francisco it's okay when you consider the price and size of what you are getting. Most basic flavors are here and there is enough chocolate to satisfy that craving. Now if they could just cut the cooking time down a bit and get the soft center it would be right up there in my top five. As is now, it's pretty middle of the pack, but will do in a pinch. 


Thursday, June 4, 2015

NEIGHBOR BAKEHOUSE IN DOGPATCH....THEY'RE TOTALLY BAKED

I've done bits and pieces of Neighbor Bakehouse in the past, but since I've hit them up on a regular basis, I've had the opportunity to try a variety of goods, both sweet and savory and thought I'd wrap them all up in one tidy review. Refreshing your memory on some old faves and showcasing a couple of newbies I've noshed on lately. As a reminder, they've were doing wholesale baked goods for a couple years before finally opening up the space to those of us who live/work in the hood. Their hours are roughly Wednesday-Saturday 6:30am till they sell out, which, depending on the popularity of an item, can happen pretty quickly. It amazes me that in this town of gluten free, organic, healthy eating, etc., whenever a new bakery opens their goods seem to just fly out the door. Anybody who's been to B. Patisserie, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, Two Fish Baking Co. and more can tell you if you want to popular things, you need to go early or frequently. Ugh, the things you gotta do to eat in this city. But you know, I eat for you.

 
Yeah, the signage and exterior are a tad unassuming, it's what's inside that counts. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: BISTRO BESTICK STOCKHOLM SWEDEN

We are still in Stockholm and chasing trendy restaurants in this town. There seems to be a little boîte around every corner and you never know which one really is THE off the grid place to go to get a great meal. This time we went on the recommendation of a local we just flat out asked "where do you go?" He said we should really try Bistro Bestick, supposedly the do variations of Swedish dishes for the modern palate, whatever that is. The nigh we tried to go they were booked up so made a reservation for the next evening to see what they got going on.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: FISKBAREN STOCKHOLM SWEDEN

We've been in Stockholm less than 24 hours and already I've noticed it has at least 2 things in common with San Francisco--hipsters and food. I have to say I've never so many dudes with beards, tattoos, skinny jeans and funky floppy haircuts, they are everywhere. Many of the restaurants we've walked past also have the same kind of look--wood or stone tables centered around a main bar with lots of clean line steel and reclaimed looking wood accents--it's a trend around the world it seems. On our first night of searching for food we tried a place that was recommended to us by a dude at an ice bar (yes, a bar made of ice. We went for the cheesiness of the experience) but they were packed and booked. That dude then recommended a place around the corner that seemed popular as of late. We walked the block over and found it was 20 minutes for a table so we decided to just drink at the bar and wait. Why not, we are on vacation. It's was called Fiskbaren.

Monday, June 22, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: CAFE CATHEDRAL OSLO NORWAY...REINDEER PIZZA!!

It's been a long day of walking and boating around Oslo and now we are hungry. Finding a place to eat is not always so easy when you are tired and menus aren't grabbing your attention. This was the unfortunate thing on this particular evening as we went through at least 5 options before finally settling on Cafe Cathedral for two reason--we were tired of walking around and Norwegian pizza. It grabbed our attention enough to say "let's do it".


Saturday, June 20, 2015

FOOD ROAD TRIP: LOKK IN OSLO NORWAY

Yes, I'm in Oslo and it's 72! That's right, I'm in spitting distance of the Arctic Circle and it's actually warmer here than in San Francisco. Plus, the sun doesn't set until 11pm. Even then, it's still like a little speck on the horizon so it is not like dark, dark. Sort of a perpetual twilight when the sun hits the horizon. Anyway, I'm trekking through Scandinavia for a couple weeks and decided to try and be a little adventurous with the food I'll be eating. It's our first day here and after doing some research I settled on a place called Lokk (I'll let you Google translate their page). It seemed funky and interesting enough and it was only a short walk from the hotel--SCORE!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SB40 RESTAURANT, CARMEN'S, WHATEVER IT'S CALLED, IT'S STILL THE SAME OLD STUFF

Restaurants along the waterfront are a mixed bag of good, decent and I can't believe it's still around. When you live along that stretch of the Embarcadero you have opportunity of try a fair number of the places, mostly because they are close and convenient. Sometimes I see these spots that have seemingly been around forever and I think I remember trying that place and wonder why it's been so long since I've been back. One such place is SB40 Restaurant (or Carmen's as it was called for years and is still called by some folks). It's been a waterfront fixture for some time to varying shades of success. It's even had it's own business troubles which you can read about here. Somehow, it has managed to hang on despite all the machinations. I do remember my first time eating here, mostly because it was unpleasant. That was at least 7 years ago. Seeing as how they are still there with a new name and supposedly revamped menu, it seemed like a good time for the SO and I to try them again to see if things were different or if the "song remains the same."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

JUNK FOOD JUNKIE: LITTLE DEBBIE STYLE AND YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME

What can I say, if it's red velvet I'm gonna give it a try no matter how tacky it may be. Such was the case when I came across these cakes from Little Debbie at at Target recently. Though I'm sure I'd have come across them in a Walmart too. That's the thing about Little Debbie, at $1.99 a box their products cross all lines throughout the country and they make a host of product. They also do themed stuff depending on the time of the year it is, thus it was a surprise to see these in spring as opposed to around the holidays. No matter, I grabbed a box for the sake of discovery, because that's the kind of person I am. As far as color goes, that got that down pat. It wasn't too bright red, but just the right darkish red to convey the color of velvet drapes. It's covered in a "white frosting glaze" thing that really is just powdered sugar and probably milk in some form. Sweeeeetttt would be the word for this. The cream on the inside reminded me of the stuff they use to fill their Oatmeal Creme Pies, something I grew up with and kind of like but not exactly the stuff of red velvet cakes. The cake itself is moist and has the right texture though as for flavor, there may have been notes of chocolate or I may have been delusionary from all the sugar, hard to tell. I couldn't help thinking it tasted a little like their Swiss Rolls just not as chocolaty. It's like they added red food coloring to the rolls, made them square and viola--Red Velvet Creme Cakes! As a junk food nosh, they'd do in a pinch, as a red velvet substitute, not so much. I will say the SO liked them more than me, at least I'm going with that as they seemed to disappear not soon after I brought them home. Oh well, while not a total loss, actually, not a loss at all, I mean they were only $1.99. They won't fill my red velvet need but as a kitschy party fave for a 50's themed get together I'd say they are spot on. And after your second martini, it won't really matter anyway. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

STRAW IN HAYES VALLEY....YES, IT REALLY IS CARNIVAL FARE

Concept restaurants abound across the US and come and go with seeming regularity. Occasionally, they even make their way through San Francisco, though most are down by Fisherman's Wharf and aimed at tourist clientele instead of those of us who actually live here. (Yes, I'm talkin' bout you Bubba Gump whatever Co.) Every now and then a neighborhood spot opens with a gimmick but sometimes they don't stay around long as the schtick wears thin and people get bored--you know how foodies are. But sometimes an idea comes along that sounds interestingly odd and manages to overcome the kitschy factor and survive in this notoriously tough food town. One such place is Straw in Hayes Valley. A tiny little establishment specializing in carnival fare or circus fare or state fare food, whatever you'd like to call it. From deep fried to covered in powdered sugar, they are serving it up old school. I've known about them for some time but for whatever reason, just never went there. Thus I figured it was time to see what it was all about.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

RETURN OF COOKIE TIME! AND YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME

I was craving cookies again while strolling through the Castro hood and decided to roll into Sweet Inspirations as I remembered they did some dipped things. I think I was jonesing for a peanut butter chocolate hybrid but they only had the one choice today so I scooped up the chocolate chip dipped for the small princely sum of $2.65. Not a bad price as you do get a hefty cookie that is thicker than most you'll find around town. It had a lovely golden brown color and nice little crispness around the edges. As you work your way towards the middle it does stay a tad crunchy. Ultimately, one of the issues with thick cookies is the middle can sometimes either be too doughy (underdone) or too crumbly (overdone). This one walked right up to that line and touched a toe over it for me. I do personally prefer a softer, gooey center, something you won't find here. Still it wasn't so bad as it was plentiful with chips in pretty much every bite. And the addition of dipping in a semi-sweet chocolate covering for half gives you an extra jolt of intense flavor. In the grand scheme of cookies in San Francisco it's okay when you consider the price and size of what you are getting. Most basic flavors are here and there is enough chocolate to satisfy that craving. Now if they could just cut the cooking time down a bit and get the soft center it would be right up there in my top five. As is now, it's pretty middle of the pack, but will do in a pinch. 


Thursday, June 4, 2015

NEIGHBOR BAKEHOUSE IN DOGPATCH....THEY'RE TOTALLY BAKED

I've done bits and pieces of Neighbor Bakehouse in the past, but since I've hit them up on a regular basis, I've had the opportunity to try a variety of goods, both sweet and savory and thought I'd wrap them all up in one tidy review. Refreshing your memory on some old faves and showcasing a couple of newbies I've noshed on lately. As a reminder, they've were doing wholesale baked goods for a couple years before finally opening up the space to those of us who live/work in the hood. Their hours are roughly Wednesday-Saturday 6:30am till they sell out, which, depending on the popularity of an item, can happen pretty quickly. It amazes me that in this town of gluten free, organic, healthy eating, etc., whenever a new bakery opens their goods seem to just fly out the door. Anybody who's been to B. Patisserie, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, Two Fish Baking Co. and more can tell you if you want to popular things, you need to go early or frequently. Ugh, the things you gotta do to eat in this city. But you know, I eat for you.

 
Yeah, the signage and exterior are a tad unassuming, it's what's inside that counts.