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

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