Red House Bakery & Cafe in San Francisco for Baked BBQ Pork Buns
On the recommendation of a computer challaged chowhound I made two visit to this out of the way bakery for a taste of there wares.
BBQ Pork and Chicken baked buns are very good with a larger then normal amount of fillings. No edges or scape pieces of pork and the chicken was extra interesting in the it had mushroom and other items (not sure of what it is at this time but a very good combination) in addition to the chicken and at 70 cent each cheaper than Cafe Bakery and a welcome addition to baked bun lust.
Picked up some custard tarts and paper wrapped sponge cake both were very good. Kind of a flakey crust for the custard tart (not as good as GG but better than most) and at 50 and 60 cents each kind of cheap compared to some others
They are open from 6:30 to 6:30 with Western and Chinese breakfasts and stir fries and plate rices.
Today my son and I had orders of bacon omelet, with fresh baked toast and coffer for 3.75. Not a bad deal.
They have a Happy Hour with ten item for about 2 buck each from 3:30 to 5 PM since I have not tried it that will come later.
Red House Bakery
2818 San Bruno Ave
San Francisco, CA 94134
Lambert, hope the T-day buns were all you hoped for.
I stopped by here again on Tuesday. Shared a hot dog bun (70¢) with my dad in the car. I continue to like the layered, fluffy bread here. Also got a baked pork bun that I reheated the next day to split with my mother. Holding my breath, I cut it in half, and this one had twice the amount of filling as our first try and was very satisfying.
Yimster and I went for "Happy Hour"...nice friendly people, and they do all their own baking there...they only had a few items for their Happy Hour ...Fried Fish, Fried Chicken wings, Fried squid....Beef skewers, burgers...most of these with fries (big surprise)!..they were out of squid..our first choice, so we sampled fish, wings, and skewer..for about 2 bucks, these were as expected, smallish plates (there were 3 chicken wings) but the fish seemed coated in panko and the beef had good flavor and texture...the fries were ordinary..diner..ish...but that didn't stop us from eating every one..
I brought home a sample box of baked things...the standouts for me were the Char siu bow (baked)..nice sweetish "honey" exterior and a lot of good pork filling..no gristle and the occasional piece of tasty fat! The chicken pie with a very short crust was very good, slightly sweet...also filled with stuffing so every bite had some chicken.
The egg custard tarts were surprisingly good...not as good as Golden Gate ofcourse , but held its' own very nicely. The spongecake was also moist and eggy. I also really liked the preserved egg in a crust with a red bean filling! (never had this before so I can't compare it, but I definitely liked it)
The egg custard pie ...looking very traditional, will have to wait for a future purchase ...but Yimster did ask the baker whether it had cornstarch or some other filler and he assured us that is was just milk cream and eggs!
San Bruno Ave. is beginning to feel like a new Chinatown, and becoming enjoyable to walk down, peering in to the new food establishments..worth a trip to see this evolution..in progress...(new street lights, and palm and japanese maples are newly planted...!)
I stopped by there yesterday around 5pm with my parents on the way back to Salinas. It was my first time back in that neighborhood since the Dim Sum Civil War taste-testing and I was pleased with the many changes. Yes, it is a new Chinatown for San Francisco, as the multiple boba shops attest to.
Two manicure shops are nearby neighbors of Red House and it was funny to see women "duck walking" down the street trying not to mess up their fresh pedis. It wasn't hard to find a parking space even at that hour.
My mom and I went in and she was happy to have a good selection even at that time of day. We snagged the last baked pork bun, chicken buns, chicken pie, sponge cake, and old wife cake (lo pau beng). I'll add my praise for the sponge cake, indeed very good, and do my eyes deceive me or does it seem a little larger than standard issue? The old wife cake is also very good here with flakey pastry that tastes of lard and a tasty, complex filling of nuts and coconut. We also liked the chicken pie (gai pie) a lot, great short crust and not as sweet as Golden Gate's plus more filling.
However, our batch of pork and chicken buns were subpar. We shared one of each for lunch today, reheated in the toaster oven. My mother was shocked at how skimpy the filling was in the chicken bun, and she even asked if mine had any meat in it. Hers was just about all peas, and my half had three little bits of dark meat. The chicken pie is a much better deal. And, the pork bun wasn't much more generous, as you can see by the photo below. My mom felt ripped off for 70¢ on each of these. As she said, the ones from Cafe Bakery are too big for one person, and these had less meat in them than but one from her favorite at 3/$1.30 at TC Pastry on Noriega. She said she didn't feel full after eating half a pork and half a chicken one . . . and she eats like a bird. We also noted that both were quite lopsided with some filling oozing out of one end and a couple mouthfuls of just bread on the other side. I will say that the quality of the bread is good on both, better than Cafe Bakery's.
Inside of the baked pork bun -
We also eyed the custard pie and almost bought one. Mom asked if the apples were fresh in the $5 apple pie, and the clerk was honest to say that it was "manufacturered" apples, so we skipped it.
re: Melanie Wong
I have try two purchase of Pork and Chicken buns and until this evening have found a good amount of pork and chicken mushroom mixture. Tonight I was sad to find a chicken bun like yours with little chicken mostly sauce and mushrooms. My younger son said that he had one pork bun with lot of filling and the next with little. So maybe they do not check close enough.
I have just made a order for my friend of six dozen for her Thanksgiving party. So I will have expole further.
Next week the custard pie.
I hope you get a good batch. I brought a couple dozen of Cafe Bakery's baked pork bao to a New Year's Day party and they were a huge hit.
If you're ever in Daly City, try the 75¢ ones from TC Pastry. For some reason, the two locations (Irving and Daly City) make different sizes of the baked buns. We like both although my mother likes the small ones from Irving St.
(Note: in my earlier post, I mistakenly said TC was on Noriega. It's on Irving St.)
re: Melanie Wong
I will, just as a note I did try them twice before I posted. I alway worry about bad batches. By the way I got a order of Yang Chow Fried Rice to go for dinner last night and it was good. Also on my list for a meal is oztail stew plate rice. San Bruno Ave in San Francisco had a few bakeries and other eating places to expole. For one thing parking is better than Chinatown and the Avenue.