After 15 years of vegetarianism
I'm eating meat again and thrilled at so many dining options. I'd love to get your recommendations on:
* Your favorite (meat) dish
* The Bay Area restaurant/eatery I can find it in.
Here are some dishes I'm looking forward to enjoying again:
coq au vin
biscuits & gravy
chicken pot pie
Suckling Pig app. at Legendary Palace in Oakland.
Fried Chicken Sandwich at Bakesale Betty in Oakland.
Tabla Grande and Cesar on Piedmont in Oakland (that's a whole mess o' prosciutto, chorizo, smoked duck breast, etc.). You can opt for the pequena if there are only two of you.
On the bacon front:
Definitely Fatted Calf bacon at the Berkeley Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Red flannel hash at Rick & Ann's in Berkeley (not a fan of everything there, but beets, potatoes, onions, and bacon are hard to top).
Bacon w/ leeks at Spices! 3 in Oakland.
Sam Gyub Sal Boke-Um (sauteed bacon w/ veg) at Ohgane or Sahn Maru in Oakland. I slightly prefer the Sahn Maru version.
Go to Absinthe for Coq au Vin - it's always on the lunch menu, if not the dinner menu. It's unctuous, savory deliciousness!
I find the meatballs at Emmy's spaghetti shack fairly pedestrian. I can't think of a perfect meatball off the top of my head, but when Delfina has bolognese papardelle (or any other pasta) on the menu, DO eat it!
La Cicca for house cured prosciutto.
Little Star has the best housemade sausage on their thin crust pies. It's very addicting.
Rosamunde for sausages!!! Do try the lamb sausage, it's my very favorite.
I've converted at least one vegetarian with the Al Pastor super burrito at Tacqueria Cancun.
I prefer my own homemade lasagne and chicken pot pie, but under duress I'll eat the chicken pot pie at Ella's for lunch. :-)
The single most amazing bite of meat I have ever had was the Lamb Bacon at 231 Ellsworth (San Mateo). It was a garnish, they just gave me two square inches of it. It was so wonderful, it's all I remember of that meal, but I gave half of one of the two squares to my partner, saying, "You know I really love you by the fact that I'm giving up any of this!"
They say they have it "sometimes" -- they make it there. Sometimes there's a pasta with lamb bacon at lunch -- it was almost too much to take -- I nearly swooned.
Other than that, the now defunct Stars had a great warm duck and ginger salad.....Anyone know if anyone is making that?
Then there's the scallop with wild mushroom and truffle sauce at Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino.... the best dish I have ever had. It's on the menu with sturgeon, the scallop is a special, but both are great.
A16 for braised meats, prosciutto, sausage and pork generally speaking
Fringale for rack of lamb
Slanted Door for "Shaking Beef"
Piperade for the warm sheep's milk cheese and ham terrine (appetizer)
Scala's for gourmet sausage pizza
Escape From New York for fast food sausage pizza
Bushi-Tei for quail (appetizer)
Ton Kaing for potstickers
Zuni for the chicken
Aziza for stews...
re: Robert Lauriston
robert, whiner, ruth:
i guess i'll have to try the potstickers at tk and yw, because there can be surprise hits on any menu, but potstickers are NOT in the same category as "heavy pork dishes", nor cantonese food, nor hakka, fujian, or whatever tk is supposed to be.
potstickers are mostly about dough, and frying/steaming technique.
Actaully... I've never been to the Escape From New York in the Financial District. My only experience with them is the one on Polk and once the one in the Haight...
I know Ton Kiang has its share of detractors... but I'm in the TK camp. Especially when it comes to their potstickers.
Welcome back!! I'm sure your salivary glands have been in overdrive.
Osso bucco - Capp's Corner in San Francisco has a sublime version.
Carnitas - El Taco Zamarano Taqueria on the corner of High/International in Oakland has an awesome carnitas plate with homemade corn tortillas.
re: Paul H
Can't say I am as enthusiastic about the coq au vin. Bacony, true, but not that great, the onions and mushrooms didn't have a lot of flavor. I did order the noodles (for which there is an extra charge). Actually the part of the meal that I still remember is how difficult it was to take advantage of eating the coq au vin with the noodles, given that the coq au van was served in a small ramekin. I guess I spooned some onto the noodles, but I do remember it being a tedious process.
re: Paul H
I agreee with Ruth about Nueske bacon. It is served at 900 Grayson.
Hobbes bacon has always been great. Not as good as Nueske, but my second favorite. Hayes Street Grill at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers has it for breakfast.
Love Zuni chicken ... for less lofty priced chicken (zuni is about $40) ....
Lola's on Solano in Albany. Just my favorite chicken. Everytime I go there it amazes me how good it is
Roli Rosti at various farmers markets including Old Oakland, Marin and Ferry Plaza.
Pork buns - Golden Gate Bakery, SF
Chicken pot pie - Bakesale Betty's, Oakland
Chicken enchiladas - Hacienda Grill, Richond. They have a rosemary chicken version that is so good
Bratwurst / sausage - worth a stop to Dittmar's in Mountain View for the house-made sausages and a meat-o-rama in general. All cold cuts are house made.
The DiBrova Sausage cart at the Friday Old Oakland Farmers Market is good too.
re: Robert Lauriston
I'm surprised to hear Hobbs is hard to find. I always assumed it was all over the place. I don't ordr bacon that often and usually buy it at Hayes Street at FP. I know that Hidden City Cafe in Point Richmond has Hobbs bacon and other meat & sausages.
I just kind of assume that everyone knows that Zuni serve a whole chicken, but good to note that. The other two places are take-home chicken.
Welcome back to omnivorism!
You picked a perfect time: usually I sneer at dining fads, but I'm wholeheartedly behind the house-made salumi trend. I had prosciutto at both Perbacco and La Ciccia in the last couple of weeks -- they were very different, but both delicious!
For bacon, I really like Nueske -- you can get it in various high-end butchers. For a real treat, look for a place that has it by the slab and have them hand-cut some nice, thick slices. Sooooo goooood!
Welcome back to the world of omnivores. I second all of Robert's recs, and also add:
Beef stew, lamb stew - Aziza
Pepperoni and sausage pizza - Picco in Larkspur (Marin county)
Turkey pot pie - 900 Grayson in Berkeley (weekday lunch only)
Lasagne - Dopo in Oakland
Pork Chop - NOPA
Beef hash - Canteen (not always available)
Fatted Calf also carries brochettes when available. Get to know Fatted Calf, they will be your new best friend.
Incanto has unbelievably good pork and lamb (menu changes regularly). Really, all the meat I've had there has been incredible.
Zuni for roast chicken.
Cafe Rouge in Berkeley for steak, lamb, and pork chops.
Pizzaiolo in Oakland for sausage pizza and meatballs.
A16 in SF for meatballs.
Incanto in SF for all kinds of cold cuts.
Get yourself some bacon, sausage, and bratwurst from Fatted Calf to cook at home.
Similar question came up last year: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/308467