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Jun 17, 2007 10:55 AM

Happy Deli And Bakery

So I just read a review for Happy Bakery And Deli on Ocean Ave. I was wondering, has anyone been there and where exactly is is located? There were no reviews on Yelp. Apparently they have a yummy soy sauce chicken. Anyone?

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  1. in the chronicle pink section, it said 1548 ocean ave

    1. Here's my post from 2003 on it for more ideas of what's good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Thank you....I must have been delirious because I got the name of the place mixed up! I'll give it a try.

      2. A couple weeks ago I picked up a roast duck from Happy Bakery after not shopping there for a long time. Still superlative, if a bit on the fatty side this time. Wish it were possible to get more of the duck juice though. Also got a half pound of the salt blanched chicken feet, the best around.

        Happy Bakery
        1548 Ocean Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112

        6 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Their soy sauce chicken is also excellent and at $5, their generous soy sauce chicken or roast duck rice plates are real bargains ($6 for a combo chicken/duck plate.) Make sure that you get lots of the ginger/green onion "relish" that they offer with the dish -- it really makes the flavors sing..

          1. re: Nancy Berry

            The soy sauce chicken here is my favorite in the City, though I've not had it for a couple years. But since the other two items taste just the same as before, I assume nothing has changed. Yes, the condiment is essential . . . I think Ruth Lafler calls it Chinese chimichurri!

            1. re: Nancy Berry

              Was back there today to pick up a soy sauce chicken for my mom ($3 per pound). And, grabbed a quick sit-down lunch for me, roast duck lo mein, $5. Gawd it's great to have the roast duck on the spot when you can enjoy the ephemeral crispiness of a freshly roasted duck drizzled with a bit of juice. Good texture to the firm egg noodles and a couple pieces of choi sum on the side.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Do you think the chicken would travel well? Meaning, is it ok for take out with out getting mushy on the 10 minute drive home or is it better eaten there? Also, can you recommend some dishes to get on the side. Thanks!

                1. re: tigersmom

                  Soy sauce chicken is poached, so it travels well with no real loss in quality even keeping it a couple days in the fridge at home. Unlike most customers, I take the birds whole and don't ask them to chop 'em. Or actually, I ask them to cut the chicken in half, lengthwise, as that's the hardest cut to make and then do the rest at home (carve the meat off the bones and then make soup with the carcass). For ducks, I don't even do that and the skin keeps its texture better transported in whole until we get it home. I don't have an experience with the other cooking here, not that much else for sale.

          2. Offline, a chowpal said that she had a mental image of me watching the Beijing Olympics for hours on end, surrounded by carton after carton of Chinese take-out, and typing Chinese food posts on my laptop as I munch. Not quite, only one carton at hand of salt poached chicken feet from Happy Bakery. I had remembered Margret's post about these being a good salty snack in front of the TV, and I have to agree. I also picked up half a soy sauce chicken to recalibrate, and yes, it's still my favorite purveyor for this too. This time I let them chop it for me, and the counter guy does such a good job, I'll let him again. Sold by weight, the half chicken was $5.25.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I'm glad to hear that you're still enjoying them chicken feet, Melanie! It's a mistake to take the whole box with you in front of the TV since you won't stop until they're gone and then your lips would be permanently "salt-preserved" and numb. LOL

              Anyway, you might also try their poached duck wings and gizzards for a change. For the soy sauce chicken, please note that they have the regular chicken and ones using the free ranch chickens (Yellow feather or Wong Mo chicken). I like the meatiness of the regular chickens so be sure to specify when you order...some people like the chewiness of the Wong Mo variety.

              1. re: margret

                Hey margret, long time no see! Hope you're chowing well these days. . . do tell.

                Thanks again for the chicken feet tip, and yes, after about three pieces my joints swell up and my mouth is totally parched. They are delicious though.

                I'm not a big one for duck wings, bad ratio of eating effort to return in my book, but the gizzards sound good. I think the wong mo gai has better flavor, but are sometimes too chewy. I'm liking the other heritage breeds of Chinese chickens that we're now seeing in the market (but not at Happy) that are equally tasty but not as sinewy. The wong mo gai is available plain salt poached or in a paler version of soy sauce chicken, gui fei ji, aka empress chicken or concubine chicken. Still haven't tried it here yet.

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