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Best Things I Ate Last Month: May 2011 edition

Hamburger at Citizen's Band

Great meat (and not too thick) cooked medium rare, nice bun from Pinkie's, house-made pickles added as a layer under the patty deliver a crunchy, dill punch. Knock out.

Josey Baker walnut levain

Sick. I got two loaves for a party at my house, and served a couple just sliced up, others as a bruchette with homemade ricotta and blistered cherry tomatoes. I thought there would be leftovers to make tartines in the a.m.; I thought wrong.

Abalone with burdock root and salsify dish at Sons & Daughters

I didn't love much else that I tried here, but this was delicious and memorable. The texture of the abalone was lovely, and the castleveltrano olives pinged nicely against the other flavors on the plate.

B-A-N-A-N-A-S waffle at Starstream's Saturday-only waffle fest

A dense waffle with sparkly caramelized turbinado, house-made ganache, "torched" banana and creme fraiche. I look forward to eating this again very soon.

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Sons & Daughters
708 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Starstream
1830 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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  1. Diablita pizza at East End Pizza, Alameda.

    The new Dark Chocolate Caramel with Black Sea Salt bar at Trader Joe's.

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    East End Pizza
    1650 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      That chocolate bar is out of this world, seriously. I had a chocolate bar like it that I got in Paris (that is like, only sold at one chocolate store in Paris and then in Normandy), and have been mourning that bar for a year. This TJ's one isn't quite as good, but it's up there.

      1. re: JasmineG

        Vosges makes a very similar bar -- I'd be interested to do a side-by-side comparison because they are very close (expect the Vosges is three-four times the price (depending on where you buy it) and not widely available). http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/produc...

    2. Just in the baked goods realm: the Kouig Amans (couldn't eat just one) made by Starter Bakery; the asparagus foccaccia, made with salty cheese and a generous sprinking of red pepper flakes at Acme/Ferry Building; Della Fattoria's pan integrale, with a nearly burnt crust from the wood burning oven, a tender interior and just the right amount of salt in it.

      Also been hooked on the pistachio/almond nougat sold at the kiosk across from Out the Door in the Ferry Building.

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      Della Fattoria
      141 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

      Out the Door
      1 Ferry Bldg Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Starter Bakery
      1552 Beach Street, Suite R, Oakland, CA 94608

      2 Replies
      1. re: foodeye

        The asparagus has been exceptionally good this year -- I wonder if the cool, wet spring had an effect?

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Truly, this year's asparagus have been outstanding. Oddly, of late I can only find the super thins sized at our local markets.

      2. Carolina catfish with cornbread purée, field pea & crawfish chowchow, and crispy pig ear at the Sean Brock / Husk special dinner at Plum.

        Classic deep-dish at Little Star.

        German breakfast at Gaumenkitzel.

        Cheese slice at East End Pizza.

        Shrimp rice noodle rolls at Yank Sing.

        Burger at Zuni.

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        Yank Sing Banquet & Catering
        101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105

        Plum
        2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

        Little Star Pizza
        1175 Solano Ave, Albany, CA

        Gaumenkitzel
        2121 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

        East End Pizza
        1650 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

        1. Carolina catfish with cornbread purée, field pea & crawfish chowchow, and crispy pig ear at the Sean Brock / Husk special dinner at Plum.

          Taro buns at Hong Kong Saigon Seafood Harbor in Sunnyvale.

          Spit-fired pork at Cotogna.

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          Cotogna
          490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

          1. The horseradish crisp, trout roe, chive and faux shark fin soup at Benu

            Fried chicken and waffle at Murray Circle

            Chong Qing chicken wings at Dong Bei Mama

            Cured anchovy with egg bruschetta at Barbacco

            Pork Sisig and milkfish sinigang at Tribu Grill

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            Tribu Grill
            235 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066

            Murray Circle
            601 Murray Circle, Sausalito, CA 94965

            Barbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            Benu
            22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

            Dong Bei Mama
            4737 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

            2 Replies
            1. re: DezzerSF

              Can you say more about the chong qing chicken wings?

              1. re: pane

                Perfectly numbing and spicy, chopped wings on the bone. Slightly better than Spices!, way better than the boneless ones at Z&Y.

            2. Lobster Ramen at Ramen Halu
              Shrimp and Pork Belly Tacos from Eat on Monday (food truck)
              Takoyaki and Seafood (Uni, Crab, Ikura, Squid) Bento Box from the Mitsuwa Umaimono Fair

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              Ramen Halu
              375 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

              Mitsuwa
              675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA

              1. Root beer float - my house - Faygo root beer, Haagen-Daz Vanilla ice cream, 4 ice cubes - frosty, sweet goodness.

                Taro soup - Le Petite Cheval - cubes of soft taro is a slightly sweet chicken broth - made by cook for the staff (and me).

                Shortbread cookies - Patisserie Phillipe - lighter than most shortbread plus lots of butter.

                Shrimp and chive dumpling - Good Luck Dim Sum - nice green bite and sweet shrimp

                Multi-layer mousse cake - Sasha formerly of Sweet Adeline's - too rich to keep eating, too good to stop - I had 2 pieces and would have had a third.

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                Good Luck Dim Sum
                736 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                Haagen-Dazs
                472 Sun Valley Mall, Concord, CA 94520

                1. fluffy fresh tofu at Sushi AKA Tombo; also crunchy sea cucumber sashimi in seaweed

                  Lola's Blend coffee beans from Catahoula

                  candied violet ice cream at Mr and Mrs. Miscellaneous; followed closely by Kika's Treats ice cream at Mr and Mrs

                  German-style rye bread, delivered to my friend's house by the baker. katrin.staugaard@gmail.com

                  pork in kim chee soup from Namu (CSA--not sure it's on the menu)

                  lamb sweetbreads at Commonwealth

                  meatball bahn mi at Irving Cafe Too

                  sliced raw kohlrabi from Mariquita farms dipped in Japanese miso dressing

                  and just north of the border: fish and chips with horseradish cole slaw at the Crazy Norwegian in Port Orford, OR.

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                  Catahoula Coffee Co
                  12472 San Pablo Ave, Richmond, CA 94805

                  Namu
                  439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                  Irving Cafe & Deli Too
                  4845 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94112

                  Sushi Aka Tombo
                  1737 Buchanan St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                  Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
                  699 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                  Commonwealth
                  2224 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Windy

                    Thanks for reminding me about the ice cream at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous -- yes, they were delicious!

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                    Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
                    699 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      And I should have mentioned: they were both Ruth's. Thanks for sharing them.

                  2. The lemon quark and white cheddar cheese - Spring Hill Cheese, Petaluma

                    The sourdough cheese roll - Cheese Board, Berkeley

                    Strawberries - Saechao's Family Farm in Fairfield

                    The rum cake - unknown co-worker of my Mom's (oh, so good - I admit I had thirds on this one)

                    This is outside of the region, but I guess I should mention the Rhubarb Lime Cardamom Yogurt I had at Jeni's in Dublin, OH

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                    Spring Hill Cheese
                    4235 Spring Hill Rd, Petaluma, CA 94952

                    1. Five things come to mind this month:

                      multiple flavors from Mr. and Mrs. Miscelaneous especially Pink Squirrel and Candied Violet

                      Moylan's Imperial Stout @ The Public house-I've never tasted such an unusual and complex beer-Ever.

                      The Mac and Cheese in the press dining room of the SF Giants-just like mom used to make (if my mom was a mac and cheese maker) classic cheesey, melty gooey goodness.

                      nd finally two from the home front:

                      Grilled whole salmon bought from the Pillar Point docks

                      26 finally fresh caught abalone from the waters around Sea Ranch, dusted in seasoned flour, sauteed and then dressed with a squeeze of lemon. god bless my hunting, fishing, diving BIL.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: artychokeasana

                        Is that #26 on your list or 26 abalone, possibly over limit.

                        1. re: wolfe

                          yikes! definitely would be over the limit-it's a typo of unknown origin.

                      2. Sandwiches

                        Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Carrot Slaw w/ Cumin on a La Farine baguette from Southie

                        Porchetta from the Porky cart (Plum)

                        Non-sandwiches

                        Szechuan beef tendon from China Village

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                        La Farine
                        6323 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                        Southie
                        6311 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: 10foot5

                          Speaking of sandwiches, the fried fish sandwich that I had at Wood Tavern in May definitely goes on my list. The Wood Tavern/Southie crew sure know how to make great sandwiches.

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                          Wood Tavern
                          6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                        2. The yeasty, perfect crusted Acme bread at Osteria Coppa. The best part of a really good meal!

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                          Osteria Coppa
                          139 S. B Street, San Mateo, CA 94401