Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flour + Water, Mission

We had another early bird dinner, this time at Flour + Water. I'm not really sure how to get around having an early bird dinner there, because both times we have been there we've booked a table online and the only reservations have been three months out and at 5:30.  That's fine with me though because then it gives us plenty of time to get to BINGO. 
I'm not sure that the menu was designed to be shared as small plates, but it easily lends itself to that. There were four of us which meant we got to try lots of different things.  

That's the wood oven roasted heirloom beans with chili and parmesan and also the lemon thyme tagliatelle with braised chicken, citrus and pistachio. We all thought that the tagliatelle tasted kind of like really good chicken noodle soup pasta. I realize that the chef would probably not like to hear that, but we really meant it in a good way. Both of these dishes were great, and I especially liked the crunchy bits on the beans.
We ordered two pizzas - the top photo below is the mushroom pizza (way fancier name but I can't remember) with arugula added on, and the photo below that is a prosciutto pizza with more arugula and some chili. We like arugula.

Both pizzas were really good - though I don't think they are my favorite of all the artisan pizzas in the area (Pizzeria Delfina would be high on my list for favorites).

If you have dinner at Flour + Water, then you must also have dessert. And if you are going to have dessert, then you have to have the chocolate budino, which is incredible. A little pot of amazing chocolate, topped with sea salt and espresso-caramel cream. We also tried the blood orange & polenta upside down cake with clove cream. It tastes much better than it sounds - though not as good as the chocolate budino. Maybe we should have added arugula.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Delarosa, Marina

I think there should be a term for a meal between lunch and dinner - the evening version of brunch - because lately we've been into eating dinner way too early for people our age.  We stopped into Delarosa at around 4:30 and pretty much had the place to ourselves, which was a-ok by us. 

Delarosa is owned by the same people that own Beretta, though that is not something you'd know by the look of the place. It's kind of like if Beretta had an identity crisis and went from being the gothy kid with the raven tattoo to the preppy cheerleader. 

All of the seating is communal, which I'm not sure how I would feel about if we were there when it was crowded. At 4:30 though - no problem.  

That's the salty dog above - vodka, elderflower, grapefruit juice, salt - which was very refreshing. I love drinks with fresh citrus. The salad was incredibly simple but amazingly tasty - just arugula, fennel and shaved parmesan. 

We also ordered the margherita pizza with burrata and added on some prosciutto.  It really worked well together - the sweetness of the sauce + the saltiness of the prosciutto + the creaminess of the burrata. I thought that the crust wasn't quite as good as at some of the other artisan pizza places. Kev disagreed. We ate the whole pizza.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tartine, Mission

Remember when I said I prefer Tartine's bread, quiche and tarts to their cakes? Today we bought all three. I didn't take a picture of the bread because there is already this post.  The quiche and lemon tart are our other favorite things to buy there. The quiche is so light and fluffy - this time we bought the ham version, but the veggie quiche is just as good. They reheat really well too - it's a good thing to have in the fridge when you get home from work and are in no mood to make dinner (which for me is every night).  The lemon cream tart tastes as good as it looks and is well worth the wait in line.

Beretta, Mission

I love having brunch at Beretta. I also love having dinner at Beretta, but for dinner there is usually a long wait to get in (though you can call ahead and put your name on the list, which is very convenient if you live just a few blocks away.)

Saturday was an amazingly bright, beautiful day. We walked over to Beretta, past the giant congregation of hipsters waiting to be seated at Boogaloos, and immediately got a table. When we walked in the bartender was juicing tons of oranges and grapefruit and bottling them up - for breakfast juice but I'd also guess for cocktails later on. Their cocktails are amazing. Too bad it was 10 AM, a little too early for me.

Anyway, who needs a cocktail when you can have a Bloody Mary, minus the alcohol and minus ice, which is the only way I like it, even though I get embarrassed every time I order it. Beretta also serves Ritual Coffee, brought to your table in the french press pot. It is very strange, but I always like Ritual Coffee better at Beretta than I do at the Ritual cafe.  This time I remembered to write down the name of the beans - Moreno Honduras.

We ordered the pizza carbonara, which I absolutely love.  I have to admit, when I first saw it on the menu - pizza with pancetta, eggs and mozzarella - I wasn't sold. Luckily the friends I was there with were more adventurous and ordered it, and now this is always what I order there. Kev and I shared the pizza and had extra slices to take home.  We both left full - of food and drinks - and spent only $25 for the two of us. Then we walked home - and there was still a line at Boogaloos.  I don't understand.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Let's Be Frank, Crissy Field

Only in San Francisco can you find a hot dog cart that sells hot dogs made from cattle "raised on pasture in California"and that contain organic spices and Omega 3 fatty acids.  This cute little cart sits just outside the Warming Hut at Crissy Field. They have a few different varieties to choose from - uncured beef, pork bratwurst, spicy italian sausage and uncured turkey dog - and though it isn't the best hot dog (or tofu dog for that matter) that I've ever had - it really hits the spot on a nice day when you're wandering around Crissy Field.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday Night Dinner: Tortilla Soup + Coconut Cupcakes

Four years ago we had friends over for Oscar night and I made tortilla soup.  Because I love traditions, we've been doing it every year since then. Yesterday afternoon I made a big batch, and also some coconut cupcakes, and we had ourselves a little party. 

I think my favorite part is all the toppings you can have with the soup, that also go perfectly with tortilla chips and quesadillas. We held back on making the quesadillas this year, since we were all too full from the soup.  No pictures of the soup itself - I forgot to take any! I was too excited to eat it.

I'm pretty sure that coconut cupcakes don't actually go with tortilla soup, but I had been wanting to try these ones for awhile, and really, anything goes with cupcakes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pizzaiolo, Oakland

Pizzaiolo has been on my list of places to try. I really want to try their pizza, as it keeps getting named as one of the best pizzas in the Bay Area. Instead, I went there for breakfast. The breakfast there is an interesting idea.  They have a bunch of different pastries - croissants, doughnuts, turnovers - and maybe a frittata, as well as thick, toasted slices of Acme Bread with jam. Once the  (limited) food runs out - that's it. So if you are patiently waiting in line for the meyer lemon and custard turnover, and see that there are only 2 left, and there are 3 people in line ahead of you, you probably will have to choose something else.  We chose the pumpkin spice doughnut, which was nice and not too sweet and not too pumpkin-y - both things I appreciate. 

This is the kind of place you go to if you want something small to eat, maybe a coffee, and you don't want to deal with how hectic most of the other breakfast places in the area are. And if you're still hungry after (because you didn't get to eat that lemon turnover) you can always go a couple of store fronts down and pick something up from Bakesale Betty.  

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Plant Cafe, Embarcadero

The Plant Cafe is becoming one of my go-to spots for a good, inexpensive dinner. I'll have to go back soon just so I can write a post on their amazing veggie burger, which is like no other veggie burger I've ever seen (or tasted).  This past weekend I brought my parents there for breakfast. We sat "outside" (in quotes because it was tented since it wasn't THAT warm) and had a good view of the water and the Bay Bridge.  

We got some coffee (Blue Bottle, served in the french press at the table) and I had the egg scramble (wild mushrooms, chives and pecorino) with country potatoes. It was good - but not as good as their lunch/dinner menu. My mom had the brioche french toast, which also was good, but not great. My dad - well I didn't get my love of food from my dad. His idea of a great breakfast is a completely charred bagel and potatoes. So he was pretty happy with his meal - though they could have burnt his bagel even more for greater satisfaction.

One thing to keep in mind if you're eating here: Go to the bathroom before you arrive, because there is no bathroom inside! If you need the toilet, you'll need to "walk down the Embarcadero, and you'll find it by the ATM machine".
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