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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

the BUNRAB blog spot

Do you need to answer back? You can send me comments if you want to.

If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.



January 9-15 , 2007


go to next week's blogs



Monday, January 15, 2007

As we  left India Village
restaurant last week, we spotted Apadana:

...in the same odd little strip mall. Today we decided to see what was up with this Persian eatery.

The dining room was almost empty when we were seated for our late lunch.

We sat down to the Persian solution the bread basket. Lavosh squares with pats of unsalted butter, feta, mild white onion, walnuts, mint, basil and cilantro:

...made up these roll-your-own, nutty, herbal cigars.

We split the tah dig ($6.50):

I’ve always had a soft spot for this crispy rice layer dish. It is topped off with a couple scoops of stew. The dried lime and herbal flavors of the liquid were absorbed into the grainy sheet which encourages the diner to enjoy this dish quickly before the crispiness turns to mushiness.

The fesanjoon ($14.95):

...had a perky pomegranate flavor against the ground walnuts. It almost made up for the chicken being slightly overcooked, but even this thick and tasty sauce couldn’t rehydrate the dry white meat.

Chubby got the lamb kabob ($14.95):

...which was tender and juicy. The onions were nicely singed and the meat was cooked a little beyond the requested medium rare, but it was still deliciously flavorful alongside the roasted tomato which assumed a slumped over posture from its cooking to make it look like it lost in a deadly nightshade fight. We agreed that this was a tasty spear o’ chow.

The large television screens were off but there was some modern Persian tunes playing that set a different tone than the food.


Apadana Restaurant
555 E. Francisco Blvd.
San Rafael, CA

From today’s bunrab email, Sam writes about our mitey taste test:


It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that Marmite champed its Ozzie chum.

Missed you at the Ferry building again. Although Primavera is my favourite eaterie too, some of us food bloggers can never resist the lure of a glass of bubbles for breakfast inside at FPWM instead.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Sam,

Ah, those bubbles do lure. Next time we will have to coordinate our timing so we can raise a glass with you.

A big cyber-toast goes to you for hosting the Menu for Hope West Coast edition of the worldwide effort that Pim has created. $60,925.12 was raised for the UN World Food Programme.

Catherine was the winner of the cookbooks. A big thanks to 10 Speed Press for supporting this worthy cause.

Marmite rocks,






Sunday, January 14, 2007

A typical day
in the Bunrab hutch starts with Marmite on buttered toast:

...washed down with strong, black, coffee.

Yeast extracts are a popular bread enhancement device. There’s Marmite, Vegemite and Promite. I don’t have any Promite in my pantry (as I am an amateurmite) but I did side by side the Marm and Vege mites for breakfast today.

Cosmetically, the Marmite has a glossiness that wrestled its Aussie cousin to the matte. It also delivers more of a wind up punch with a bit more sweetness to round out its sodium delivery. They are both good contenders, but for me, Marmite is the champ.

When I talk to people about my toasty spread, I get the wrinkled nose treatment. I think it’s a misunderstanding of how to use it. It says right on the container to spread it thinly. You can't glop it on like it's peanut butter. I mean, salt is great, but you don’t shovel it into your piehole by the tablespoon right?

If you want to extract more yeasty info about this beer byproduct, check out what fellow food blogger Sam has to say on the subject.








Saturday, January 13, 2007

The cold temperatures thinned the usual Saturday San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers’ Market:

...to a manageable size. We collected our Fatted Calf, Acme, fruit and veggie purchases in record time, but there was a queue at the Primavera stand for breakfast. 

Chubby got his usual chilaquiles ($9.00):

...which are always a good bet. The organic scrambled eggs, refried black beans and tortilla chips shrouded in sour cream, cotija cheese and slices of avocado delivered the goods.

I got the Oaxacan Tlycoyos ($9.00):

...which I saw being griddled as I waited in line:

These flattened black bean filled masa footballs had a crisp corny exterior yielding to its beany belly. Queso fresco, onion and bits of chorizo were wed with salsa and capped off with some radish coins to make for a touchdown of a breakfast. I tried to eat it with a fork, but it worked better as a hand held meal. 

There are plenty of good things to eat at the Ferry Building, but I have a soft spot for the Primavera stand.


San Francisco Ferry Building
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA







Friday, January 12, 2007

Steve Jobs gave some iPhone love to Sushi Ran during his MacWorld keynote speech so I was pleasantly surprised that it was easy to slip in for dinner.

The one thing that I absolutely hate about coming here in the winter is the cold trek to the bathroom so I made sure that I did not arrive (or become) bilious with fluids.

Chubby got a sushi omakase ($28.00):

... and I got the sashimi omakase ($29.00):

Both were made from pristine sea-chicken including monkfish liver, barracuda, Spanish mackerel, snapper, eel, salmon roe and tuna belly. Our bellies weren’t feeling fatty enough so I asked for a 49er roll but they changed the menu and it’s now the salmon citrus roll ($15.00) which is actually better due to the micron-thin slices of lime (rather than the lemon) on this cucumber and avocado filled, fish wrapped cylinder.

You can’t use the usual ethnicity of patrons rule in judging this Japanese restaurant. The rainbow roll ($16.00) is the closest you will get to a colorful diversity.


Sushi Ran
107 Caledonia St.
Sausalito, CA






Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yankee Pier’s sandwich special ($11.95) started off with a cup of their chowder:

The dill biscuit island floating in the middle was a nice contrast to the creamy ocean of clams and spuds.

The snapper was cooked snappily to a nice moist texture:

Red onions and an apply-it-yourself tartar sauce with the toasted bread made for a tasty lunch. The coleslaw was too sweet for my taste, but the cabbage and carrots were crisp in this over-mayoed, skippable side. But who needs greens when there are chips? Especially hot, crisp, coaster sized ones that are perfectly salted.

Chubby stuck with his usual burger which he liked fine although the bun got a little more juice logged than in previous visits and he forgot to order his fries extra crispy.

The absentee waitress left us with empty plates and no check for an eternity but the bussers were seriously on the ball, observant and friendly.  I guess they gave into pier-pressure.

Yankee Pier
286 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA

From today’s bunrab email, Bruce L. writes:


It seems that many people in and around SF don't think highly of chain restaurants. I'm curious if you could list a few in the area you think well of.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Bruce,

How appropriate that we happen to be writing about a chain restaurant today.

The chains that I like include Naan 'n' Curry, In N Out, Turtle Tower and Bouchon, but I think that business people are getting crafty and thinking beyond the traditional chain. For example, the Real Restaurants group includes Bix, Caffe Museo and Tra Vigne. Although they are managed through Real Restaurants, these places are run individually but subscribe to similar business practices and food philosophies. For example, you will find bread from Pan-O-Rama (another Real Restaurant business) in all of their baskets.

Some of RR places I like (Picco for instance) and others I can easily live without.

This company seems more tuned in to the localized sensibility (unlike places like the Cheesecake Factory that are standardized, with their only local, sustainable product being the adverts inside of their menus – yikes!)








Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I really like the new arrangement with SFO’s long term parking. You swipe your credit card as you go in and out – no little tickets to keep track of. For twelve bucks a day it’s a pretty good deal. Especially since the airline we flew checks your bags in the parking lot. For an extra fiver it’s worth saving the hauling.

We were in the mood for a cheap and cheerful lunch and headed to auto row to fill our tanks.

India Village has operated in San Rafael for 19 years but wasn’t on our radar due to its odd location.

Tucked away in a strip mall behind a carpet discount store, karate dojo and a Curves, this is a student friendly lunch spot with a $6.95 price tag.

I was a little wary when I first scanned the copper pots:

... and saw a couple items that suffered from heat fatigue, but  the chicken was moist and tender and the idly had a nice sour tang.

Fresh made naan:

... arrived at our table as we sat down with our full plates:

It had a nice crisp base with doughy edges that went well with the veggie masala and spicy turnips.

It's not destination dining. It’s more of a place you whip by for a quick and inexpensive midday meal in friendly and festive surroundings. 

There are fewer buffet items than some of their fourth street counterparts, but their prices reflect this.  

For dinner, they have the usual suspects including a variety of vegetarian curries all priced under ten bucks.

The people who work here are very nice and the lunchtime clientele included those who appreciate Indian cookery with a favorable calorie to dollar ratio.

I’m not sure that I will whip back anytime soon, but it’s good to know of an auto row eatery without the sticker shock. 


India Village Restaurant
555 East Francisco Blvd.
San Rafael, CA


From today’s bunrab email, fellow food blogger, Sean writes about Palm Springs after dark:


I was going to say that PS's nightlife options might have been more vibrant if you were gay (or at least willing to hit up the gay bars). However, I don't recall Tuesdays in January being especially hoppin'. And surely the food options therein are not superior.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Sean,

We did check out the gay establishments across the street from Bearwear but, as you mentioned, our timing may not have been optimal (everyone was sitting down looking very calm with no interesting food in view.) Next time we’ll do our research first.







Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Pork Roulette

Palm Springs has a pretty tame night life. We were hungry for a late night snack and the only place that we found open was a casino. 

Instead of a coat check, they should have a brain check when you enter these establishments. I don’t know what I was thinking when I ordered Chinese food here. I guess everyone who enters knows that they are going to gamble. Sadly, I gambled and lost.

The sui mai:

... and shrimp dumplings:

... didn’t actually kill me, (but I did have to use one of those dice rakes to push them down my gullet) and as much as I am against waste, I couldn’t gag down this pork:

Las Vegas had me thinking that good food and gaming go hand in hand, but in Palm Springs it’s a roll of the dice and you crap out. 


Spa Resort Casino
401 E Amado Road
Palm Springs, CA






back to last week - January 1-8, 2007



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