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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, 2008


go to next week's blogs


  Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The fog was so thick this morning that I was worried flights would be delayed, so we took off for the airport with time to spare.

The interior decorator of the Oakland Airport has finally abandoned the charred fuselage look:

... (which many of us found outré and disturbing.)

Now they have to work on getting some culinary “there” there.

Since I got on an earlier flight, I had some time to kill at LAX:

I checked out how others handled their time surplus:

... before taking a walk around the death star:

... while keeping my eyes peeled for breakfast options. CPK, Boudin and Daily Grill are off my rotation so I decided to visit the culinary equivalent of a crack house - McDonalds.

In last week’s Bunrab email, Steve pointed us to a NYT article which explained why eating a Starbucks egg and sausage sandwich is so similar to getting out of a trap in Saw 2 (they cook their eggs two days prior to serving in two kitchens somewhere in the U.S.)

I had never had a McDonalds sausage egg McMuffin before, but I knew two things:1) it would probably be on par with most of the chow available in the airport and 2) I would like it more than a balut.

Even though I like my eggs less cooked and my bread toasted, this sausage and egg in an English muffin ($2.49):

... was saltier (in a good way) with a less rubberized, less muddy flavor than it’s café counterpart. Carrying along the disadvantage of the plastic, orange chemical-cheese square, this low-brow version was less palate spackling than its most-sincere-form-of-reheated corporate copy cat food product. I think that it would take an act of poor meal planning to get me to eat another of these again, especially if they expand their menu to include Balut McMuffins.

It was an interesting taste-off, but a steady diet of impersonal, assembly line food has a dehumanizing effect - that’s what is so sinister about Starbucks –they allow you to customize your kool aid.




  Monday, January 14, 2008

Bunrab reader, Gregory, sent in a tip about the Maritime East burger made with Creekstone natural beef, Neuske bacon, white cheddar and crowned with onion rings. His description was so enticing that it merited the time to head east to check out the goods.

This cheeseburger ($10.75):

... did not disappoint. One could argue that the inclusion of strips of bacon and crispy onion rings are the equivalent of injecting steroids into an athlete – an unfair edge, but those who would say this would not be enjoying a delicious home run of a meat mit with a smoky and well seasoned richness and balance The Acme bun got a little juice logged, but bacon is the passport to forgiveness and onion rings are the visa to take up residence. This dish came with herbed Kennebec fries that were good, but next time we will go with Gregory’s suggestion to sub them out with some of those o-rings. Check out where this meaty delight placed on Chubby's Burger Holy Grail.

French fried east coast Pollock ($16.00):

... is their version of fish and chips. In this haystack of Kennebec fries nests chunks of battered fish that are respectfully cooked with a perfectly moist flesh that did not require the fennel tartar sauce. Paper thin slices of battered lemon and nori added tang and crunch. Italian parsley leaves also got a moment in the deep fryer. Malt vinegar and pickled onions were on hand to give a kick to any oil palate fatigue.

The décor has been made aquatic since they took over from Zax Tavern. They have maintained the wood and marble accents from when it was Mazzini’s Trattoria, but sand, bubbles:

... and scales get you in a seafood and eat it mood. The staff is friendly and efficient and we will definitely come back to try some of their other fish based menu items (although it may be difficult to order anything but this burger.)

Maritime East Restaurant
2826 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, CA



  Sunday, January 13, 2008

M dubbed these Reggiano stuffed, bacon wrapped, Medjool dates “cholesterol bombs”:

... but cholesterol is so 80’s, the bomb du jour is glycemic index, but since ADD is still in, we will make sure not to pay attention to either and eat our hot, salty, sweet, crisp-soft umami bellied, pig-blanketed simple starters while we chatted with our longtime and new neighbors over braised fennel, oxtails:

... and pasta malfatti:

A good way to spend a Sunday.




  Saturday, January 12, 2008

San Francisco has fiberglass hearts adorning their public spaces but the city budget of San Anselmo could only afford the unprocessed version for their outdoor artworks.

Bags of sand created little bunkers in this amphibious town on a day that was nice enough to leave the coat at home.

We have had hit and miss meals at Bubba’s:

... but today’s breakfast was the best we’ve had there in a while. We both got "Nick’s Picks" ($8.95.) Chubby chose over easy eggs with his Rorschach test shaped sausage and a biscuit:

I went with soft scrambled eggs, extra crispy bacon and wheat toast:

We loved the home fries that had lots of crispy bits. Every bite had a crunchy shell with a soft, salty, potato belly. If you ask for three eggs it’s the same price as two (I don’t have to tell you what we do when we find ourselves confronted with this choice.) This solid diner chow made with good ingredients keeps us coming back. There are items that don’t wow us, but when we stick to the basics, we’re never sorry.

Bubba’s Diner
566 San Anselmo Ave.
San Anselmo, CA



  Friday, January 11, 2008

We dropped by Hidden City Café:

... for a quick lunch of their pot roast sandwich ($10.50):

... on toasted rye bread with horseradish sauce and onions as well as some carnitas tacos ($9.95):

... with nice charred bits of pork, black beans, Jack cheese, tomatillo salsa, chipoltle crème and salsa fresca.

These dishes aren’t meant to be fancy, they are flavorful combos served in a friendly setting.

Hidden City Café
109 Park Place
Richmond, CA


-----Menu for Hope winners!!!-----Menu for Hope winners!!!-----

Congratulations to Susan Tenney and Alexis Morris, who are both winners of the Menu for Hope event that raised over $91K this year. Susan won her choice of 3 Ten Speed Press cookbooks and Alexis won a Boccalone Boar Sacchetto.

Thanks to Boccalone and Ten Speed Press for supporting the UN World Food Programme and to all the participants who kicked in for this raffle spearheaded by Pim.





Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Pacific Film Archive held their 2008 Season Launch Party in a gorgeous Maybeck house in Berkeley. It was difficult for them to get to the presentation portion of the evening since everyone was hovering around the hors d’oevures.

Unlike other Maybeck homes, there is no gigantor fireplace because this structure was designed specifically for musical activity. The Cory Wright Ensemble:

... presided over the marriage of acoustics and style in this old school wooden chapel-esque building.

In this jazzy spirit, the PFA has a program called “Cool World: Jazz and the Movies” which includes pictures with Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck and Gene Krupa.

There will also be a series of recent experimental documentaries, an African Film Festival and a Truffaut series introed by his daughter, Berkeley resident, Laura Truffaut.

The PFA will also be projecting:

... restored and newly struck prints of classic and cult films including a Bunrab fave, Eraserhead…if they caterers had only thought to serve little chickens that bled profusely the evening would have been complete.





Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Special Notice:

The Golden Globes aren’t the only awards that have gone all pear-shaped. The Menu for Hope winners will not be announced today (as previously scheduled) so hold on until Friday when the cyber envelopes will be opened. M4H raised over 90k this year thanks to generous blog readers, and sponsors including Ten Speed Press and Boccalone.

now back to our regularly scheduled program:

The guy at the tire repair place explained his crowded shop by telling us that tires are 65% more likely to get a flat during the rains. We left our punctured ride and walked over to Umi:

... to inflate our spare tires with a sashimi “bento” ($15.00):

... which arrived sans box. Chunks of hamachi, maguro, sake, ebi, saba, and tako came with a bowl of miso soup, rice and some pickled vegetables. The udon ($9.50):

... had shrimp tempura island floating over a dashi broth and housemade noodles in this homey and warming bowl.

This modest family run eatery is a neighborhood stop whose hospitality never runs flat.

Umi Sushi & Grill
819 4th St.
San Rafael, CA




back to last week - January 1-8, 2008



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