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.
No Chicken, no cry:
Shalimar was busy today:
I got my Chicken Karahi pronounced “cry” ($6.95): and naan ($1.00.):
They don't look like much, but the chicken cooked with tomato and spices was delicious with the sauce absorbing naan. It's a good idea to phone ahead for takeaway because they cook everything to order. I think their best dish remains their brain masala, but that's a no brainer.
It was also bring your carnitas to work day:
is miles better than bring your child to work day.) Who ever
thought it was a good idea to build the day around bringing your children
to work? What if you are a pole dancer or human cannonball? Sounds like
an inappropriate concept. Anyway, these meaty treats were much better
than having to surrender your swivel chair to a sticky fingered tyke.
KP, who knows his way around pork, spent two days making this carne neat.
Halloween has officially arrived. Cyclone fenced pumpkin patches line the freeways and the perennial holiday stores have opened:
They are like a Kmart hit squad. Cheap, Targeted and gone in an instant. Who decides on these mass produced, impulse purchase items? Obviously everyone wants to be a rabbit:
... but there are those who use their day of amnesty from good taste to dress as a toilet, baby or make some ham-handed innuendo:
“the theme thing has officially crossed the line" (A meme)
I am of course talking about eating out of toilets. I don't think that this theme restaurant is going to catch on like the ones that make you eat in the dark or raise your hand to go to the bathroom or get chained to the bar. I used to see flyers South of Market for Bondage-a-go-go advertising, "women chained to the bar before 7 drink free." I guess that makes up for earning a quarter less (for every dollar) an hour than men. Let's see, if you normally spend $20 a night on drinks, times 365 drinking days a year, working a 40 hour week, you are actually leaving the men in the dust by $6780 annually with this chained-to-the-bar-deal. Lucky.
I was checking out Joy's site and saw that we were listed on her people/rabbits tagged on our first ever meme. Chubby is still hopping around saying, “Joy loves me, she really loves me.” Whatever.
A meme is a unit of cultural transmission that replicates and mutates. In this particular meme, you take the fifth line of your 23rd blog posting and post it in your blog, tag 5 others to do the same and voila, you have made your me-me a you-you for those lucky five.
I am tagging Dr. B at Meathenge cause he always has something meaty going on.
In Praise of Sardines who also has praise for bunrabs, so we like him.
David Leibowitz a former bay area pastry chef, now in Paris.
Chez Pim who made fabulous chicken satay at the blogger bbq.
The Amateur Gourmet who always has something fun to say.
Lunch was dull looking, yet good sandwiches from Klein's deli. They name them after notable women (that I hope earned on par with their male counterparts.) The Ferraro ($6.50):
... is a sourdough roll filled with salami, roast beef, provolone and pepperocini. The McGinn ($6.25):
...is a sweet baguette
with turkey, provolone and pesto.
These pretty purple Chinese eggplants were sautéed with bean sauce, red bell peppers and basil. This Pad Ma-kuer ($6.25):
...was good but needed a splash of hot chili sauce (which sits among the condiments on the table) to round it out. This long, shiny, dark vegetable is a far cry from it's off white ancestor that actually looks like an egg (hence the name.)
I like non plant eggs alot too. Whenever I separate egg whites I take out that little twisted cord that anchors the yolk to the center of the egg. It's called a chalazae. It reminds me of those things that fall out of the sky during that babydoll dancing scene in Eraserhead. I guess that's why I don't gobble them down…
The wood burning pizza oven made it too hot to sit inside, so I took my Cannondale Pizza ($12.50):
...to one of the freshly
vacated sidewalk tables and dug into my thin-crusted dinner.
The middle was made a little wet by the juiciness of the ripe and tasty
cherry tomatoes, the thinly sliced salami was nicely peppery and the onions
and mozzarella came together to make up for the fact that they had not
added the promised basil to my pie. Oh well, it was still good.
Dinner is the most important meal of the day:
The Ciabatta roll
was filled with a bland, overcooked scrambled egg, sliced
generic ham and cheese.
His had the
benefit of Dijon to pep up the shredded radicchio, and tomato.
This would have improved with the addition more tomato slices, but it
was still just “eh.”
... that talks and vibrates when your order is ready for you to collect. It also doubles as a faux taser or remote while you pass the time waiting for them to overcook your eggs.
get a dinner invitation from K & T I know that I’m
in for excellent company and food. K is a modern day Indiana Jones and
goes to exotic places to excavate not only antiquities, but unearths the
best in local cuisine as well.
Verdolagas is called “purslane” here in the bay area and K buys it at the Berkeley Farmers Market. It’s like mini, thin, tasty cactus leaves – quite delicious. I have never cooked with them myself, but K has also paired them with fresh sliced tomatoes last time I was over and I was knocked out by that combo too.
Socks and tear gas:
I think he’s
Check out what Alex
considers good gifts. I can finally take socks and tear gas off
my Amazon wish list and head straight to Alex’s.
Make a run for the bakery:
My torta Mexicana
“the Missioner’s favorite” ($5):
...looked so promising. Tasty Carne Asada with crema, good quality guac, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, how could it be anything but sublime? Sadly, the bread on which they built this meat house was unsound. The somewhat over-the-hill roll's structure came unbolted to the foundation resulting in a messy sidewalk:
I’d never had
them this style before (you know, the way they do the
burgers with cheese and the sauce baked in - off their secret menu.) It
works for the burgers, but not the fries. I’m not just talking about
their regurgitated appearance, they don't taste any better than they look.
You know, it’s just a bad idea. Trust me.
Papa Seahorse writes:
I was walking down Larkin Street and came across these cool posters.
Very bunrab friendly. I wonder if this is a herald of good things to come in this little storefront..
That way, the
meat only cooks in the hot broth for an instant before you slurp
it up with the rice noodles and broth. Very delicious.
The guy that hangs out in front of this tree:
told me that it fell over during a storm and the lady that owns the incense store down the street did this carving after fending off the City's tree removal thugs. It's too hippy for me, but I like the idea of it.
I prefer the name of this restaurant to yesterday's although I'm not sure what the monkey reference is about (not that it needs to be about anything I guess…) When you name your restaurant something unusual, you are then sentenced to an eternity of parroting the same answer to the same question, over and over and over. It's better to name your restaurant “Chicken and Waffles” or “Meaty burgers” than “Thai Stick 4.0”
Grilled Pork with Mango Salad and Sticky Rice ($10.95.):
Flavorful slices of tender piggy rested on their cushion of shredded cabbage. The mango salad and sweet/sour dipping sauce made for a nice counterpoint and the steamy sticky rice did it's job of soaking up all the juices. This dish could have used a bit of a caliente kick. Maybe I'll ask them to turn up the heat next time.
and the Monkey
I have been weary about trying Thai Stick 4.0 but took the plunge today and had Pad Thai with prawns and broccoli ($8.95.):
The rice noodles in tamarind sauce , tofu, ground peanuts and nice crispy sprouts combined to make a normal, garden variety Pad Thai (if you have a magical garden that grows thai entrees.)
What perplexes me about Thai Stick 4.0 is it's name. Is it a software version of a high quality depressant? Can I upgrade my Pad Thai to the next version if it has too many bugs or crashes?
I've noticed that Asian restaurants in the Tenderloin that have televisions put them on the Animal Planet channel so that diners watch raccoons perform wacky antics.
I guess it makes sense. Not only do all the shows on this channel work without sound, they are kid friendly and may accidentally help you decide on what kind of meat to order.
I heard zero people talking like a pirate today. I'm guessing that this will take a while to become popular in the Tenderloin..come to think of it, some winos sound like pirates naturally. I'm glad it hasn't caught on in the little Vietnamese shops, it would be disconcerting to hear, “ahoy matie, sandwiches?”
Lunch in front of the computer again. I called the old standby Thai House Express. I was going to get their Duck Noodle Soup but it was too sunny, so I got the Kao Na Ped Pa-lo instead (aka five spice duck - $7.50.):
Tender with nicely fatty skin, the juices oozing into the rice below topped with some cilantro sprigs and some slices of cucumber to break up the duck fat on your tongue. It was just ducky, but not as cravable as the Pad Kee-Mao last week.
What marketing whiz came up with this advertising campaign:
...and what planet do they live on and can they please stay there?? Not only does this suggest that our craving for ice cream can be assuaged by some healthy legumes (a scientifically proven, physical impossibility) but it suggests that a billboard will get us all pepped up about doing so. I have one thing to say to the twisted mind that extruded this advertisement for crazy - no ice cream for you!
Look who I came across in a car parked near mine.
Who knew SB was so trendy that he's participating in talk like a pirate day …a day early? I told him about his scheduling faux pas, and all he said was “Aaarrrrr.”
I had given the Left Bank a rest after some “eh” meals, but I decided to sate my burger craving there this evening:
The burger with blue (or as they say “bleu”) cheese was pretty good ($9.75 + $1.00 for cheese.) It's made with Dakota organic beef that is ground to a nice texture and cooked (as requested) to a lovely medium rare. The bun stood up well to the juices from the meat and slices to tomato (strangely there were no lettuce leaves with this dish.) I ordered my fries (or as they say “frites”) “extra crispy” which made them extra good. I'll have to bring Chubby back here soon.
Chubby got some mail from Sandra K. today:
Sandra K writes:
"Aaarrrgghhh!!!! I want to cry when I viewed your site,got your link from Tenesee Reid. *sob sob sob* So much beautiful food pics and the descriptions...Whhoooaaa!!! That does it! I'm going on a food holiday next round! Gaaaa,lunchtime just doesn't come fast enough!!! *.* *goes and cries some more* "
You sound seriously passionate about food n' stuff. Thanks for the enthusiastic praise.
Kit Kat Kar-leidoscope:
You can check
out a trippy view of the traffic while you wait at the crosswalk
for the light to change. When I see something like this I am relieved
that tax dollars are actually doing something interesting.
What a letdown.
Don’t get me wrong, I know ghetto chocolate isn’t supposed
to be good, but it IS supposed to satisfy the inner rabbit. Unfortunately,
it was too sweet and too imitation coffee-y.
... from Frog Hollow Farms which he greedily devoured without leaving any leftovers to share with “others.” I am hoping that my food luck with turn around tomorrow.
Faked out again Cha Ca Chien $2.25:
Well, they looked to me like chocolate chip cookies and they share the same initials too (CCC) so I pulled one out of the basket. Hmmm, it's a little limp and the plastic is a little greasy feeling. I take it to the counter of the Vietnamese shop and say, “cookie?” She suppresses a laugh and says, “fish cake.” Hmmm.. doesn't sound like a good dessert to me.
This melon cake ($2.50):
...was 100% fish free. A flaky, light pastry encases a faintly sweetened winter melon filling. Much better than eating a greasy fish patty. Golden Gate Bakery saves the day.
Check out Chubby's page about shopping at Golden Gate Bakery here.
A day of fake outs:
I thought that it was time that I checked out this Vietnamese “sandwich” shop on Larkin:
I went in expecting the official greeting of the Banh Mi shop owners: “sandwiches?” Nothing. I walked towards the counter. Still nothing. I looked at the lady behind the counter and gave an unsure, “uh..sandwiches?” She replied, “No, no, sandwiches.” I took a look around and figured that they sold cartons of cigarettes as their cash cow.
Down the street I went to Baguette Express for a Xiu Mai Banh Mi. (pork meatball sandwich $2.25.):
Although good, the sauce on the pork was a little too sweet and slightly too mushy for me although the crunch of the shredded carrot, cucumber, jalapeno and freshness of the cilantro pepped it up. I prefer the pork meatball banh mi at Hoang Dat that I had earlier this week.
I grabbed this can out of the cooler because it said, “ with meat.”
A drink with meat? How cool is that? Well, upon closer examination, it didn't really contain any animal flesh, just logan's juice ($1.) I'd never had this before, it was slightly sweet tasting like a hybrid of iced tea and fruit juice, with big bits of logan sinking to the bottom.
Dessert was Banh Chuoi ($1.25):
... which is what you would get if you imagined a slightly doughy, banana, tapioca jello with a dense, coconut dipping sauce. Very tasty (if you are in that kind of a mood.) They get their desserts from Hung Phat (hey, I didn't name the place) on Jones Street.
She describes herself as a, “Long time Mill Valley resident who enjoys the wide variety of Bay Area restaurants and never eats rabbit.”
Susan R. writes:
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your website. I've decided to try several new restaurants after reading your reviews. Your photos are particularly helpful in giving me a feel for both the restaurant and the food. Best of all, we seem to have similar taste in food and look for the same kinds of qualities in the places we choose to eat. Thanks a bunch! "
I think that you start to taste food when you look at it. I'm glad that you are finding the pictures enticing enough (or repellent enough, depending on the dish) to help in your dining decisions. Thanks for your kind note and for not eating those of the lagomorph persuasion.
Thai House Express
to the rescue:
I got some mail from Gully F. today:
The San Francisco
Airport is broken. If you go there to collect a passenger on
an arriving flight, there is no intuitive place to meet them. You aren’t
allowed to go to the gate. You can go to baggage claim but they may not
have checked items. The answer is that you have to go halfway up a stairway
that allows you a far view the mob marching towards the exits and wave
down your party from several hundred feet away like a crazed fan. It’s
...which is a grilled
skirt steak, sliced and sandwiched with lettuce and slices of
tomato in foccacia spread with chimichuri sauce. This was just fine but
I was surprised at how they served the side salad. It was more overdressed
than Elton John at a AA meeting in the Tenderloin on casual Friday.
I have a love/hate
thing with NPR. The hate part is that I feel that they are trying
to deceive me. It’s pledge time so it’s the usual drone of
“we have a challenge grant of $500 from Microsoft and we’d
hate to send the money back.” Yeah, I really believe that Microsoft
is going to ask for their $500 back. That would be excellent PR for them.
This was mighty good.
The plump onion studded pork balls are stuffed in the
roll with shredded carrot, cucumber, cilantro, scallion and jalapenos.
They hollow out the roll a bit to make a nice balance of flavors.
...tastes like flat
cola with bits of coke jello floating in it. I like this too (but it wasn’t
as cool as the basil drink last week.)
was a simple syrup
with little beans bathing in it. I liked it in a weird sort of way, but
it doesn’t rank as high as a chocolate chip cookie in my book.
September 10, 2005
Most people are Chinese. I confirmed this today at the San Francisco Moon Festival:
It’s like a mosh pit and Chinese Thanksgiving rolled into one, but instead of turkey the food of choice in the moon cake.
Moon cakes are pastry encased, slightly sweet confections:
I queued in the line at the Golden Gate Bakery for almost an hour. It was time well spent people watching.
I finally made it the the front and ordered my assorted box of four.You get a choice of no yolk, one yolk or two yolk centers. I chose one yolk on each:
I got a white lotus seed paste ($5.95) Plain lotus seed paste ($5.25), Black bean paste ($$4.50) and a Coconut ($5.95). They were all good but I liked the White lotus and the coconut ones the best.
The yolk inside is bright orange. salty and slightly crumbly:
If you aren’t expecting it, you may freak out when you get to the center of these heavy pastries.
You might think that this sounds a little pricey for the bakery famous for it’s 95¢ egg custard tarts (yum) but when you consider the preparation that goes into these, it makes sense. The coconut one is filled with blanched almonds, macadamias and shreds of coconut with the yolk carefully placed dead center. The ornate pastry design molded on the top and the fluted baking forms make these pretty specialized. And they use their special holiday box (instead of the usual pink generic one.)
I wouldn’t have invested this much time to get these if it weren’t for the celebration of the Autumnal Equinox. You know, it’s like how you wouldn’t jam tangerines in your socks except on Christmas.
Golden Gate Bakery
September 9, 2005
That’s the greeting you hear in the banh mi places in the Tenderloin instead of “hello”.
I had been reluctant to try this little place:
...in the past because I never spotted anyone inside. I am comforted when I see the line at Saigon Sandwiches or Wrap Delight. I mean, lines = turnover = fresh right?
Well, this was a fresh tasting curled pork sandwich (Thit Do Bachi):
even though there was no line. The pork is more of a flavoring element than a major player in this tasty sandwich. It is filled with the usual grated carrot, cilantro, jalapenos, cucumber and green onion. The fresh bread has a crisp exterior and is spread with pate on one side and what I think is margarine on the other. I think I’ll ask for it without the margariney stuff next time, just cause I’m not into transfats when I can avoid them. Even so, it was very good and only $2.50 (which is kind of the going rate round these parts.)
Dessert was a cup of sweetened rice balls in alcohol called Comroui. I can’t tell you what kind of alcohol, but I’m guessing it is a rocket fuel of some sort. Eating this is like having space food. It’s your main course, dessert and drink all in one. You put this in your mouth and it feels effervescent, alcoholic and like you’ve dropped your rice cake into your glass of wine and don’t want to waste it. This is not my thing, but I can’t complain when the grand total for lunch was five dollars.
The person behind the counter was very nice and helped me to understand the menu which is for Vietnamese speaking clientele. He spoke very little English so he held up the items and waited for me to nod. They don’t have chicken as an option unlike the shops on Larkin, but they do have some other interesting looking things. I’ll definitely be back to scope them out and have the green dessert that I didn’t get to today.
Lunch was Nuer Ka-na without the Nuer (beef) and with Gai (chicken) instead ($6.95.):
The chicken resembles little hamster fetuses, which would probaby be a bonus if you're a David Lynch fan... It was good belly ballast, but not the most delicious thing to order at Thai House Express. It’s my own fault, if I stick to their menu and don’t get all crazy with the requests they know what to do. Lesson learned. You can check out Chubby’s review if you want to see a better version of their chow.
Bruce L writes:
Usually, when restaurants are concerned, “All you can eat” translates into “All you can stand” but this isn’t true at Lotus Cuisine of India. They make a fine buffet.
I knew we were in bad shape when our delayed flight took off at the time that our connecting flight did in Denver. This meant taking the late flight back to the Bay Area. Chubby and Eyeball slept most of the way, but I stayed up and marveled at the anti-terrorist snack.
You get 2 sturdy metal
forks, a metal spoon and a plastic knife. The plastic
knife is fine with the wedge of soft cheese, but you can forget about
cutting the hard one with it. Are butter knives that much of a threat?
If so, why not make all the flatware plastic instead of highlighting the
ridiculousness of the utensil mismatch?
Is this some sort
of anti-terrorist scarecrow or another flight attendant
trying to get dooced?
made up for my “vegetarian” chicken last week. I called in my order at Vietnam 2 and they had it ready to take away minutes later, when I arrived. It’s nicely charred exterior and five spice rubbed skin was tasty over the metric ton of rice that you get with this dish. It’s not as wonderfully addictive as their catfish hotpot, but it’s just the thing if you are in a fowl mood.
Dr. Biggles writes:
| Monday, September 5, 2005
I walk the line:
In the film that I just saw by that name, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon deliver good performances in which they occupy the lives of the late countries stars Johnny Cash and June Carter. This musical biopic is aimed less at casual observers (like me)and more at hungry fans.
I thought it was kind of wacky that they made no mention of the television show that brought Johnny Cash into the front rooms of America. Whatever. I can't say that it's a must see unless you are a hardcore admirer of the man in black.
Speaking of walking the line:
that is how I spend a good quarter of my time in Telluride. About an hour before a show, it's time to queue up and have interesting film discussions with my insta-movie-friends. It's a nice break from the keep-your-guard-up attitude in the City. Usually you get some good tips on which films to seek out (or avoid.)
On the last day of the festival, there's a big BBQ:
Inevitably, I run into all the people I know from San Francisco and catch up there.
Eyeball went back to his favorite food-on-the-go place:
This gyro stand is always located in front of the Able Gance open air cinema and serves up a tasty meal pronto.
Chubby went to B.I.T. (Baked in Telluride) for his usual apple fritter:
These fat bombs are ugly yet delectable with chunks of apple mingling with an alternately crispy and cakey dough with a sugar glaze. I think it's good we're flying back today.
These are just plain bad for Chubby to be around.
| Sunday, September 4, 2005
Fateless is the best film so far. Not only are the characters fully realized in their Holocaust setting, but the cinematography is breathtaking. Eyeball was particularly impressed by the use of color. The palette narrows for the oppressive concentration camp scenes and evolves in support of the emotional progression of the characters.
They have a cool venue here that they named after an associate of Bugs':
I particularly like the ears. The Telluride Film Festival knows how to give props to BRs.
Food on the run is the only way to go here. B.I.T. (Aka Baked in Telluride) is my regular stop. They make a decent pizza:
(they were out of the meat one, so I ordered the Thai chicken) I wonder if the Asian Bird Flu epidemic association effects sales... A beef taco for Eyeball and we were off and running (with some of their cookies too – and not that hydrogenated fat stuff – real butter goes in their baked goods.) There's also a wiener venue called "Hot Diggity" that makes a well-decorated hot dog:
We also saw an Iranian film called Iron Island that takes place on a sinking ship. It didn't float my boat, but Eyeball said that it's “Relevant given the current political climate and serves as a metaphor for the status of the greybeard theocracy of Iran.” Whatever. I did think it was a cool, but there were holes in the storytelling that you could drive a cruise ship through.
Paradise Now is a film set in the West Bank under Israeli occupation. This is a must see. You are transported into the life of two young men who are recruited as suicide bombers. I haven't experienced a film in this way since that nitroglycerine trucking picture, Wages of Fear (not because they are all cruising around with explosives, but because you enter their lives to see what makes them (NPI) tick.
Chubby says it's crazy to go to 5 movies a day and is spending his time enjoying the mountain backdrop and hanging in the hotel hot tub with B.I.T.'s apple fritters and cast off copies of Variety.
Much apologies for the lack of an entry yesterday. I was up 'till after 2 and my eyes had smoke coming out of their sockets. I know that excuses are stupid, but here's the story:
I try to catch a bunch of films on Labor Day weekend in the little town of Telluride, Colorado:
So far I've seen Phillip Seymour Hoffman deliver a Oscar nom. Worthy performance in Capote. Sadly, the pacing of the film lags, but PSH is so good it helps make up for it.
Conversations with Other Women stars Helena Bonham-Carter and is a film entirely in split screen. She's good but this is a little too gimmick based to me (although they do a good job in the execution, it gets a little heavy for me stylistically.)
Edmond is a film that feels a little sluggish, but is made interesting by a fantastic performance by William H. Macy.
One thing I love about coming out here is that you have to endure a bit of airport food. This definitely increases my appreciation of the good chow that is normally steps away. You are a captive audience to culinary wonders such as this breakfast bagel. Somehow they manage to take the simplest of ingredients and screw all of them up. Bad bread, ham and these “eggs” which are really not eggs at all, but some chemical effluent from an industrial tub:
The last film that I've seen here, or rather half a film (I walked out) is called Three Times is a Taiwanese picture that isn't 3 times, but about 30 times too long for its content, which consists of practically nothing. This film makes yesterday's bagel look like a chef's menu at the French Laundry. I'm sure that there are some crazed super-geniuses at the festival that think that it's the ultimate in cinema and is much better than the more “conventional” movies that actually say something and have things happen in them, but they only think so because their heads are up their asses.
Telluride has some good food but it ain't the Bay Area. I like to grab something quick and eat it in the ever-present festival lines. Standing in lines is one of the most fun aspects of the festival, but since typing in line isn't one of the funnest parts (and I'm doing that now) we can talk about that tomorrow.
| Thursday, September 1, 2005
I thought I’d check out a vegetarian restaurant for lunch today. I have walked by this place a million times and thought it was time I went in.
“the gourmet chicken”
“hmm. I was thinking about something a little more unusual”
“is that what you consider your tastiest dish?”
“Okay, I’ll have the chicken then”
Well, the gourmet chicken ($7.25):
...was thinly sliced chicken with pepper flakes and lemongrass wok fried and served up with a iceberg, tomato and cucumber salad and a mound of broken rice topped with sautéed scallions. Well at least now I know how gourmets like their chicken.
I hadn’t had broken rice before. It’s rice that is broken (hence the name) sort of like the couscous of rice.
They would make more money if they asked if you would like a beverage. I guess I should be thankful for not being subjected to the hard sell. She automatically brought a glass of tepid water. Tepid water is actually not all that bad it went well with the abandoned restaurant vibe:.
I don’t think I’ll rush back for more chicken anytime soon.
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