The Park Slope Gastronome

Back in Park Slope.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The worst egg sandwich ever. I'm looking right at you Europa Cafe

Seriously, you're going to fuck up a ham, egg and cheese and then charge me $3.74 for the honor? I am not a fan of Europa Cafe, but out of desperation and for lack of time, I hit them up this morning. My sandwich was cold by the time it got to my desk (my office is a block away). The ham has the texture of rubber and why on earth is half the ham in one piece and the rest in little bits? Did they run out of a normal slice of ham? And I need to mention again that this sandwich cost me $3.74. GTLO!!!!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Slanted Door - San Francisco, CA

Blargh, I'm so behind in posting! Anyone who knows anything (at least anything I am interested in) will tell you that The Slanted Door in its current incarnation is overrated and not nearly as good as when it was at its original location in the Mission. But having never eaten at the restaurant on Valencia, I have no grounds for comparison, so shall we?

House and vegetarian spring rolls share a plate. We also got some crispy imperial rolls stuffed with shrimp and pork, which were meant to be wrapped in a lettuce leaf and dipped into a tart, fish-based sauce. The appetizers round also included the grapefruit and jicama salad and seared scallops in a red curry sauce with a crisp Asian pear slaw. When we ordered our dishes, we were told restaurant served their food family style. This mean that the kitchen was going to prepare the dishes at their speed and they would arrive at the table in unorderly fashion. And because our party of 8 was seated at a 6-top, there was not nearly enough room for all the plates. Speaking of the plates, I got a chuckle out of the ceramics credit listed on the menu.

Oh, I nearly forgot my choice of appetizer. I narrowed it down to the oysters, the yellowtail and the clams with pork belly, chilies and basil. Though we were sharing plates around the table, I think this may have been the least popular dish cause I wound up eating most of it!

I was indecisive when it came to ordering my entree. The stuffed squid called out to me, but in the end, the grilled Arctic char won out. I should have listened to the squid, because this was the least enjoyable part of my meal. The cucumber, icicle radish and mint salad were overwhelmed by a too salty ginger-soy sauce of which there was way too much.

All was redeemed by dessert. This is the caramelized pineapple with a crème fraîche blancmange and basil gelée and it was one of the most delicious desserts ever. I was surprised by the composition. The pineapple chunks made for a rustic looking plate and I was expecting something more refined. The basil jelly perplexed me on every bite. It was light and watery but at the same time packed an intense, herby flavor. The blancmange was basically a bonus. Oh, look, there's even more deliciousness at the bottom. I also had bites of the chocolate midnight cake and coffee pot de creme.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Breakfast at Lulu Petite

Sausage and egg sandwich from Lulu Petite for breakfast at the Ferry Market Building. Yum. Yum. Yum. The pre-made baked egg was my least favorite part of the sandwich but it was good enough. The sausage was super tasty and had that somewhat loose texture that I'm really into. The grilled vegetable jam that was spread on the bread was also really intensely flavorful and I found myself wanting to lick the wax paper clean of it.

P.S. I forgot to mention that the cheese was delicious, melty fontina.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Limon - San Francisco, CA

After my big lunch, I was hoping for a light dinner. It didn't quite work out that way. We wound up at Limon, a Peruvian restaurant in a modern space in the Mission.

I shared a potato-beet timbale with avocado, fennel, more potato and celery greens. It was the yummiest dish of our meal. My carnivorous colleague and I also shared the ceviche de corvina which was disappointingly tough and rubbery. The chunks of fish were rather large and impossible to cut, forcing you to eat the entire piece at once.

Niman Ranch pork ribs: despite being overly sauced for my personal tastes, I liked my first rib (after scraping off the excessive, sweet barbeque sauce). The second rib was fatty and not enjoyable. By this point, I got weary of the sauce. I don't mind sauce on my ribs, but the meat should be the centerpiece. Also, can we get some wetnaps? These were messy, messy, messy and cloth napkins don't do the trick.

The centerpiece of dinner was the fried red snapper. The flesh was tender and flaky, but the skin didn't quite crisp up and stayed elasticy. The coconut rice that accompanied was probably my favorite part of the dish though.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Taylor's Automatic Refresher - San Francisco, CA

San Francisco makes me feel very healthy. Maybe it's the clean, crisp air, or all the hills that make an eastward trek to Prospect Park seem like a cakewalk. So I chose to celebrate this feeling with a HAMBURGER, haha!

The walk from my hotel to Taylor's Automatic Refresher in the Ferry Building was a straight shot, and quick. I debated ordering the ahi tuna burger but settled on a classic bacon cheeseburger: a thinner, California style patty, American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles and secret sauce on a toasted egg bun. While I waiting for my order, I sat by the grill and watched the cooks in action from behind the glass. There was a lot going on in a small amount of space.

My burger was tasty, but lukewarm. This temperature issue prevented the cheese from melting into that satisfying ooey, gooey consistency. The hamburger patty oddly broke in half, as well. But the lettuce was crisp, the tomatoes ripe and the little wax paper jacket did help to control the juice and drippings.

To go along with the burger, I ordered some garlic fries, which are tossed in garlic butter & parsley. These were a fantastic shade of green and the camera doesn't do any justice to the neon hue of the fries. They were perfectly crisped and the seasoning was well distributed.

Washing the meal down was a Trumer Pilsner, an Austrian beer that a few years ago opened a brewery outpost in Berkeley. If I could find it on the East Coast, Trumer Pilsner would be what I drink all summer. It was so refreshing.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dinner at Yakitori Torys

I'm in San Francisco without the cable to connect my camera to the computer, so here are some photos from a dinner at Yakitori Torys I recently had with the CLC.

Outside signage. Throughout the evening, I was reminded of Gonpachi - the menu, color scheme, etc...

Blistered shishito peppers with a dab of mild Japanese-style kkochujang.

Age-dashi tofu. We were served a cube each of soft and firm. I preferred the soft.

Another shot of the peppers, with a skewer of garlic to the left. The grilling softens up and mellows out the garlic, basically making it even more delicious.

Little stackable dishes of black pepper and salt. I just like anything mini.

Chicken meatballs! I ordered the one on the left, which was mixed with shiso leaf and plum.

Kuro buta negi pon - organic pork with ponzu and scallions, so yummy!

We also ordered a couple skewers of chicken oyster, part of the "chicken limited" menu. Luckily we were dining early in the evening and Torys had not sold out yet. I just noticed that the above pork skewer is listed in the "chicken limited" part too! Beth got an order of "pork gut" which was one of the specials of the day.

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