Archive for April, 2015

Better than a “Butter Cake”

Posted in Around the Bay Area, bakery, pastry with tags , , on April 3, 2015 by junkfoodie

B Patisserie (2821 California Street @ Divisadero St. SF)has quickly become one of my favorite bakeries in SF. Although there are many that I go to for one fantastic item (Knead on 24th for the Pomme d’Amour for example), B has not one but TWO great items which I can not get enough of. One is the decadent Banana Chocolate croissant, which is gooey, comforting and tender an flaky as well. if you are lucky enough to get one of these hot out of the oven, you will not be able to eat this without making a mess. Globs of molten banana, rich melted chocolate and shards of whisper-light croissant flakes will be stuck to your hands, shirt, pants, seat, etc. It is absolutely worth it, and this is coming from a decidedly non-chocolate lover!

Banana-chocolate croissants and Kouign Amann from B Patisserie

Banana-chocolate croissants and Kouign Amann from B Patisserie

Even better is their renowned Kouign Amann (queen-ah-mon). This sounds very fancy, but it’s literal translation is “Butter cake”. Hailing from Btittany, this is supposed to be a Breton cake made with bread dough layered with butter and sugar. In the hands of the team at B, it becomes a fluffy, crispy, flaky crown of puff pastry-like dough with a sugary top. Perfect with a cup of coffee. if you get this to go, PLEASE make sure you eat one as soon as you step outside the door, before you get it home. Although it may still be good when you get home, it will be almost magical eaten hot from the oven!

The shop itself is very nice, and they have much more than these two items; scones, various pastries, sandwiches, salads, coffees, etc. It’s very popular, clean and chic, but I prefer to act like a complete pig in the privacy of my car or house, away from the  judgmental eyes of normal eaters.

The resume of co-founder Belinda Leong is very impressive as well. After graduating from the culinary program at City College of SF, she started her career at Gary Danko on the savory team, while helping out in he pastry department. After various stints at places throughout Europe and the US including Pierre Herme and Fauchon, she then became the pastry chef at Manresa. If you like pastry and are near SF, do yourself a favor and make a trip here.


Best Chinese Roast Duck & Roast Pig in SF

Posted in Around the Bay Area, Chinese, junkfoodie Hall of Fame with tags , , on April 3, 2015 by junkfoodie

Well, junkfoodie is back after a long absence due to laziness. I’ve done a lot of eating, but no blogging. Here is one of my favorites for under $10 in the City. Not only is it cheap and tasty, it may be the best in it’s class in the Bay area.

My go-to place for Chinese BBQ in the City is Cheung Hing (2339 Noriega St. @ 30th Ave.across the street from Safeway.). It is a mostly takeout place, but they do have 4-5 tables inside the bare, clean (if slightly greasy) interior. Service is pleasant, but typical for a non-English speaking Chinese place.

I usually order some variation of the two-item BBQ plate ($7.25). This time, I got the roast duck and roast pig. The duck is crispy skinned, not too greasy and has a nice sweet/salty flavor. The duck is ladled with a scoop of salty duck jus, which adds to it’s succulence.

Cheung Hing

The roast pig here is the thing…crispy, crackling skin, which you expect, but also a nice. moist meaty hunk ‘o porkiness attached. There isn’t a huge layer of fat, but what makes this version so good is the subtle smokiness in the meat which only enhances it’s sweetness.

Served over a bed of fluffy rice and a pile of boiled cabbage, it’s a great under $10 meal, and one of the best examples outside of Hong Kong.

Best seafood bite…maybe ever?

Posted in Around the Bay Area, junkfoodie Hall of Fame with tags on April 3, 2015 by junkfoodie

I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been busy (and lazy). Many folks have implored me to get back to posting, and a meal I had recently has compelled me to get back on the horse. I had dinner at Michael Mina (252 California Street SF 94111), and it was one of the most memorable meals i’ve had in a long time, particularly due to the main course, which was possibly the best seafood dish I’ve ever tasted…ever! more about that later. Granted, the meal was a bit more than the Junkfoodie’s usual $10 and under, but worth a post nonetheless.
The meal started with a seemingly innocuous slice of bread with a small ramekin with a mysterious substance in it. As it turns out, it was the most addicting blend of ricotta cheese, honey, and black pepper. I would have been happy with this course alone!

Michael Mina's bread with honey ricotta and black pepper

Michael Mina’s bread with honey ricotta and black pepper

The next bite was an amuse-bouche of a perfectly crispy-yet-gooey mini grilled cheese sandwich with a shot of heirloom tomato soup. Just like being a kid again (if your mom had a Michelin star)!Perfect.

Mini grilled cheese sandwich with heirloom tomato soup shot amuse bouche

Mini grilled cheese sandwich with heirloom tomato soup shot amuse bouche

My “first” course was the Ahi Tuna Tartare with ancho chile, habanero-sesame oil, pine nut and mint served with toast points. Pretty, nice tableside service, but for me this was the low point of the meal, relatively speaking. Not bad mind you, just not spectacular.

Ahi tartare

Ahi tartare

My second course was the Shabu-Shabu with toasted sesame sauce, ponzu and Prime beef rib cap. A very nice tableside service once again with the captain carefully placing the beef into the bowl and quickly pouring the broth over it. Melt in your mouth tender, full of beefy flavor! Didn’t need the sauces at all to be delicious. I tasted everything floating in the broth, including what seemed to be zucchini shavings, mustard flower, and shiso leaf.

Shabu shabu

Shabu shabu

Finally, the best dish of the night (year?) for me. The black cod with uni sushi rice, mustard flower, king trumpet mushrooms and dashi broth….absolutely unforgettable. The fish was absolutely flawless. the outside was perfectly crispy, and seemed to literally dissolve on your tongue. the flesh was meaty, silky, moist and full of fish flavor (in a good way) without being overpowered by the other components of the dish. the vegetables, the broth and especially the meaty, succulent nuggets of king trumpet mushrooms were savored untl there was’t even a speck of food on my plate. This was easily the best bite I’ve had so far this year!

Black cod with uni rice.....

Black cod with uni rice…..