Archive for the Just my humble opinion… Category

Over-rated in SF

Posted in Just my humble opinion... on September 22, 2008 by junkfoodie

Man, I read a lot of guidebooks, Best of Lists and such, and I often get sucked into believing the hype and trying places only to be disappointed. Maybe it’s just me, but here are some of the places that I think are over-rated. I welcome any comments, disagreements or hostile replies.

Taqueria Pancho Villa: Scrupulously clean and perfectly tasteless Mexican food on 16th near Valencia.

Citizen Cake: Blasphemy to most local foodies, but except the Shag cake, I don’t like much here.

Miette Bakery: Looks great, tastes…ehhh.

Memphis Minnie’s: Another bay Area Foodie Favorite that I just don’t get. Meats are just so-so, hate the sauces, mediocre sides. Not my favirite barbecue, as you can tell.

House of Nanking: If you see me eating here, they are giving away free food, and I haven’t eaten in a week.

More Bay Area Cheap Eats favorites….

Posted in Around the Bay Area, Just my humble opinion... with tags , , , , on September 22, 2008 by junkfoodie

Here are more random Cheap Eats favorites from around the Bay Area:

Pancakes: It’s Tops diner on Market Street near Octavia in SF. Cool, old fashioned diner that keeps odd hours, but THE best pancakes in the city IMHO. The shakes and fountain items are pretty good too. Everything else is just okay, bu try the pancakes, light fluffy, and not like a wet sponge as many mediocre pancakes are.

Pizza: Wow. This is a tough one. I’m gonna cop out on this one, but under the category of Cheap Eats, I’m gonna say Golden Boy Pizza by the (square) slice on Green Street between Grant and Columbus. Clam and garlic, vegetarian, pepperoni, just get whatever’s hot. This is kinda like Jack In the Box tacos, in that it tastes even better after a long night out on the town. I also happen to like the Kama Sutra Pizza on cornmeal crust at Pizza Orgasmica. I know someone’s going to ask about Delfina, but that’s not really Cheap Eats. I also like Pauline’s on Valencia and Little Star’s Deep dish on Divisadero, but it depends on which item you get.

Focccacia: This one’s easy. Liguria Bakery right off Washington Square park. THey still wrap the oily bread in butcher paper, and hand tie it up with string. The place is a small, old takeout storefront, and the only concession to modernization is the addition of “new” flavors. You can get plain, onion, pizza, or raisin flavors. I personally like the plain or inion, but the raisin is studded with plump, golden raisins, and toasts up nicely.

Coffee: I’ll start by saying that I’m a big fat coffee snob. My daily drink is Peet’s, but one of my favorites is Blue Bottle on Linden off Gough Street. It’s essentially a roll-up corrugated steel garage door with a small counter  inside. Each cup of non-espresso drinks is dripped to order, so it takes a little while. the upside is you get a rich, robust cuppa joe that never tastes burnt or stale. It’s a bit pricey, and there is nowhere to sit, but if you want a really good cup of coffee, check this out. They also have a stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market if you are out that way on Saturday.

Cheesesteak: I’m Partial to the Cheesesteak Shop on Divisadero between Sutter and Bush. A 10″ Cheesteak with onions and hot & sweet peppers is my usual order. I’ve had the mushroom and the spinach cheesesteaks, and they’re okay, but I’ll go with the plain so I can taste the meat & cheese. They use thinly sliced ribeye, and chop it on the grill, then top it with provolone or white american cheese. You can then get it topped with grilled onions and sweet and/or hot cherry peppers. They allegedly import the rolls from Amoroso’s in Philadelphia too. If you can’t find parking, and it’s in the evening, park in the Wells Fargo lot behind Starbucks. Cheesesteak, Fries, drink under $12 all in.

Breakfast: Tough call on this one, but I’m going to have to go with Bette’s Oceanview Diner on Fourth Street in Berkeley. I’ll usually get the Maryland breakfast, which is two poached eggs over their homemade, chunky corned beef hash with toast or a scone. The big chunks of corned beef include pieces of the fat to go along with the crusty potatoes and bits of green onion. If I’m in the mood for something sweet here, I’ll get the banana-rum souffle pancakes. Besides the quality of the food, I give Bette’s the nod because of it’s consistency and good, strong coffee. Unfortunately, it’s gotten so popular that the wait can be an hour on the weekends.

More to come later……

My favorite cheap eats in the Bay Area

Posted in Just my humble opinion... on September 4, 2008 by junkfoodie

Here is a list of some of my favorite cheap eats in the Bay Area. All are $10 or under for the entree, and often for the entire meal, except where noted. Some listings are for specific items only. If you go to these places and order something other than what’s listed, caveat emptor.

Hot Dog: Top Dog in Berkeley. the location at Durant above Telegraph is still my favorite for the “ambience”.

Burger: Burgermeister.Several locations, but I like the Columbus Ave in North Beach and the Westlake Center in Daly City locations. You get a 1/2lb. Niman Ranch burger with cheese and fries for $8.95.

Mexican/Taqueria: I happen to really like El Buen Sabor on Valencia near 18th, but the Alambres at Taqueria Cancun on Mission near 18th is still an all-time favorite dish.

Ice Cream: the Salted Caramel at Bi-Rite Creamery on 18tyh near Dolores, hands down

Chinese Food: China Delights in the Appian 80 shopping center in Pinole. Can’t go wrong with any dish.

Dim Sum:  Custard tarts from Golden Gate Bakery on Grant Ave. Crazy busy, people (me) line up to buy these while they are hot by the dozen. I’ll buy a dozen, and eat 3 while they are still hot.

Donuts: The cake or blueberry cake donuts from Royal Donuts in Burlingame. They are right off California Drive and Burlingame Ave. by teh Caltrain station. Get them while they are still warm.mmmmmmm.

Sushi: I have to admit that I am a bit of a sushi snob, but I do enjoy Sushi Sam’s on E.3rd Ave. in San Mateo. I have to say that the two items I most often order are non=sushi items. The kurobuta kakuni (black pork stewed in milk) and the another stewed beef appetizer whose name escapes me are two things which I always order. The Sam’s Special is pretty good too, which is a tempura shrimp hand roll ( I normally do not oder rolls). The nigiri is usually very fresh and the toro (fatty tuna) is often delicious.

Pancakes: It’s Tops on Market near Octavis. Beware the funky hours.

Fruit: Peaches from Frog Hollow Farms at the Ferry Plaza. Probably more than $1 per peach, but when they are in season, they are worth twice that.

Diner: Lafayette Coffee Shop on Hyde in the Tenderloin. CAUTION: this neighborhood is not for everyone. It’s a typical American diner run by Chinese folks. The place looks like it is stuck in the 50’s. If you oder the off teh daily specials, get the short ribs or the roast pork, and you’ll do fine. $7.95-$8.95 gets you soup, salad, your meat (roast pork with applesauce), mashed potatoes or rice with gravy, vegetables AND your choice of jello or homemade rice pudding for dessert. Old school food, big portions, dumpy surroundings, scary neiighborhood and great prices. I may not go for two or three months, and when I walk in, May and Tommy know what I want to eat before I even open my mouth. It’s that kind of place.

Barbecue: Open. Since the demise of Flint’s(R.I.P.) on San Pablo in West Oakland, I don’t have a favorite. I love the sauce from Everett & Jones, but the meat is just so-so to me. Can you suggest any favorites?