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Thursday, December 31, 2009

One last Gibraltar before XMAS...

Christmas eve was somewhat quiet in the city.  It was nice to have my coffee spot, CENTO, to take care of my morning fix.  But what was even more exciting was to go sit at the bar at TOWN HALL with friends and have a nice lunch that included great beer and great food.  I sat with my friends Bill and his husband Douglas, whom were my hosts at upcoming Christmas dinner.  They were eagerly planning out their menu and all the stops they needed to make that day, to make it complete.  So, the lunch was inspirational.  I ordered a Midas Touch beer from Dogfish Head Brews & Spirits.  I felt it paired well to the House smoked corned brisket, melted fontina cheese, Russian dressing and pickled cabbage on levain. But I also managed to scarf down half a Ale battered Alabama catfish, tartare sauce and field greens from my friend Bill, whom was full only a few bites in.  And eat most of his sweet potato chips. I was hungry and it was the holidaze, I kept telling myself.

After lunch, the boys went off food shopping and I ventured to the Ferry Building for last Xmas gift shopping.  Thursday being Farmer's Market at Ferry Building offers up the legendary Blue Bottle Kiosk.  I of course, needed, one last Gibraltar before the holiday began and most businesses shut down.

Fast forward to the Castro for happy hour at 440 Castro.  I was amidst many chums drinking brews pre-Xmas dinner with friend Bob at 2223 Market.  Who knew that this would be the first of 2 meals I would end up having that evening.  Thank goodness I just settled on the Pork Chop and got no starters.  Midway through dinner, another invitation for Oyster Soup came up at a friend's Xmas eve soiree, he was throwing.  He insisted we finish our course and cab over. We certainly did.  It was certainly an interesting cast of characters at my friend John's home.  We had plenty of libation in us but the wine seemed to endlessly pour.

Xmas morning and hungry and in need of my fix of high quality coffee, made-for-me, and knowing I can't have that, was rather disappointing.  I got over it momentarily when I discovered a place to grab breakfast on Xmas day.  I am not really a breakfast guy anyway, but, I love the Swedish famous silver dollar pancakes at Sear's Fine Foods on Powell in the Union Square District.  We hit the place up at just the right time, before the crowd built.  I know this because when we left, it had the usual line-around-the-block thing going on. I had my 2nd caramel macchiato of the year from Starbucks, to take it one step further. I was doing things out of my comfort zone and making the most of it.

I cabbed it over to Bill and Douglas' for the 2pm call time.  Of course, I was the first to arrive.  We began our drinking journey with champs. And then on to white wine.  The evening of indulgences I like to call it. The cheese, the pate, the potato & leek soup, the paella with fresh lobster and fresh crab amongst chorizo and amazingly done chicken.  Need I say more?  Let's also note and admit that I attempted to watch Inglorious Basterds, which looks amazing btw. But, I woke up in a drooling state 40 minutes into viewing and ordered a cab home and tucked in bed for the evening without the party hopping plan I had planned.

The next night was a surprise b day party for my friend Angie.  The 3rd installment of the Angie Xmas extravaganza.  The first was the ice skating event a few backs back followed up by the pre-holidaze dinner just the weekend before. This night, as all nights requires patience and breathing but the end result was and is always awesome.  Sort of a metaphor. And I'll leave you with that...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Food Glow In Camino

Christmas time always seems to always be an excuse to indulge. And then with New Year's around the corner, it is a constant excuse to further limit yourself.  I know this because of my past week for example. After I last checked in, I had the opportunity to go over to CAMINO in Oakland for a mid-week dinner treat with a good friend, Lori.  Of course, I will use any excuse to see my friend Jennifer, who bartends there. She immediately puts a smile on my face and her drinks are not so bad either. ; ) Gin, lime, absinthe and gym syrup; now who's game?  I also had the other Gin drink with spatlese Riesling, house-peach and hibiscus bitters. Also, quite outstanding for a lad that swears by whiskey and beer most his life.  She seduces me everytime...that Gin...ifer. Oh and Lori had the Pisco drink with lemon, raspberry, vermouth and egg white. Everyone draws to that one. It's quite pleasant and just darn easy to drink down quickly before moving on to their Tequila drink.  That one is made with Tequila resposado, lime, pomegranate and agave. Now let me get into the fare. Lori leaned toward the Artichoke salad with lemon, parmesan and capers. I felt stong about the Arugula salad with sheepsmilk ricotta and persimmons. We shared both, and to me, simplicity and proper dressing are always key in a great salad.  And these are great salads.  The method to these salads... there is a distinctive signature and taste that is really achieved. The persimmon and the ricotta were truly a delicious pairing.  In terms of main courses, I ordered the Grilled duck breast and leg with winter chicories, kabocha squash and duck liver toast. I loved the 3 styles of something CAMINO does extremely well. And that is, using the duck or any meat for that matter and throwing at you, obvious thought and utter brilliance. I was gushing while eating that gizzard toast.  The breast was succulent and cooked to perfection. Lori ordered the Wood oven-roasted chantrelle and black trumpet mushrooms with sunchoke sformato. All I know is, she allowed me to basically eat her meal as well. I gladly helped out.  The plate was screaming with flavor and you just feel happy eating everything that is offered up.  Thank goodness they over looked my eagerness in the original order and didn't bring the Flatbread. Slow-cooked lamb ragu with Moroccan spices in addition to what we had would reach moronic levels.  And let's not forget we had to order dessert as well.  Lori got the Tart and I the Persimmon Pudding.  Holy Mother! That pudding is one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted.  The whip cream had liquor and it was divine. The tart wasn't bad either, but that pudding. OMG! WTF!  I mean I took up a whole blog on my love affair with this place. I do this because there is so much to write about from this past week.  Up next is a visit to Town Hall and Christmas eve. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It's ten till midnight and I am all a buzzed from the food cart madness I experienced tonight.  After getting blown off by an old friend who was supposed to accompany me to the festivities at 330 Ritch, I walked from the gym back over to Ritch Street and went on quite the culinary journey. My pals at Little Skillet were hosting OUTSIDE IN, a holiday fundraiser for Casa De Las Madres and St Anthony Foundation. I immediately saw my buddy John, owner of Cento as I approached the bar.  He bought me my first whiskey of the night and then I was off and running.

My first stop was for some corn and okra with shrimp and sausage from SOUL DELIGHT. I met Zahara and went back upon finishing a decent helping of this scrumptious delight and gave her praise.  She was so sweet and mentioned her business a bit further. SOUL DELIGHT caters to the Bay Area were her BBQ Flair.

Next, I bumped into Logan Mitchell from COOKIEWAG.  I have been dying to try one of her cookies ever since she waited on us at Mission Street Food a couple months back. And so I tried the Crispy Salted Oatmeal. After just a few bites, I decided to buy the entire catalog which also included Chewy Ginger and Chocolate Chip.  I was amazed by the Oatmeal and am looking forward to the rest tomorrow.

After I purchased 5 raffles tickets, feeling like a winner already, I walked outside the club and continued cart full of wonder.  I got some Lumpia from the Lumipa Cart. Outstanding and fresh cooked right before my eyes.  I just tweeted them and found a link to a website and now know the definition of Mixsterous (.com). Pronounced (miks-steer-ee-uhs) -adjective 1. simultaneously arousing wonders and inquisitiveness, and eluding explanation or comprerhension: a mixsterious dj; mixsterious behavior. Now, that is some deep shit!

Onward to THAT GUY FRIES with their Bacon Ranch and there Peanut Sauce.  Or their Curry Ketchup. Under these guys also exists CZECH MATE and the Calachi which was the pastry they offered me to taste. The one with the assorted nuts.  I was so impressed by their whole establishment I even bought a D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) or Die T-Shirt. Got to talking with 2 guys running the variety in their cart area and they even offered me a 2nd round of fries just for kicks. Sweet guys.

I talked with Adobo Hobo but missed my shot at the same famous Chicken Adobo I saw everyone eating upon my return IN to 330 Ritch. I got stickered and had the chance to meet Ross Resnick of Roaming Hunger. His site is an inspiration and a great resource for all things street food related.

I then met Natalie who explained her BIKE BASKET PIES of the evening. After much consideration, I tried the very seasonal Persimmon that included persimmons grown in the backyard of a house on 23rd and Florida minutes from my house.  I even let Bianca of BIANCA STARR and her handsome beau have a taste of the fresh light delightful treat.  This was only after picking up the Full Jerk Plate from EVIL JERK CART which included Chicken and Pork Skewers over rice and beans.  Unfortunately, I did not get to try the Plantains by the time it was my turn to order, but everything she served looked and tasted great.

I bought myself my 2nd and final whiskey of the night and bumped into Daniel Chimowitz selling his designs printed on t-shirts, ties and long sleeve dress shirts. I saw and tried an an exquisite dress shirt he said represented the day of the dead. I settled on a t-shirt, however, that was radical in color and design.

HOUSE KOMBUCHA warned me that they were running out of the Rose and I went ahead and snagged a bottle.  I also was pleasantly surprised by the Peach and the Lavender.  This was my first purchase ever of Kombucha but I am thinking not my last.  They were super sweet in explaining some of the healing properties this drink offers up.

Kombucha, 2 t-shirts and cookies in pocket, I walked OUT again to THE PIZZA HACKER and so began the finale. I had heard about this guy from my friend who was at a recent Valencia Street Food Fair Fest so I was quite eager to order my own.  He needed time to set his brilliance up and so I gave them that and walked IN picked up my cocktail from the raffle ticket table and headed over to Shakirah from SLOW JAMS.  After trying all 4 flavors which included Quince Butter, yum, I settled on her Vanilla Pumpkin Butter to add to all my to-go items.

Back OUT and to the side I went to check up on THE PIZZA HACKER. Still establishing his performance, I sampled a Syrian Baklava from BAKLAVA MAN. It was awesome. Back to PIZZA HACKER. What a way to end as you see this man working with a small yet VERY HOT oven that makes pizzas rather quickly and tasty.  He offers a range of toppings including Fresh Mozz or Anchovies or Sopressata to name a few. I saw a mushroom, I saw a Margherita, I saw a Sopressata.  I even got to taste a slice of fellow watcher and new pal Scott's Sopressata for a trade of my Margherita. I gave all but a small slice away to all my Cento and Little Skillet friends and some strangers.  It fucking rocked. Especially when Christian from Little Skillet said I won, one of the raffles.  I got to dig deep and pick from an envelope my prize. Feeling like such a winner, I pulled a gift certificate to NIHON/TSUNAMI and was beaming with smiles.

I put my hoodie on grabbed my bag outta coat check and packed all my new treats up.  Walking home listening to Make it With You by BREAD and EYE IN THE SKY by Alan Parsons Project, I felt Shuffle knew what songs to play.  It's now 1:27am and the dryer is about to go off.  Thanks for letting me. Night!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Plenty FULL Week

What a week since I was in Texas. It all started Sunday upon my return to SFO. Jim, a good friend, was nice enough to scoop me up from the airport.  I took him to Pi for some Pizza and Beer.  He told me how familiar my blog was becoming especially talking about places like Pi, which I have been frequented a lot.  I do need to drop the fact that I ordered a Hebrew Jewbelation 13. This native brew by Jeremy Cowan celebrates in Bar Mitzvah style 13 hops, 13 malts, 13% alcohol and 13 years of his Schmaltz Brewing. MAZEL TOV! After dinner, Jim was kind enough to help me make Mac Pie for my work's Xmas Potluck the following day.  We sweated through the merging 5 cheeses.  There was marscapone, cream cheese, blue cheese, asiago, cheddar and 2 pints of heavy cream to be exact. You can imagine the heart attacks I started on Monday afternoon.  Two trays later, it got completely swept up by co-workers and friends. Shout outs to John, Amy and Sydney from Cento and also Riley and Arch.  All buddies that got leftovers.

Tuesday night, I went ice skating for the 1st time in like 20 years.  It was hilarious and a bit nerve-racking but mostly a really good time.  My friend Angie rallied us to Foley's on Geary for pre-skate drinks and then we hit up the new cupcake place Cako Bakery before hitting the ice.  We tried their signature Red Velvet, their Strawberry Creme and the Nutella.  All very tasty but I'd say I was more partial to the Strawberry Creme.  After skating around the ice for nearly an hour, my friend Paul and I ducked out and over to Schmidt's to meet the boys at Uber Tuesday or what I call Sausage Tuesday.  I couldn't burp up sausage that night, so after a pint of Hefe, we snuck out and over to visit my friend Jennifer at Flour + Water.  It was a simple meal but so on-the-spot and super bon as Paul would say in his French Canadian accent.  The local dungeness crab with avocado, citrus & marinated beets was light and just the right combination of sweet and buttery to accent the crab. We kept it simple with their margherita pizza made with tomato, basil, fior di latte and extra virgin olive oil and were delighted with our choice.   It was the pasta though, that stole the show.  Pizzoccherie with speck braised cabbage potato & fontina.  The 2nd time I have had it and it still is rather mind-blowing. The night was magical and I was so glad I didn't fall more than once on the ice and in general.

Thursday after work, my boss took our sales team out for drinks and nosh to keep up with all the holiday cheer and to thank us for our hard work throughout the year.  We ended up next door to the office at the 21st Amendment so I was not complaining in the least.  I started the night off with the Baby Horse.  This beer contains 11.8% alcohol and apparently is not street legal in California.  It is a Belgian-inspired Quadruple with soft hints of apricots and candy sugar. Now doesn't that sound decadent and sweet?  It was both and very rich with flavor. I continued my beer exploration and ordered the Saint Martin's Abbey for my 2nd round. This is a deep copper Trappist-style beer made with Belgian malts and yeast.  Might I also tell you, the appetizers arrived and paired quite well.  Highlights were the Meatloaf Sliders and the Beer Battered Onion Hoops. I was jolly and feeling robust and said my goodbyes as I had a bit more party hopping to do.  Grabbed my co-pilot Riley and we went on a tour.  We hit S.O.M. on 16th Street.  This place brought back some memories as it used to be PINK and prior to that it had been LIQUID.  Boy, what a remodel and quite stunning. We headed over to SUPPERCLUB too before I called it quits to catch some beauty rest for the weekend.

Yesterday I brought the Cento girls Pork Belly Box lunches from my Pals at Pal's Take-Away.  The alley on Ritch was buzzing with Goody Goodie Cookies and the Boccalone Bike filled with hearty delicious pig parted sandos. The evening called for yet another soiree at Jennifer's pad.  Let's just say Fondue and Dim Sum.  Oh and bourbon and THE CURE and NEW ORDER.  Apparently, I was talking in my sleep last night.  Makes sense with all the ACTION this ACTION has seen and been through...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Forget Hanukah, It's All About Xmas

Yesterday morning, I got up and rode my bike to Ritual for a couple of Gibraltars before heading to the airport.  I hopped a flight to Dallas to hang with some friends.  My bud Todd picked me up and I bought him lunch to thank him.  We went to the Capitol Pub for some beers and grub.  I tried their Franconia Winter Wheat on draft.  Moved on to a Hope Devil IPA outta Pennsylvania and then onto to a Delirium Tremens on tap.  The grass-fed bacon cheddar burger was prepared medium rare and came with garlic fries.  Todd had the Reuben. It was an excellent late lunch and a great way to catch up with my pal. We got into the car and I noticed we were near Pearl Cup.  I convinced Todd to stop in to try their signature Pearl Latte. Still can't tell what the secret ingredient is but it was still mighty tasty. 

We went to our friend Michael's for his annual Xmas party last night and dropped off several gifts for Bryan's House, a special-care facility in Dallas for children with special medical and developmental needs and those affected by HIV/AIDS. The house was decked out in holiday style and I got to hang with alot of great friends.

This morning we got up and went back to Pearl Cup and met up with Ron and Chris for coffee.  I tried the mocha and it was as yummy as their latte.  We then ventured over to Breadwinners for brunch.  Dallas is rather warm today and I been chilling out with Nate, Todd's pug who keeps living all sorts of presents around the house for us.  He is a real pooper.  I got a flight back to SFO at 5:40pm. It's then off to Whole Foods for the ingredients to make some Macaroni Pies for tomorrow's Xmas Pot-Luck at the office.  Boy, do I have the Holiday Spirit! :@)

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Of The Same

Yesterday was a little bit of my same routine.  I had some friends come down and meet me for coffees at Cento and then we went to the Ferry building for lunch.  It seems lately I have been making weekly appearaces at Boulettes Larder.  I call ahead, of course, to secure table spots and lo and behold, there was a table waiting upon our arrival. Chris and Kerri were impressed with the menu and ordered the soup and the chicken dish, while I settled on the crab salad.  We treated ourselves to the hot chocolate, which was out-of-this-world.

Last night, my friend Michael came into town from Dallas and came over to see some neighborhood eats.  I took him to PI for some pizza and beer.  I am falling madly in love with this spot. We ordered the Pinwheels as an app to start us off with our beers.  And then it was pizza time.  We ordered all the meat items except anchovies and devoured the large size version. 

Woke up early and went to Ritual for a Gibraltar before the gym.  And after the gym went to Cento for more of the same.  At lunch it was over to Mission and my Pals at Pal's Take-Away.  I had the meatloaf box which came with mashed tators and green beans and bacon and found myself still craving more.  So I got the double stacked ham, roast beef and cheddar sando to go with a Gobba Gobba Hey Pie for dessert.  I gobbled the sando and brought the Pie over for my third and fourth Cento of the day.

I sit in my cube staring at the clock and craving a beer from 21st Amendment.  Too bad they have a private event and it's still not 5, otherwise I'd be knee-deep into some brews.  I am looking forward to the weekend and a quick adventure to Dallas tomorrow to see some friends and attend a Xmas party.  It is Hankuah but no one notices or cares. :( Same story year-after-year.  But I will celebrate any holiday that offers me a gift.  So, remember, I wear a medium size t-shirt, a 32 inch pair pants and I love Jurlique products...hint hint.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Is Finally Upon Us

This week has all been about being bundled up and staying warm. Since my preferred mode of transportation around the city is my bicycle, you can imagine, the challenge I am having.  It all started Monday when I neglected to wear my gloves and the ride to work, felt like my fingers were going to freeze off.  By Tuesday, gloved and dressed in layers, I still felt frozen.  Thank goodness I got to get some good nourishment to help warm my spirits and my body.  My boss and I took a fairly new client out to lunch at Tres Agaves to celebrate the new and future business we were receiving. After we ordered some of their house favorite guacamole, I started to munch.  My boss ended up ordering one of their awesome dishes, the Torta Ahogoda. Otherwise known as the "drowned sandwich," it's a braised pork shoulder in a chile arbol sauce.  Our client and I settled for their new Spit-Roasted Rotisserie Chicken.  Both dishes came with Manteca Fries.  I wish it wasn't scheduled during lunch hours because I could have really used a Margarita!

I have continued my crazy workout schedule and had worked out twice that day. After my afternoon workout, it was off to TRUCK for a pre-Sausage Tuesday meeting. We ordered some snacks which were rather tasty. The Frings were a great snack to share and we had fried pickles and some meat on a stick. We then quickly took our crew over to Scmidt's for our Tuesday night ritual.  I managed to convince my Barista's Sydney and Jennifer from Cento to meet me by offering to buy them a Sausage. And so the girls and I split 3.  The Wild Boar, the Fresh Duck and the Smoked Brat. I always substitute the Potato Salad for their Spaetzle.  We also shared the beet salad and 3 pints of Spaten Amber.  I decided against the after party at TRUCK and biked home and went under the covers.

Yesterday was another power lunch with clients at the SLANTED DOOR.  I was in charge of ordering for the 6 of us.  I got us 2 orders of the world famous Imperial Rolls, some Spring Rolls, 2 orders of the clams, 2 orders of the Shaking Beef, a Claypot Chicken, some Spare Ribs, The Dungeness Crab noodles and a few other veggie and noodle dishes. This place is so impressive.  It has the most massive crowd and still it feels comfortable to eat in.  The room is gorgeous and open and even though loud, it is still bearable to hear each other's conversations. I skipped dessert but had a nibble of their chocolate cake with house made peanut butter ice cream. It was damn good!

After an afternoon ab class, I biked home, changed and took a mate out to my neighborhood spot, THE FRONT PORCH.  Greeted by Karri aka "Adventure Girl" with hugs to warm me up from the cold outside, we settled at the bar for some beers.  Since Kevin was behind the bar, we decided to stay there order the Shrimp and Grits and a Bucket of Chicken.  I mean, that's all you really need on a cold night.  After we polished off a few drafts of the Poppy Jasper and emptied our bucket of chicken, I made my mate buy me an ice cream at Mitchells. I chose my 2 favorite flavors, the Peanut Butter Indulgence and the Grasshopper Pie. I walked home with a smile on my face and crawled into bed and said good night.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

étape par étape

Today was full of many steps. Paul and I stepped out around 10 and he had a craving for some Anthony's Cookies. We each got the Toffee Chip and Chocolate Chip and I sucked it down with some chocolate milk. We stepped over into the heart of 24th Street and had Gibraltars at Dynamo Donuts and shared a Chocolate Star Anise donut before heading over to St. Francis for breakfast. Of course, I never skew from my regular selection, Buttermilk Pancakes with Bacon, Cheddar and Green Onion. And drenched in Maple syrup no less. Many steps were taken through the projects and over to DogPatch where we stopped at Piccino Cafe for a mocha. After I picked up a great new Jacket Sweatshirt Vest thingy at my buds' Joe and Ian's N.I.C.E. Collective sale, we decided to avoid a few steps and take the bus back toward Dolores Park. After stepping through Bi-Rite and grabbing groceries for tonight's dinner menu, I stepped on down Valencia with the intention of going home for an afternoon power nap. I was stopped around 19th Street when some lovely ladies who were dancing around the corner offered me some Pie and Chai halfway down the block. I stepped up to The Golden Crust, a Sunday 11-3 tradition of handing out Chai and Pie to the neighborhood. And boy was Jessica, the baker herself, high on the pie and Chai. I got a delicious warm cup of Evan's Chai. Lizzy was awfully sweet as well. After I stepped away from my new friends, Chai in hand, I stepped further down Valencia Street before stepping into PI for just a beer and a slice. I settled on the house made Sausage Pizza slice and tried 21 Amendment's Monks Blood. Jon Cavaluzzo, the bar keep, originally from Jersey, like myself, described it to be a Belgian, strong, triple something, 9.5%, plum tasting beer. I sipped it as it came in a small wine like glass. After Jon let me sample the Anchor Humming Ale, Marin Brewing Company's Hoppy Holidaze and North Coast Pranqster, I settled on the Humming for a 2nd round. I was joined at the bar by a lovely couple Steve and Gail, super beer fans from Bernal Heights. In fact, Steve writes a blog called Beer By Bart, check it out! I however, am showering up and getting ready to step over to Paul's for a home cooked meal. I know, right, what a luxury! I'm one lucky guy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Patience Is Definitely A Virtue

It was my 2nd morning of waking up and hitting the gym by 6. After physical therapy at Phyisotherapy with my bud Allen, I headed over to the Ferry Building for a breakfast meeting at Boulettes Larder. It was cold outside, so you know I was happy to sit inside at the communal table. We all ordered the spicy brown scrambled eggs with local crab, shrimp, Becker Lane diced pork leg with Mizana and sesame oil. And 2 helpings of their toasted breads with sweet butter and Italian fruit jam. Plus as a special treat, we also each had eastern European style "hot" chocolate.
And then it was lunchtime and Vytas and I ventured out to Potereo Hill to the newly opened Bento 415 and pinkie's bakery. We were greeted by Patience, like the virtue. She suggested her favorite box which was the MISSION BOX. This is the Latin offering. Served Hot, it comes with a Smoked Skirt Steak Torta, Queso Fresca, Spicy Slaw, And Chili Mayo. It is accompanied by Jicama, Chayote, Avocado, Cumin Vinaigrette and Cilantro. There is also a side of Grapefruit, Arbol Chili Powder and Lime. This box also gives you Spiced Almonds and Totopos. Vytas went with the NORTH BEACH BOX. Served Hot, it comes with Berkshire Pork Sugo, Caponata, Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Marmalade. Its got a Cauliflower, roasted Garlic, Frying Peppers and Balsamico side. Plus a White Bean Salad, Prosciutto, Radicchio and Pecorino Romano. Finally, they throw in some Lemon Cured Olives for giggles. We got to shake hands with the Chef, I think his name was Chris.
While we were there and learning about the whole shared kitchen, we indulged in some of pinkie's baked goods. Vytas took a slice of Meyer Lemon Cheesecake, while I sampled the Cinnamon Roll and their Organic Banana Walnut Bread. Vytas exclaimed, after a taste that it "exploded with flavor." I concur. We also met the Cakestress herself, Ms. Cheryl Burr.
We took our boxes and desserts back to our office and went at it. I got to sample the NORTH BEACH and I offered up a bit of my MISSION BOX in return. A very delicious and robust amount of food for only $10. The cheesecake was excellent and the Cinnamon Roll and its frosting ended up all over my moustache. I have to say, excellent first impression and we will be back! I am bringing the rest of my Banana bread home with me.
I held off Cento until close to it's close time. My caffeine with drawl headache was a bit too much to bare so we went and got our daily dose. While there, we made a new friend. A Rottweiler named Chewy was kissing and getting his butt scratched and just loving us. Notice all the pictures of this day's adventure and look for my adventures on the weekend. Ciao!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Confessions and Further Indulgences

Today, I recruited my admin and actually cleaned my desk, or shall I say cubicle. And when I say clean, I basically threw out boxes of clutter that surrounded every inch of my cube for the last 4 years. I think it was an amazing experience to see the new look and feel of my work environment. I guess I was a bit in denial about the idea that I was somewhat of a cube hoarder. But hey, I have cleaned up so much of life, in terms my body, mind and soul. This task gave me additional strength and confidence that I can achieve anything. And I feel 100 pounds lighter. Plus, I have also been working out like a dog. I am still indulging however.

For instance, last night's late supper at Anchor & Hope offered up short ribs, some tuna poke, brussel sprouts with bacon and an amazing beet salad. Of course, it was eaten with some of their great draft beer selections. The space is fantastic. It is in an old barn down Minna Street, which is a side street between Mission and Howard down 2nd Street. Their Lobster Roll is fucking crazy good and they do make the house made chips that come along with. I have had it many-o-time. And I am not a tuna melt guy at all, ever. But, I will eat their tuna melt anytime. The layout makes me inspired to find a similar square footage for some of the creative restaurant ideas I have stored up.

So I also indulged at Little Skillet a couple of days ago. I was a bit hung over and skipped the Tuesday morning Troy ab class at Golds and barely made it to work by 9am. Once, I dropped my stuff off, I ventured down Ritch Street. I ordered my first of 2 Jennifer-made Centos. I then peaked over to the window at Lil Skillet and couldn't fight the temptation to order some Chicken and Waffles. I asked my buddy Christian, who works their window, to shred the chicken. Thank you Riley for the idea! And so I poured the maple syrup all over the chicken and the waffles and ate it in under 3 minutes. Definitely helped my headache. Christian and crew could not be a bunch of nicer people. Pretty much 3 out of 5 days of week, I eat their Black Pepper and Brown Sugar Biscuit with my Cento. I am also known to eat a half or whole Cobb Salad with Chicken. They have a daily board that offers special twists on waffles, grits, po' boys and salads. My office mates run, not walk, each week for a taste of their delicious goodness.

Speaking of goodness, it was another Sausage Tuesday with friends at Schmidts. And I indulged with 2 pretzels, 2 sausages and 2 beers. Of course I ordered a salad that had beets and apples and other fun stuff. It was a full moon, so I ventured to Truck to indulge in a little more madness. I managed to bike home around 1am after a couple more rounds of beer.

But since Tuesday, I have been up early, working it both at Golds Gym and at boxing ring with Michael ( So I better hit the hay, even though the premiere of Jersey Shore is on MTV, where guidos are calling themselves guidos. Oh yeah! I think I may have to hold off sleep for just one more hour. G'Nite!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Family Moment Full of Cheer

Last night was pretty monumental for me and my family. Beside the fact that there was Lobster Mac n Cheese in the mix, the family got along splendidly. More important, I got to hang with my younger brother Evan and his girlfriend. It had been nearly two years since we had seen each other. Both of us into our mid-30's, we are finally able to see each other as adults and enjoy one another. So we all met up with my mom and her husband for dinner at The Lazy Lobster in Long Boast Key. And so I ordered the Lazy Man Lobster which came "out of the shell in drawn butter. I super sized and got the Twice the Meat option. We all got a sampling of the "House Specialty" Lobster Mac n Cheese which is "fresh steamed lobster meat with macaroni and white cheese baked with toasted crumbs." This place rocked! I got to try my mom's Lobster Bisque. My bro was nice and offered up the house made potato chips that came with his Lobster roll.

We were all stuffed with lobster, when we went without the parents to World of Beer. I had picked up a childhood friend Evan, who was also visiting his family down in Florida. It had been 7 years since we had hung out. But thanks to Facebook, we have been able to keep up the latest and greatest adventures that occur in our lives. Back to World of Beer. I went straight for some Drafts. Started with Delaware brewed Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA after they were out of the Punkin'. This beer is described as a "Double IPA with huge hops and a huge fruity finish. Expect lots of citrus and a floral aroma. Dry-hopped for extra aroma!!!" I still need to try the Punkin' Ale at some point. I then ventured to the Unibroue Trois Pistoles from Belgium. It is a "Strong Belgian Dark ale with an aroma of ripe fruits and spices. Brewed from roasted malts giving it a fuller, malty sweet taste." My friend Evan suggested we dry a few bottles and we went with a pale Lager from Poland called the Zywiec. My brother's friends were awesome to hang with as well. His buddy Quincy has come out to Cali before and it was definitely great to see him in his town, living it up. The night ended at Linksters for some shots and last drafts before we shut the place down. And I have some shocking news. I got a #1 meal at McDonald's. Something was definitely going on, because I can not tell you the last time I had a BIG MAC. It was tasty as I mawed it in the parking lot with fries and a coke.

Now, less than 100 miles till we land in San Francisco, I reflect to a short but wonderful holiday. It has been a long time in the making and the fact that I am walking away from the experience with a smile on my face speaks volumes. But I am rather excited to be coming home and going out dancing tonight with my buds. My 2nd family. Can't beat that...