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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lunch With Beth--Eatsa the Automat

Beth and I are both old enough to remember the automat, so when we learned that Eatsa is open, we went over there to check it out.  Eatsa is a fully automated automat. Located at 121 Spear Street, it was easy to spot from across the street.

There's a friendly concierge to help first-timers with the process.
Order on their computer, or download their app on your phone. Even though it was their first day, everything worked perfectly! There is no cashier. You have to pay with a credit or debit card.
There are inspiring messages to entertain you during your short wait for your food.




The orders are delivered into "cubbies."
When your order is ready, the display tells you which "cubby" it's in.
Tap twice, and the door opens. Your name is on the wrapper, too.

Utensils are dispensed one at a time.
Glasses of fizzy water were tucked into a corner.
Beth ordered the Smokehouse Salad and a side order of Chips and Guacamole.


J.K. got the Balsamic Beet.
  

This was fun and tasty. We will be back.






Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cream in the Mission

We were walking in the Mission and noticed that there wasn't a line out the door at Cream, so we grabbed our chance to try their ice cream sandwiches. There were a few people ahead of us, but we needed the time to make our selections. As you can see, these are good-sized sandwiches and a tasty bargain at only $2.99.  J.K. chose the turtle cookies with chocoholic ice cram,  and Angela went with macadamia white chocolate chip cookies with strawberry ice cream. There isn't any place to sit, but there is a counter to lean on and stash whatever you're carrying.

Cream ice cream sandwiches (or you can get a cone/sundae) are freshly baked- Angela's cookies were still warm!-- and they have 10 flavors right now. They also have gluten-free and vegan cookies so it's an easy pick for the whole group. Of course you can pair your cruelty free cookie with a nice soy based ice cream. Taco Tuesday (who else loves a choco taco?!!) sounds like a delightful excuse to get your sundae and eat it too. We'll be around to check it out and update this posting. What's your favorite flavor combinations?





Lots of toppings
More toppings along the ice cream tubs

We're going back for Taco Tuesday!

Impressive choice of cookies

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rangoon Ruby

I had dinner at the newly-opened Rangoon Ruby on Polk with another friend who missed the Forbes Island expedition. The restaurant is very elegant and dimly lit, but this time I remembered to use the flash.
We started with the Tea Leaf Salad ( A mix of Burmese tea leaves, fried garlic, yellow beans, peanuts, sesame seeds, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno peppers and dried shrimp). A vegetarian option of this salad is available, but we are omnivores. The salad was brought to the table unconstructed, so we could see  that all the ingredients were there, and then the waiter combined them before serving us.
My friend chose the Shrimp Kabat (Marinated shrimp stir fried with paprika, masala, tamarind, green chilis, mint leaves, tomatoes and cilantro). Unfortunately (for me), he likes his food very hot, so there was no more than a taste of this for me. It was very tasty, but just too hot for me to enjoy it.
I would have preferred no heat in my meal, but I just couldn't resist the Village Catfish (Bone on catfish fried and served with onion, garlic, red chili and tomatoes in village style sauce), which had to be at least mild. due to the red chili being an integral ingredient. It is also necessary to eat this very carefully, as all the bones are there. If you're worried about swallowing a bone, this dish is not for you.
After all this, we just didn't have room for any of the intriguing dessert options. They are all very rich and all involve ice cream.

Eataly-NYC

Eataly was another highlight of the New York trip. We had been looking for soft shell crab, and the seafood restaurant there had them, so we stayed for lunch.

As soon as we sat down, our waiter brought us some bread.

The crab was an appetizer, so we each got one and ordered a salad to share.

Dessert  was milk chocolate Baci, courtesy of Perugina, who were sampling their new treat. I'm not going to tell you how many I ate.
The book department has some interesting titles.
  
And there was some interesting produce as well.
While we were waiting for our table, we took a walk around the block and discovered the Lego store.
My childhood friend being menaced by the Lego dragon

The two of us with Lady Liberty's torch, executed in Lego

There are always so many things to do when you visit NYC. It's best to just pick a few must-see/must-eats and then if you can squeeze in anything else it's a bonus. One lovely walk after eating around town is to visit the High Line Park. Let us know your favorite spots in the Big Apple, especially give us some tips on tea shops to visit.







Thursday, August 13, 2015

M.Y. China

I finally had lunch at M.Y. China in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, with a friend who was in the City for the day. We ordered steamed fish and a plate of mixed vegetables. A simple meal, and delicious. We will definitely go back to try some of the specialties of the house. This is not "cheap Chinese," but the food is well worth the price.

I'm sorry the photos are so dark. For some reason, if I don't edit them on my phone, I can't lighten the pictures after they're on my computer.
Simple Place Setting
Steamed Fish
Mixed Vegetables


Alice's Teacup--NYC

Alice's Tea Cup is a quirky little tearoom in Manhattan. Originally on West 73rd Street, it has expanded to two other locations, East 64th Street and East 81st Street, and an online store. TeaTime discovered the original location shortly after it opened, and it has remained a favorite whenever either of us is in New York.

I recently met my childhood friend in Manhattan for a week-long theater binge, and of course we had lunch at Alice's one day, after viewing the Chinese Costume Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum.
My friend chose the Smoked Salmon sandwich, served open-faced with a light lemon-dill butter on pumpernickel.
I had already had an amazing bagel, lox and cream cheese from Artie's Deli on broadway, so I went with Alice’s BLT with cheese on toasted pumpernickel.
As you can see, the sandwiches are served with a generous salad, so unfortunately, we didn't have room for dessert.

After eating, we had a good time browsing the gift shop. There is a lot more in the shop than there is online, so if you're in New York, drop by even if you're not going to eat there. Angela adds: Check out the boozy tea offerings!!

Forbes Island

I don't usually make a big fuss about my birthday. After all, it isn't really a special occasion–everybody has one. But this year I hit another millstone milestone, and Angela insisted that we had to celebrate. I got a birthday card from everyone in her family except her cat, and then she, Stephanie and Frisco Fred took me out to Forbes Island for dinner.

Forbes Island, a houseboat originally built as a private floating home, is now anchored off of Pier 39. A shuttle boat whisked us over to the restaurant.
Shortly after we were seated, we noticed that the chandelier was moving. We were definitely on a boat! 
 I couldn't add more light to the video. This is what the chandelier looks like.
Portions of the dining room are under water, with porthole windows through which we could see the shadow of the occasional fish swimming by. The mood lighting was supplied by a lighthouse lamp on our table.
 Dinner at Forbes Island is prix fixe, with ample choices for each course. The first course, a scallop, was an amuse bouche. 
The second course is a choice of salad or soup. Stephanie and I chose the Dungeness Crab, Avocado and Bay Scallop Salad with Orange Citrus Fennel Vinaigrette.
Fred had Fresh Baby Green Salad with Belgian Endives, Vine Ripened Tomatoes, Citrus Wedges and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

And Angela chose the Seafood Chowder of the day.
The third course is the entree. Fred chose the Organic Canadian Salmon, served on a bed of Cilantro Pesto Rice, Sautéed Spinach and Ginger Lime Crème Sauce, and asked to substitute mashed potatoes for the rice. The chef was agreeable, but wanted Fred to experience the rice, so he sent out a side order of potatoes.


Angela and Stephanie went with the Classic Filet Mignon, with Truffled Bordelaise Demi‐Glace, Gem Potatoes, Broccoli and Shitake Mushroom Puff.



I had "Lamb Lollipops," half Rack of Lamb, Potato Croquette, served on a bed of Edamame Succotash.

And then there was dessert. Angela chose the Crème Brûlée.
Fred and Stephanie opted for the Berry NapoleonMixed Berries with Raspberry Sauce, Hazelnut Tuiles and Mascarpone Crème.
I, of course, chose the Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut and Pecan Crust Cake with a Chantilly of Whipped Crème. My friends made sure our waiter knew it was my birthday celebration, and there was a candle on my plate.


For a final treat, we each had a chocolate sent along by TasteTV, our Chocolate Meetup sponsor. The mood lighting did not do the chocolate justice.





View of Alcatraz from Forbes Island