Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Crab at Crustacean

J.K.'s favorite neighbor moved out of the building, and left her a parting gift of a very generous gift card to Crustacean. So we headed over there to enjoy the famous Roast Crab. Angela had never been, but J.K. has enjoyed their cooking several times, so she knew exactly what we should order.

Of course, we're still on the hunt for Pokemon and since this dinner happened during the holidays there were a few fun updates to the game in keeping with the spirit of the season. So we kept our phones open and just as we were leaving the apartment building, this guy appeared:


   Fancy Place Setting, lovely dishware

The restaurant was pretty quiet when we arrived, but that means we didn't have to wait even though we hadn't booked a reservation. There wasn't much need to look at the menu, but we did decide on an appetizer which we ordered with our drinks and the Crab with a side of noodles. Then we were free to look around at the decor which was a mix of modern and rustic. A very welcoming space.

Tea Time was fascinated by this light fixture!
J.K.'s usual tequila gimlet

Angela chose pear cider

Appetizer- seafood cakes with asian veggies
Of course we had to have an order of Garlic Noodles along with our crab. If you order these noodles for lunch from the An The Go truck, there will be meat with them.  

Here's Looking at You Kid.
Roast Crab!

We really enjoyed our meal at Crustacean. The crab was sweet, the noodles a perfect match with the sauce from the crab. We didn't make too much of a mess, and even if we had they gave us bibs to protect our tops. If anyone else wants to pass on some gift cards for local SF restaurants, Tea Time will be happy to take them for a spin. Thank you for the treat ex-neighbor!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chicken Curry Pie, Mash and Peas – The Pie Maker – Galway

When Bing Crosby sang about little cottages on Galway Bay, he made the town sound like a quaint little fishing village.  That would be nearby Claddagh, birthplace of the famous rings, which got razed and rebuilt after a tuberculosis epidemic.  But, no worries:  someone has lovingly recreated a typical cottage where folks can sit around a fireplace while singing songs and telling stories.  Seriously, not ironically.

Galway City itself, population 79,000 in a county of 225,000, is a university town offering an acclaimed tech education well below Stanford prices.  Parts of it are shiny techie brand new.  And yet, the center of town is a charming pedestrian mall whose streets angle off from each other.  Down toward the Spanish Gate (Spanish and Portuguese sailors were early trade partners) is the adorably cute hole in the wall called The Pie Maker, looking like a relic from another age.

Only it isn’t.  The space was carefully designed and compiled, and the owners would love to franchise it, so it’s a good thing the food is excellent.  Your Correspondent had a chicken curry pie with mash (as in, potatoes) and mushy peas that weren’t mushy at all.  And (an imported) ginger beer.  We chatted with the manager and the eponymous Pie Man, and expressed the opinion that a version would be a hit in San Francisco, but the financial risk would be prohibitive.  They asked what they could charge for their pies here, and we were thinking the Bi Rite Market, artisanal food crowd and decided the pies without sides could probably go for $18 or more (in Galway, with sides, €13).  They were stunned.  We would have been too, except we get to do our being stunned at home in San Francisco and knew whereof we spoke.

All in all, a very delightful late lunch.  Oh, and the JFK portrait on the wall.  I saw one of Jack and Jackie elsewhere, so apparently it's still a thing and this may not have been for effect.

Full Irish Breakfast – The Clarence – Dublin

Your Correspondent’s first hotel stay in Ireland was The Clarence, on the Quay at the edge of the Temple Bar.  This stretch is Wellington Quay; the names change every couple of blocks.  This hotel is owned by Bono and The Edge of U2, who were out on tour … not that we were likely to run into them anyway.  The accommodations were lovely.  Breakfast for guests was at a discount, so on a big tour day we made sure to fortify with the full Irish breakfast.  The Clarence’s version is done well, with smaller portions than we had elsewhere.  All the elements were there:  eggs, sausage, Irish bacon, black and white pudding, a grilled tomato half, mushrooms, and baked beans.  It’s similar to the full English breakfast, of course, but the Irish bacon is back bacon with a wing that the Eggs Benedict slices don’t have.

We had this breakfast elsewhere with two slices of bacon and two sausages.

The “puddings” are actually rounds from sausages.   The white pudding is on the bland side, but the black pudding can be spicy.  In San Francisco, the Eazy Freezy market on West Portal carries Irish bacon, bangers, and a blood sausage that’s the black pudding but not as big around.  It’s on the spicy side, and does go well with eggs.

The Irish bacon aside, I don’t think this beats an American breakfast of eggs, bacon and hash browns.  It’s not something I could eat every morning … and so I didn’t.  Salmon and eggs, when on the menu, made a lovely change of pace.

Fish and Chips – Super Miss Sue – Dublin

Over the course of two weeks in Ireland, Your Correspondent ate fish and chips only twice, partly because her traveling companion wasn’t keen on them, and she ended up cursed with an overly battered version at a “chipper” in the Temple Bar in Dublin that touts all the celebrities who have eaten there.  The two of us, though, hit the jackpot at SMS, or Super Miss Sue, in Dublin.  Super Miss Sue has a takeaway side and a café side, separated by curtains, and, apparently, a restaurant side that we didn’t even see.  There was loud music in the takeaway, so we were happy to find the café (with this cool neon sign).

The fish and chips were heavenly!  Since it wasn’t busy when we were there (before supper time, because it was our arrival day and we were hungry early), we got to chat with the proprietors, who are actually Brazilian.  True to our suspicions, they do have a special recipe for the batter.  They said it was a secret, and we said we were just curious and not prying into the ingredients.  They also cook the fish and chips in beef tallow, which definitely added to the flavor.

This very filling serving was €16, maybe a little higher than what we’d pay in an Irish bar with food in San Francisco (e.g., Harrington’s).  This definitely lived up to the advance billing.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

2017 Restaurant Week at M.Y. China

J.K. was walking the Fancy Food Show, and Angela was working the day job, so we had time for only one Restaurant Week lunch. We chose to return to M.Y. China, because we had such a good time there last year.

Sparkling wine is always a great treat and Angela chose to splurge at this lunch!
 Our entrees arrived first, but that wasn't a problem. J.K. ordered the wok-seared beef filet, while Angela chose the rice cake with wild boar. M. Y. China always gives a generous portion. We forwent the rice and simply mixed and matched tastes and textures. As it was there was still a doggie bag at the end of the meal.

Wok-Seared Beef Filet
sichuan peppercorns, arugula with jasmine or brown rice
Rice Cake with Wild Boar
cabbage, edamame, green onions
Mr. Zheng Dumpling
pork, shrimp, shitake, sesame oil, green onion
Close-Up of Dumpling
Veggie Spring Rolls
Toasted Taro, Wild Seasonal Mushrooms
 We usually  show you as many dishes as possible, but the the Sugar Puff Ice Cream Sandwich was too good to substitute sorbet for one of them. It's really more of a profiterole, but we weren't quibbling. 

M. Y. China is a delightful place to try out some delicious dishes. If you're on a tight budget, Restaurant week is the perfect way to splurge!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nielsen Massey and Peru at the 2016 Fancy Food Show

We were feted with many delicious treats at the Fancy Food Show. There were even cooking demos. Neilson-Massey offered us a yummy DLT (Duck Lettuce Tomato) with a fresh Hibiscus cooler on the side. You could pick up the recipe to recreate it at home (of course we did–you know we love duck). They have numerous awards in food excellence and are best known for their vanilla extract (but they sell many other extracts as well).

Duck BLT and Hibiscus Cooler

The Nielson-Massey team, ready to answer all your lingering extract questions.
After sampling Nielson-Massey's delightful duck dish we wandered around the International Pavilion for a while before stumbling upon a food presentation produced by the country of Peru. What? Peru? Yes, and everything was delectable. Thank goodness Tea Time is already well versed in sharing dishes, because even though all these plates were sample sized we were feeling pretty full. It's a good thing there's always a lot of walking when we are at the FFS.

Tea Time is waiting with bated breath and empty tummies to see what trends pop up at the 2017 winter fancy food show. This yearly event gives us insight into food trends and tastes we might not find if we didn't attend the show. Check out our Instagram for live updates of the great finds and delicious treats that come to our attention this January.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Happy Hour at E & O

The sign outside said "Pokemon inside--just kidding." So of course we had to check it out! Actually Angela had been here to E & O before for their great Happy Hour, so she just had to drag J.K. along to enjoy it with her.

But J.K. was also lured in (get it! lured! oh, pokemon joke) by their delicious menu options and excellent prices. Happily E & O didn't disappoint us. We picked the Pu Pu Platter off the menu which gave us the chance to taste a little bit of everything from house made taro chips and pickles to sliders, satay and short ribs.

Pu Pu Platter

Happy Hour menu-current as of Jan 2017
Their Pokemon Go message on the sign outside must have been a joke, because  two nearby businesses had lures going, so there were Pokemon inside, trying to share our drinks. Angela had the Sutter Punch from the happy hour menu, which didn't attract as many creatures. J.K. is the Master Pokemon Trainer of our duo.
Goldeen dropping into my gimlet

Venonat sad because gimlet is finished
Happy Hour at E & O is a great get away from the hubbub of Union Square and Chinatown. They serve lunch and dinner, but their happy hour is from 3-6. It's worth the extra planning to fit it into your schedule, or just make excuses the next time you have a visitor in town and take the day off to go check it out.