Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bai Sparkling Antioxidant Infusion

Bai was at the Eat Real Festival in Oakland, handing out full-sized samples of their sparkling antioxidant infusion to the thirsty crowd. I had brought my trusty water bottle with me, so I saved my infusion to take home, where I could give it my full attention.

There are a few chemicals in there, but it's made with real juice, has no artificial sweeteners and has only 5 calories in the 11.5 ounce can.
And here it is, poured.
A lovely pink color, that tastes as good as it looks. Not too sweet, just right for a thirsty person.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Annual Party at the Internet Archive

Beth and I attended the Internet Archive's annual party. For the first time, the Archive sold tickets to the party, but it was well worth the $15 admission.

While waiting for the bus, I tried to take a picture of the bright pink sun, but it didn't show up on my phone's camera.

There were three taco trucks serving the crowd.


Three mild beef tacos
Two Spicy Beef Tacos
There was a DeLorean for photo ops and exhibits of the Archives projects.

We were given "passports" to collect stars for visiting the exhibits.

Around the corner, there were guacamole, chips, and vegetarian burritos.
Large Tub of Cups
Equally large tub of guacamole
Tray of Burritos wrapped in foil to keep them warm
There were also wine, beer and soft drinks available.

There was a brass band to entertain us.

After an excellent program on the Wayback Machine,which you can see here, there was ice cream for dessert and dancing for those who wanted to stay and socialize some more.

The evening's gift was a fashion "beanie" with the Archive's logo embroidered on it. When they said beanie, I was expecting an old-fashioned propeller beanie, but it was the current re-named watch cap which is much more useful in windy San Francisco.

Dream Chocolate at Octagon House

After 42 years in San Francisco, I finally got to tour Octagon House, on the corner of Union and Gough,  which is open only on the second Sunday and Second and Fourth Thursdays of the month for docent-led tours from 12:00 to 3:00. The docents are members of the National Society of  the Colonial Dames of America in California, which uses the house as  its headquarters as well as operating it as a museum. The docents all love the house and are amazingly well-informed and interesting. There is no set entrance fee but a $4 donation is recommended and well worth it.

There isn't an elaborate gift shop, but there are a few things for sale at the entrance. The chocolate bars are made by Dream Chocolate and are available in one ounce bars of dark or milk chocolate. Dream calls itself an artisan chocolate company, but does not appear to be a bean-to-bar outfit. They proclaim that their chocolate is European, but do not name the company they buy it from. They have a whole line in their own name and have many private label customers. These Octagon House bars are tasty and well worth the reasonable price, which I won't list because prices are always subject to change.
There is also a selection of TeaStation custom tea blends, formulated for Octagon House by Mill Valley's TeaFountain.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Clay Street Cheesesteaks

I'm never in the mood for a cheesesteak at lunch, because to get up to Broadway and back on my lunch hour and have time to eat would exhaust my hour and I'd have to stay late.  So, when I saw Clay Street Cheesesteaks open on Clay between Montgomery and Kearny, I knew I had to give them a try.
The cheesesteak is actually pretty good.  The artisanal bun is excellent, and the meat and cheese combined is everything you'd look for in a cheesesteak.

In 21st century fashion, you have a lot of choices; they don't just whip out the classic for you. Additionally, your cheesesteak can be chicken if you want.
However, it was just odd that onions come with but peppers have to be ordered as an addition.  What would they say in Philadelphia?

They don't sell chips, which is bizarre.  They do have fries, but those are mostly $4.50 with choice of toppings.  You can get a cheesesteak, fries and drink combo, but I didn't ask if that mean unsmothered fries.

So, it was a nice meal and good for a cheesesteak fix, but I must admit their concept of a cheesesteak joint completely throws me.

Monday, October 9, 2017

To Do Cafe and Seafood

My cousin Carol Ann down home posted on Facebook about her favorite restaurant, the To Do Cafe and Seafood.  She made it sound so good that I had to check it out when I was on the Northern Neck of Virginia for our family reunion.  I spent one day tooling around Richmond County, finding the location of my great-grandparents' house at Stony Hill and the Veterans Administration headstone (Rev War) for a great-great-great-great-grandfather.  That one's beneath two walnut trees behind a Budweiser warehouse.

From the county seat of Warsaw, the To Do was only seven miles away, so I crossed the Rappahannock into Tappahannock (try saying that six times fast), passed the highly touted Northern Neck Burgers, and made my way to the To Do Cafe.
Carol Ann did not steer me wrong.  For $18 I had a combination plate of a big ol' crab cake (all killer, no filler) and half a dozen fried oysters.  For sides, I had butter beans and onion rings, and they threw in a couple of hush puppies.  The onion rings were pedestrian, but everything else met my standards for sho 'nuff boss chow.
Oddly enough, one of the owners is a huge Oakland Raiders fan. It was a touch of home, while down home.
There's also a campaign 'round those parts to get people to do their fertilizing in the fall, rather than the spring, so the rains won't cause runoff into the river and interfere with crab mating season. Ergo, "Save the Crabs, Then Eat 'Em."

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory

Arline and I went to Fisherman's Wharf for some for some serious souvenir shopping.  Lunch was hours ago and we were hungry again, so we stopped at Ghirardelli Square for ice cream. We went to the Original Chocolate Manufactory, and watched the chocolate-making machines (and inhaled the divine scent of the molten chocolate) while we waited for our orders.

Arlene chose a butterscotch sundae.
I couldn't resist an interesting take on an ice cream soda. Instead of chocolate syrup and seltzer, the "soda" part was cold cocoa.
After that, we didn't need dinner!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Lunch at Boulevard Cafe in Daly City

My friend Arlene was visiting from Denver, to attend the local Cookie Cutter Collectors Club meeting. Of course her visit included a trip on BART to Sugar 'n Spice in Daly City, which has an amazing selection of cookie cutters, plus everything else you might need (including classes) to bake cookies and cakes or mold chocolate. After some strenuous shopping, we had lunch with Jeanné at Boulevard Cafe.

There were a few Pokemon in the store.
Nidoran checking out the chocolate molds
All three of us chose the BLT. I had mine with cole slaw.

The sandwich was ready for its close-up, and tasted as good as it looks.
My friends both chose the sweet potato fries to go with their sandwiches. Both sides were excellent.
Lunch fortified us for the next adventure of the day, some serious souvenir shopping at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, followed by ice cream at Ghirardelli Square.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

San Francisco Street Food Festival 2015

The 2017 Street Food Festival, which will be held at The Power Station, 420 23rd Street, after being on hiatus last year.

2015's Street Food Festival, in a new venue at Pier 70, was so big that we couldn't sample the whole thing, especially since Mel is nesting so it was only the two of us. But we made a valiant effort and ate as much as we could. Eventually we found our friends Candi and Joe and we added a few more notches to our restaurant belt with her help.

Pier 70 seemed so far away, but getting there was super easy. Angela biked, and J.K. took MUNI. There was free shuttle service, but she would have had to take MUNI to get to the shuttle, so she took the bus to Market Street and transferred to the T, which stops at 3rd and 20th. A plus is that Angela got in to scope it out before the crowd since she biked. The bike parking was inside the venue, so rather than make the bikers leave again to wait in line, they graciously let us wander around until the festival opened. 
Pork Belly on a bed of mac and cheeeeez
Always J. K.'s favorite, the rice noodle rolls from Rice Paper Scissors
Bahn mi for free? Yes please and thank you to Williams Sonoma.
Banana cotton candy from SuparSpun? Please and thank you!

This is only a very small sampling of the large amount of tasting J. K., Angela, Candi and Joe consumed in their wanderings about the festival.

This new venue (Pier 70) is an interesting change from other years. It wasn't difficult to get there, but it is now a bit of a destination instead of being dropped in middle of the Mission. We guess this means only the really hungry people are going to show up, plus the die hards who know what a great deal it is when you buy the La Cocina Passport. Plus most of the money helps the La Cocina charity! Who can resist helping cooks share their wares with the world? Not us.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

DarTEAling Lounge

Tea Time likes to make time to get around and revisit old favorites. Sometimes that's a challenge considering how many new restaurants open in SF every month, but we finally made time to get back to Dartealing Lounge. Our first visit was shortly after they had opened. Over time they've been getting settled in and more comfortable with their Restaurant Persona and when you walk in you see the delightful classy comfort they want to share with all their tea partakers.
DarTEAling continues the tearoom tradition of mis-matched china.
The menus can be seen online here, so double check before visiting to see if anything is seasonal or updated.

An assortment of utensils is on the table, 
so you don't have to look for a  server if you drop one
The outside is plain, but don't let that discourage you. The inside is charming.
 There are regular tables to sit at.
And there are cosy nooks for a more intimate experience.
And most important, the tea and the food.

J.K. usually orders tea without caffeine, but as we were going out that night, she was planning to stay awake for the entertainment anyway, so we ordered two caffeinated choices.
My Brown-Eyed Girl on the left,
Checkmate Mycroft! (with milk added) on the right
We ordered one Covent Garden Afternoon Tea and one Knightsbridge High Tea, so we could experience everything. It all came on one three-tier tray, so here are pictures from both sides. The tray is all one piece, so we couldn't remove each tier to take a picture from the top.

There is a small shop area with tea and china to take home.

After our tea, we went to Help Is On The Way XXIII. at the Herbst Theater. As usual, it was a great show. This year's beneficiaries were Meals on Wheels San Francisco and Positive Resource Center. If you missed the show and want to contribute to a good cause, you can still donate here.