Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Yin Du Wonton Noodle

It was soup weather again, and we decided try another Chinatown noodle restaurant. Yin Du Wonton Noodle on Pacific Street has good reviews so we gave it a try and were not disappointed 

There's an awning, too, but I would have had to cross the street to photograph it
Tea is served in mugs, so you don't have to keep refilling tiny cups.

Beth chose No. 4, Stewed Beef Brisket & Wonton Noodle Soup.
J.K. had No. 10, B.B.Q. Pork Wonton Noodle Soup.
The menu is much more extensive than what is shown on the website.

Because the prices are low, the portions are not huge. You won't leave hungry; you just won't have leftovers for another meal.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Willy Wonka at Dandelion Chocolate

Every year, Dandelion Chocolate presents "12 Nights of Chocolate" to benefit the SF-Marin Food Bank. This year, J.K., Angela and Beth all went to the annual showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Gene Wilder.

The doors opened at 7:00, and for half an hour we were treated to, well, treats, all made with Dandelion Chocolate, of course.
Chocolate Popcorn. What's a movie without popcorn?
There was an amazing selection of cookies.

And a flight of three brownies.
Pour-it-yourself endless hot chocolate, with three choices, plus the barista cheerfully made a house mocha for Beth. Unfortunately we were so busy guzzling our drinks that we forgot to photograph them. But you know what a cup of hot chocolate looks like. Also a generous supply of house-made marshmallows.

Dandelion has a new book, which we highly recommend.
The pre-film reception lasted ½ hour, to make sure everyone got enough to eat and drink. The treats and hot chocolate were all left out during the showing, and there were even plenty of leftovers, including hot chocolate, to take home. One lucky attendee found a golden ticket in her popcorn, entitling her to a free factory tour.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Swan Oyster Depot

Tea Time doesn't usually go to places with long lines, but Angela wanted seafood, we were in the neighbourhood, and the line wasn't too long, so we made an exception for the exceptional Swan Oyster Depot.

Close-Up of Seafood in Window
Close-Up of Seafood in Window From Other Side
Link to unauthorised menu
Lots of Baseball Memorabilia, starting right at the entrance.

The menu is on the wall, large enough to read easily.
Condiments and oyster crackers are within reach on the counter.
The Swan Story is on the counter, too. 
We ordered a cracked crab.
 And a combination seafood salad.
They came with crusty sourdough bread.

The wreckage 
 Our neighbors ordered a Sea Urchin, but we weren't brave enough. Maybe next time.
Our next stop was the Museum of Ice  Cream, so that took care of dessert.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Lunch With Beth / Hon's Wun-Tun House

It was a chilly day, so we were walking along Kearny Street, looking for soup (preferably with noodles) and decided on Hon's Wun-Tun House, a favourite of our friend and fellow Chocolate Salon volunteer, Lydia. Hon's is a "real" Chinatown restaurant without its own online presence, but is listed on menu and review sites. The menu is relatively short, but comprehensive.

 Beth chose No. 4, Stewed Beef Brisket and Rice Noodle Soup.
 J.K. opted for No. 23, Barbecued Pork and Wun-Tun Noodle in Soup.
 Some other posters have called the portions skimpy, but we found them to be just right, with no leftovers to deal with.

Turtle Tower

Beth and I were walking down Larkin Street, looking for a likely place for a quick dinner before going to the dress rehearsal for S.F. Opera's Girl of the Golden West. We decided on Turtle Tower, because there weren't many people inside, so it looked like service would be quick. It turned out that there were few inside because it was close to closing, but the staff nonetheless welcomed us and didn't rush us, even though they were obviously closing up, cleaning tables and putting the chairs on them so they could wash the floor.
There's plenty of choice on the menu.

 We finally decided on No. 7,  a soup-less Pho with Stir-Fried Beef with Celery, Carrot, Onion, Leek and Pan-Fried Noodles. As you have probably previously noticed, we like noodles (especially rice noodles).
 And Spring Rolls with noodles (No. 13).

We even got a loyalty card. But we didn't need it to know that we'll be going back.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Ham n' Latkes at Urbano Cellars

That it's an annual event tells you they haven't been struck by lightning yet.  On the non-hoity-toity side of Fourth Street in Berkeley, Urbano Cellars makes most of its wines from odd varietals.  The past two or three years, they've been sourcing grapes from the Clements Hills east of Lodi, starting to get into the Sierra Foothills.  They also make a red blend and a white blend sold by the growler.

One of the cool things Urbano does is throw a Ham n' Latkes party in advance of Hanukkah.  The excellent rendition is by Chef Cynthia, who also purveys her fine relishes and preserves.  She uses brown rice flour instead of matzoh, so I reckon these are gluten-free latkes.  (How many people's ears perked up at that?)  Also, she puts her potatoes through a cream of tartar wash to keep them from turning brown.

Does this make them Berkeley foodie latkes?

Music by Mission Hill, a combo from San Francisco.

I had a really fun time, no surprise.

Friday, November 10, 2017

La Cocina 2017 Food Festival

Alas, La Cocina's Street Food Festival is no longer in the streets. It's still a great food festival, but it just isn't the same. Tea Time expected the usual long lines, and arrived early.

The line for our favorite pho rolls from Rice Paper Scissors was long, but not nearly as long as it was a little while later.
We couldn't make up our minds, so we got half mushroom and half beef.
Then we tasted some wine from Charles Smith wines, where we got our wristbands without having to wait on the wristband line at the entrance.

Pacifico Beer was right next to the wine, with a generous array of swag for the festival-goers. 

Our next stop was the Mozzeria truck, for generous slices of margherita pizza, with a charred, chewy crust.

We spotted a giant turkey leg, which was intriguing.

But then we spotted these beef-filled potato fritters with a crispy crust, asked the gentleman where he got them, and raced over to place our order. They were seriously backed up (for good reason) so we walked around for a few minutes while they were being made.

The sun was so bright; it's hard to see the meat. 

Alter Eco chocolate is another favorite of ours, but it was way too hot to buy chocolate to take home.

Then it was time for dessert. We were tempted by the ice cream tacos, but Three Twins were donating all pint sales to the fire relief effort, so we got a pint of brownie batter chunk to share.

And after that indulgence, we staggered out of the event. Angela biked home, and J.K. took the KT to Embarcadeo Station and walked home from there, with a stop at Daiso, where she found a perfect skinny brush to clean her chocolate tempering machine.