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.