Saturday, July 7, 2018

Cafe Zitouna

After spending the afternoon on the Bay on the Chocolate and Wine Cruise, we were hungry for a meal and decided to try Cafe Zitouna on Polk Street. Tea Time has ventured up and down the Polk Gulch many times and we always find a restaurant we haven't yet ventured in to try. Cafe Zitouna is dishing up authentic Morrocan food and tempted our palates.  We decided to start with an appetizer, Tunisian Michwiya, which features tuna, onions, egg and capers.

Appetizer with a side of crusty bread. The best thing to hit the spot on a blustery day.
Angela ordered a wrap, the Merguez Shawarma with housemade lamb sausage and traditional wrap fillers of veg and onion with tahini sauce. YUM.

J.K. ordered the B'stilla, listed on the menu as The Pie From Heaven. This is a savory dish, but topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon, which makes for an interesting contrast.
(B'stilla) chicken meat, scrambled eggs in fresh herbs,
roasted almonds flavored with safran, ginger and honey
wrapped in a tissue thin warka topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon

Up Close with B'stilla

There was definitely enough for leftovers.
From their website:

Café Zitouna is the premier restaurant that combines an authentic Moroccan food with Tunisian Home made food in San Francisco Bay area.
Café Zitouna serves you like a traditional Maghreb family would at their home.

Morocco and Tunisia are the culinary star of North Africa in the Mediterranean sea, are the doorway between Europe and Africa (located very close to Spain and Italy).

The North African region called Maghreb. Much imperial and trade influence has been filtered through the area and blended into its culture. Unlike the herb-based cooking across the sea to the north, Tunisia and Moroccan cooking is characterized by rich spices. Cumin, coriander, saffron, chiles, dried ginger, cinnamon, and paprika are on the cook's shelf, and in her mortar. In one word come visit us or order online and you will be glad you did
. Additionally, the menu at Cafe Zitouna is Halal Dhabiha.

The casual family atmosphere of Cafe Zitouna is a welcome break from the hustle(!) and bustle of Polk Street. It was certainly a cozy place to rest our weary feet and nosh down some delicious ethnic food after our lovely boat ride under both bridges.

Unfortunately, Cafe Zitouna is no longer open. First they were closed while some work was being done on the street, then they said they were closed for Ramadan, and now they are simply gone. The space is empty.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fudge Fatale

Alexander Black's Fudge Fatale's original product is fudge. Deep, dark, smooth fudge. Packaged in a shiny gold wrapper inside a luxurious velvet case. The shop section of their website and the home page aren't live at the moment, and the chocolate sauce is currently unavailable at I'm afraid this means they're out of business.

Alexander Black, who grew up making fudge at home in Connecticut, made an appearance on the Wayne Brady show, which is on YouTube. The recipe was on his website at the time, and you can see it here. This is a different kind of fudge recipe. It doesn't need to be kneaded on a marble slab, but it doesn't use marshmallow creme, either.

 My piece had a bit of sugar bloom, but that was due to the friend who gave it to me holding on to it for a while until he saw me again.
The Fudge Itself

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Lunch with Beth–Young's Cafe

Young's Cafe, on the corner of Kearny and Sacramento, is a favourite of ours.The food is good, and service is fast and friendly. They even cheerfully served us when we got there for a late lunch while the staff was having its meal.

There's a full menu, plus two whiteboards of lunch specials, which are listed in English.

A small cup of soup while you wait is included with all meals. Even if all you order is soup. It was a chilly day, so we ordered soup and and a noodle dish.
Today's Egg Drop Soup
Barbecue Pork Won Ton Soup
House Chow Fun

Monday, April 2, 2018

Wonderland Chinese Cuisine

Angela, Dan and I headed over to Golden Carousel on Pine Street, only to discover that they're closed on Sunday. So we got in the car and went to Wonderland, on the corner of Haight and Fillmore, which was open, and served us a delicious meal.
Elegant Place Setting
Fork and Stainless Steel Chopsticks
Two individual bowls of rice were Enough for the three of us.
Broccoli Beef
with a few other vegetables
We ordered the House Chow Fun, but asked for it not spicy.
House Chow Fun
And, of course, duck! Which wasn't spicy, either.
Roast Duck
on a bed of boy choy
Corner Entrance

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Lunch with Beth–Lion Dance

Beth and I were having lunch at Joy Hing Noodle House on Kearny Street when we were surprised by a Lion Dance troupe that came in to bless the restaurant.

Altar at entrance

Friday, March 9, 2018

Kaya Jamaican Restaurant

Teatime was so impressed with Hazel's Restaurant Week menu that we and our friend Thomas decided to go back to try the happy hour menu. Unfortunately, Hazel's was closed for a private event, so we went next door to Kaya Jamaican Restaurant.

We ordered drinks and four appetisers to share. There were no happy hour bargains, but the food was excellent. The tip was added to the check, as a service charge, and there was no problem with multiple cards, so no arithmetic was required of us.
Salt Fish Fritters with Chimichurri
Salt Fish Fritter in close up with condiments
Caramelized Carrots + Beet Salad
Pomegranate Molasses +Ginger
Mary's Organic Jerk Chicken
Plantains, Rice + Peas
Grilled Wild Gulf Shrimp
with Tamarind Sauce
Rum-Filled Coconut
Diplomatico Matuano, Lime, Luxardo Apricot, Coconut Water
Single Serving of Zap Pow (which they also
serve in a punch bowl to share)
Close-Up of the Flaming Marshmallow

Natural Mystic
J.K. tried to order the ChocoBanana (smith + cross, bumbu, crème de cacao, jerk bitters) but they were out of it, so she went with her usual tequila gimlet.
We then relinquished our spots at the bar, and went across the street to Market On Market, where we grazed on pizza and salads.
Pizza from
The Market Pizza Bar
Two Salads from Takeaway Station

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Cheryl's Crunchy Gingerbread Cookies

I received this bag of tiny gingerbread cookies at the Winter Fancy Food Show. I usually prefer my own baking, but these little cookies from Cheryl's have an excellent sugary crunch. Cheryl's is owned by the same company that owns 1-800-Flowers. The cookies are available online, but Yelp reviews indicate occasional shipping delays, so I don't recommend last-minute orders.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Crepe House

Herrick chose The Crepe House on Polk for this year's birthday lunch.

He ordered a latte, made with half and half, and the Warm Chicken Salad.

Chicken breast, romaine hearts, scallions, red bell pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh basil.
Tossed with house made sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing
I had a bagel with cream cheese, lox, tomatoes, and red onion. Capers are available, but I always pick them off, so I ordered it without. I really like the way it was served. This way is much easier to eat than a closed sandwich piled so high it doesn't fit in my mouth.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

S.F. Writers Conference Banquet at Great Eastern

Chinatown's Great Eastern Restaurant was once again the site of the banquet hosted by San Francisco Writers Conference Board Member Harvey Pawl for Conference speakers and volunteers. The Banquet is also available to attendees for a very reasonable fee.

Places were set for tables of ten when we arrived.
 Our first dish was steamed pork dumplings.
Cross-section of dumpling

 Next, our waiter brought us soup.
Mixed vegetables & bean curd with egg drop soup
The serving bowl exactly filled our ten individual bowls.
The soup was quickly followed by Golden Pumpkin Fries. 
 Next up was a platter of Pan-Fried Scallops with Stuffed Shrimp Paste. This was new to me, and I will definitely order it again.
 The Peking Duck with Steamed Bun was the highlight of the meal for me.
 Honey Walnut Shrimp, another old favourite.
 And of course, a big bowl of fluffy rice to accompany the following dishes.

Beef with Ginger and Scallion
Lamb with green peppers and onion
Bok Choy with Ginger and Mushrooms
Sweet and Sour Pork
Chow Fun with Mixed Vegetables
 For dessert, there were fancily-displayed orange slices.
 The ubiquitous fortune cookies.
 And a final surprise of custard tarts!
The meal, as usual, was amazing. It gets better every year.