Towse: views from the hill

August 5, 2013

Another source for North Coast’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout in San Francisco

Filed under: food,San Francisco — Tags: — Towse @ 6:10 pm

Before a chance met friend pointed me to the Kezar back in June 2011, the only place I knew to find North Coast’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout on tap was at the mothership, the North Coast brewpub up in Fort Bragg. That’s fine for the few times a year we go up for a few days, but not for those of us who think Old Rasputin is tops and would rather have it on draft than in a pricey dinky bottle.

For those who are searching for Old Rasputin on tap in San Francisco, we found it yesterday at Inferno Pizza, 1800 Fillmore St, corner of Sutter. (Tasty pizza there as well. …)

Old Rasputin is also available at the Kezar Bar (900 Cole @ Carl). (Not at the other Kezar Bar on Stanyan, I’ve been told.)

The Page at 298 Divisadero Street (at Page) also has it on nitro-tap, alleges the Web. We’ll check that out soon.

Know of any other places in San Francisco where Old Rasputin is on tap? Comments welcome!

[This has been a public service for those hankering for Old Rasputin on tap in San Francisco]

September 5, 2012

Tasty Txoko on Broadway

Filed under: food,restaurants,San Francisco — Towse @ 4:20 pm

It was the last Saturday in July and I’d had lunch with my pals in MWA-NorCal at Villa d’Este on Ocean. The M-OceanView/45/39 connection brought me home in time to meet up with his nibs before we headed down to La Mar for before-dinner pisco sours (in honor of Peruvian Independence Day) and a beef empanada snack. We stopped off at Palio on our way home to say farewell and “Have fun!” to retiring chef/owner Dan Scherotter, who is moving on to interesting times.

We turned up Kearny toward North Beach as we walked home on a Saturday night. Dinner decision time:  Original Joe’s? The House? Park Tavern? But wait! Broadway! Kearny! Txoko! at Kearny and Broadway. Perfect. And what a delicious meal I had: crispy pork headcheese, glazed beef cheek with crispy sweetbreads, Shishito peppers with sea salt. Tasty. Perfect. The mains were staged on a medley of tasty peppers and vegetables blended with sauces, more. Bringing the Basque back to North Beach.

The food at Txoko’s is amazing. The wine list has an interesting selection of Spanish wines. The service was low key and on the money. What a perfect evening.

I was talking up Txoko’s to a friend of ours recently and he said, “But it’s on [gasp] Broadway.”

Well, yes. It is. In the former Enrico’s space. Hello? Did people not go to Enrico’s because it was on [gasp] Broadway? Two-star Michelin Coi is across the street and down a block and a half.

*sigh* Oh, what a sorry rep the Broadway strip has, but it was always thus.

Txoko’s has the food and ambiance (see the Jeremy Fish mural on the back wall) to be a magnet for local foodies. I wish I could convince more people (neighbors especially, who just have to walk down the hill) to get down there and see what I mean.

July 2, 2009

The subject was hotdogs and the Fourth of July

Filed under: food,movies,video — Towse @ 4:16 pm

The link was to a classic hotdog-eating scene from a classic movie.

June 1, 2009

Adieu, Joseph Schmidt

Filed under: food,photographs,San Francisco — Towse @ 7:29 pm

Joseph Schmidt, a local purveyor of fine chocolates, now a subsidiary of Hershey’s, will close as of June 30. Their chocolates are now on sale (3489 16th St.) as they skid toward the end of the month, although you wouldn’t be able to tell from their Web site.


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Old friends brought a “spring” box collection as a hostess gift when they came for dinner a few weeks back. The box is beautiful. The chocolates ymmm.

Adieu, JS. Another San Francisco tradition signs off.

May 12, 2009

A not-so-typical Sunday

Filed under: food,life,restaurants — Towse @ 11:11 pm

The traditional brunch scheduled for last Sunday was re-scheduled, so we found ourselves with an unexpected free day on the calendar.

After checking the clock several times to make sure we timed it right, we used our Ukraine-specific calling card to call the younger younger guy, who’d requested a Mother’s Day call. Later, I talked with the older younger guy. Happy Mother’s Day to me.

A bit after lunch, we headed down the hill to the Ferry Building for bread at Acme. After scoring our sour bâtard, his nibs took me out for a delish Mother’s Day brunch at Butterfly on the waterfront. I watched the Bay: he watched the family dynamics of the Mother’s Day celebrants in the restaurant.

Our meal started with a small platter of four amuse-bouches for each of us: a Bloody Mary oyster shooter, salmon and strawberry salad roll, tuna poke tartar, and — my favorite — Rob Lam’s outstanding meatball of Kobe beef wrapped around a bit of foie gras and then cooked until the outside is crispy. (We’d had these meatballs at a wine tasting event at Butterfly a while back … memorable. Hot. Crispy. Rich. Ymmmm.)

The amuse-bouches were followed by a choice of first courses. From four or so we chose two different items — a rich, creamy shrimp bisque in puff pastry with white truffle oil, minced chives =and= spicy green papaya and mango salad with Vietnamese carmelized shrimp. We swopped halfway through.

Next, we had a choice of main courses — again, four or so … we both chose the Eggs Benedict three ways: traditional, w/ crab, and w/ wild mushroom. And, finally, a dessert plate from the chef. (We boxed up the non-melting portions for later consumption.)

On our way home (after opting to head straight up the stairs rather than go roundabout with the 39bus up to Coit Tower and walk down), we stopped off at a neighbor-on-the-steps’ everything-must-go sale. She’s headed off to Fiji with the Peace Corps and off-loading as much as possible.

We were so thoroughly full that even the walk down to the Ferry Building for bread (0.9mi), over to Butterfly for brunch (1mi), and back up the hill (0.5mi), didn’t wear off enough calories. We both went to bed later Sunday night without our supper (and without having a single regret that we’d missed a meal).

A lovely day it was. … extended by the package that arrived from our PCV (sent from Berkeley) this morning.


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April 23, 2009

The classic Alice B. Toklas recipe

Filed under: books,food,history,recipes,writers,writing — Towse @ 9:46 pm

I found a good home for my softcover edition of The ALICE B. TOKLAS COOKBOOK. I have an older, hardcover, first edition that I intend to keep but, really, there aren’t many differences ‘twixt these two.

One difference, the newer edition has a foreword by MFK Fisher.

One other crucial difference, for those of us who spent our young adult years in the sixties and seventies, this edition contains the recipe that (for legal reasons) the publisher could not include in the first edition. Yes, the recipe for Haschich Fudge — no, not brownies … fudge, even though the talk was always of Alice B. Toklas brownies.

The Haschich Fudge recipe is not a Toklas original, but rather came to Toklas from painter and film-maker Brion Gysin, according to the notes.

Haschich Fudge (which anyone could whip up on a rainy day)

This is the food of Paradise — of Baudelaire’s Artificial Paradises: it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR. In Morocco it is thought to be good for warding off the common cold in damp winter weather and is, indeed, more effective if taken with large quantities of mint tea. Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one’s personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected. Almost anything Saint Theresa did, you can do better if you can bear to be ravished by ‘un évanouissement reveillé.’

Take 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of coriander. These should be pulverised in a mortar. About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of canibus sativa [sic] can be pulverised. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.

Obtaining the canibus may present certain difficulties, but the variety known as canibus sativa grows as a common weed, often unrecognised, everywhere in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa; besides being cultivated as a crop for the manufacture of rope. In the Americas, while often discouraged, its cousin, called canibus indica, has been observed even in city window boxes. It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.

Now that I’ve saved the recipe (although for what reason I don’t know), I can pass the copy of the later edition on to someone who will give it a good home.

zoomed in food… look closer

Filed under: food,photographs — Towse @ 9:45 pm

zoomed in food… look closer

Delightful food closeups.

[found via StumbleUpon]

February 26, 2009

It’s Not What You Eat, It’s How Much

Filed under: food,life,news — Towse @ 4:45 pm

Here’s news!

It's Not What You Eat, It's How Much

Calories count.

A lot.

February 6, 2009

20 Worst Foods of 2009 – 1. The Worst Food in America of 2009

Filed under: culture,food,health — Towse @ 2:25 am

20 Worst Foods of 2009 – 1. The Worst Food in America of 2009 (from Men’s Health)

Baskin Robbins Large Chocolate Oreo Shake
2,600 calories
135 g fat (59 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fats)
263 g sugars
1,700 mg sodium

We didn’t think anything could be worse than Baskin Robbins’ 2008 bombshell, the Heath Bar Shake. After all, it had more sugar (266 grams) than 20 bowls of Froot Loops, more calories (2,310) than 11 actual Heath Bars, and more ingredients (73) than you’ll find in most chemist labs.

Rather than coming to their senses and removing it from the menu, they did themselves one worse and introduced this caloric catastrophe. It’s soiled with more than a day’s worth of calories and three days worth of saturated fat, and, worst of all, usually takes less than 10 minutes to sip through a straw.

The Men’s Health article has twenty of the worst foods in America: worst salad, worst breakfast, worst burger, &c. (Hard to navigate, but interesting. …)

[via Sour Grapes' Google Reader]

January 27, 2009

Kung pao chicken

Filed under: food,life — Towse @ 7:02 am

In honor of the day (Happy Year of the Earth Ox to you too!) I made kung pao chicken for dinner. Loads of cutting and chopping and mincing of garlic and fresh ginger and green onion and chicken.

The recipe — one that I’ve used for years … used so much in fact that the page has fallen out of the cookbook — calls for 1tsp. chopped garlic. 1tsp. chopped ginger. Wha? Wimps. I threw in a certain amount that might’ve been five or ten times what they asked for.

Loads of measuring and stirring — first for the goop the chicken sat in before cooking and then for the cooking sauce added after the chicken was cooked through. Measuring of peanuts. (Well, I didn’t measure, really. I scooped up about twice what the recipe called for.) Counting of red hot dried peppers. Cook this. Set it aside. Then this. Add that. Add that back in. Stir until thickened.

Cooking of rice in rice cooker. Making of veggie to accompany — in this case, a green salad with cherry tomatoes. Not very traditional but something his nibs likes. (He made it.)

Cut, chop, cook, stir.

Well worth the effort.

We’d seen a bottle of “kung pao sauce” at the grocery store over the weekend when we were getting a fresh bottle of hoisin sauce, having used up our bottle dregs when we were eating egg foo yung the other night. Bottled kung pao sauce? Why? And what’s in it anyway?

Still, I’d already been thinking of kung pao chicken and we had peanuts on the shopping list because we were out and I couldn’t make kung pao chicken without peanuts. Seeing the bottled stuff kinda shoved me over the edge.

Today seemed like an appropriate day.


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