Tag Archives: good service

I’ve Gone to GoPago; Meatballs for All!

26 Jul

I am very happy to announce that I am now working with the awesome team at GoPago. This free mobile app combines all of my favorite things: reading menus, restaurants, shopping, customizing, ordering, purchasing, technology, efficiency, community and my smartphone. The community aspect is of the utmost importance to me so please be sure to follow us on Twitter @go_pago, on Facebook and on the app to keep the community expanding and to let me know what you think!

Speaking of expanding, the amount of restaurants offering our services is ever-growing but I wanted to highlight a few dishes at some of our restaurants because I am currently meat and chickpea ball obsessed. I have already written quite extensively about my love for the Meatball Gigante at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. Although, if you can’t order one of the 25 made daily, the regular size are equally delicious and a more manageable ball.

For my vegetarian friends, GoPago has three Sunrise Deli locations where you can try one of the best falafels in the city. The Super Falafel with eggplant and potato included in the pita pocket or lavash wrap is the way to go.

For those looking to combine the best of both worlds and marry the most awesome things together, like GoPago does, I have an awesome Frankenstein-esque ordering  kind of solution. You must try the dish I recently wrote about that combines Italian with Middle Eastern. The Safeehat Falafel at Jannah, which is basically a pizza with a falafel crust and the most delicious toppings: pesto, eggplant, roasted red bell pepper, green and red onions, shitake mushrooms, tomato, feta, and goat cheese.

I want to offer you $10 in credit to try some of the restaurants out, since I am so excited about my new role, the company, the app, and these food selections. Simply download the app and enter my special promo code “Meatball” to try one of these awesome dishes, all under $10, for the next 48hrs. Come over to the new way of ordering/paying quickly and let’s have a ball!

Hey Tony, That’s A Good Meatball…

17 Oct

Meatballs are my absolute favorite! They are the lasagna to my Garfield and if anyone ever wanted me to give them singing lessons (trust me, they don’t) I would be like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer and let cute little old ladies pay me in meatballs. One ball per hand and a special squeeze for good luck is all I need to make me happy.

 

There is an Italian, with East Coast/Jewish influences, gourmet-to-go spot near my house called Pasta Gina, I just call it Dammmmn, Gina that serves up some delicious balls and is my regular go to joint. But when we are talking sit down restaurant and a serious meatball no one makes a bigger, better ball than Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. I am not much of pizza person, I get bored after a slice or two, but Tony’s is the hands down best and the people behind the World Pizza Cup in Naples agree with me. I am a huge fan of the New Yorker pizza with natural casing pepperoni and fennel sausage as well as mozzarella and ricotta, but if that is not enough meat and cheese for you…then you must, I repeat, must order a Meatball Gigante with Sea Salted Burrata ($13). The meatball is absolutely enormous with burrata on top. It is such a major meatball that it definitely wouldn’t fall off the table with a sneeze, unless maybe it was done by a giant.

I get a bit baffled about how something so large can be so evenly and perfectly cooked but I don’t worry much as I am too busy sticking my knife and fork into this monstrosity. It is the size of a softball or a grapefruit and each piece of the ball gets re-dunked in the sauce for extra coating and then forked with fresh burrata and ribbons of basil. This dish is truly a victory and is a great starter for those who won’t or can’t be satisfied with just pizza alone. The meatball gigante also comes in more fun options like wild mushroom, pancetta, and robiola or with a farm egg and calabrese but for me I like the cheese, please.

Just For You(.S.A) Cafe

28 Jul

Just off the main Dogpatch strip, 3rd Street, lies Just For You Cafe where posters that say Neverland and feature the King of Pop reside near a Smashing Pumpkins concert sign: a little slice of my kind of Americana.

You seat yourself and begin browsing a menu that is a road trip across the U.S.A. and Mexico, a bit of everything from po-boys to pancakes. For my recent meal I had an order ticket that zigzagged the contiguous states. I began in the big apple with a Reuben. I don’t need to tell you how hard it is to find decent corned beef in this city and this hit the mark. Most of their sandwiches come on homemade bread but this one is on Acme rye, relax, I totally wasn’t kvetching. Since I’m American, hells yes, I got fries with that.

Although I dipped into the great southwest for my fry dip. Without question the best thing at Just For You is their Hatch, New Mexico green chili sauce. It is tongue-numbing good. Put it on your eggs, fries, home fries or grits but just order a side of it ($2.95) and put it somewhere. My waiter of the day explained that he personally drives to SFO every week to pick up these green chilies from the town of Hatch. Within seconds my Reuben turned into a dip and my mouth was joyfully on fire as I dove into the chili sauce thickened with chicken stock.


For my lunch dessert, I finished off with another Just For You and NOLA specialty, beignets: sweet pillowy goodness. There are only two types of patrons at this café: those that start with beignets and those that finish with them. I’m like Brian Wilson; a closer. Towards the end of the meal I noticed that I was completely covered in white powder: I don’t have a coke problem; I have a beignet problem. It’s my problem, get your very own addiction that is just for you!

Il Cane Rosso: Can Really Cook

26 May

Tyler, Emily, Michelle, & Chef Ryan Pollnow photo from Il Cane Rosso

Sure, San Francisco has Off The Grid and farmers markets every day of the week but ask anyone and they will tell you that the ultimate mecca for foodies is the Ferry Building. The options are overwhelming, especially on Thursdays and Saturdays when it joins forces with the farmers market and even more food stands. It is like a Hindu god with multiple arms and you are unsure of which of the limbs to grab; it all looks so good and you are so hungry. My one always safe bet is Il Cane Rosso. I can’t ever be disappointed, even on those rare days that I am good and just order a half sandwich and soup, I may long for the reunion of the other half the sandwich but one half is more valuable than 5 mediocre sandwiches. The brisket sandwich puts me in my place in the best possible way, just me lost in the moment with this sandwich. You see I share the Liz Lemon philosophy, “Can I share with you my worldview? All of humankind has one thing in common: the sandwich. I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.”

When I was invited to a special winemaker dinner at Il Cane Rosso, I was excited for many reasons. First, I knew and loved the wine and the winemakers because the agency that I work for, Ink Foundry, reps them. Romililly is the brainchild of two cute young brothers and it is a labor of love and a family affair. Aaron and Jesse grew up in the wine business because their uncle was August “Joe” Briggs and when it came to naming their very own Russian River Pinot the grandmother wrote down the name of her grandkids Jesse Robert (RO), Aaron Michael (MI) and  little sister, Susan (LILLY) and Romililly was born. As much as I love a cute story, I also love a good glass of pinot and this one stands tall. I was in LA at the beginning of the year for another winemakers’ dinner and was blown away. The second reason I was so excited was because I knew Il Cane Rosso slays lunch so I was beyond anticipation to see what they could do to dinner.

The first course was Local Sardines “Scapece” with rhubarb, shaved radish & fresh mint paired with a 2010 August Briggs Rose. Any of the initial hesitation that I had with the idea (read: fishiness) of sardines was immediately mediated when I paired the small fish with the rhubarb and mint in the bite. The dish just went so beautifully and was so balanced.

The following course of Fregula Sarda & parmesan brodo with spring vegetables, fresh herbs & wild flowers paired with the 2009 August Briggs Chardonnay was easily the main highlight of the night. I am a sucker for a good soup and this broth and aroma was simply heavenly. I wasn’t familiar with Fregula Sarda and, yes, it sounds like a Harry Potter word but it is actually an Italian couscous. Since I am looking for a Jewish man obviously Israeli couscous is more on my radar but I am now a convert. Every element of this dish from the peas to the flowers can best be described as spring in a dish.

The main course was Braised Range Brothers Pork Cheek with preserved plum mostarda, smoked lardo, which was paired with the wine of the night the 2008 Romililly Pinot Noir. Now obviously this site is Mission Fruition and I love fruit worked into almost every dish, especially my meat, so I am sure you can imagine my delight with the plum mostarda (a condiment made from candied fruit and mustard). One of my favorite wine bloggers Sonoma William of  Simple Hedonisms even made this note on the 2008 pinot, “Wonderful expression of RRV fruit, balanced with nice acidity. Modest red color and red fruit, soft finish. Pairing wonderfully with pork cheek.”

Valley Ford Cheese Company Estero Gold with lavender roasted strawberries, toasted hazelnuts & balsamic with the 2009 Romililly Pinot Noir closed the meal. Also I also got a handful of the famous caramel corn. Even with four courses and four glasses of wine, I left feeling completely satisfied but not unbearably full, which was good because right after dinner I saw Diddy Dirty Money with Tamara Palmer. What I love about Il Cane Rosso and Romililly is that even though they are full of flavor they both are much lighter than what you’d imagine. Il Cane Rosso despite knowing meat so damn well has a knowledge and use of produce and herbs that never allows the meat to get weighted down in the mix.

Keep your eyes out for upcoming Il Cane Rosso events and your tummy and mouth open for their nightly 3 course dinners for $25. Romililly isn’t an easy wine to find but it is definitely a pinot worth seeking out, as it won’t soon be forgotten…follow the brothers on Twitter @RomilillyWines for all of the latest.

The P Mack and Its Babies: The Pub at Ghirardelli Square

18 Mar


Fortunately, I have never been pregnant but my taste-buds and cravings would tell you otherwise. I have been known to go from pickles to gummy candy to frozen grapes on many a nights. I love craving stories almost as much as I love insider restaurant stories and on a recent visit to my new favorite stomping ground, The Pub at Ghiradelli Square, I heard a story that combines both. I have become friends with the owner, Scott Broccoli, as I do some projects for him, and he told me this story that I am about to share with you. Scott is a new first time father and when his wife was pregnant she was really craving a Big Mac. He worried for the love of his life and his unborn child and said, “You can’t eat that, you’ll kill our baby!”  I am a huge Mickey D’s fan (nothing makes me happier than boot-shaped chicken nuggets in sweet and sour sauce) but I appreciated the sentiment.  He attempted to create his own bigger, better, Big Mac that was healthier because he knew exactly what was in it. His wife approved and he added it to The Pub menu. Now it is the must-have item for pregnant women throughout San Francisco. He named it the P, for pregnant, mack. Well, that is great and all, but I have only ever experienced food babies and this burger satisfies my every craving. Also, their kitchen is open til 1:30A, something all Baby Daddys -and all of my future boyfriends- need to know because I foresee this midnight craving. I first ordered it with salad to try to be “healthy” and within seconds I traded it in for french fries to get the full effect (you can also get it with tots!)

The end of January brought Scott’s first child and the P Mack also gave birth. Along with the real life baby Lucca, came Lil Luccas to The Pub’s specials: a twin slider version of the P Mack. I will admit it, I tried both, and I preferred these cute little babies. They were more manageable, I could hold one in each hand (double fisting, yo) and didn’t get as messy. In case you’ve been living under a rock since 1950: the Big Mac secret ingredient is thousand island dressing. I love the sauce at The Pub; all of my fries were dipped into the delectable sauce oozed from my burger(s). The crunch of the pickles was so nice that I asked for an extra side of pickles. Again, I am not pregnant but at The Pub I can eat like I am.

 
The Pub at Ghirardelli Square
851 Beach St
San Francisco, CA 94109

(415) 351-0500

www.thepubsf.co

Umi has some Ultra Yummy Options

12 Jan

One visit to True Sake in Hayes Valley and I left with a bottle of sake that drank like a Riesling and a restaurant name scribbled on a receipt. The restaurant was Umi and it was the recommendation of the worker who just moved from Japan. I felt as if I had a secret password that I just really wanted to try out, so the next day I headed to Portrero for a meal that has yet to been forgotten. I love Japanese food but it always seems like there is a bit of a sacrifice that I have to make. I either go to a place with awesome sashimi (Shimo in the Outer Richmond), an izakaya for small plates (Izakaya Sozai in the Inner Sunset), and then yet another place  for a perfect bowl of katsu don. At Umi it is a one stop shop; you can get all of these things and more with each item cooked or uncooked beautifully. The Broccoli Rabe ($4.50), which is blanched and then topped with Goma dressing is my favorite way to start off my meal at Umi.

Along with their regular menu you will receive another menu with their daily specials on it, including what fish has just been caught and is the freshest. I always order a large sampler (variety, folks) of the Sashimi Specials ($13.00-20.00) and am never disappointed. Amberjack, mackerel, and yellowtail, oh my! Even if it is unlisted on the special sashimi menu, I order Hotate Nigiri ($4.50) because a raw scallop is one of life’s greatest foods. I was once asked on a date what is something that really makes me sad and my answer was, “Cooked scallops and salmon. Why do people do that, don’t they know how good it is raw?” I got a look of bewilderment in response and I thought to myself about my favorite twitter hashtag #1stworldproblem.

Everyone is at a difference stage in their sushi development, so whether you are stuck on California Rolls or can’t eat shellfish, Umi has options. My former business partner had an unfortunate seafood allergy so she always stuck to porky goodness on our Japanese meal outings. She got me hooked on Katsu Donburi and, trust me, the version served up at Umi is perfection. A hot rice bowl with pork, onion, and egg on top is perfect on a cold day when you don’t feel like cold light sushi.

I am now passing the word onto you, Umi is the spot for all of your Japanese food needs. There is no sushi bar to sit at but there is either a patio area or indoor seating, talk about options.

Umi

1328 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

(415) 355-1328

Fleur de Lys: The Black Feast

6 Jan


White Parties a la Puff Daddy are so 2000 and late. The new trend is Diddy and Black Feasts. Fleur de Lys is home of the other chef Keller, Hubert, and is notorious as one of the classiest joints in San Francisco; even if one of the housewives spit out foie in her napkin, sacrilegious!

Anyway, on January 21st, Fleur de Lys will be home to a Black Feast of epic proportions known as, Le Regal Noir. You get dressed up in black velvet and black diamonds and enter the private dining room for 5-courses of “Black”: think black truffles, black cod, and everything else black and decadent. The drinks poured during the special night are as impressive as any Hamptons party:

  • Krug Champagne
  • Black Bottle Cabernet wine with dinner (valued at $1,000 per bottle)
  • Pouring of Angel’s Share International’s The Black Mirror, a 47-year-old single malt scotch whiskey from Scotland (valued at $375,000 a cask)
  • Exclusive, not available to the public, specially created black, hand-rolled Payne-Mason cigar for each guest ($120 value)

The price tag isn’t cheap but it is well worth it and it includes tax, tip, valet, and a ton of other perks and specials that are available for this night only.

Head over to Gilt City and make your ticket purchase and feel free to buy one for me while you are at it!

http://www.giltcity.com/san-francisco/fleurdelys

Here’s to making 2011 as luxurious, black, and wonderful as possible!

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers