Restaurants

Mac & Cheese Night #7 at Farmerbrown

Farmer_Browns_001

First Mac & Cheese Night of 2015! This outing took us to Farmerbrown, just about a block from the Powell St. BART stop in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Our original location was meant to be Grub in the Mission District, but it turns out Grub must have closed sometime in December! That makes two restaurants on the 7×7 list that no longer exist and two more left to go before my mission is complete.

Farmer_Browns_002

Farmerbrown is a Southern restaurant, perhaps one that could be called Soul Food, but I don’t think there’s enough crustacean or spice on the menu to qualify as that. I’ll go ahead and give you our overall impression of the restaurant: good, solid food that would have been great if, oh, $5-$10 cheaper per entrée. Yes, this is San Francisco, but I don’t want to live in a world where a pulled pork sandwich costs $17.50. It’s just not right.

Okay, maybe if any of us had ordered the pulled pork, my mind would be changed. But we didn’t, instead opting for two varieties of chicken—

Farmer_Browns_007

the fried chicken with mustard greens and the mac & cheese and…

Farmer_Browns_008

…the oven roasted chicken with pomegranate broccolini and roasted brussel sprouts—

Farmer_Browns_011

the cornmeal catfish plate with hush puppies, candied yams, pickled onions, and green beans,

Farmer_Browns_012

–and the appetizer portion of BBQ baby back ribs with an apple-jalapeno coleslaw for our entrees. I can personally testify to the ribs being tasty with a sweet & spicy sauce, though they were perhaps too charred in spots. My coleslaw was unique for being nearly all apples and quite flavorful. The catfish plate drew high praise from Friend #1, especially for the challenge presented in consuming all of those well-cooked vegetables. Friends #2 and #3 split the fried chicken and enjoyed it, though it could not compare to the double-dipped versions they’ve had in the past—what could, really? The Husband thought his oven-roasted chicken was good, and it was certainly the healthiest option among the bunch.

We also split a few sides for the table.

Farmer_Browns_010

Those fried pickle chips were warm and squishy with a refreshing dip, but the batter could have been a lot crunchier and firmer.

Farmer_Browns_006

That’s the double portion of the angel biscuits, which were inconsistent, ranging from fluffy and delectable to misshapen and undercooked. My biscuit was much denser than I’d expect from a restaurant claiming Southern roots. However, I appreciated the inventive spiced jam that came with it. Also a plus was the green chile hot sauce at every table that I ended up pouring liberally over my ribs to make them swim in spicy sauces.

Farmer_Browns_009

The crisped outer shell of the side of waffles reminded me strongly of a liege waffle, and Friend #3, who actually ate them, agreed with that correlation.

And of course, there was the mac & cheese. We had it both as a starter and as a side dish with the fried chicken.

Farmer_Browns_005

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Breakfast Highlights of the Eixample

This is the first of several posts I’m planning on our Barcelona trip last month. The city was amazing in many ways and just what we needed to recharge for 2015. I thought bookending the series with posts on the best of our Barcelona dining experiences might be a tasty call. Agreed?

So let’s start with the Eixample, the only region of the city center that was planned in advance. Eixample is Catalan for expansion. The grid of streets is simple to navigate, and each intersection is bordered by buildings looking in on the action.

2014_Barcelona_166

I loved that set-up, though it does make for longer blocks than you might think. The Eixample is also home to most of the city’s famous buildings designed by the Modernist architect Antonin Gaudi and his compatriots. This beauty, la Pedrera, was two blocks from our hotel and the first site that caught my eye as we dragged our suitcases up Passeig de Gracia from the Placa de Cataluyna bus stop.

We're not in Kansas anymore. Thank God.

We’re not in Kansas anymore. Thank God.

But the food, Becca! You said this was about the food!

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Pink’s Hot Dogs

2014_Hollywood_010

I have fulfilled another entry on my foodie bucket list. Okay, I’m lying. I am way too lazy to have made a foodie bucket list, but if I had, Pink’s Hot Dogs would assuredly be on it. Since 1939, the Pink family has been perfecting the hot dog, and as all good Californians know, perfecting = adding lots of toppings. Though I soon discovered that these dogs are more than what meets the eye. They’re also just darn good hot dogs!

2014_Hollywood_011

Sidle up to that window to place your order. Oh, who am I kidding? There’s going to be a line. No mere sidling up is possible. When I went on a weekday afternoon, the line consisted of roughly 30 people, and the ones in front of me had driven out from Reseda, thinking the day after Thanksgiving a good one to finally give Pink’s a try. I’m pretty sure we did have a light traffic day—it took me about 20 minutes to place my order.

And frankly, I needed every one of those minutes because the options are many! From a plain dog to the Three Dog Night with yes, 3 hot dogs wrapped in a tortilla, 3 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, chili, and onions, Pink’s serves up the spectrum of any conceivable combination. Did you not see me type “wrapped in a tortilla”?! ANY CONCEIVABLE COMBINATION.

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather