chezpei.com

Trying to eat something delicious, each and every day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fly Bar & Restaurant

It's not great food, but it's tasty and cheap!

That's my short review of Fly Bar & Restaurant's happy hour, which runs weekdays (or possibly every day) from 4-7pm. Draft beers are $3 and pizzas are half off. That means each of these pies was $4.50, which was actually on the high end. The two of us ate one and a half and were pretty darn full!

If you end up going, stick with the beers. My cocktail was awful, but our total bill for two drinks and two pizzas was $18 so I think we'll be back. Not so much for the food, but for the fairly fun atmosphere and option of having some carbs with our beer.

And our delicious dessert at home! Berries this week were extra delicious. I'm not kidding; if you see some, buy them!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Russian River Vacation: Day 1

What a weekend! We're finally home from vacation and I'm ready to start re-capping. C and E got in Wednesday night, and after a good night's rest we were off to a rollicking start on day one of their vacation, which was a walking tour through several neighborhoods.

We started off with a healthy breakfast of fried eggs on whole wheat toast and homemade yogurt with raspberry compote.

The eggs were from Prather Ranch in the Ferry Building, which always carries pasteured eggs from Soul Food Farm. The yolks aren't the most orange I've seen, but they have a distinctly rich and nutty flavor.

We bussed down to the Mission and took a walk through one of the alleys with murals in them. I love this one of Where the Wild Things Are.
I also love this because it's so incredibly elaborate and fun to look at. I forgot the name of the artist, but I've seen an entire gallery show of this type of art. It's amazing.

Our first coffee stop of the day was the original Philz on 24th. Drip coffee poured to order. E had a Turkish, which has a lot of cardamom and a mint leaf in it. I had the Arabic, which was rich but not exceptionally flavored. C had a decaf Peruvian and loved it even though she doesn't handle caffeine well. After grabbing these, we kept walking.

Several blocks later we were at Ritual Roasters. E's caffeine craving was still going strong and he had a cup of black coffee from the Clover machine. I have to say, that's a good cup of coffee: clean, crisp, almost like wine or tea in how clear and bright it was. E said he could have drank it all day.

But even coffee fiends need to stop for lunch. We had carne asada and lengua tacos at El Cumbre.

Mmm, lengua. My visitors claimed to never have had lengua tacos before, and were impressed with the meat's tenderness.

After lunch, we wandered around a little and discovered the new Paxton Gate toy store. It's an amazing space with really fun handmade toys.

More coffee! Four Barrel was our third stop. They have a really cool open space with high ceilings, boars' heads mounted on the wall, and a lot of cool antique machinery on display.

E and I shared a cappucinno.


After all that coffee, it was time for dessert. We took a stroll towards Noe Valley and shared a cup of bread pudding at Tartine. As always, the custardy bits were delicious.


More dessert. I couldn't resist; it was only a block away! Bi-Rite ice cream. I had the caramel swirl and E had cherry almond. Everyone tasted the salted caramel, which is still my fave, and C decided she doesn't like lavender in food.
We enjoyed our ice cream as we walked back toward Market Street via the Castro. Then we hopped on an F car and stopped in at Zuni for afternoon drinks. Of course, we got the famous bloody mary.

We also got some shoestring fries to munch on, along with bread.

More coffee! We were really full after the huge bloody marys and all those fries, so we took a walk and ended up at the Blue Bottle on Linden Alley. E and I had Gibraltars.

After that, we walked all the way home and basically passed out for awhile before dinner at Zitouna. This is the Mosaic of Africa assorted salad plate. It was fine, but it was kind of too many things on one plate for me.
Mint tea with plenty of sugar.
House made Merguez sausages. They were good, but I begin to suspect Merguez is not for me. It's always on the dry side.
Lamb tajine with white beans. Really really tasty broth and fork tender meat.

Vegetable cous cous. I didn't know that all the cous cous dishes come with a side of vegetable soup, or I would have gotten cous cous with meat on it. In any case, the cous cous was perfectly cooked and the vegetables were very refreshing.


After dinner we went to Bourbon and Branch. My favorite drink of the night was the Devil's Advocate, even though I had to steal this photo off flickr and I"m not sure if that's what it is.

And, because enough is never enough, we had late night snacks at La Mar. This is the chifa ceviche.

And the Nikkei, which along with the classico retains the title of favorite ceviche flavor. What a day: four great restaurants, four of the best coffee roasters in SF, two of my favorite dessert places, and farm fresh eggs. And that was just Day 1! I was very proud of my visitors.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, W!

Birthdays are always a great excuse to eat and drink too much, and this Saturday was no different--except maybe the party lasted a little longer than a normal one. Oh, let's say, 12 hours? We started the afternoon with a trip to the gym. And if you don't think that sounds like birthday fun, you're thinking of the wrong person whose name starts with W.

After the gym, we hightailed it to Waterbar for their daily $1 happy hour oysters (11:30-6:00 daily, with $5 drink specials on weekdays). We discovered a new beer, the Pinkus Organic Hefe-weizen. The Leffe blond might have a more interesting flavor profile, but the Pinkus is really smooth and neutral; a nice fizzy drink to have with food.

Two dozen oysters were enough to leave our inner mollusk-lovers sated while leaving room for what lay ahead.
And, in the first surprise of the evening, a free drink! This apparently basil-grapefruit concoction was presented to us by a server who said the bartender had made it by mistake. Another table's reject was our gain. I'm puzzled why another table would reject a free drink even if it were a mistake, but freeloaders don't ask questions. It was tasty.

We hung out in the Fillmore for awhile, stopped by Harry's bar for a quick beer, and then went to Woodhouse Fish Company to wait for a table. As soon as we sat down, we ordered and killed this plate of deep-fried Ipswitch clams. It might have been a fluke of the evening, but I think the Woodhouse on Market does a better fry job. A bunch of W's friends joined us at this point for a lobster-fest.

Almost everyone ordered one of these, and the birthday boy ordered two! Delicious, and not overly mayonnaise-y.

J had the crab cakes instead, and I think next time I might too. J didn't think they had enough flavor, but at $12 for a pretty big portion I don't think he should complain too much.

A block's walk later and we were at Wine Jar, which is a cute little neighborhood wine bar but not somewhere I'd go out of my way to frequent in the future. To his credit, the proprietor did pour W a great glass of champagne when he heard it was his birthday. Pretty generous, given that our group of 8 only ordered a bottle of malbec and glass of red. To his credit, W doesn't love champagne and bequeathed his windfall to me. What are friends for?

Speaking of what are friends for, the above image is stolen from the web because we had too much fun at Mad Pianos to remember the camera. What happens at Mad Pianos stays at Mad pianos, but let's just say the group owed W a round of Jack D. shots after what we did to him.
Ah, Pearl's. It might just be W's favorite restaurant in SF. He introduced a lot of his friends to this place at the end of the evening, and put away a double-patty buffalo burger in a salute to his 28th. What a trooper. As usual, I stole his frings (that's fries and onion rings in one basket, for you newbies). All in all, a fantastic SF birthday!

PS. We did go to the Hidden Vine after Pearl's, but the new owners are a real buzz kill. They've turned one of my favorite places in San Francisco into one of the least enjoyable drinking experiences anywhere. Thanks, doofuses.

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