In college I was in the dumb "liberal arts major" math class and we had to learn about these paths that continued around the same fixed points. I don't remember the math lesson there, but I remember Euhler paths and Euhler graphs, well, anyway...
I had to take an Euhler path around some of the "usual suspects" of SF restauarants, while entertaining a family member from out of town.
Betelnut I went to reluctantly, and had a dissapointing meal. The chicken wraps were fine, but not as interesting as they were in 2001, that's for sure. I wanted the sundried anchovies which I remember fondly but my Minnesota guest refused to try them. Vegetarian potstickers were well-flavored, but nothing to write home about.
The salt and pepper giant prawns were a HUGE (19.95) dissapointment. Enormous, probably frozen behemoths cooked until the edges were mushy, in an evil-tasting blackish paste. I barely finished the second prawn and gave up.
The chicken satay was to be expected. Blah blah.
One thing was superlative though, -- I asked for a non-alcoholic beer (I'm pregnant) to go with this food. I like beer with salty and spicy food, especially Asian, and the server brought me a Clausthammer. This is the best non-alcoholic brew I've ever had. My dining partner agreed that it tasted pretty much like a real, good, regular beer! I doubt very much I would have been able to tell the difference between this and an alcoholic beer in a blind taste test. It was cold and delicious and made the less than inspired food a bit more palatable.
Overall I'd give the meal a C- or a D. I won't go back again anytime soon.
Lucca Delicatessan on Chestnut street made us a couple of "Italian Combo" sandwiches the next day for a picnic lunch. As always (we got them with "everything) they were made with fine good Italian coldcuts, good fresh bread, flavorful provolone, and other good fixings. A very generous lunch -- the two of us could have easily split one. If you're in the Marina and want a takeout lunch this is a great spot -- for this sandwich or any other that they make for you. Plus so many Italian goodies to buy to go alone with -- like mmmmmmm torrone by the slice!
Tadich Grill was also demanded, and I went there much more willingly. It's another institution, and I'm usually pleased with their food. We had salads and entree and dessert. Mixed green salad was standard -- I had tomatoes and anchovies -- which was just that -- tomato slices with canned anchovies. Fine but nothing fantastic. The small Caesar was quite good and peppery, but nothing hugely exciting.
I longed for the comfort of the corned beef hash, but, experiencing vague and irrational fears from watching the news about mad cow, I buckled and got deep-fried oysters and bacon instead. This is a great dish -- so old fashioned and bad-for-you delicious. Good juicy Pacific oysters fried in a delicate and not-too-thick batter. They needed salt and lemon juice and tartar sauce, but together they were great. They folded nubs of thick, not-overly-salty bacon were a wonderful foil. They came with some pretty incogruous slightly greasy green beans -- but you know, I don't go to Tadich for the vegetables. Some long, well-fried, very crispy and brown potato wedges alongside (thick and very light on the inside) provided a surprisingly good foil to the oysters and bacon. I could have been eating this meal in 1910, I know, but that's why you go to Tadich, isn't it?
Also at our table was the crab a la Monza (a favorite, and everything it should be) and a large, thick, New York steak that was "not as good as Harris's, but pretty darn good for a fish restaurant" according to our companion.
Dessert was a foot-stompingly good Gianduja Chocolate Mousse (why oh why did we share! we wanted our own!) and a carrot cake that was "more than adequate, but not amazing". Bill was a nice price, too.
I was also dragged to Fuzio -- and I quote "Oh I've heard this chain is so good, we must go". Being a kind hostess I of course obliged. The less said about this the better.
Not the unusual, new, or exciting restaurants that I wanted to hit, but I thought I'd give a report of the dining-out experiences I've had in the last few days. I plan on hitting a few more spots in town before the little tyke arrives, after which I'm sure we'll be dining Chez Nous for quite a while....