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San Francisco Bay Area Cuban Dim Sum Empanadas

Non-Stop Eating: Goza Goza Cubano Truck, Ongpin Noodle, Pacific Market, Empanadas at Alemany and The Kitchen Dim Sum - Report

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Non-Stop Eating: Goza Goza Cubano Truck, Ongpin Noodle, Pacific Market, Empanadas at Alemany and The Kitchen Dim Sum - Report

Dave MP | May 31, 2008 03:12 PM

I have eaten a lot lately.

Friday for lunch I went with a co-worker to the Goza Goza Taco/Cubano Sandwich Truck, which is parked at Harrison and 25th. Sadly, they were out of ham, but we got sandwiches without ham (for $1 less). Overall, great potential, and my co-worker (who is from S. Florida) was impressed. The pork was very moist and flavorful, though it could have used a bit more salt (adding ham to the sandwich would have solved this problem). Cheese, mustard, pickled jalapeno and butter added to french bread, grilled on the spot. I definitely recommend this sandwich, which goes for 6 dollars.

On Friday night I had takeout from Ongpin Restaurant in South San Francisco. This place seems very popular - full of people and a long wait list at 7:30 PM. I had combination thin/thick noodles, which were good - includes shrimp, pork and chicken, as well as some vegetables (lettuce and cabbage) - not too greasy, with a nice hint of vinegar. Served with lemon wedges. Huge portion. Also had the Sitaw-Kalabasa (squash/green beans sauteed with pork and shrimp with or without coconut milk). We had it with coconut milk. I found this pretty rich - tasted like it was made with real cream, and the black pepper added to the dish made for a flavor that reminded me of New England clam chowder. But the pieces of squash were delicious, and the shrimp were also plentiful. Another huge serving. The whole takout meal cost 18.00 and could have easily fed 3 people.

While I was waiting for my food at Ongpin, I checked out Pacific Market across the street. This is maybe the nicest Asian market I've been to in the area - wide aisles, clean, good variety of products and good prices. Many Filipino products, but plenty of everything it seemed. Half-gallons of Mitchell's ice cream were available for 9.99 - in several flavors including mango, jackfruit, coconut and avocado. Good deal, and I ended up buying one to bring to a party.

This morning at Alemany Farmer's Market I ate two Chilean beef empanadas. Friend I was with also lived in Chile, and remarked that these empanadas are not as greasy as Chilean beef empanadas often are. They were delicious as usual. There were about 2,000 stands selling cherries, and I sampled many of them - mostly Bing and Rainier but there were a few other types too. Good prices, many Bing cherries were at 2.50 per pound, including some of the organic farms, while the Rainier were more expensive at 5 per pound.

After Alemany it was off to Millbrae for a small meal of dim sum. Tried The Kitchen for the first time (my usual spot in Millbrae is HKFL). Overall, I give the meal at The Kitchen a B+. Best were the char siu bao and the rice noodle rolls w/ shrimp. Har gao tasted pretty fresh, but not too flavorful, and I didn't love the shumai which felt too dense for me. The stuffed bean curd skin sauce wasn't very interesting, nor was the sticky rice. Service was fine, and I liked the space - perhaps food is better earlier in the day or perhaps they are better for other dishes - seemed like there were many braised items and good sweet pastries. After dim sum, we stopped by Broadway Bistro for some egg custards. These were bad - the dough tasted so heavily of lard that they reminded me of chicharron. They were hard to eat and were not finished.

So that was a lot of food. Now I need a salad and a nap.

Dave MP

NOTE: The Goza Goza truck is the same, but it has a new location. Is there a way to change this on the links section?

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Alemany Farmers' Market
100 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94110

Broadway Bistro
349 Broadway, Millbrae, CA 94030

Tacos Goza Goza Truck
25th St and Harrison St, San Francisco, CA

The Kitchen
279 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

Ongpin Noodles
73 Camaritas Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080

Pacific Market
1015 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, CA

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