This is the week for all those boring best of / worst of lists, so heres my own boring list.
My favorite restaurant closed and I moved from SF to the East Bay, so Ive had the opportunity to try lots of new places ... some of them thanks to leads from the Chowhound SF Guide.
So heres my list. Looking forward to seeing the list from other posters for more places to check out next year.
Restaurants are in alphabetical order and not in order of preference ... too hard to do.
NUMBER ONE OUTSTANDING TASTE OF 2005 Custard sfingi from Victoria Bakery (SF & Greenbrae)
Only available on St. Josephs Day March 19th.
A tennis ball size decadent pastry that is like a cross between a cream puff and a donut. The outside is rolled in as much white sugar as can cling to the slightly crispy exterior. The interior is full of sinfully rich delicious custard. Plain and ricotta versions are available, but the custard is the star the star of the year.
HONORABLE MENTION: Gregoire's char grilled gorgonzola and pecan burger
TOP FIVE 3 AND 4 STAR RESTAURANTS
Chez Panisse Berkeley Alice Waters
Fork - San Anselmo - Charles Solomon
Michael Mina SF Michael Mina ... who knew?
The Dining Room at the Ritz Carleton - SF - Ron Siegel
The Generals Daughter Sonoma Preston Dishman
TOP FIVE BREAKFAST SPOTS
Betty's Ocean View Diner Berkeley
FatApples El Cerritto (havent tried the Berkeley location)
Hidden City Café Point Richmond
Monteros Café Albany
Sunnyside Café Albany
TOP FIVE TAKE-OUT
DeLassios San Francisco
Sonoma Market Sonoma
Whole Foods Various locations
TOP FIVE BAKERIES (EUROPEAN & AMERICAN)
DeLassios San Francisco
FatApples El Cerrito
Lolas - Berkeley
TOP FIVE BAKERIES (OTHER)
Casa Latina Berkeley - Panedria
Clover Bakery San Jose Japanese
Golden Gate Bakery San Francisco - Chinese
Karinas Mexican Bakery - Petaluma - Panadria
Passage to India Bakery & Mithai Shoppe Mountain View Indian
TOP FIVE MID SCALE PLACES (TWO THREE STAR)
Chopin Café Walnut Creek
Lalimes Berkeley *
Sea Salt Berkeley
* The bartender is an acquaintance
TOP FIVE CHEAP EATS
Bendeans 3 course prix-fix dinner - $13
Curry Café Hayward
Mexico au Parc San Francisco
Indus Village Berkeley
TOP FIVE MARKETS
Berkeley Bowl Berkeley
Dittmars Meats Mountain View
Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market San Francisco
Sonoma Market - Sonoma
Tokyo Fish - Berkeley
TOP FIVE MISCELLANEOUS TASTES
El Tazamul Pupusas San Pablo
Mr Pollomex Sides and chicken - Richmond
Pear Street Bistro - Pear sorbet Pinole
Polish Deli - kielbasa - Palo Alto
Ricks Quality Meat - Brisket / smoked salmon El Cerrito
TOP FIVE FOOD-RELATED EVENTS
El Cerrito Nigerian Yam Festival
Giovanis - Una Serata con Giovani (Italian music night) Pinole
Half Moon Bay Brewing - An Evening in Portugual Half Moon Bay
San Pablo - Guadalupe Day
Valona Market - Sunday night jazz Rodeo
RIP - Bizou, Desiree
Of course, my list is limited by my own personal geography and tastes. For me, this was 2005 at its tastiest.