Saturday, July 18, 2009


Right before the July 4th holiday weekend I dropped my pocket Fuji digital camera and broke it. This is the one I bring with me to restaurants so I can discretely sneak in some photos while I dine. So lately I've been lugging my big digital SLR to restaurants or coping with just the snaps I take with my cell phone.

It's tough being a food blogger without a working camera.

So as I wait for my little Fuji camera to be fixed (week two already), I went through the photos on my computer and realized I had taken a few pictures that I never got around to blogging about. But rather than deleting them, I decided to do this clean up post of just some of the things that never warranted a full post but is still worth looking at.

One was a return visit to Cesar on Piedmont Avenue near my Oakland apartment. After spending the day with my neighbor Joe, we wanted to go hangout somewhere in the afternoon and just casually drink some wine. We ended up at Cesar, and it was such a different scene, so quiet and relaxing instead of the crowded bustling vibe at nights. During the day, you can really see the beautiful interiors of this tapas restaurant.

While there, I nibbled on some jamon that were beautifully laid out like ribbons and served with these amazing crunchy caper pods. These are the pods where they get capers but before they're fully grown, so you get the salty taste of capers but in little seeds. I liked the sensation. Joe got this humongous bread pudding that looked so creative.

Cesar is a fun place to visit for an afternoon snack and wine.

Cesar, 4039 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. PH: 510.985.1200

I went to an event at the San Francisco bar called Harlot in SOMA a few months ago. It had this really interesting decor that was part lodge and part Hollywood. The bar's theme is playing off the fact that the street in San Francisco once was where all the "ladies of the night" hung out, thus the name. So the tabletops had all these images of seductively posed women.

Harlot, 46 Minna St., San Francisco. PH: 415.777.1077

At the Grand Lake farmers market awhile back, I saw this booth with these beautiful cabbage where the leaves were so big and peeling back so gracefully. I think you might still see these around, although it's been awhile since I took this photo.

Once I had a craving for Argentinian food when I was reminiscing about my Buenos Aires trip. So I went to visit Tango Gelato in San Francisco, which serves empanadas, alfajores and helado, all my favorite things from Argentina. Unfortunately, the empanada was soggy (they reheat it in the microwave) and the alfajores was just OK. The helado (or gelato) was pretty good, and I would say that's the only thing you should get if you're walking on Fillmore and want something to cool you off. Ignore everything else on the menu.

UPDATE (12/27/10): Tango Gelato is now closed.

Tango Gelato, 2015 Fillmore St., San Francisco, PH: 415.346.3696

Awhile back I went to a Sunday baseball game with my friend David and we were desperately looking for something to eat for lunch. But a lot of the interesting places were either closed or crowded with pre-game fans. We found this small Carribean like joint called Primo Patio Cafe and decided to check it out. It had a fun decor but the food was average, and kind of sloppy. I had the ceviche, which was really tart and the fish was over-cured, David got a burrito special that was just OK, and I had the shrimp salad that was a bit watery. And it was a bit uncomfortable eating in the back garden because they had a plastic roof so it was like a greenhouse effect. Sunday baseball dining is tough going, I've found.

Primo Patio Cafe, 214 Townsend St., San Francisco, PH: 415.957.1129

I bought these chocolates from Christopher Elbow's beautiful store in Hayes Valley. They were so pretty that I was planning to do a "food gallery" feature showing the beautiful design, but never got around to it. But aren't they pretty? They tasted sublime as well, like all of his chocolates. But it's been so long I forgot what the flavors were. I know the purple one was lavendar because I love lavendar.

Christophew Elbow Chocolates, 401 Hayes St., San Francisco.

I thought I'd do a post about where I go for Thai takeout. In my neighborhood, it's Sabuy Sabuy on College Ave. But I have to say, it's convenience over quality. The pad thai is great, but all the other entrees I've tried, like the curries and stir-fries, were bad with lots of wet sauce. But I love pad thai, and their version is fine for a quick dinner when I'm too tired to cook. What I love about it? They take just five minutes to make it! Talk about fast food.

Sabuy Sabuy Thai Cuisine, 5231 College Ave., Oakland, PH: 510.653.8587

And a recent trip was a visit to The Creamery coffee shop near AT&T Park in China Basin. This is a fairly new place and I love the design from the outside, so I decided to make a visit. The interior continues the nice warm wooden feeling, but the food was boring and they just had Mighty Tea to drink (I don't drink coffee, but they served Ritual brand). Most of the food they served were vegan. What? But supposedly they have wi-fi. If you just want coffee, then it's fine. But any fun snack? I don't think so.

The Creamery, 684 Fourth St., San Francisco. PH: 415.896.1445


Palidor said...

Sorry to hear about your camera! I hope that you do not have to wait too much longer.

foodhoe said...

how is it taking pix with the big kahuna in restos? Have you posted? Just curious to see how the pix come out...

Hungry Dog said...

Sorry to hear about your camera and also that Tango gelato was no good...I was hoping to find a place for good alfajores. And, I think I might have been to Primo Patio about 100 years ago when I worked in SoMa--I think it was bad then too, I wonder how it's survived.

Mrs. L said...

Awesome drink photos, it's so hard for me to get those. Hope your camera gets better soon!