The “Bay of Pigs” Cuban Sandwich @ Best Lil’ Porkhouse, San Rafael

The "Bay of Pigs" Cuban Sandwich @ Best Lil' Porkhouse, San Rafael.
Served with mac and cheese.

The “Bay of Pigs” Cuban Sandwich @ Best Lil’ Porkhouse, San Rafael. Served with mac and cheese.

Two people with normal appetites could probably split the “Bay of Pigs,” pictured above, and leave San Rafael’s Best Lil’ Porkhouse feeling plenty full. It’s an utterly massive sandwich, dense with pork, and although it may not boast as many ingredients as, say, the torta cubana at That’s It Market, the “Bay of Pigs” can certainly match its Mission counterpart pound for pound. BLP’s spin on this classic sandwich is its pulled pork, which accompanies the typical trio of ham, pickles, and melted Swiss. The pulled pork is abundant and delicious; the ham is sliced almost thick enough to be a steak; and the house-made pickles are substantial coins in their own right. Mustard and mayo are standard, and BLP offers four different varieties of house-made barbecue sauce. A side of [… read more …]

Yesterday’s Photos: Little Skillet, Pizzeria Picco, and San Francisco’s Botanical Garden

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Three-piece Chicken and Waffle @ Little Skillet, San Francisco. Seven packets of Crystal Hot Sauce is the perfect amount for this scenario: Two for the leg, two for the thigh, three for the breast.

Since I’ve recently taken up golf (again), many of my weekends have been spent out burning up the links, rather than trawling the Bay Area for choice eats. But let’s face it: Mark Twain might’ve said it best when he quipped that golf was a good walk, spoiled. Either way, I needed more of a sure thing, and an excursion into San Francisco had become long overdue. I arrived at Little Skillet about an hour before closing, and naturally ordered their three-piece chicken and waffle, which was the largest portion on the menu. An offshoot of Farmerbrown in the Mission, Little Skillet defines the term hole-in-the-wall, occupying a quaint window space among the converted [… read more …]

Daytripping California’s North Coast: Point Reyes

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As I spent the early morning hours debating whether or not to visit Berkeley, Sonoma or San Francisco, I was carefully considering each option, when it occurred to me that a road trip to Point Reyes was long overdue. Enough said.

Now here’s my scandal.

The highlight of my day was a cheeseburger, but not just any cheeseburger: This is the cheeseburger ($12) at Marin Sun Farms, and the melted New York cheddar and the mound of house-cured bacon are both standard issue. Fantastic grass-fed goodness.

• • •

Fried in lard, dressed with big chunks of sea salt.

Not just fries, pork fries ($3ish). Potatoes deep-fried in lard. Yes, that’s right: Rendered pork fat. Well, someone’s got to carry the torch, don’t they? And who better than Marin Sun Farms? Amazing stuff, and a fitting complement to [… read more …]

Review: Marin Mondays @ Picco Restaurant, Larkspur

The 10-hour pork shoulder looks and tastes like pork belly, although this California-sized portion might not pass muster in the South. With everything else on the menu, however, it was plenty of swine, and the rich sauce certainly added some weight to this particular dish. The baked cranberry beans, which provide the bed underneath, were perfectly cooked.

I have friends who live in Marin County who are mighty quick to dismiss the culinary options north of the Golden Gate. It is puzzling, in my mind, that such an affluent community has so few top-notch dining options in the area. Aside from Sushi Ran in Sausalito, I really feel that the Marin County conversation begins and ends with with Picco Restaurant in Larkspur. Fortunately for the citizens of Marin County, Picco happens to deliver on several levels: Not only does the main restaurant feature some very admirable, über-seasonal California [… read more …]