Scouting Bay Area Sandwiches, and a Couple Other Half-Formed Thoughts

Brazil Fresh

Hella Tasty: The Tri-Tip Sandwich with “The Works” (#84) @ The Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe, Berkeley. In this case, “The Works” includes fresh cheese, grilled onions, pineapple, jalapeño, lettuce, tomato, and cilantro-garlic sauce. One of the great sandwiches of the Bay Area, for sure.

Personally, I don’t think the apocalypse is upon us. If the world didn’t implode when Sandra Lee prepared her infamous Kwanzaa cake in 2003, then I think we’re probably good through 2012, and well beyond. However, with December 21st less than a fortnight away, it’s still as good of a time as any to clear out my “to do” folder. And why not? A couple of these photos have been in turn-around for months, so it’s time to finally give them some daylight. Other pics were part of a sandwich run-down that never really developed a decent angle or hook. So, yeah, I just [… read more …]

The Oyster Po-Boy @ Hog Island, Oxbow Market, Napa Valley

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Technicolor sandwich: The Oyster Po-Boy @ Hog Island Oyster Company, Oxbow Market, Napa Valley.

This is the last po-boy I’m going to eat for quite a while. It’s funny, I spent all of last week in New Orleans eating as many po-boys as I possibly could, only to return home to the Bay Area to eat a few more. Normally, on principle, I wouldn’t even follow a New Orleans po-boy with a California po-boy (at least not so closely), but I have an upcoming review for Pinchit, where I’ll cover a few of the Bay Area’s better po-boy options. So even though I felt like I hit my personal po-boy quota while I was in the Big Easy, I battled through three more California po-boys earlier this week. And so that’s gonna be it for a while. Gimme a pizza.

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I actually covered [… read more …]

The Lamb Kofte Burger @ Tarla Mediterranean Grill, Napa

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The Lamb Kofte Burger @ Tarla, Downtown Napa.

I’ve long complained that among its many culinary short-comings, the Napa Valley doesn’t offer a decent gyro, though that’s not to say I haven’t encountered a couple really sub-par versions along the way. But in terms of something that I would actually order again, Napa’s best “gyro” so far has been the Kitchen Door’s tasty lahmajune, which is definitely gyro-like in flavor and spirit, though still not a gyro by definition. At any rate, with the opening of Tarla Mediterranean Grill at the end of last year, I found renewed optimism for a good local gyro, something that might finally spare me the 40-mile trip to Berkeley for such a fix. Located at the ground floor of the Avia Hotel, Tarla bills its cuisine as “Greek and Turkish fusion,” and their Beef Doner Gyro seems to be a popular item [… read more …]

The Kobe Burger @ The Kitchen Door, Oxbow Market, Napa

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Oozing Flavor: The Kobe Burger @ The Kitchen Door, Napa.

Those who have lived in the Napa Valley for the last several years might recognize the Kitchen Door’s Kobe Burger as a vestige of the recently-departed Martini House, which shuttered almost one year ago (October 30th will mark the anniversary). Way back when I was cooking at the Martini House — more than four years ago now — the Kobe Burger was offered as a bar-only item, and was reason enough to drop by the restaurant’s eclectic downstairs lounge. As I had seen on so many nights back then, the Kobe Burger was served with an impressive tower of crispy onion rings, which were laced with just enough curry powder to make them addictive. The spice was completely subtle — I would’ve never even known that curry powder was part of the dry batter — except that a [… read more …]