Monday, March 2, 2015

101 North: Novato, La Boulange


La Boulange  5800 Nave Dr., in Hamilton Marketplace, (415) 382-8594.  Featuring a large open room filled with rustic wood tables, this bakery cafe offers counter service and an expansive and delicious menu of breakfast and lunch items.  You can start the day with housemade granola with yogurt honey and fresh fruit, brioche French toast, or a choose-your-own-ingredients scramble.  Salads and sandwiches—including some tempting open-face versions—make up the lunch menu.  I enjoyed the Boulange Club--a three-slice stack of toasted pain de mie layered with turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and aioli.  The house soups are very good, so you might want to consider the half sandwich/cup of soup special.

interior of La Boulange in Novato, California



club sandwich at La Boulange in Novato, California

La Boulange on Urbanspoon

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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

San Francisco: Bangkok Noodles & Thai B.B.Q.


Bangkok Noodles & Thai B.B.Q.  110 Powell St., 2 blks. to Union Square, (415) 397-2199.  Cash only.  Daily 11am-1am; $.  You can observe the kitchen in action through a window from the sidewalk before you enter this little hole in the wall, which serves up delicious noodles and rice plates.  My favorites are #S4 Udon Pad Se-lew—stir fried fat udon noodles with Chinese broccoli, black bean sauce, and really good white-meat chicken—and #20 Pra-Ram Long Srong—chewy flat rice noodles topped with spicy peanut sauce.  Next time I’ll try #26 Khao Pad Ped—fried rice with roast duck, and #S7 Udon Pad Tom Yum—udon noodles with yummy Tom Yum sauce and shrimp.  #45 Tom Kha Gai—chicken-mushroom-coconut soup--and #18 Pad Thai—the classic rice noodle with shrimp dish—are also on my radar.  Condiments are on the table to fine-tune the kick.


kitchen at Bangkok Noodles & Thai B.B.Q. in San Francisco



#20 Pra-Ram Long Srong at Bangkok Noodles & Thai B.B.Q. in San Francisco
#20 Pra-Ram Long Srong


#S4 Udon Pad Se-lew at Bangkok Noodles & Thai B.B.Q. in San Francisco
#S4 Udon Pad Se-lew
Bangkok Noodles on Urbanspoon

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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 



Monday, February 23, 2015

80 North: Berkeley, Pappy’s Grill & Sports Bar


Pappy’s Grill & Sports Bar  2367 Telegraph Ave., Channing Way, (510) 405-1000.  In the space that once held Larry Blakes is now this fast-food venue named after the winningest Cal football coach ever--Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf.  Place your order at the counter, then select a stool at the window to watch the street parade or just about anywhere else to watch the TVs providing heavy sports coverage.  The menu is a variety of burgers and salads.  Look out Michael Moore—supersize is alive and well on Telegraph Avenue!  And the potato salad is almost as good as what my Mammy used to make.  Pool tables are downstairs, which becomes the LUX nightclub at 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

interior of Pappy's Grill & Sports Bar in Berkeley, California

 burgers at Pappy's Grill & Sports Bar in Berkeley, California

Pappy's on Telegraph on Urbanspoon

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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Thursday, February 19, 2015

80 North: Emeryville, Arizmendi Bakery and Pizzeria


Arizmendi Bakery and Pizzeria  4301 San Pablo Ave./43nd St., (510) 547-0550.  M 7-3, Tu-F 7-7, Sat-Sun 8-7.  Located in a sort of strip mall with plenty of parking in back, this worker-owned cooperative is named for a Spanish priest who established worker-owned co-ops in the Basque region of Spain.  Organic flour and natural ingredients are used to prepare pastries, cookies, breads, and particularly good pizza.  A different slice pizza is available hot each day after 11:30 a.m.  When I was here it was a surprisingly delicious roasted cauliflower with cilantro.  More varieties of whole pizzas and bake-at-home pizzas are also available, and you can call to reserve one.  Organic coffees and teas are also served.  A few tables are provided inside, but many more are outside on a sheltered patio.

interior of Arizmendi Bakery and Pizzeria in Emeryville, California


roasted cauliflower pizza at Arizmendi Bakery and Pizzeria in Emeryville, California

 Arizmendi Bakery & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

101 South: Millbrae, Hong Kong Flower Lounge Restaurant

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Hong Kong Flower Lounge Restaurant  51 Millbrae Ave./El Camino Real, (650) 692-6666.  L-D daily; $$.  Reservations advised.  Free parking lot underneath; valet parking across street, $3.  Perched atop a corner lot, this popular restaurant features a large, yet stylish, dining room with several alcoves and plenty of large windows.
interior of Hong Kong Flower Lounge restaurant in Millbrae, California


Favorite menu items include authentic Hong Kong-style fresh seafood dishes, the restaurant’s signature Peking duck, and dim sum--which arrives fresh from the kitchen continuously, via carts and trays.
shrimp-peanut dumplings at  Hong Kong Flower Lounge restaurant in Millbrae, California
dried shrimp-peanut dumplings

taro balls at  Hong Kong Flower Lounge restaurant in Millbrae, California
deep-fried taro balls

pea sprout-prawn dumplings at  Hong Kong Flower Lounge restaurant in Millbrae, California
pea sprout-prawn dumplings

Shanghai dumplings at  Hong Kong Flower Lounge restaurant in Millbrae, California
Shanghai dumpling

custard cups at  Hong Kong Flower Lounge restaurant in Millbrae, California
custard cups

Hong Kong Flower Lounge on Urbanspoon

Dim sum photo gallery.

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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers