Fresca – Noe Valley, San Francisco

7 Jun

IMG_0136Friday the boys took me up 24th Street and into Noe Valley. After a few short stops along the way (there is plenty to see and do) we arrived at our dining destination, Fresca, a Peruvian restaurant with an amazing menu.

We split a trio sampler of their ceviche (you can actually choose between seven different options) We ordered the Ceviche Mixto with white fish, calamari, shrimp, and scallops; Ceviche Chifa with tuna; and Ceviche de Coco another tuna dish with coconut-jalapeno milk, cashews and jicama. The ceviche trio came with a small plate of house toasted corn nuts, and a basket of fried plantains. This could have been a meal in itself. Each of the dishes was fresh and bursting with an assortment of flavors and vegetables from sweet potatoes with cilantro and corn to a pondu-leche sauce with crispy wontons and avocados.

For dinner, I decided to go on the lighter side. I ordered the El Toro Steak Salad. First of all, their salads are huge. Enough that two people could easily split. The steak was melt in your mouth tender and juice. It sat on a bed of mixed greens with tomatoes, avocados and onions. All topped with a creamy cilantro dressing. This little doggy had her tail wagging the entire evening.

Fresca’s food is amazing. It’s inventive, fresh and, exploding with flavor. Alas, sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. The bad part of the evening came from our waiter who just couldn’t keep it together. Twice we asked for sparkling water, we never did get it. When we first got seated we ordered a couple of glasses of wine, we waited and waited. I happened to look over, our wine was sitting on the bar waiting to be served. Our waiter was off in the corner of the restaurant laughing and carrying on a conversation oblivious to why he was actually there…to serve his customers.

If I were rating this restaurant on their food alone, I would gladly give it 5 paws, but I am a bit picky when I go out to a restaurant, I want to be treated like they want me there. And no it wasn’t due to a shortage of staff or a busy evening. We ate early, about 6:0pm. There were only four tables with customers and it wasn’t like he was the only waiter there.

From my dog bowl to yours….Happy Eating.

My Rating

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Triptych – SOMA, San Francisco, Ca

6 Jun

TriptychWednesday evening we went out to dinner with some friends. Instead of our usual haunts, we decided to check out a restaurant in the South of Market (SOMA) area of San Francisco. Our friends made the reservation at Triptych on Folsom.

The reservations were for 6:30, a bit early by San Francisco standards, and when we arrived the restaurant was empty. If it was not for the large table setting for 20 people, I would have been a bit worried about the choice of restaurants. Even without the table setting, the food would have eased anyone’s mind.

This place is great! The sweet potato fries, which are served with a sweet chili aioli were hot, and delicious. If I were to nitpick about anything is would be that they were not as crispy as this little doggy would have preferred.

As an entrée I ordered the shitake ravioli with artichoke hearts in a warm brown butter lemon sauce. This was the highlight of the evening. The pasta was done to perfection, the artichokes hearts were pan seared until crisp on the outside while maintaining their moist delicate flavors. Other entrée’s ordered at the table must have been just as good because no one would share Shame on you! They consisted of Butternut Squash Ravioli, and the Pork Osso Buco. On a side note, the salads are large enough for two people and at a price range of under $10.00 they are well worth ordering. If you love beets you’ll want to order the beet salad.

Triptych was a great find. I will definitely be back. The owner and waiter got to know each of us at the table by name by the end of the night. They treat their customers like family and that above the delicious food will keep my coming back.

From my dog bowl to yours…Happy Eating.

5 paw rating.

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Arlequin Cafe – Hayes Valley, San Francisco

4 Jun

UnknownTuesday afternoon after an enjoyable morning at the Asian Art Museum, I took my owners for a stroll through Hayes Valley for lunch. We ended up at Arlequin Café. It had been a few years since we’d eaten there, but our memory was that it was a great lunch. Either the restaurant has gone down hill, or our memories are failing us.

I ordered the Croque Arlequin (basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich). The fancy name I guess is used for the fancy price! It came with a side salad that was bland. There was no flavor at all, and my bet is they misted the lettuce with water to make it look like there was dressing and to keep it moist. The sandwich itself had flavor thanks to the over use of Dijon mustard. The entire package was greasy and unbalanced. At $10.50 is was the most overpriced crap I’ve ever been served.

Save yourself some extra cash and find another place for lunch. This place isn’t worth it.

With love from my dog bowl to yours…Happy Eating!

2 paw rating

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Cha Ya, San Francisco, CA

3 Jun

IMG_0126Oh, my little paws were quivering with excitement as I was escorted down Valencia Street on our way to Cha Ya, a vegetarian Japanese restaurant. But this in not any ordinary restaurant, oh no, this place is a slice of heaven.

The staff is always friendly and attentive. The food is prepared fresh upon ordering, so some dishes may take some time to arrive at your table, but oh is it worth the wait. I’ve been here numerous times over the last five or six years and have tried countless menu items, nothing is brought to your table that isn’t a perfect harmonizing blend of flavors and presentation.

Last night I decided to try something different and I’m glad I did. It is now my favorite on the menu. Taku-Sui is served in a stainless-steal pot that is filled with vegetable gyoza, glass noodles and an array of vegetables. All of this deliciousness is gently swimming in one of the most delicate broths I’ve ever tasted.

Cha Ya is in a class by itself. I will leave you today with one word of caution. This place gets busy quickly and it stays busy, so go early or plan on waiting for a table. But don’t fret you won’t be disappointed.

With love from my dog bowl to yours….Happy Eating.

5 Paw Rating.

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El Majahual, San Francisco, CA

2 Jun

IMG_0124Picture it. Months of having the 100 members of my entourage packed and awaiting transportation to our new home in Cambridge, the endless packing and cleaning of the house in St. Louis, we finally arrived in San Francisco for our 6 week stay. I am not ashamed to say that my paws were dog tired. Luckily one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco is only 4 blocks away, El Majahual.

This is an unassuming place. A hole in the wall some would say with perhaps eight tables. The food is Salvadorian and Columbian, and the woman (yes singular, just one woman making all that wonderful food) in the kitchen makes everything from scratch. It’s homemade, fresh, and absolutely delicious. It’s hard to get any better than this.

Two pupusas (one cheese and one ground pork), served with rice and beans.. Each menu item is served with a house made red sauce and a delicious sweet and spicy cabbage mixture called, Curtido. As you can tell from the picture, I was so excited that I began eating before taking the picture. Yes, it’s that good!

If you’re in San Francisco near Valencia and 22nd street and in the mood for some of the best Salvadorian and Colombian food, stop in for a quick bit. You won’t be sorry.

With love from my dog bowl to yours…Happy Eating!

5 paw rating

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Apple and Cheddar Cheese Salad

17 Dec

photo 2This recipe is one of my favorite fall and winter salads. It is my own adaptation of a salad that we would get at restaurant in Central Square in Cambridge called, Rendezvous. It’s quite simple to make and hearty as well.  So for all the salad lovers out there here you go!

 

 

This recipe will make a meal for two people, or a side salad for 4.

5-ounce package of spring mix lettuce

2-ounces of arugula

1 granny smith apple, cut into bite-sized pieces

2-3 ounces white cheddar cheese, cut into bite-size pieces

6 ounces of spiced pecans

A handful of dried cranberries

Cider Vinaigrette (more on that later)

That’s all there is to it. Place all your ingredients into a large bowl. Drizzle the cider vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine being careful not to bruise the lettuce.

From my dog bowl to yours…Happy Eating!

 

Cancun Taqueria – Cambridge, MA

27 Oct

Logo-(1)When in Cambridge, one walks everywhere. Last Wednesday, my first day in Cambridge, I did just that. I walked until my little paws were shall I say, dog tired. So I decided to stop in to the new restaurant, Cancun Taqueria on Massachusetts Avenue to rest my weary paws and to see what this place is all about.

The service was impeccable, and not to mention handsome <wink>. The menu is extensive and after some wavering of my taste buds, I ordered the chile relleno.  The chips and salsa were by far the best I’ve ever had in Cambridge.  The salsa, cold and absolutely fresh with chucks of tomatoes, onions ,and well appointed with lots of cilantro. It also carried a nice bite to it. The rellenos came with refried beans, which were creamy, smoky, and delicious. The rice was cooked to perfection but unfortunately lacked any seasoning whatsoever. The plate was accented with crisp lettuce and more of their wonderful salsa.

The chile relleno itself was well prepared, perfectly deep-fried with a wonderful red sauce. My only problem with the relleno (and I must add no fault of the restaurant) was that the chile itself was so freaking hot that it literally affected my little taste buds so that after a while I couldn’t taste anything.

I will definitely give Cancun Taqueria another try because I believe there is great potential with this restaurant.  They just need to make sure the entire plate is perfect.

 

My rating…3 stars…

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With love from my dog bowl to yours…. happy eating.

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