Friday, March 18, 2016

San Francisco: Chabba Thai Cuisine


Chabaa Thai Cuisine  420 Geary St./Mason St., downtown, (415) 346-3121.  L-D daily.   Diners enter a narrow walkway past the tiny kitchen when entering the very small dining room tucked in the back here.  I was amazed by the deliciousness that came out of that small cooking space.  We chose #16 tom ka soup with coconut milk and mushrooms to start.  It was followed quickly by #22 pad ma kuer, a stir-fry of eggplant, sweet basil, and choice of meat (I like the chicken) plus sides of sticky rice and cucumber salad.  There are extensive vegan-vegetarian options, but you need to ask for that menu.  If you like heat, be sure to request the condiment tray with its wonderful hot green pepper rounds, spicy red sauce, and minced peanuts.  Service is fast and pleasant.  


kitchen at Chabaa Thai Cuisine in San Francisco


#16 tom ka soup at Chabaa Thai Cuisine in San Francisco


#22 pad ma kuer at Chabaa Thai Cuisine in San Francisco


cucumber salad at Chabaa Thai Cuisine in San Francisco


condiments at Chabaa Thai Cuisine in San Francisco
Chabaa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Greater East Bay: Orinda, Geppetto’s Caffe


Geppetto’s Caffe  87 Orinda Way, (925) 253-9894.  B-L M-Sat; $.  No reservations.  Counter-service at this popular spot is usually fast, but sometimes it gets backed up in the morning when customers order espressos and the chocolaty Mexican mocha, a favorite.  A tree- and umbrella-shaded patio is prime in good weather and has a nice view of the golf course across the street, but inside with A.C. is good, too.  Breakfast includes a made-to-order egg sandwich (think bacon, egg, and swiss on sunflower wheat), hardboiled eggs, a breakfast burrito, bagels, and an array of pastries from Semifreddi’s (the only pastry made in-house is the chocolate chip cookie).  For lunch, choose from a short-but-sweet menu of sandwiches and salads.  My faves  are the curry chicken sandwich on fluffy housemade sunflower wheat bread, the avocado-turkey-bacon with basil mayo, and the delish chicken-melted Brie-pesto on sourdough.  I also like the hot pastrami on rye and plan to try the BLAT next time.  Note that the turkey club has been described as “orgasmic.”  Sandwiches are big, but you are able to order just a half if you must.  A soup of the day and an assortment of salads are also available, and salted caramel gelato or affogato gelato “drowned” in espresso makes the perfect ending.

menu board at Geppetto's Caffe in Orinda, California

order counter at Geppetto's Caffe in Orinda, California

curry chicken sandwich at Geppetto's Caffe in Orinda, California
curry chicken sandwich

hot pastrami sandwich at Geppetto's Caffe in Orinda, California
hot pastrami sandwich

dining room at Geppetto's Caffe in Orinda, California
Geppettos Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Monday, March 14, 2016

80 North: Berkeley, Everett & Jones Barbeque


Everett & Jones Barbeque  1955 San Pablo Ave./University Ave., (510) 548-8261.  L-D daily; $$.  Though the parking lot is big and sometimes full and though the line to get in here varies, the tasty ‘que is worth the effort.  On my most recent visit the line was short, the service was fast, and there was no ‘tude, but it might just have been the luck of the draw.  This time I didn’t notice the ATM on their site, and they do now accept credit cards.  I always order up a lunch sandwich of ribs with medium sauce, which comes with two slices of wonder-style white or wheat bread and an ice cream-scoop full of tasty potato salad.  Currently that runs just under $10.  Brisket and chicken and a few other options are available.  Dinner includes two sides and for ribs runs just under $15.  Brisket is prepared only on Wednesday and Saturday.  FYI, Whole Foods sells their bottled sauce, and more restaurant outlets are in Oakland and Hayward.

exterior of Everett & Jones Barbeque

 order counter at Everett & Jones Barbeque


order counter at Everett & Jones Barbeque


take out ribs sandwich at Everett & Jones Barbeque

Everett & Jones Barbeque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Friday, March 11, 2016

80 North: Berkeley, Far Leaves Tea


Far Leaves Tea  2626 San Pablo Ave./Parker St., West Berkeley, (510) 665-9409.  Tu-Sat 11-7, Sun 2-7, closed M.  Cozy and quiet, this casual Asian-style tea house has tatami mats, tables, and antique tea chairs.  Known for its selection of loose-leaf teas, which are packed to go, it is the perfect spot to perch on a rainy day.  If you want to stay and sample a tea or just relax for a while, place your order at the counter.  A pot runs $5, plus $2 for a second cup to share.  A small selection of snacks that go well with tea includes items such as flavored mochi, taro buns steamed to order, almonds, and dates.  Hot water heaters and outlets are provided at every table, so many patrons use their laptops and phones.  Osmanthus tea has an aromatic flowery scent, while oolong is slightly smoky.  Rose tea, White Lavender tea, and Herbal Chai are also worth a try.

exterior of Far Leaves Tea in Berkeley, California

interior seating at Far Leaves Tea in Berkeley, California

interior shop at Far Leaves Tea in Berkeley, California

packaged teas to go at Far Leaves Tea in Berkeley, California


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wine Country: St. Helena, The Model Bakery

update/p.428

The Model Bakery  1357 Main St., downtown, (707) 963-8192.  Daily 7am-6pm.   Among the delicious hand-formed breads baked in the 1920s-era brick-and-sand ovens here are pain de vin (whole-wheat sourdough made with a starter derived from Napa Valley grape yeasts), sour rye, crusty sourdough, and both sweet baguettes and rounds.  Panini, mini-pizzas, and stuffed croissants make quick snacks, and old-fashioned cookies and biscotti are pleasing desserts.  For breakfast try the Morning Glory muffin, the bear claw, or their famous English muffins.  Coffee and espresso drinks are also available.  Cozy seating is provided inside and out for on-the-spot indulgence.  


exterior of The Model Bakery in St. Helena, California

interior of The Model Bakery in St. Helena, California


bread rack at The Model Bakery in St. Helena, California


pastry case at The Model Bakery in St. Helena, California

kitchen at The Model Bakery in St. Helena, California

Model Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers