after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

wonderful, pescadero, and the mill

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t says:  I’ve entered an interesting phase of my time here – one that has a substantial amount of down-time!  Yay!!  Exciting, right?  I know that g and I are excited.  So excited that we picked up the pace on our restaurant explorations – almost with the same oomph that we had in Philly when we first started this blog!!  The difference, this time, is that we’d go “backwards” in our restaurants searches.  In Philly, we’d just pull up eater or foobooz and see what was the latest hip place that we should check out.  In SF, with the insane cornucopia of restaurants that grows by the week, we wouldn’t stand a chance.  So instead we ask: “what do we want to eat tonight?” and go from there …

Here are some highlights:

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This one looks less-than-flattering.  I promise it tasted better than it looks.  You see, it all started when g and I were really missing Philly’s Han Dynasty.  We were reminded of Han after our Han-like experience at Kedai Makan in Seattle.  So SF has to have something like that, right?  Well, with a quick search, I found a place called “wonderful”.  Located outside of the city, it made it to the top of our list for a quick “post-airport” dinner.  And voila!  When g returned from a recent trip, I picked her up from the airport, and, due to the stupid-traffic that occurs around 5-6pm heading back towards SF, we peeled off towards Millbrae for a stop at wonderful.  As supposedly “the best Chinese food in the Bay Area” (pretty big words because what I think is a pretty legit Chinatown sitting right there within SF), wonderful kept us guessing as to what we should expect.  We knew it was going to be different than the electric Szechuan of Han, rather, a Hunanese chile-spicy.  Above you see the cilantro lamb, a nice upbeat take on a traditionally gamy cut of meat.  Highly recommended.  (And is a great addition to for homemade fried rice with leftovers the next day.)

 

aside

We ordered a dish called “Godfather’s noodles”.  Everyone raved about them so we were pretty much obligated to try.  We were particularly excited because we saw a Dan Dan noodles on the menu and figured that this would clearly be different than Han’s trademark dish.  But it wasn’t.  It was pretty much the same damn thing (dare I say the same “Dan” thing?).  It was very tasty and worth getting (spicy and porky the whole way), but then what the hell are the Dan Dan noodles on the menu?  We have no idea … but we know what we’re getting next time …

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Ah, yes, the green onion pancake.  Beware – this sucker is HUGE.  Like YOOOOJ.  This, plus the cilantro lamb was the best sandwich ever.  Now of course, that’s probably not traditional at all, but I was thinking it the entire time we were there.  It was light and fluffy, more like a biscuit than a thousand-layer bread I’ve had at other restaurants – and definitely not anything like a Korean scallion pancake at all.  Go ahead and order it, but unless you’ve got more than two people at a table, be prepared to bring some home.  As for the restaurant itself, be prepared for a relatively small space, long lines, and slightly pushy service – it’s not as bad as House of Nanking, but it has some of the same spirit.  This is not a four-star dining experience – go and eat and be full and happy and laugh all the way home with your leftovers …

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On one of our splendid weekend road trips with k and cm, we hit up Harley Farms, a fun place to see some farm animals (and llamas) and buy some goat cheese … and goat soap … and pretty much every darn thing you can make out of goat’s milk.  But more impressive was the above dinner table.  As we walked around the upper floor of the barn, looking out at the farm below, with a gentle breeze whipping through, it was pretty much settled that if you want a barnyard-chic dinner party, this is the place to go.  They also do farm dinners as well that you have can book a seat at ahead of time – if the food is as half as good as the ambience, it’s gotta be a great experience.

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Tucked away in Pescadero, there’s a tiny gas station.  And in this gas station, there is a counter.  And at that counter, you can order some tacos.  You MUST order some tacos.  You will eat them off of paper plates … and you will love them.  I know we did.  Mercado & Taqueria De Amigos was phenomenal.  It isn’t fancy.  It isn’t artisanal.  It’s just some really good tacos at a very reasonable price in a very unassuming location.  Shrimp tacos for the win!  We also sent g’s parents there and they came back with a resounding, “these were the best tacos we’ve ever had”.  While you’re in Pescadero, be sure to visit the market in town that has awesome garlic-and-artichoke bread (buy two loaves, one for dinner later than night, and one for the car ride home) and, if you go early enough, “chocolate muffins” … which are more like chocolate cupcakes.

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So this one required real planning.  The Mill (Western Addition) has BYO Monday and Wednesday pizza nights.  Now let me say right off the bat that “BYO” is misleading.  It doesn’t mean “bring your own alcohol and pour yourself a glass”, rather, “bring your own alcohol and you can use the paper cups that we allow people to use for water … oh … and you’ll be pretty much the only ones there drinking alcohol … so enjoy being awkward”.  So yea, that was a little bit disappointing.  It was made up for, however, by the awesome pizza.  Above, you see the eggplant pizza with white bbq sauce on some sort of whole grain crust – the toppings were fine, but that crust was ridiculous.  Given the crust alone, I kind of regretted not having made it to the the Korean-themed pizza they had the following Wednesday.  As I sit here writing this, I have to say that the pizza gets an overall “good”, but I don’t think it’s quite destination-worthy; go if you’re in the neighborhood (it’s kind of a pain in the butt to get to via MUNI), but be prepared for tight seating and the pseudo-BYO-ness.  For convenience, g and I will stick it out with nearby Long Bridge for now.

I’ll have to call it a night for now, but I guarantee we have more coming – some ramen, some soondooboo.  Good times had by all.

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

27 September 2016 at 2:10am

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