If I had easy access to that which is pictured above, say within six blocks of my home as w's sister Jane does, I would surely weigh 300#'s. For our other lunch spot in our bay area sojourn we wandered up and around to College Avenue in Oakland to Wood Tavern, yet another spot that has been getting raves and a spot on the Top 100 of SF restauarnts by Michael Bauer/SF Chronicle. Do you think for a minute that I wouldn't eat something called the Crispy Pork Belly "Lyonnaise" ($11), especially when it is topped with perhaps the most perfectly poached egg (sorry K, but it was REALLY pretty) that looks like a puff of whipped cream. If I may, it was my dream "salad" course (you do see those wisps of frisée under it, don't you?) to help rationalize our mains of the Niman Ranch Burger ($10) on a La Farine (more on them below) baguette. My only complaint, and I had the same gripe with Zuni Café when I had them there, is that I really don't like these little chopped up shoestring fries. To dip them in anything means shoving your fingertips in the aioli/ketchup mix (my preferred fry dipping sauce) and that is something I prefer not to do, even when I'm not in public! The burger itself was a beautifully rendered medium-rare and delicious between the baguette. w had their Duck Leg Confit ($18), which she tried not to order, but duck confit is her restaurant heroin, so what can she do? The Wood version in all its crispy skinned glory provided the needed fix, and served atop frisée, spinach, quinoa, fuji apples, all with a pancetta viniagrette it was a complex, soul satisfying plate of food. We sat, as is our usual preference, at the bar, and the bartender was extremely friendly, and his wine pours and cocktails all remarkably generous in the cool old school sort of way that keeps people coming back again and agin. At least my kind of people!
As I said above, if I lived near College Avenue in Oak-town my disposable income would be seriously depleted. The Rockridge Market is nearby, with all sorts of vendors selling things I can't resist under one roof. In keeping with all things College Av-related, we also indulged two mornings in Cole Coffee's fabulous single serving drip coffees. There is maybe one place in Portland that does this kind of coffee service, but we saw it here and at the Blue Bottle Coffee stall at the Claremont Farmer's Market. It is a great way to have your morning wakeup call, and Cole's ever changing coffee selection was expertly prepared. To soak up all that caffeine we wandered a half block down to La Farine Boulangerie Patisserie to sample what has to be among the Frenchiest pastry goodness outside of Paris I've had (still dreaming of their brioche with large dabs of Blue Chair Fruit Company's strawberry-geranium jam...yum!!).
And of course, even though I don't have photographic proof, we HAD to hit dim sum at East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Alameda, for me the best dim sum I've had in the U.S. This place is always jammed, although our cooling-our-heels time was minimal, and for everything we ate and how fucking good it was it would be worth (almost)any wait! This is a great spot, and if you do all things dim sum make sure you check them out!
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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: a big 'ol pot of heaven is this Pork, Beef, and Black Bean Chili!!