Friday’s Favs

This week has been a flurry (pun intended) of activity and excitement! My parents are coming to SF for Christmas and I spent every night this week finishing up all the planning and preparing for their visit. What does that entail you ask? Multiple trips to Sur La Table, Target (hopefully my credit card info didn’t get stolen), Crate & Barrel (if you haven’t seen their Christmas stuff, take a look – its all on sale), and Anthropologie. At home I was finishing up decorating (100 feet of greenery garland- check!), wrapping presents, finalizing the Christmas tablescape (pictures to come) and making shopping lists. I love organizing and planning so this has all been fun for me, but I can’t wait for it to be here already! Here are a couple things from the week that I thought I would share to spread the holiday cheer – have a great weekend friends!!

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 11.37.54 AM{hot cheeto fried chicken – yeah we went there}

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{I filled a couple clear ornaments with things I’ve kept over the years. These are festival wristbands, I filled another one with ticker tape from when the Giants won the World Series}

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 11.38.22 AM{all this shopping made me hungry, hungry for CRAB! It’s my third year attending the Guardsmen Tree Lot Crab Feed, one of the best events of the season}

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 11.39.19 AM{puppies sleeping in the SPCA storefront window at Macy’s}

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 11.39.10 AM{I know you’re as excited as I am that I finally selected and purchased the pillows for my living room! What do you think?}

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 12.09.31 PM{happy holidays!}

I’d love  hear all of your holiday plans! My parents arrive tomorrow – let the festivities begin!

Dosa

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Dine about town is back (remember this beauty) and this time we ventured over to Dosa, a southern Indian restaurant on Fillmore. There were three courses on the DaT menu each with three options to choose from. So we got down to business and decided to share everything to maximize our tasting potential.

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To start, they gave us these lentil chips (their equivalent to bread) and they had so much flavor! The most flavorful plain chip I have ever had, rich and salty and cumin-y, yes cumin-y.

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For the appetizer course we chose the grilled calamari that came with a great cilantro, chile, lime sauce, and the Chennai chicken – think gourmet fried chicken, with a yogurt sauce.

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I wanted to put the yogurt sauce on everything, I could literally drink the stuff. The squid was perfectly cooked, not chewy, but you guys know me, the fried chicken was my favorite.

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For the second course we both chose a dosa. I didn’t know what a dosa was so if you don’t know – a dosa is a large pancake-like Indian dish made from a rice and lentil batter. I called it a galette (it’s the frenchness in me), and it’s filled with all sorts of things.

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We chose one with paneer cheese and peas and another with potatoes and peppers.

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Both were delicious but the real stars were the dipping sauces. The green one was coconut (my fav) the red one was tomato (my boo’s fav) and the big one was like a curried soup, spicy and thick.

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By this time we were full, but still had one course to go, so we powered through and got the prawn masala curry and the vegetable curry.

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The prawn curry was sweet and really thick and delicious, with a good number of plump shrimp. The veggie curry was very traditional tasting that went perfectly with the rice and yogurt sauce for me – this one was a little hot!

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We were so full when we were done, we were ready to burst but so happy.

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Foreign Cinema

I love chicken – especially when it’s fried and in finger form. I was notorious for ordering chicken fingers every single time we went out to eat when I was little – even on vacation, which meant multiple chicken finger meals a day. I still love it (as you can see here and here) and I love trying it at different places to see their take on it. If you are a fried chicken fan and you have not been to Foreign Cinema – stop what you are doing, go down to the Mission and order it – STAT!

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I had a friend visiting this past week and I had heard a lot of good things about Foreign Cinema so we decided to try it out. For appetizers we got a cheese, a meat and a fish. The cheese was baked goat cheese with lavender and cardamom strawberry relish. It was such a burst of different flavors in your mouth, it was very satisfying. The warm cheese spread over the toasty bread had such an earthy salty taste to it.

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The beef carpaccio was delicious! It was presented in such a unique way too, they spread the meat out paper thin on the plate and you scraped it off with the BBQ flavored chips they served with it.

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My favorite of the appetizers (I think I’m addicted to raw fish) was the sea bass ceviche. It was served on these little tostadas with avocado and crema and it was like a bite of heaven. It was juicy and creamy and salty and citrusy – heaven I say.

For dinner (yes there is more) we split the risotto – not the most photogenic of foods – and the fried chicken, you may have heard me reference it before.

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The risotto was good, I’m partial to my dad’s version but it was pretty tastey.

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Nothing compares to the chicken though. I would venture to say it is the best fried chicken (by it self) that I have ever had, and trust me, I have had a lot of fried chicken. It came plated with a little hummus with spiced baby carrots and honey and sesame seeds. What made this chicken different from all the rest is the subtle sweet curry flavor from the batter. It was not dry, it had amazing flavor and the crunchy outside was perfect.

Ok enough drooling for now – you can’t celebrate seeing an old friend without dessert so we got these two gems – an apricot blackberry turnover with caramel and pistachio dusting on top (mini hand pies with great buttery dough)

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– and the chocolate pot de crème with caramel popcorn. Don’t know about you but I have never had a bad pot de creme. It’s just too good of a combination of things to turn out bad.

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This place is definitely a special occasion spot but it is absolutely worth it! PS. Get the fried chicken…

Bacon Jam

There are just too many good places to eat in this city. I literally want to try every single one too, which isn’t good for the wallet – or the waistband of the pants the wallet sits in. But I am a firm believer of all things in proportion – except when they come in the form of a burger or a fried chicken sandwich. Enter Corner Store – a new place on Masonic and Geary.

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The lunch menu looked the best so on Friday (work – who works?) my boo and I grabbed some lunch. Of course we got two things and shared and of course those two things were the fried chicken sandwich and the burger.

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The sandwich was great, the chicken crust was crispy but the meat was still juicy and the slaw added a nice tang. It’s just hard not comparing it to this sandwich that we love so dearly. But it was totally different and delicious – as was the warm potato salad that came with it.

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The burger was the real gem here though. Two words – bacon jam.

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The burger had all the right toppings to accompany the bacon jam, cheese, pickled onions, garlic aioli, pickles and it was perfectly cooked and plated on an amazing bun. Everything just worked together, one bite was a perfect blend of all the flavors you want in a burger bite. Juicy, savory, sour from the pickled onions and pickle, sweet and crunchy from the bread = perfection. This place was great, go here and get the burger. (Ok, one more picture)

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Positive Reinforcement

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Usually a sunny day in SF is reason enough for a hike but the offer of a fried chicken sandwich sold me. Last weekend my boo and I took the sunshine as a good enough reason to go across the bridge and up into the Berkeley hills for a hike. (Enter nature shots).

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Watch out city folk, you will encounter nature here.

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We hiked for a couple hours, felt real good about ourselves and then we went and had some fried chickin’ sandwiches ya’ll! It was positive reinforcement, you hike you get delicious sandwich as a reward, and a gold star.

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If you live in the Bay Area and haven’t been here you are missing out. Bakesale Betty’s aka the best fried chicken sandwich EVER – and yes I would put money on that statement, is a staple in these parts (fried chicken makes me feel country).

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This line tells you something about how amazing these sandwiches are, we waited 30 minutes after hiking for 2 hours and it was worth it for this:

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Look at that beauty – fried crispy goodness with light, crunchy, fresh slaw on a soft roll. It will never get old. Something I love about this place is that the sandwich never changes, you have it over and over again and never once was it bad, or soggy or just not right. Every single time you shake your head after the first bite and revel in how ridiculously good it is – I could profess my love for this sandwich all day, but I won’t. I’ll just show you a picture that will make you want one yourself.

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