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This place has been here forever so I figured it was about time I walked a couple blocks further to try it. Also the name appeals to the part of me that is still 13 years old.
They serve perfectly acceptable take-out quality food at very reasonable prices (the six dollar lunch is rapidly becoming an endangered species in this town) and they're quick and friendly. It is not a high end dining experience and it is not for people who are hung up on authenticity. Eating here will not score you any foodie cred.
However, if you are hungry it will make you not-hungry for a relatively small amount of time and money.
It's been about 9 months since I was in Austin now, and and that whole weekend runs together into a beer-soaked blur.
However, I still can recall very clearly the half hour I spent enjoying the fried oyster po'boy I got from osmo's on a sunny saturday morning on a park bench a few blocks east of my hotel.
I think that says something.
Go for brunch. It's not packed like it has been every evening since they opened five or six years ago.
And even if you're freaked out by organ meats get the liver mousse w/ balsamic & strawberry rhubarb jam. I'm not going to tell you it's not liver-ish, because it is, but it's also sweet and also tangy and acidic and also a little bit tannic. there's a whole lot of stuff going on in there and you will be a little confused but also kind of entertained. It's sort of like eating one of Milos Forman's early films.
The sunny-side up eggs are just a little bit runny, like they should be, the pigs ears are crisp and a little salty (I don't know if this is how they're supposed to be as this is my first encounter with pigs ears) and the salsa is hot and the dish holds together well.
I am told the squid ink pasta w/ crab & sea urchin was good, but didn't get to try it first hand.
Service is excellent.
These are the general types of people who should stop by Cookin':
People who are looking for meat grinders, but don't have a Kitchen Aid to get an attachment for, and who don't want to spend $1100 on a professional quality electric grinder because they'll probably only use it once in a while, and who don't want to buy a plastic piece of junk that will break after two uses. You can take your pick of heavy antique hand cranked meat grinders like your grandma probably used for 25 bucks or so. This is the group that I was in.
People who like antique teacups and old grocery store and restaurant fixtures and signs in french. There's plenty of that stuff there too.
People who are looking for Le Creuset cookware but don't want to pay the fortune that they're asking for new pieces - there's a huge selection of vintage LC enameled stuff to be had at a fraction of the original retail. All of that Le Creuset stuff that people put on their bridal registries even though they've never actually cooked anything more difficult than ramen and lean cuisine, where did you think all that stuff ends up after sitting on a basement shelf in the box for ten years? It ends up here.
People who have a - um, not exactly a fetish but lets say a fascination - yes, a fascination with vintage cast iron. There are old wagner and griswolds in all sizes. Most of them will need some work with a dremel and a good reseasoning, but that's part of the fun.
But don't come in here if you're looking for an antique combo cooker like the one you saw in the Tartine cookbook and you insist on doing it exactly that way - She's already had words with the photographers for that cookbook about how those things are pretty much impossible to find but they don't mention that in the cookbook, nor do they mention that you can do the same thing with a regular dutch oven. She explained all this to the other person who was there when I was and it took a while, and she probably doesn't want to do it again. She may seem kind of cold and curt at first but she's full of helpful advice.
There are probably lots of other reasons to go there but this is what I can think of right now.
I keep seeing comparisons to in'n'out or seeing shake shack described as NYC's answer to in'n'out but I'm not sure this is entirely accurate. True, the burgers are roughly the same size, and they both have short menus, but aside aside from that, the comparison breaks down. in'n'out pushes the 50's nostalgia a little harder, the fries are totally different, as as far as I can tell, Shake Shack has no secret menu.
But if you like in'n'out you'll like shake shack. probably even more. See, shake shacks burgers aren't just made to order with quality ingredients, they're strikingly beefy (I'm going to make an effort to describe more things as 'strikingly beefy' in the future, but shake shack's burger deserves the description more than anything else I can think of.) The internet seems to think it's because of brisket or short rib in the burger mix. I'm going to do some experimenting soon and will post an update.
The fries are ok, but not outstanding (they're krinkle cut, are crisp and have nothing obviously wrong with them, I just wasn't floored.) Go at off peak hours if you can.
Has anyone tried ordering a burger animal style from them? Do you get laughed at? punched? Please let me know.
Not a lot stood out to me about the decor, but it was dark and we'd already had a few drinks when we arrived so not noticing details was more or less inevitable. I remember the wine they recommended being not all that memorable. Service was fine otherwise.
But a few weeks later I can still recall vividly the excellent hanger steak and the bearnaise sauce that came with it. I was kind of sad when my I ran out of things on my plate to put the sauce on. If they'd given me more food or less sauce I would have left overjoyed.
I got over it pretty quickly though. And I was pleased overall.
If you are from SF and homesick, Finnertys carries as many Giants/Niners/Sharks games as they possibly can, and they have Anchor Steam, Lagunitas, and Fernet, and Sierra Celebration Ale around christmas.
If you're not from SF, they still have cheap beer and the bartender will take care of you if you wander in there on a friday afternoon with several hours to kill. Seriously, Annie has hawk-bartender ears, such that you can just mention that you're ready for another beer and she'll hear you like 20 feet down the bar and start pouring. that should have universal appeal.
I don't know quite what to say about this place - it made an impression on me, to be sure.
The oxtail bitterballen are small and intensely beefy. I'm not sure what else I can say about them.
Everyone in my group was into the potatoes and the smorrebrod (though personally escargot as a topping didn't really do it for me - it almost felt like more of an attempt to be edgy rather than an inspired flavor/texture combo. Do Danes put snails on their smorrebrod?)
And we enjoyed every cocktail we tried, particularly the digestif one with the egg in it. The beers are well chosen also.
If you show up about 20 minutes before they open and get in line, there probably won't be more than 7 or 8 parties in front of you and you'll be seated in the first round. Also, they'll all cheer for you when you walk in and after a while the novelty of having customers wears off I guess and the cheers become less spirited. You don't want to miss out.
Get the pork buns - the chicken ones are alright too, but unless you don't eat pork you don't want to settle for alright.
The Akamaru Modern (I think? this is from memory) is what I had - And while they absolutely, 100% nailed the broth, but the noodles were a little less substantial than I would have liked, and I guess I'm used to fattier, more flavorful tonkatsu. Neither of these things should turn you off to Ippudo, however. Also bear in mind that unless you're with a large group you'll probably be seated at a communal table; however as far as I can tell most of ippudos customers are decent, considerate people. I don't think it will be a problem for you.
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"it is impossible to have a good day"
San Francisco, CA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
September 2006Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
the western additionHeimatort
San FranciscoWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I am still yelpingWas ich zuletzt gelesen habe
The Island of the Day BeforeMein Lieblingsfilm
Fallen AngelsMeine Henkersmahlzeit
rocks. I want to eat rocks before I die.Ich schwärme gerade für