All posts by Devin Hardy

Say Wow! For Chapeau!

Chapeau! In between 2nd and 3rd on Clement street is the perfect French Bistro to take that special someone. It’s a small venue that will seat around 30 to 50 people, adding to the atmosphere of a bustling little neighborhood bistro in Paris.  The décor and service are also top notch and follow this trend.

restaurantLogoThe Menu at Chapeau! Is constantly changing due to fresh ingredients and new creations by their chef, so going back will always be a new culinary experience

The night I first went to Chapeau! was a memorable experience. As I walked into the restaurant, the Chef turned and welcomed me to Chapeau! With a kiss on both cheeks. It was a little shocking, but he had a warm welcoming feeling to him. As I walked in and gave my name (Note: Make reservations, do
not drop in) I had a lovely young lady take my coat and show me to my table.

Once I was seated and looked over the menu, I found an endless supply of mouthwatering dishes. I decided to start with a cauliflower soup that was creamy and savory til the very last bite. For my entree, I had the duck a l’Orange, which came on a plate with cooked mixed vegetables and served over linguini. It was a whole duck leg and sliced breast, cooked to perfection with tremendous amounts or flavor and a little sweet but balanced with the slight tartness of the orange sauce.

My last dish was dessert. French Toast, Soft Caramel and Hazelnut Ice Cream which was to die for! Every bite of it put me
into a state of true bliss! Made me say Chapeau!

Although the menu is a tad more pricey (entrees run around $20) the quality of both the food and the service more than make your time at this bistro exquisite. Surely, Chapeau! with the “!” means Wow!

CHECK OUT CHAPEAU!

Good Eats at Roam Artisan Burgers

Burger

Are you looking for a tasty little bite on a Friday night? Well Roam Artisan Burgers is just a short ride on the 38 to  Fillmore away. The tasty burger joint gives you that “I got off campus” feel without being too far away. Walking inside, I could feel the youthful energy and hip vibe all throughout the place.

Standing in line,  I examined the menu posted on the wall—should I order a beef,  turkey, bison, veggie or  elk burger? I ended up ordering their Sunny Side burger (organic free range egg, aged white cheddars, caramelized onions, greens, tomato and sweet chili sauce) and an orange creamsicle shake.

After ordering, finding a seat can be a bit of a challenge. Roam has and informal, semi-beer hall seating which adds to  the social and warm atmosphere. A couple left, freeing up a table, and we were quickly seated. About 10 minutes later burger arrtive along with my cold creamsicle shake.

This place definitely follows the saying “If it doesn’t get all over the place it doesn’t belong in your face.”  From that first bite of juicy free range beef, combined with a good balance between the egg and the sweet caramelized onions,  I found myself having to use a napkin frequently; the burger seemingly unable to contain all of the amazing chili sauce. Yet, even the messiness of the burger added to the taste and experience of eating a Roam burger, and trust me, you had to be 100% focused on eating this burger.  Sipping on the creamy and smooth shake in-between bites of my burger completed the delicious experience.

Once I finished eating and throwing away my piles of napkins, I noticed the scores of people waiting to take my seat. It just goes to show you how beloved Roam Artisan Burgers is amongst San Franciscans.

Roam Artisan Burger Locations:

1923 Fillmore Street

San Francisco, CA

94115

(415)-800-7801

 

1785 Union Street

San Francisco, CA

94123

(415)-440-7626

 

 

No Reservation? No problem.

Food Columnist Devin Hardy offers up a tasty Valentine’s Day dinner for two.

It’s Valentine’s Day next Thursday, and you haven’t made a reservation! Don’t panic, keep it old school and prepare that special someone a fun, tasty meal. This meal is all about comfort. Time to get started on this taste adventure!

Let’s start off with something a little cheesy, an artichoke melt. This will dissolve any lingering tensions and melt away those reservations you have about tackling this challenge of cooking  from scratch.

Appetizer: Artichoke Melt 

Sourdough or white break, thickly sliced

Artichoke hearts

Mayo (substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream)

Mozzarella

Salt/pepper/(to taste)

Combine mayo and hearts in a bowl, and spread the mixture over the bread. Top with a layer of mozzarella, bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Option: for presentation points, serve it over a sprinkle of parsley flakes.

Now, it’s time to get into the meat of this story, quite literally. We’ll dive into the main course—a bourbon (or substitute*) marinated steak that has a smokey flavor to it, but is also slightly sweet.

Main Course: Marinated Steak 

Caramelize the onions, and then add the chili and garlic. Then after letting them sauté, add coke. Then place your meat in it and let it sit for 5 hours. Take those out and sear in a pan. You can also boil the rest of the marinade for a reduction/the onions absorb the liquid making it a bit more flavorful. When the center of the steak gets to about 160 degrees in the middle, take them out and then you can finish it in the oven.

 *(Option: You can substitute the entire marinade above for coke, seven-up, soy sauce, and sesame oil. This goes better with thin slices of steak like brisket or flank. It is a lighter, more citrus flavor. It won’t overwhelm you either since it’s much simpler).

Dessert: Chocolate Caramel Corn

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

12 cups popcorn

CHOCOLATE

Melt butter over medium heat. Add in sugar and corn syrup, whisking until mixture begins to bubble. Turn off heat and whisk in vanilla, salt and baking soda. Fold in popcorn. This is the point in time when I melt the chocolates and drizzle over Carmel corn.

Well, adventurer, you’ve reached the end of this story. Bottom line: Food on Valentine’s Day is about comfort. Because when you have comfort food, you feel as ease with that special someone.

 

Balboa Sushi House: San Francisco’s Slice of Small Town Japan

Balboa Sushi House, located at 402 Balboa Avenue, between 5th and 6th Avenues, is within walking ditance of campus. Hours: 12:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m., mon.-sat.; 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., Sun. Rolls range from $3.95 to $15.95

    When you first walk into Balboa Sushi house, two things happen. First, Owner Annie Kim greets you with a heart felt welcome and an intoxicating smile. Second, you’re overcome with the unique ambiance of the place. As Annie recalls, “I spent a lot of time in Japan and loved the feel of the small town Sushi houses there, and that is what I wanted to do here.”

You get that and then some at the Sushi House, which is carefully decorated with the artwork of loyal patrons. Every piece on the wall comes with a piece
of the Sushi House’s history, demonstrated best by one of her favorite pieces, which hangs over the majority of the tables. “The kid who drew that drew it when he was five, and now he is twenty. He still comes in.”

 All sentiments aside, the sushi is the true star attraction. While I ordered, I received a complementary cup of hot tea and a bowl of edamame (boiled soybeans with sprinkled salt). Once I had sipped my tea and ate the edamame, Annie emerged from the kitchen carrying a platter of sushi so elegantly
arranged that I had to take a second to admire the craftsmanship of husband and Sushi
Chef James Kim.

On that platter I find the three rolls I ordered: the California ($4.95) the Tekka ( Tuna, $4.95) and the Rainbow ($12.95) rolls. As I took my first bite into the California roll, I was greeted by an incredible balance of sweet crab with the perfect amount of salt and fresh avocado, rolled together in premium rice. The Tekka roll was packed with a huge piece of fresh tuna and encompassed by crisp seaweed.

While those two rolls certainly satiated, my favorite without a doubt was the Rainbow roll, coated with everything from Unagi (Freshwater eel), to tuna and to shrimp. From the first bite of the California roll to the last piece of the Rainbow roll, I was in heaven. Besides the fabulous sushi, the warm service from Annie and James is what keeps fans of the Balboa Sushi House coming back for more.

As I pay my bill and leave, Annie smiles and says “Thank you, see you soon,” which she definitely will. If you’re looking
for great sushi and a warm experience, it’s hard to beat Balboa Sushi House.