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Posts Tagged ‘Dogpatch’

Tasty Kitchenette Lunches in the Dogpatch

February 1, 2010 2 comments

Kitchenette is one of the many cool things about the Dogpatch.

Across the street from the old warehouses in Pier 70, Kitchenette serves tasty lunches out of a garage door along Illinois Street. Run by chefs who have worked with the likes of Thomas Keller and Alice Waters, the food is organic, local and delicious.

Kitchenette's Pastrami Sandwich

I’ve had memorable lunches at Kitchenette since we moved to the Dogpatch.   Their house smoked pastrami sandwich (Marin Sun Farms beef smoked over fig wood with apple-caraway mustard and braised cabbage) and their beef and pork polpette sandwich (meatballs in amatriciana sauce with parmesan cheese) are really yummy.

Kitchenette's Polpette Sandwich

But the most memorable by far is their bacon snickerdoodle.  I think it’s genius. It’s an excellent example of how bacon can make anything, like a simple snickerdoodle, extra special.

Kitchenette's Bacon Snickerdoodle

Kitchenette’s lunch-to-go menu changes everyday, so its best to check out what’s for lunch the day before on their blog and tweets.  They are cash only.

Mom’s Hearty Homemade Chili with Homemade Cornbread

January 7, 2010 3 comments

Where can you find the best cornbread in the city?  Just for You Cafe in the Dogpatch.

Just for You is the place-to-be for tasty big breakfasts: fried eggs, ham, home fries and their freshly baked cornbread.  I love my cornbread sweet rather than savory, but not too sweet and I love it moist with a little bit of gritty texture.  Just for You’s has all these wonderful elements.  Enjoy it with a generous spread of butter or with their sweet strawberry jam.  The corncakes are equally good, too.  They have that melt-in-your-mouth, buttery and gritty goodness that I love.  And a visit to Just for You is never complete without indulging in their puffy beignets.  So delightful.

Just for You Cafe's Cornbread with Strawberry Jam

Inspired by Just for You’s cornbread, I ventured out, bought myself some corn meal and made my own cornbread.  And there’s no better way to enjoy a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven piece of cornbread in this cold winter than to pair it with a tasty bowl of hearty homemade chili.  For that, I solicited Dennis’ help to make his mom’s homemade chili, the chili he grew up with in chilly Ohio.

Homemade Cornbread

1-1/4 cup yellow corn meal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.  You can use a pyrex dish, a non-stick baking pan or you can also use a muffin pan to make corn muffins.

Combine the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Combine the milk, oil and egg in a separate bowl. After mixing them well add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and pour into your baking dish.  Note that the original recipe called for a cup of flour to a cup of corn meal but for a grittier texture I added a 1/4 cup more corn meal and used 1/4 cup less flour in this recipe.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Homemade Cornbread

Mom’s Homemade Chili

Chili Spices
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder or freshly minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Great-tasting chili is very much a cook-until-the-way-you-like-it sort of comfort food.  So feel free to experiment with the spices as you wish.

1 to 1.5 lbs of extra lean ground beef
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1 medium to large size onion diced
1-2 green or red bell peppers chopped
Worcestershire sauce (start with 1 Tbsp and then add more to taste)

Cooking time is 2-4 hours.  Slow cooking is best.

Brown the ground beef in a large stew pot over medium heat.  Don’t thoroughly cook the meat but only up to a point when most of the fat has come out.  If you prefer a finer texture break up the ground beef completely but if you like a chunkier chili, as I do, break it up in larger bite size bits.

Extra lean beef (less than 5% fat) is recommended, which is the healthiest choice. If you do use extra lean beef there is no need to drain the fat out. Otherwise, drain the beef fat using a colander and return it to the pot. I think it’s a smart idea to give up the beef fat so you can indulge in butter with your bread later!

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, and peppers to the browned beef and mix well.  It will be pretty thick but there is no need to add water here as there will be plenty as the vegetables continue to cook.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and chili spices and mix well.  Let this cook and come to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.  Add the red kidney and black beans to the mix and stir well together.

Hearty Homemade Chili

Now, here’s the fun part, or well, at least Dennis thinks so.  Take a break and let it simmer for about an hour while stirring it occasionally.  Come back and taste the chili. If you think it needs a little more oomph add more Worcestershire, salt, chili powder and perhaps more garlic powder or freshly minced garlic.  Cook for another half an hour on low heat and stir well occasionally. Continue adding more salt and chili powder if you prefer but remember to stir everything well.  Let it stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Great-tasting chili is truly a season-to-taste slow cooked meal.  Chili powders have different levels of potency so feel free to experiment.

Enjoy a bowl of chili with a piece of warm cornbread or some saltine crackers on a chilly winter day. Some folks love red onions or grated cheddar with their chili but I love it just the way it is with some sweet cornbread.

Hearty Homemade Chili

For breakfast, scramble some eggs in butter and top it with chili and a piece of cornbread.

Homemade Chili Over Scrambled Eggs and Cornbread

By the way, I don’t think I have found the best chili in the city.  San Francisco doesn’t really strike me as a city for chili but maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?

Discovering the Dogpatch

January 4, 2010 6 comments

Two old cranes loom large over the Dogpatch. You simply can’t miss them.

Cranes with Graffiti in the Dogpatch

I actually think these old cranes are very cool.  Well, I think the Dogpatch is very cool.  It is a bit rough but, definitely, in a good way.  Old Victorians and old industrial and commercial buildings that survived the 1906 fire and earthquake mixed with new and modern loft apartments and cool cafes and restaurants give this tiny nine-block neighborhood a really interesting character.

The Dogpatch is an enclave of industrial worker’s housing in the once-booming San Francisco Central Waterfront district.  The city recognized it as a Historic District in 2003.  It still feels industrial but it also feels neighborly.  It was recently hailed as one of America’s best neighborhoods by Men’s Journal and recently featured in the New York Times.

I love its dog-friendly Esprit Park surrounded by quiet streets where dogs can run and play.  I love its 260 sunny days in a year, on average.  And I love its burgeoning dining scene. Fried eggs and cornbread with strawberry jam for breakfast at Just for You.  House-smoked pastrami sandwich with bacon snickerdoodle for lunch at Kitchenette.  A cup of Blue Bottle Coffee at Piccino Coffee Bar.  A bottle of Malbec with cheese and olives at Yield Wine Bar.  And a plateful of fried chicken with red beans and rice and yams for dinner at Hard Knox Cafe.

And if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, the equally cool 18th Street in Potrero Hill is just a quick brisk walk away. Hop on the T to get to downtown or on the 22 to get to the Mission. The choices are endless.

T Line at Mariposa in the Dogpatch

Here is a link to read more about the story behind the city’s working class historic district.  It is a great resource about the history and architecture of the Dogpatch.  And here are more information about the restaurants mentioned in this blog.

Just For You Cafe
732 22nd
415.647.3033

Kitchenette SF
958 Illinois
Twitter, @kitchenettesf

Piccino Coffee Bar
801 22nd
415.824.4224

Yield Wine Bar
2490 3rd
415.401.8984

Hard Knox Cafe
2526 3rd
415.648.3770

Corgi in the Dogpatch

November 13, 2009 7 comments

Dennis and I are not the only ones enjoying the DogpatchStanford is loving it, too.

Corgi at the Dogpatch

The Dogpatch is actually a great neighborhood for dogs and dog lovers.  There’s Esprit Park at Minnesota between 19th and 20th where Stanford loves to run and chase balls.  The park isn’t fenced-in but is large enough and surrounded by quiet streets that it’s practically safe for dogs to be off-leash.  And best of all it’s only two blocks away from home!

Corgi at Pawtrero

Then there’s Pawtrero Hill Bathhouse and Feed Company with a large and clean self-serve bathing facility.  They have the tastiest treats and the coolest toys and accessories.

Corgi at Pawtrero

And not far from the Dogpatch, in the Bayview District there’s Pet Camp, Stanford’s home away from home. What we love most about Pet Camp is that they have outdoor playgroups. They have this huge outdoor play space where dogs can run around or just hang out and enjoy the sun.  All play sessions are monitored by camp counselors who are the friendliest people around.  Check out Camper Cameos, a blog where they post photos of their adorable campers.

Well, I’m certain Stanford doesn’t mind all these cool places, but at the end of the day there is something that trumps everything else: dinner!

Corgi and the City

I love San Francisco

July 22, 2009 5 comments

I am so glad to be back in the city!

Last weekend was our first weekend back and it reminded me very clearly of how much I missed and how much I love San Francisco.  It was a wonderful weekend spent walking around our new neighborhood in the Dogpatch, enjoying breakfast at a café, playing ball with Stanford in the park and then running down the Embarcadero later that day.  I really missed the city a lot, I realized.  And I am so excited to be back!

I first moved to the city four years ago and was instantly smitten by its charm.  I have always wanted to live in San Francisco and even though my job was in Silicon Valley I chose to live in the city and brave the long commute.  Last year, however, I joined a start-up company further down south, which meant an even longer commute. We decided to leave and move down to San Jose. We left with a heavy heart but it did not take long for us to realize that San Francisco is our real home. After ten utterly uninspiring months, we have returned.

Back in San Francisco.

I love San Francisco.

I love that the city is where Dennis and I met, where we fell in love and where we adopted our adorable red corgi, Stanford.  We rescued him from a shelter in Utah and drove him through the Sierras back to San Francisco.

I love that the city is where I ran my first marathon.  I can still remember that early Sunday morning when I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge blanketed in fog.  It was truly amazing!  I never thought of myself as being athletic but I have been hooked on running ever since.

I love that the city is wonderfully walkable.  I love walking up and down the hills around Union Square and Dolores Park.  Those hills are never too daunting.  I love walking to the train station, to the grocery store, to the bookstore, to the coffee shop and to almost everywhere.  I love walking Stanford in the early morning when it is cool and quiet outside, my corgi in one hand and my cup of coffee in the other.

I love that the city is a gracious host to film and theater.  I love seeing old films at the Castro Theater, from old musicals like Kiss Me Kate and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas to classic Alfred Hitchcock thrillers.  I love that my all-time favorite Wicked first played in the city before captivating Broadway.

I love that the city is foodie-friendly.  I love scrumptious Sunday brunches at Dottie’s, Brenda’s and Town’s End.  Fried chicken at Town Hall and Hard Knox Cafe.  French at Chapeau and Fringale.  And tasty treats at Bi-Rite Ice Cream, Hot Cookie and Happy Donut, where it’s never too late for a quick sugar fix.

I love that the city is a photographer’s paradise.  I love its cool and interesting neighborhoods, each with its own character and charm.   I love its cool and good-looking people, too.

I am so glad to be back in the city. There is so much to explore and so much to discover. There is definitely no place like home.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

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