Tag Archives: American Restaurant

San Francisco: Crab House and Dottie’s True Blue Cafe

This is my post on “touristy” food in San Fran.   As it was my first time in San Fran, I had to have something that was popular to SF… and lo and behold, we have the dungeness crab! If you walk along the pier, you’ll notice scores of restaurants serving crabs right outside, ready to be cooked and served with an ice cold beer.

We decided to stop at Crab House, in the heart of the touristy area.  It was a really nice looking restaurant, and the service was good.   Started with a  crab chowder, which was creamy and delicious!  There were other restaurants around that were serving the chowder in a big sourdough bun, but to my disappointment, this came in a bowl.

Following that we ordered a serve of the “Killer Crab Roasted in Our Secret Garlic Sauce”  to share between the two of us. It was covered in garlic buttery goodness and was cooked perfectly.  Good thing they gave us bibs, as this was messy eating.

The 2nd touristy place we went to was highlighted in our tour book as having exceptional breakfast.  We queued for 30 mins to get a table at Dottie’s True Blue Cafe and when we finally got our food, I could see what the fuss was all about – it was awesome!  Have to put a warning in here that the location is a bit dodgy, and doesn’t feel like the safest neighbourhood, but given it’s breakfast, it’s unlikely you’ll get mugged at that time of the day.

My partner stuck to his business as usual breakfast, which was scrambled eggs on toast with a side of bacon.  This also came with a side of home fries.  When the dish came out, I thought to myself “looks pretty good, but looks like you could get it any old place”… how wrong I was!  The winner on the plate was the toast!  It was the one of the most delicious slices of toast I’d ever had!  It was tasty, and lightly browned and had a hint of herb (dill?) running through it.

Being the more adventurous of the duo, I decided to try the Southwestern – andouille sausage, mushroom, onions, peppers & jack cheese in an open-faced omelet with home fries with salsa and tortillas.   It is the biggest plate of breakfast I’ve ever come across.  And all this for $13.95!  Crazy!  It was super tasty, but I struggled to get through half of it.

Would I go back to these two places?  Crab House, maybe.  There’s plenty of other restaurants in that area that serve crabs and I’d like to try the others.  Dotties, yes.  That toast was phenomenal, and I’d like to try the pancakes and other breakfast items (at the expense of waiting in line for 30 mins!).

More info and reviews on Crab House:

Crab House on Urbanspoon

More info and reviews on Dottie’s True Blue Cafe:

Dottie's True Blue Cafe on Urbanspoon

Love affair with Hubert Keller…

There was only one place I wanted to go to in San Fran, and that was Fleur de Lys.  And I wanted to go because I love Hubert Keller.  Hubert is another Top Chef Masters contestant that I fell in love with during the first season.

The restaurant was beautiful and the service was imppecable.   It was like a well oiled machine, even down to the coordinated direction in which the waiters/waitresses would walk.  We had the 5 course degustation, and it was spectacular.  Given the dim lighting, my pictures didn’t turn out too well.  Needless to say, most dishes came with foie gras and truffle!  The top dish of the evening was the “seared fillet mignon with a lobstered truffled mac and cheese en brioche“.  As you can see from the pic below, the dish was pretty as a picture.  That’s the perfectly cooked piece of beef on the left, with a lobster tail on top of it, and the truffle infused mac and cheese (with lobster chunks mixed through) on the right.  Excessive, yes.  Delicious, yes.

Mr.Keller also has another restaurant in the city of San Fran – Burger Bar.  I decided to have the most epic burger available, which was “Hubert Keller Burger” consisting of buffalo, caramelised onions, baby spinach, blue cheese on a ciabata bun with a red wine shallot reduction.  It was divine!  Blue cheese and buffalo?  Love it!   Perfectly rounded off with a side of fries, onion rings and beer!

Oh Hubert, my love for you only increased during my dining experiences!  Till next time mon cheri!

More info and reviews on Fleur de Lys:
Fleur de Lys on Urbanspoon
More info and reviews on Burger Bar: 

Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

Eat at Street

Whilst in LA, we popped into Susan Feniger’s Street, which has an interesting concept:  street food from around the world in one restaurant.  Most Aussies won’t have heard of Susan, but I saw the first season of Top Chef Masters and she left quite an impression!  She was such a lovely lady, and her food philosophy of simple easy food resonated with me.

So we visited the restaurant on a perfect warm evening, and were seated outside in the courtyard, next to an open fire.

Perusing the menu was quite an experience – it had a bit of this and a bit of that.  Where else would you see tatsutage fried chicken on the same menu as cheese and grits?  This made it really tough for me to decide on what to have!  The dishes we decided on were a strange combination…

FIrst thing to appear was the complimentary…. appetiser?  It was puffed rice bound by some sweet sticky substance with raisins running through it.  Nice gesture, but it was a bit odd…

The first dish to arrive was their infamous “kaya toast”.  Kaya is a Malaysian coconut paste which is sweet – very delightful.  The kaya was creamy and came sandwiched in toasted white bread.  On the side was a fried egg in soy sauce.  I was concerned that the dish would be overwhelmingly rich but surprisingly, all the elements worked well together and it was delicious!

The tempura mushroom were battered and fried to perfection.  Light and juicy, it was divine.  This was followed by a superb kingfish sashimi, covered in pink peppercorns.  (sorry, the pic looks a bit sad with only 2 mushrooms but it was really a portion of 4 – we scoffed them down faster than I could take the pic!)

We ended the meal with the tatsutage fried chicken atop soba noodles and with a side of pickled vege, and cheese and grits.  The chicken tasted good (but really, how often does fried chicken not taste good?) and went perfectly with the pickled vege but the soba noodles may not have been necessary.  This was my first cheese and grits experience… and unfortunately, it’s not for me!  It was mushy and looked like clag… ugh.  I have to state that my partner LOVED the cheese and grits and lapped it up.  So it may just be a preference/mushy tolerance thing…

So overall, it was awesome – strange delicious food combo’s, LA cool on a warm summer night!

Susan Feniger's Street on Urbanspoon