Friday, August 12, 2011

San Francisco in Food Photos

Now that I've had some time since returning from the United States in late June, I thought it would be a good opportunity to do a full photo essay of some of the cities visited.

So first up is...
San Francisco

If you live in San Francisco or are planning to visit, check out the Ate8 city guides on Foursquare and Foodspotting. It's 8 foods/restaurants to check in at and try some food!
FoodSherpas in San Francisco:  San Francisco Foursquare List
FoodSherpas in San Francisco: San Francisco Foodpotting Guide

On to the photos...

Suckling pig in bier sauce, served with bread dumpling and sauerkraut from Suppenkuche in San Francisco, CA. review at

Yank Sing:
Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Yank Sing in San Francisco, CA. review at

Suckling pig in bier sauce, served with red cabbage and Knoodle from Suppenkuche in San Francisco, CA. review at

Blue Mermaid:
New England & California Clam Chowder from Blue Mermaid in San Fracnisco, CA. review at

PPQ Dungeoness:
Crispy Vietnamese egg rolls from PPQ Dungeoness in San Francisco, CA

PPQ Dungeoness:
Tasty crab from PPQ Dungeness in San Francisco, CA. Recipe tastes like it's stolen from KFC, it's so good.

Yank Sing:
Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Yank Sing in San Francisco, CA. review at

Yank Sing:
Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) from Yank Sing in San Francisco, CA. review at

Mel's Drive In:
After 6 months living outside the US and turkey being nonexistent on Buenos Aires menus, I treated myself to a dish of hot turkey in gravy with mashed potatoes, steam vegetables, onion rings and or course, cranberry sauce. From Mel's Drive-in in San Francisco, CA.

Memphis Minnies:
Memphis rib and pulled pork lunch with sweet potatoes, smoked beans and corn bread from Memphis Minnie's BBQ Joint in San Francisco. review at

Rosamunde Sausage Grill:
Just some of the sausage selection from Rosamunde Sausage Grill in San Francisco, CA (Haight st. location). review at

Rosamunde Sausage Grill:
Just some of the sausage selection from Rosamunde Sausage Grill in San Francisco, CA (Haight st. location). review at

Hyde Street Seafood:
Pan Seared Scallops in Ginger Cream Sauce from Hyde Street Seafood House in San Francisco, CA. review at

Rosamunde Sausage Grill:
Wild Boar and apple sausage from Rosamunde Sausage Grill in San Francisco, CA (Mission location). review at

Rosamunde Sausage Grill:
Spicy Italian sausage with onions and peppers from Rosamunde Sausage Grill in San Francisco, CA (Mission location). review at

Nothing better for a cold, rainy San Francisco day than some hot udon soup with tempura in Japantown.

Roast venison medallions in plum sauce, served with red cabbage and potato pancakes from Suppenkuche in San Francisco, CA. review at

John's Grill:
Filet of Sole Stuffed with Shrimp & Crab from John's Grill in San Francisco, CA. review at

Roasted goose in bier sauce with potato pancake and red cabbage from Suppenkuche. Here's the review on :

Great American BBQ:
Memphis ribs with HUGE side dishes of smokey baked beans and mahed potatoes from Great American BBQ in Alameda, CA

House of Prime Rib:
Beet salad from the House of Prime Rib in San Francisco, CA. 

Review at

House of Prime Rib:
Excellent prime rib with creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and gravy with Yorkshire pudding from House of Prime Rib in San Francisco, CA. Review at

Ebi Fry curry from Muracci's in San Francisco, CA

Seafood raviolis, garlic noodles, mussels from Crustatean in San Francisco. Good Asian fusion tapas.

Memphis Minnies:
tasty pork rib app and corn muffin at Memphis Minnie's in San Francisco.

Yank Sing:
Yank Sing soup dumpings from the Spear St. location in San Francisco, CA.
Review at

Yank Sing:
This is how shrimp were meant to be served: stuffed and fried from Yank Sing in San Francisco, CA. Review at

Want more? Visit the San Francisco Food Photos on Picasa

Want to explore more? Try the
Food Photo Map of San Francisco

Thursday, August 11, 2011

House of Prime Rib in San Francisco

House of Prime Rib:
Prime rib with creamed spinach,
mashed potatoes and gravy, along with
Yorkshire pudding.
   For the past few years, whether living in Los Angeles or in Buenos Aires, I have a few "go-to" restaurants in San Francisco that I have to fit into each trip. So you can imagine the difficulty in squeezing them all in when it's a short trip. But along with Suppenkuche and Yank Sing, a third surprising restaurant has made it's way onto the list for me: House of Prime Rib.

I cringe at the name of the place. When one here's "House of" anything, it's usually a sign that the establishment is very far from being a top quality option for a given food. But I gave House of Prime Rib a shot, as upon a trip from Los Angeles and in San Francisco, I was in the mood guessed rib.

To say I was surprised would be an understatement.

In fact, now that I live in the great beef capital of the world, Argentina, I still find myself visiting House of Prime rib with each visit to the US. While the beef is excellent in Argentina, virtually every option I have for it requires only getting beef in grilled form via a parrilla. And sometimes, you miss the good old fashioned concept of slow roasting meats versus the flash heat grilling technique that is so popular in Argentina.

So at House of Prime Rib, you get exactly that: slow roasted prime rib.

You're only decision really needs to be in the size of the cut of meet.

Each meal comes with the House of Prime Rib signature spinning beet salad, which is one of my favorites. Side dishes are mashed potatoes and gravy with their creamed spinach. Each meal also comes along with Yorkshire pudding.

House of Prime Rib spinning beet salad.
What makes House of Prime Rib so special for hearty eaters is that they actually offer you "seconds". So still hungry? No worries, they'll cut you another piece free of charge.

The ambiance of House of Prime Rib is a win as well. It has the feel of a traditional US steakhouse, with a number of large rooms and short hallways and corridors the upon exploring show you how large the actual space is.

Reservations are recommended. I've gone 5 or so times and always have an hour wait without reservations as the place is filled most nights. I actually don't mind as they have a nice bar area and keep you snacking via their own mixed nut individual serving jars.

If you're in San Francisco and craving some prime rib, look no further than House of Prime Rib.

Want more info:

Visit HoPR on Foursquare:


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Starnberg: German Food in Santiago, Chile

Upon a visit to Santiago, fans of Bavarian food will be happy to see an abundance of bars and restaurants that mimic the appearance of some of the traditional restaurants in Bavaria itself. The numbers seem even larger when you factor in all the bars using what one assumes is a traditional German-Gothic font in their signage.

But for the most part, these other restaurants fall short in the quality of food and ambiance offering some German influenced sandwiches.

But at Starnberg, you get the real deal.

Located just north of Las Condes, Stargberg, like many Santiago restaurants sits with a backdrop of the snow capped Andes mountains. If one didn't know they were in Chile, they could be easily fooled to think they were in Starnberg, Germany with an view of the Alps.

What makes Starnberg so appealing is the variety in the menu but done so in an easy way as to not be overwhelming. For example, entree options are broken down by type of meat. But you're not locked into a recommended accompaniment or even sauce. Just turn the page to the side dishes and make your selection, then on to the sauces to find the perfect match. The helpful staff will gladly recommend a pairing for you, but only when asked: they don't force anything down your throat!

Like with Aqui Esta Coco, which I wrote about last week, Starberg was worth a second trip.

For the first visit, our meal selections were the Pernil dorado (roasted pork shoulder), with spazle and a creamy muchroom gravy,"Starnberg". We also had the Lomito Starnberg, pork loin with mashed potatoes in the same Starnberg sauce.

Lomito Starnberg
Pernil dorado (roasted pork shoulder), with spazle and a creamy muchroom gravy named "Starnberg"

For my second visit, I got the Muncher bratwurst with chopped pernil dorado, spatzle and the Starnberg sauce.  
Muncher bratwurst with chopped pernil dorado, spatzle and the Starnberg sauce.
Kostritzer at Starnberg, Santiago, Chile
Starnberg, streetview
Starnberg, front room

Needless to say, if you are in Santiago, with all it's great food options, you should certainly give Starnberg a try.

To learn more about this restaurant, check out their great online menu at This might be my favorite online menu. Easy navigation and an image of each food item without having to click 3-4 deep to see a specific plate. Here's a sample from a screenshot:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Le Bistrot: Excellent French Dining in Santiago, Chile

When traveling internationally, I often have to put aside my regular food tools that are US or Europe based like Yelp, MenuPages, etc. So when in need of a helpful food tool, it sometimes requires using the TripAdvisor iPhone app.

So when TripAdvisor had over 600 reviews for Le Bistrot and ranked it the #1 restaurant in all of Santiago, Chile, I figured we had to give it a shot. Growing up eating French food as a child, the cuisine is close to my heart. So I usually make sure I'm eating only the best French fare as to not be disappointed.

At Le Bistrot, I was not disappointed.

The meal consisted of one of my favorites, Beef Burgundy, with a fantastic escargot to start. Was actually surprised at the number of escargot included. Each little segment of the plate included 3-4 rather than the typical single snail serving...say that 5 times fast. We also a filet mignon in a roquefort sauce.

Classic escargot and garlic from Le Bistrot, in Santiago, Chile, currently ranked #1 overall restaurant in Santiago on Tripadvisor. [Escargots à l’alsacienne
Caracoles al alsaciana (lleva ajo)]

Filet de boeuf (sauce roquefort ou poivre noir)
Filet mignon with rice and a roquefort sheese sauce from Le Bistrot in Providencia, Santiago, Chile. The French restaurant is currently ranked #1 in all of Santiago on the Tripadvisor reviews. (Filete de vacuno, salsa roquefort /
Filete de vacuno, salsa roquefort)

Beef burgundy with rice from Le Bistrot in Providencia, Santiago, Chile. The French restaurant is currently ranked #1 in all of Santiago on the Tripadvisor reviews. (Boeuf bourguignon
Estofado de vacuno en vino tinto)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Southern BBQ Pulled Pork Empanadas, Shepard's Pie Empanadas, Pizza Burger Empanadas & more

Southern BBQ Pulled Pork empanadas
Shepard's Pie empanadas
BBQ Pulled Chicken empanadas
Pizza Burger empanadas
BBQ Tri meat: pulled pork, chicken, beef

Gourmet Empanadas (cooked)
One of the luxuries of staying at an apartment for a vacation, is the option for home cooking while in a new city. After 5 nights of great restaurants in Santiago, Chile, last night was prime time for some homemade gourmet empanadas.

I've never quite understood how in the empanada eating culture, the options are always so limited. Perhaps it's due to the prevalence of the tasty filled treat in Argentina, where culinary variety is not something the natives find to be of importance. But in the culture of cooking empanadas at home, the empanada could be the greatest invention to "left overs".

Of course, in Argentina, one can scour the refrigerator section of their local supermercado and find rows and rows of "ready made" empanada crusts. In the US, etc, one can save some time with a "ready made" pie crust. Oddly, in Santiago, where the empanadas are a bit larger and just as popular, the only option last night was to make our own empanadas shells...which was well worth it. No need for short-cuts.

Southern BBQ Pulled Pork Empanada:
It's pretty basic: take the USA BBQ favorite of slow roasted or smoked pork shoulder, hand separate the meat, and combine with a tasty BBQ sauce. We topped the meat off with some sauteed and delicate onions.

BBQ Pulled Pork Empanada (before)

BBQ Pulled Pork Empanada (cooked)

Shepard's Pie Empanada:
The "carne" empanada is one of the more popular options around the world. Whether it's "sauve" or "picante", the real hit-or-miss factor can often be in the texture of the meat used. When the meat is in a paste form, it's usually a strikeout. If you're fortunate enough to get one with large hand cut chunks of beef, it can be good...depending on how long the meat has been sitting out. The most tasty beef empanadas I've had are usually the most simple: a light sautee of ground beef with some onion, hard boiled, egg, etc.

But as a child growing up eating Hachis Parmentier, a French Shepard’s Pie, and being a fan of both carne and various potato empnadas, it's certainly time for an empanada form of the classic pie that combines them both.

Shepard's Pie empanada (before)
This is one of those empanada types that allows for all sorts of flexibility. We opted for the simple approach: garlic mashed potatoes, with peppered sauteed beef & grilled diced onions, topped with a few sauteed onion strips. It's also a great way to work in vegetables like corn, carrots, peas, etc as another layer.

Shepard's Pie empanada (cooked)

Pizza Burger Empanada:
Like the late-night diner food, but in empanada form. Parents used to buying snacks for their kids, or high school and college kids with limited cooking skills would think of this as a gourmet "hot pocket".

We tried two versions. One was more of a burger form, with a mini beef patty, topped with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. The other version we mixed together sauteed beef, diced mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce.

BBQ Pulled Chicken Empanada:
Very similar to the pork version above. Pulled chicken meat, mixed with BBQ sauce and wrapped up. This is more similar to the classic "pollo" empanada, but with BBQ sauce as the sauce base.

Tri-Meat BBQ Empanada:
This one was made like a Neapolitan ice cream in presentation, but with meat: BBQ pork, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Beef, each one mixed in BBQ sauce and placed in a column, and topped with sauteed onions.

Since you can rarely find new and fun options for empanadas at restaurants, there's always the option to try something new at home on your own.

Feel free to share your empanada concoctions here, any photos, links, etc too, and I'll add them here!

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