Archive for January, 2012

Jan 23

The Perfect Rainy Comfort Food at Liberty Cafe

Bernal Heights is not a neighborhood that I visit, but I’ve been wanting to try the Chicken Pot Pie at Liberty Cafe for quite some time! I’m a little late, it’s been around since 1994! So, on a rainy Friday night my hubby and I found ourselves in the very small, quaint yet charming Liberty Cafe.  And yes, rain calls for more of a reason for the Chicken Pot Pie!  We had reservations, and on this Friday night, it was quite busy by 7pm, I’m not sure if most people were walk-in’s or made reservations, but from the look of things, reservations are recommended here. We were welcomed with friendly staff, our server, Julie, had quite a sense of humor, it’s not everyday that you get a down to earth yet fun server.

We were served fresh baked breads served with creamy whipped butter, I am pretty sure they were from their bakery next door. We started with the Roasted Baby Beet Salad featuring fresh Watercress, Satsuma Mandarins, fresh Hearts of Palm and Avocado served with Mandarin Vinaigrette. It sounded so refreshing as we read it, and it was just as refreshing when we ate it! I got the Chicken Pot Pie served with Roasted Chicken, Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Pearl Onions topped with the Housemade Puff Pastry! This was such great comfort food, the Puff Pastry was light,  flaky and buttery, and not doughy at all! Mix the fabulous sauce with everything and you will finish every bite! The hubby got the Liberty Cafe Cassoulet served with Duck Confit, Braised Pork, Zoe’s Andouille sausage and butter beans. He really enjoyed his dish! I got a few bites of the Cassoulet, it was filled with tender meat and rich warm flavors.  To end our meal, we had to get the very creamy and layered  Banana Cream Pie which was Cathie Guntli’s (original founder and owner of Liberty Cafe) famous original recipe!

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Jan 16

A Little Bit of Spice and A Little Bit of Sweet at Brenda’s French Soul Food

It was a Saturday morning and we were looking forward to trying Brenda’s French Soul Food! I’ve heard so many great reviews on this place so I was very excited. The restaurant is not located in the best areas in San Francisco and the surrounding was all meter parking only, running at $3.00 per hour!  The downside, when we arrived, there were LOTS of people waiting outside, when I say lots, I mean 1.5 hours wait!  Walk inside and there’s a huge tall blackboard for the waiting list. Sign yourself up, ask for more change for the meter, treat this time as catch up time with friends and be patient!

When they finally called my name, it felt like we just won the lottery! FINALLY, I was so damn hungry!  There were 3 of us so we ordered dishes to share! We started with the Beignets which were 3 per order, we had the Plain with Powdered Sugar and the Crawfish served with Cayenne, Scallions and Cheddar! I wish we knew how ginormous the Beignets were going to be! The Plain was good, simple and lightly sweet. But the Crawfish was superb, the flavors and hint of spice was amazing, I highly recommend this savory beignet!

We each ordered a cup of their delish spicy Chicken, Sausage & Okra Gumbo and enjoyed it with the soft flaky Cream Biscuit! Luckily we only ordered one biscuit to share! Especially since we also ordered two specials, the Crispy Pork Belly with Cheesy Grits, Poached Egg and a Spicy Sauce and the Banana’s Foster French Toast! The Crispy Pork Belly with Cheesy Grits, poached egg and a spicy sauce was good, but maybe a little too rich after all the goodness we had. Next time, we will have to try the Shrimp and Grits instead. The sweet Banana’s Foster French Toast was a great way to end our meal, a little heavy, but none the less, still great!

I honestly can’t say anything negative about the food we ordered, they featured great comfort food! I can only say that we may have ordered too much food, but that gave us a chance to taste a little bit of everything Brenda’s French Soul Food has to offer!

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Jan 05

Comfort Rice Plate at Cordon Bleu

Cordon Bleu is definitely a hole in the wall, and just like any hole in the wall,  it is always busy! For the last month, I would try to go there when I didn’t bring lunch to work, especially on the days I am craving some good ol’ Vietnamese comfort food. Because it takes a while for the food to be ready when you order there, I learned that ordering over the phone and taking my time to get there was the way to go. So, I called recently and the phone was busy, I tried for about 20 minutes and finally gave up. The next time I tried, there was no answer, because I wanted their Imperial Roll so desperately, I decided to walk over there and of course, they were closed. Yes, what hungry disappointment! So today, I decided to try them again, and YES, they picked up! 20 minutes later I found myself at the once again busy joint at around 1:15pm on a weekday. I got the #1, featuring the perfectly crunchy yet chewy Imperial Roll…YUMMM, Shish Kebab and Meat Sauce on Rice! The shish kebab was a little tougher than I remembered, but the MEAT SAUCE was good, I’m sure it’s not the healthiest thing, but it is so damn good poured over the rice!

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