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2 stars

2 stars

Espetus Churrascaria Restaurant Review

Espetus Churrascaria Exterior

Espetus Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse serving Rodizio style food. They focus on meats straight from the fire brought to your table, continuously through the meal! You can stop the meat parade by flipping the table card to red. They have a salad and hot plate bar with lots of different options including asparagus, bean salad, eggplant, rice, beans, cod, and much more. Do not eat too much of this stuff otherwise you wonder have room for all the meat. Vegetarians should stay away.
Espetus Churrascaria has locations in San Francisco and San Mateo. We tried the brand new San Mateo location for dinner. It is all you can eat, with lunch going for $25.95 with 7 meat options, $37.95 on weekends. Dinner is $54.95 with 14 meat options. Kids are 50% off. Our last visit was in the Summer of 2014.

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The Plant Organic Cafe Restaurant Review, Burlingame

The Plant Cafe Organic Burlingame exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – The Plant Organic Cafe is a small local chain of restaurants focusing on organic and vegetarian oriented cuisine. The menu features many vegetarian items along with seafood and even cocktails. They have locations in Mill Valley, San Francisco at Pier 3, Downtown, and the Marina. We dined at their Burlingame location. Next door is a cafe where you can get Blue Bottle Coffee, their trademark smoothies, as well as baked goods. We really enjoyed their selection of vegan cookies, cupcakes, desserts. There are few places with this variety.

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Jeffreys San Mateo Review

jeffreys hamburgers San Mateo outside

Jeffrey’s Hamburgers is a popular burger joint in downtown San Mateo open since 1997. They also have a location in Menlo Park. They serve American fast food including burgers, hot dogs, fish and chips, salads, fries, and shakes. Seems like every town has a place like this, San Francisco has its Mel’s Drive in..

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Fentons Creamery, Oakland and Vacaville

Fentons Creamery Oakland Exterior decor

Fenton’s Creamery has been around since 1922 in Oakland. They produce their own ice cream and toppings batch by batch on site. They serve breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, salads, but the main draw is of course, ice cream. Their creations are simply huge. Even the kid’s ice creams are huge. Our last visit was to the Nut Tree Vacaville location in the spring of 2015.

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Lai Hong Lounge Restaurant Review, San Francisco

By Arnold Chan

Lai Hong Lounge exterior decor

Lai Hong Lounge Restaurant is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant on the outskirts of Chinatown. They have been around since the Lichee Garden closing, 2012. They are pretty popular for lunch, but it was much more quiet at dinner. We were in the neighborhood so we decided to try it out, being big Chinese food fans. This restaurant appears to be related to Hong Kong Lounge.

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Turtle Tower Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Turtle Tower San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Turtle Tower is a popular Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco with several locations. Hà Nội Style Vietnamese Cuisine is their focus. We dined at the original, located in the heart of the gritty Tenderloin District of San Francisco. It moved down the block and reopened in June 2013 and added banh mi sandwiches. Our last visit was in February 2014.

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Fey Restaurant Restaurant Review, Menlo Park

Fey Menlo Park exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Fey Restaurant recently opened in Menlo Park. It has gotten positive buzz, so we decided to give it a try. The owner has owned many different Sichuan Chinese restaurants including Little Sichuan in San Mateo and Classic Sichuan in Millbrae. She has built up a fan base and hopefully has found a restaurant that has some staying power.
The restaurant features somewhat neo-classical lighting and decor, probably from China. They have a small parking lot in the back, so you might have to park on El Camino Real.

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Elliott’s Oyster House Restaurant Review, Seattle

Elliots Oyster House Seattle exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Elliott’s Oyster House is located on the waterfront, smack dab in the middle of different attractions we were visiting. They have their Oyster New Year event every year, leading to crowds of oyster fans from all over. You can also visit Taylor Shellfish Farms in Seattle to purchase a wide variety of local oysters.

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Pike Place Market Review, Seattle

Pike Place Seattle Feb 2013 (1)

Pike Place Market is America’s oldest food market. This 9 acre market has been in its current location since 1907. Home of the legendary flying fish at Pikes Place Fish, this market is a wholesale fruit and vegetable market most of the time and a retail market with 200 small vendors. Right outside of the market are several streets full of food related shops, restaurants, bakeries, and more. This is where a lot of the interesting finds are located. We were suprised by the variety of seafood as well as produce in some of the markets. Clearly there were many items that we don’t have in the San Francisco area.

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New England Lobster Market and Eatery Restaurant Review, Burlingame

Why did we dine here? – New England Lobster Market and Eatery has been selling Maine lobsters, Dungeness crab and shellfish since 1986. They recently opened an
eatery in Burlingame’s hotel row area, just south of San Francisco Airport (SFO). Being a fan of crustaceans, we had to try this restaurant.

Insider Tip – Great place to purchase shellfish to go

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Memphis Minnie’s Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Memphis Minnie San Francisco Exterior decor

Memphis Minnie’s is one of the best barbecue places in San Francisco. It is located in the colorful lower Haight district. They specialize in slowly smoking meats from 4 to 18 hours over white oak logs. Memphis Minnie’s prides themselves in cooking items from scratch. They have BBQ plates, sandwiches, burgers, and even catfish. Our last visit was in April 2013.

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Everett and Jones BBQ Restaurant Review

Everett and Jones Exterior

Everett and Jones is a Barbecue restaurant with locations in Berkeley, Hayward, Sacramento, and Oakland’s Jack London Square. We ate at their Berkeley location, which is much more informal than their flagship Oakland one, which has live music. Our last visit was to the Berkeley location in 2013.

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Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ Restaurant Review

Big Bubbas Bad BBQ Exterior

Big Bubbas Bad BBQ is a food concession that appears at some of the country’s largest State Fairs, Nascar Races, and Livestock Shows since 1996. You will find them in California, Colorado, and New Mexico. We have eaten their food several times over the years and found it to be pretty good. Our last visit in 2013 was during the Maker’s Faire in San Mateo.

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Peggy Sue’s Restaurant Review, San Jose

Peggy Sues San Jose 3

Peggy Sue’s is a burger place that has been there since 1958 that also serves classic American breakfast. They have two locations in downtown San Jose, right near the major destination including the Children’s museum, The Tech Museum, and San Jose State. Free all-day weekend parking with validation. They push their USDA lean 100% Angus Beef. Our last visit was in April 2013.

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Brown Sugar Kitchen Restaurant Review, Oakland

Brown Sugar Kitchen Oakland Exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Brown Sugar Kitchen is run by Tanya Holland, who draws upon her African-American heritage and her formal culinary training from France. This restaurant is located in an industrial part of Oakland, not far from Emeryville. We happened to be in the area and had this legendary place on our hit list. Our meal was for lunch on a weekday, so the wait was short. This place is packed during the weekends for breakfast.

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Attic Restaurant Review, San Mateo

Attic San Mateo Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Attic is a Asian fusion restaurant in downtown San Mateo with an emphasize on Philipino cuisine. Tim Luym (Poleng Lounge) is their consulting chef. He previously ran restaurants in San Francisco. This restaurant has been here for about two years, so we figured it was worth a try.

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Orenchi Restaurant Review, Santa Clara

Orenchi Santa Clara Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Orenchi is a very popular Japanese Noodle House that has been on our hit list for a while. They are a sister restuarant to Sumika in Los Gatos. The broth that they use is cooked for a minimum of 18 hours. It is made with organic chicken, Canadian black pork, and filtered water. There is a line much of the time. We had to wait approximately 45 minutes for a Saturday night dinner. They close up when they run out of broth, which happened about 8:30pm on this particular evening.

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Gioia Pizzeria Review, Berkeley and San Francisco

Gioia Pizzeria Berkeley Exterior

Gioia is a top rated Pizza place in North Berkeley.  It has been there since 2004. As they put it: “Gioia Pizzeria takes the best of pizza traditions from the old world and the new. Classic flavors and ingredients such as artisanally made sausage, fresh mozzarella cheese and arugula come together in inspired traditional ways, seasoned with the influence of Bay Area kitchens such as Zuni Café, Chez Panisse and Oliveto” Gioia is a small hole in the wall with minimal counter seating. The place specializes in thin crust pizza and is known for local, organic ingredients. It was rated as a top pizza place by Michael Bauer. Our last visit was in late 2011 and we noticed prices had gone up. Their San Francisco location opened in 2012, we dined here in May 2012. It is located right next door to burger heaven, Polkers.

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Buck’s Restaurant Woodside Restaurant Review, Woodside

Bucks Woodside Exterior

Buck’s is a quirky restaurant nestled in the small town of Woodside. The interior is full of off the wall models, toys, posters, and more. Even the front of the seasonal menu has a lecture on different topics. Their website is pretty crazy. Our last visit was in 2014. They have a separate lunch special menu that changes from time to time. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We came for lunch.

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Ike’s Place Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Ikes Place San Francisco Exterior Decor

Ike’s Place has been serving sandwiches since 2007 with lines out the door almost all the time. Ike Shehadeh’s believes that sandwiches should only be made with the finest ingredients and the utmost quality control. They added a Redwood City location (Ikes Lair of Redwood City) in July, 2009 and a Stanford location. Ike’s has 9 locations now! Our last visit was in April 2013 to Redwood City.

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Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Tonys Coal Fired Pizza and Slice House San Francisco exterior decor

Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House is a new San Francisco North Beach takeout place from Tony Gemignani, 9 time Champion Pizza Tosser, certified pizziaolo. He also runs Tony’s Pizza Napoletana next door. This location serves a wide range of food; New York-style pizza, Roman-style pizza, Chicago-style Italian Beef Sandwiches, and New York deli sandwiches. Our last visit was in September 2012.

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Sunny Shanghai Restaurant Review, San Bruno

Sunny Shanghai San Bruno Exterior decor

Sunny Shanghai is a small family owned restaurant located in southern San Bruno along busy El Camino Real, not far from Asian Pearl Peninsula. People have said that this owner started this restaurant because he was unhappy with family members at Little Shanghai in San Mateo. Our last visit was in April 2011 when we upgraded their food rating, finding this place a high quality cheap eats restaurants.

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2011 Guilin and Yangshou China Restaurant Reviews

We recently finished up our latest culinary tour of China in the Spring of 2011. Guilin a beautiful city in China’s South, is one of the top destinations for Chinese tourists. A quick glimpse of the scenery with the karst formations tells you why. Yangshou is a couple hours from Guilin, just as beautiful, and far less touristy.

Here are some quick mini reviews of places we ate at in Guilin and Yangshou. We feel this will be useful as more people visit this up-and-coming area. We found few reviews on Trip Advisor and Dianping.

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Piacere Restaurant Review, San Carlos

Piacere San Carlos exterior decor

Piacere means Pleasure, to please, a source delight or joy in Italian. This restaurant is located in San Carlos in the Laurel Street shopping area right across the street from restaurant Town and near Spasso. Piacere focuses on modern California-Italian cuisine using local and organic ingredients. One last visit was in May of 2011, where we sensed food quality slipping.

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