Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just Hunters Point Shipyard Artists . . .

Another weekend another open art studios event.  This time the event was located in Hunters Point and put on by the Hunters Point Shipyard Artists.  The event was very well organized with street signage, parking guides, maps, and free food and drink!

Hunters Point is the nation's largest fine arts community and this weekend 300 artists opened up their studios to the public.

The event was so great and so big I went both days just to see it all.

Robin Denevan

Kristine Mays

Kristine Mays not only had breathtaking wire sculpture work she had the most charming personality.

Ed Handelman

Flowers captured on the walk between buildings

Dominique Caron
I fell in love with this piece by Dominique Caron.  Maybe one day one of her pieces will be on my wall.

(If you are a Hunters Point Shipyard Artist who needs to be credited for your work in the above post please leave a comment.)

Just Poquito . . .

Last night I tried out Poquito in San Francisco's Dogpatch district.  Poquito specializes in Latin American Tapas and Cocktails.

Poquito has a nice size bar visible from the street and a loft dining area in the back of the restaurant.

When ordering off Poquito's menu it is recommended to order small plates style and share with your dinner companions.

My friend An and I opted to not follow the waiters recommendation and we ordered off the "Plates" portion of the menu and then through in a side order of Chorizo Sliders for good measure.

The Chorizo Sliders are chorizo and beef burgers on a sweet roll with gorgonzola cheese and caramelized onions.  The sliders were quite tasty but I think the sweet roll was a bit overpowering in  flavor and the whole sandwich would benefit from being served on a regular bun.

For my main course I chose the Churrasco.  Churrasco is grilled beef with a fried egg on a bed of rice, sweet plantains and spinach salad.  I really enjoyed the spinach salad and the egg and rice combination was a nice touch.  The beef was very tender and the portion was filling.

For dessert we ended up trying two different types of Empanadas because the first set brought to us was not the flavor we had ordered.  The first batch were Empanadas de Aire - a sugar crusted cheese empanada that is both salty and sweet.  The second batch were Empanadas de Aire con guayaba.  These sugar crusted empanadas had a guava filling.  I surprisingly liked the first batch better which is funny because that was not the one we ordered.

I also tried a specialty cocktail that was supposed to taste like pumpkin pie.  The cocktail was sweet which I like, but I tasted more of the spice than the pumpkin flavor that I was hoping to get.

Poquito was positive experience and I look forward to my next visit.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just Kara's Birthday Trolley . . .

My friend Kara wanted to do something special for her birthday this year so she organized a Trolley to drive us around the city to different wine bars.

We also were instructed this was a "Hat" party.

Just a couple of April birthday people!

The buffalo in Golden Gate Park

Sun setting at Beach Chalet

Fake mustaches for everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Just Sift . . .

I have written about cupcakes on this blog many times.  I have a love hate relationship with cupcakes.  I love to eat them.  I hate what they have done to my waistline.

My old neighborhood was a compulsive cupcake eaters dream.  Some people talk about doing bar/pub crawls; while my friends and I joked about doing a cupcake crawl.  Susie Cakes, Kara's Cupcakes, American Cupcake and That Takes The Cake all within a five minutes walk from each other.

Since moving to my new neighborhood Susie and I have been on a break and Kara hasn't been returning my calls.

Last week I received a special delivery packed in a dry ice cooler from Loyal Readers Erin and Sean.  12 indulgent gourmet cupcakes from Sift Cupcake and Dessert Bar - the winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars.

Quite possibly the richest cupcakes I have eaten to date!  

My favorites:

  • The Samoa - Coconut Cake, Chocolate Ganache Filling, Caramel Frosting Rolled In Toasted Coconut
  • All For The Cookie - Chocolate Cake With Cookies 'n Cream Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Snikerdoodle - Vanilla Cake With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Check out Sift Cupcakes website and order some of their unique one of kind cupcakes to try for yourself.  (I don't want to be the only fatty!)

Just Bayview Park On A Sunny Day . . .

An after breakfast hike to the top of the park.

Just The Best Restaurant Lasagna . . .

Being born into a family with Sicilian heritage meant homemade Italian food was lovingly crafted from recipes handed down from generation to generation.  If you don't believe me, check out cousin Antoinine's cookbook and YouTube Channel Simply Sicilian!

The problem with this it that you come to expect all lasagna noodles to be paper thin and that meatballs will melt in your mouth.

Then you go to popular, well liked, even famous chef run Italian restaurants and end up being sorely disappointed when the food hits your palette only to realize it can not compare to what your Grandmother, Mother, Aunts and Cousins serve.

I won't name names but a very popular Top Chef contestant's Italian restaurant once served my meal cold!

Could any Italian restaurant meet my expectations?

A few months back I saw a repeat of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives featuring Geyserville CA's Catelli's restaurant.  As I watched the episode I could not help but think that maybe this was an Italian restaurant that could live up to my Sicilian bloodline.

Catelli's is about an hour and forty-five minutes north of San Francisco on the 101 in the very small town of Geyserville.  The restaurant that has been in the family since 1936 is now run by the sister and brother duo of Domenica and Nicholas Catelli and features three generations of Catelli family recipes.

I ordered the homemade lasagna as soon as I read the description said "10 paper thin layers."

As my own "amuse-bouche" the waiter let me order a single of Jack's Meatball Sliders just so that I could try the meatballs that were featured on the episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  While tasty, I have to say Grandma Jennie's meatball recipe is better.

Then the lasagna arrived.  I was giddy with excitement as I cut through the ten layers of paper thin noodles.  I was overjoyed when the lasagna melted in my mouth just like our family recipe!  Finally an Italian restaurant that got it right!

If you are in the Bay Area and want to take a nice drive up the 101 for a great Italian meal then I highly recommend Catelli's.  It's so good even Lady Gaga made the trek to Geyserville back in February and ate at Catelli's!  You wont be disappointed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Just Behind The Scenes At AT&T Park . . .

Yesterday was Opening Day for the San Francisco Giants who won against the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0.

The Giants play at AT&T Park, and what you might not know is that twice a day fans can take a behind the scenes tour of the ballpark for only $15.00! 

A couple of weeks ago I went on the tour and would highly recommend it for any baseball fan.  For the price of admission you get to see a Major League Dugout, the Visitors' Indoor Batting Cage, the Visitors' Clubhouse and more!

Inside The Visitors' Clubhouse

While in the Visitors' Clubhouse be sure to take note of this one of a kind piece of history.  Above is the former office door from the Visitors' Clubhouse in Candlestick Park.  The door was signed by all the players who played in the final season the San Francisco Giants played at Candlestick Park before moving to the new ballpark in 2000.

The Visitors' Indoor Batting Cage

Just Jon Sitting In The Dugout

With Dad On The Field

Mom and Dad At Home Plate

We were told not to go on the field...

I had to touch it!

2010 World Series Championship Trophy

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Just An Example Of Why Spell Check Was Invented . . .

Click To Enlarge

Did you know that the "first true spelling checker program" was invented in 1971 by Ralph Gorin called SPELL?

Thank God Mr. Gorin created SPELL so that a poor speller like myself could obtain a degree in Journalism and write this little dog and pony show I like to call Just Jon.

My problem now is that sometimes I spell the word right, I just use the wrong word for the context of the sentence.  That's what I like to call "Real Problems Of The College Educated."

Anyway, I recently discovered that a restaurant I used to frequent in my old neighborhood had closed.  Chilayo specialized in "farm to table" Mexican food.

The owners were kind enough to post a goodbye note at the entrance of the restaurant.  Bless their heart but this is a prime example of the need to hit that little "ABC" button before printing and posting your document.

So for your enjoyment please read the "spanglish" goodbye note from the owners of Chilayo.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Just Jean Paul Gaultier . . .

Run don't walk to the coolest museum exhibit I have ever seen.   Jean Paul Gaultier's - From The Sidewalk To The Catwalk exhibition at the De Young museum in San Francisco which will be on display from March 24, 2012 - August 19, 2012.

The exhibition allows you to get up close and personal to Gaultier's one of a kind pret-a-porter collections.

What makes this even more special are the 30 animated mannequins who flirt, talk, and sing to the museum patrons.

Above is a video clip of the Jean Paul Gaultier animated mannequin and one of a lady singing Madonna's Material Girl. (Apologies for when I uploaded the video to YouTube the top portion was cut off.)

The Very First Cone Bra!

Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour  Corset