BEEN THERE, ATE THAT: WEEK OF JANUARY 20 - JANUARY 26

As promised, 2014 is off to a delicious start and this past week was no exception.  With everything from dinner with family at a San Francisco staple to brunch in the East Bay, there was no time to be hungry this week.

Bite of the Week: Yoni's Pastrami with Mustard from ALTA CA

Wednesday: Park Tavern
Family Dinner. With an impromptu trip to SF by my mother and our two toy poodles, my sister and I were forced to find some place to eat dinner that offered outdoor seating. Lucky for us, the weather this past week was outstanding, especially for the middle of "winter". After Yelping "outdoor seating" and "dog friendly restaurants" I finally reverted back to my knowledge of San Francisco restaurants; there was one place in particular I kept coming back to, Park Tavern. What I consider to be a San Francisco staple, always offering great food and ambiance, whether it be brunch or dinner, I've never had a bad meal here.

My sister and I started with the obligatory smoked deviled eggs (amazing!) and brussels sprout chips (my favorite in the city by far). For dinner I had the "Marlowe" burger with caramelized onion, cheddar, bacon, horseradish aioli and fries while my sister had the caramelized sea scallops and our mom had the grilled pork chop. For dessert we split the January's "Birthday" Cake, banana cake with dark rum, caramel cream cheese frosting and chocolate. The service, as always, was fantastic, and very accommodating for people with dogs. They offered us blankets as we were sitting outside and made sure the dogs had fresh water. Although I prefer their brunch, this is one San Francisco staple that will never be taken off my list.


Friday: Bergerac

Post Work Cocktails. Open since last fall, Bergerac launched their new "Retro Happy Hour" menu last week.  Offering $6 cocktails and $2 munchies, you're sure to have a good time. Aside from the cocktails, beer and wine there is another beverage on their Retro Happy Hour menu...the Boogie Nights Punch Bowl. I'm a sucker for punch bowls and I have to say this one is now one of my favorites. Although we're still not sure what's in it (we think vodka) we can tell you it tasted like apple pie, and who doesn't love booze that tastes like apple pie? That's what I thought. One extra bonus is that the Retro Happy Hour is 5-7pm everyday, ya...see you there later!

Saturday: ALTA CA
Girls Night Out. Chef Daniel Patterson's latest restaurant located in a less than desirable location (Civic Center) is worth the trip. Yoni's Pastrami with Mustard was my bite of the week this week and something I could eat almost every day. The dill pickled deviled eggs and bialys with onion, poppy seed and sage were also welcome delights. For entrees we split the hen of the wood mushroom cracked wheat porridge with baby turnip and the duck confit with cabbage, dried apricot and crunchy and tender grains. Although the hen of the wood mushroom porridge was not visually appealing it was delicious and highly recommended. And of course there was dessert. We split the sticky toffee ice cream (all ice creams are made in house) which was phenomenal and one of the highlights of the meal. Next time I plan to save more room for dessert so we can try more than one ice cream flavor!

Sunday: Ole's Waffle Shop
Brunch. As you know I am a sucker for not only dessert but brunch, I could eat brunch for every meal. One of my favorite brunch items are waffles, scratch that, my FAVORITE brunch item is the waffle. I am constantly on the lookout for a good waffle and this weekend I found a waffle that can definitely be added to the top 10 Bay Area list. Visiting my Dessert Pocket other half in Alameda, we decided to hit up Ole's Waffle Shop for weekend brunch. Thankfully we went early enough that the line was not too long. After waiting outside for about 15 minutes we were escorted inside the restaurant which looks like it hasn't been upgraded since about 1950, it's like entering a time machine.

At first I was a little confused and not sure of what to order, the woman at the table next to us was eating a stack of fluffy pancakes which looked about as good as they get. But, following my instinct, and seeing as we were at a Waffle Shop, I ordered a waffle.  Typically I like the big Belgium waffles but this waffle was on the thinner side. Fear now my faithful Dessert Pocket followers, this waffle did not disappoint, in fact, the only disappointing thing was 1.5 minutes later when the waffle was gone. #Fail If you're ever in Alameda, or feel like taking a trip to the East Bay, be sure to add this to your list of must try's, I will definitely be back.

Tip: Park Tavern's deviled eggs are on the 7x7 2013 BIG EAT 

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