Happiness is beef cheeks — cooked until tender as can be.
I’ve found a new love.
Its name is beef cheeks.
Oh sure, for the longest time, I’d had a torrid love affair with short ribs, my favorite cut of meat for its unabashed tenderness.
But what can I say? Beef cheeks have that going on and more.
Braised for hours, their toughness gives way to pure unadulterated lushness. Best yet, they don’t have bones like short ribs nor any bits of fat and sinew left even after long cooking. They’re just succulent meat through and through.
It used to be that I could only enjoy these at restaurants. But now that Prather Ranch has started selling its primo, sustainable meats in the South Bay at farmers markets in Santa Clara and Campbell, they’re easy to come by.
The one and only Ramen Burger. (Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Grand Hyatt)
Ramen Burger in San Francisco
Yes, it sounds crazy. But you know you want it.
The Ramen Burger, the trend that got its start in Los Angeles, is now in San Francisco — but only for a limited time.
The Grand Hyatt San Francisco’s OneUP Restaurant & Lounge is serving this mash-up for lunch and dinner, but only through the end of September.
The bun is indeed made out of fresh ramen from a local noodle house. It holds a beef patty topped with mustard greens, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon and sriracha mayo.
The Ramen Burger is $18 and comes with fries.
Cook St. Helena Debuts Brunch Offerings
A favorite of locals and visitors alike, Cook St. Helena has debuted a Sunday brunch with Italian influences.
The nine-year-old restaurant waited this long to serve brunch because it wanted to get its liquor license first in order to offer Bloody Marys and other brunch cocktails.
A hefty burger made with bison meat distributed by a San Francisco start-up.
Wouldn’t you like to sink your teeth into that burger above?
You can — and do a body good, too.
That’s because it’s bison meat — which is lower in fat, lower in cholesterol and higher in good-for-you Omega 3’s than skinless chicken or grass-fed beef.
It’s also rich in iron, B12, zinc and niacin.
Recently, I had a chance to sample some ground bison meat from BisonBison Co., a new San Francisco start-up distributor that’s on a mission to introduce more folks to the merits of bison meat from American buffalo raised in South Dakota.
Foster Farms new Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Oven Ready Entree. Just add your own sides.
I admit I’m a skeptic when it comes to most packaged prepared foods.
I often don’t think they’re a time-saver.
Plus, the sodium levels are usually frighteningly through the roof.
Recently, I had a chance to sample the new Foster Farms Oven Ready Entrees, which feature chicken breasts that are already marinated. You just put the recyclable, oven-proof tray in the oven and they’re ready in about 30 minutes.
They come in four varieties: Chile Verde, Roasted Red Pepper, Zesty Thai and Honey Roasted Garlic.
What I most appreciated was the reasonable sodium level — 210 to 270 per serving, depending upon the variety. The entrees also have a moderate 120 to 130 calories per serving, though, it’s hard to tell exactly how much a serving constitutes as the nutrition label states “servings per container varied” because, of course, not all chicken breasts are exactly the same size. A publicist I checked with said that one package will serve 4 to 6. I think it’s more like 4 servings at most — or even 2 if you have very big eaters in the house.
Chef Dave Cruz cooking a whole lamb at his pop-up event.
After leaving Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville, where he was head chef for seven years, Dave Cruz has some big plans of his own.
Look for Cruz to open his own restaurant late this year or sometime next year. He’s been scouting locations in Napa to open Miles Restaurant, a casual spot serving brilliant but unpretentious food, the kind of grub chefs like to eat on their days off.
The name references his son’s middle name, he says. But it also speaks of the local “miles” from the restaurant that he will source his ingredients, as well as how diners are more than willing to travel miles and miles to the Napa Valley for a great meal.
If his recent pop-up lamb roast is any indication, his food is sure to continue to lure folks from all over.
Dinner is served.
A little over a week ago, I was invited to be a guest at his pop-up at The Trappist in Oakland. When I got there, Cruz was manning a large grill set up in the gastropub’s back courtyard. For $25 per person, you got a plate full of juicy, tender lamb that had been rubbed in aleppo, paprika and espelette, along with herb-mustard potato salad, and chili-lime corn on the cob.