Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 35
Etto, Paso Robles
Yes, this might be a stretch for takeout, but since I actually did get everything to-go to enjoy later at home, I say it qualifies.
Plus, if you are ever in the Paso Robles area, you owe it to yourself to drop by Etto, a three-year-old boutique pasta shop started by third-generation Italian American Brian Terrizzi.
After reading an SFGate article about this charming store that makes and sells both dried and fresh pastas, I knew I had to stop in when I was in the vicinity last month to attend an outdoor wedding.
The small shop carries olive oils, salumi, cheeses, cookies, wines (including from Terrizzi’s Giornata Winery, and a slim selection of locally-grown produce. Basically, it’s everything you need to put together a simple yet satisfying Italiano meal at home.
Terrizzi learned how to make pasta from his grandmother, and from regular trips to Naples and Tuscany. He is a purist, making pasta with only organic durum semolina flour and water, which gets extruded through traditional bronze dies.
Packaged in eye-catching cube boxes ($7.50 for 500 grams), the dried pastas offer up less commonly seen shapes, including fido, casarecce, and conchigliette.
The refrigerator cases hold house-made beef meatballs ($12), locally made pasta sauces ($6 to $8 per tub), containers of Etto’s fresh pasta, and even fresh ramen noodle kits.
Thanks to a trusty cooler in the car, we toted home a container of fresh bucatini ($8 for 400 grams) and beef ragu ($8). Back at home, it took only a couple minutes to boil the noodles and heat up the sauce for one incredible meal. The bucatini was supple yet with a delightfully toothsome chew. The bolognese was plenty thick and rich with ground beef seasoned with Italian herbs and just a hint of heat.
We also brought home frozen sun-dried tomato & cheese ravioli ($15) and beef bolognese ravioli ($15). Even using just supermarket jarred sauce to nap them with, these ravioli were spectacular, with a plump filling enclosed by tender pasta sheets that supported it without being too thick.
Etto also makes some unique raviolis that sell out quickly and weren’t available when I visited. I’m talking chili Colorado ravioli, porchetta & roasted fennel ravioli, and Asian pork & chive ravioli. It’s enough to tempt me to make another trip down South sooner than later.
Pro Tip: Etto is located in Tin City, a fun industrial warehouse park about 3 miles south of downtown Paso Robles that’s a destination in and of itself. Here, you’ll find a wealth of winery tasting rooms. It’s also home to family-owned sheep’s milk ice cream shop, Negranti Creamery; olive oil producer, Olivios de Oro; and McPhee’s Canteen that’s famed for wood-fired pizzas and kobe burgers. So, definitely take the time to explore.
Farm Box, Bay Area
Have you checked out Farm Box lately? The Bay Area produce box delivery/pick-up business not only curates the best, seasonal, fresh bounty from the San Francisco Ferry Plaza farmers market, but is constantly adding new gourmet items that can be tacked on to your order.
Each week, the company puts together a box of fruits and veggies that you can prepay ($34.00 to $54.99, depending on box size), then pick up either at the Saturday Ferry Plaza farmers market or the Sunday Menlo Park farmers market. Or best yet, you can get it delivered to your door on Saturday for an additional $9.99. To see if it delivers to your area, just plug in your zip code here. Just be sure to order by Thursday each week.
One of its newest items is Maison Nico’s impressive brioche noisette et chocolate loaf ($29.99). This bakery-cafe sells its treats at its own San Francisco locale, as well as at the Ferry Building. But if you live in the South Bay like I do, this is an easy way to get your hands on the goods without having to actually drive up that way.
This brioche loaf may only be 7-inches-by-3-inches, but it looms large in impact. It arrives already cut into three large pieces. This caramelized, buttery brioche loaf is shot through and through with hazelnut-dark chocolate (think a gourmet version of Nutella). Its crisp, layered top is adorned with hazelnuts. It is so rich and decadent that it’s probably more dessert than breakfast.
You can also get your hands on San Francisco’s Midnite Bagels through Farm Box — without the usual standing-in-line that these cult creations usually necessitate.
Created by a former head baker at San Francisco’s Tartine, these unique bagels are made with sustainably-grown flour from Cairnspring Mills in Washington and a wild yeast sourdough culture. They boast a slight tang, big air holes in the interior, and an exceptionally chewy texture.
An assortment of three bagels ($13.99) includes one plain, one Everything, and one buckwheat-black sesame. The latter has a rosy bronze exterior, a slight lavender cast to the interior, and a profoundly nutty taste.
You can find various varieties of Sonoma’s Primavera tamales in stores around the Bay Area. But you’ll only find its oversized chicken mole tamales at the Ferry Plaza farmers market. Luckily, you can also get your hands on them via Farm Box.
You get four to an order ($17.49), wrapped in banana leaves with fluffy corn masa hiding a center of chicken mole in the center. Just steam them for about 15 minutes, then dig in for a smoky, earthy bite caressed with gentle spiciness.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget that you can also source items from East Palo Alto’s Happy Quail Farms to add to your produce box, because owner David Winsberg’s son Andreas just happens to be one of the founders of Farm Box. That means it’s easy to enjoy Happy Quail Farms’ wild strawberries ($14.99 for 4 ounces), smoky cayenne dried pepper ($11.99 for 4 ounces), and its addictive Farm Style Pepper Relish ($11.99) that will jazz up any grilled burger or sausage.
More: Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 30