Nice to see that even around the holidays and B roll into them some old traditional’s are being remade dairy free!

I think over the years when you aren’t a big dairy person because of the way it makes you feel – we still do miss some of those occasional high-fat rich, dairy flavors.

Luckily we’ve seen an increase in almond and coconut-based products over the last four years. This year seems to be a hot year because there’s at least 5 to 8 different manufacturers were making either coconut-based or almond-based products for those that don’t want dairy or soy.
Since october they’ve rolled into the season offerings with pumpkin, eggnog and mint chocolate themes from the traditional Safeway in Cala tower market to even specialty groceries like whole foods.

I’m thinking that this could be a fun season — in fact some of these I’ve cooked with and exchanged them for cream or dairy-based products. IMG_2942.JPG



A New “Palace” Has Risen

We love to try places that pals recommend and sometimes think the adventure of eating is trying something new without a lot of research into the “spot”. Recently my Pal Brad turned me on to a old local place that has a new Chef and concept meal that was worth checking out.


Starting the night with Cavier



Now this is an adult grilled cheese – add sweetbreads!


A cool, herby soup with butter soft salmon


How you go wrong with Mushrooms and Chirizo


Succulent beef


Now this “stew” rock and rolled

The Palace in San Francisco was known as a Steakhouse in the mission. Located on Mission and Caesar Chavez –I had driven by it for years but never really knew much about it or if it was even open.

It seems owner/chef Manny Torres Gimenez of the former Mr Pollo fame and his with Katerina decided a cool new slant with one thing only – a 5 course tasting menu with fresh quality ingredients, that offer the blended creativeness of its two owners.


… and a bright, crisp finish

While some of the professional food critics think its quirkiness is odd – I found it charming. I liked to simple and easy way they made creative food accessible. With little staff they carefully arrange the reservations to flow, can adapt to special feed issues with grace and they beam as the Chef comes to the table with each course letting you in on that nights secrete delights. Much has been posted on line from SFGate, & so find out more won’t be a hard sell.

The 5 course savory menu is $50 and well worth it. We left full, and satisfied while we also felt like we didn’t have to rush, could enjoy the time and our friends.

  • 3047 Mission St
  • San Francisco, CA 94110 
b/t 26th St & Capp St in Mission
  • Get Directions
  • Phone number
(415) 666-5218


Nope. Didnt watch the game..

Was busy knocking out a new vegan recipe; spicy chilled watermelon “chili” with red pepper flakes, sauted onions, roasted pumpkin seeds, basil & ginger. The non-vegans get to top with crumbled feta.

Part 1 done. “Soup” is cooling for tomarrow when add the herbs, more diced melon and the toppings..


Breakfast From Leftovers

IMG_2309Every so often we hit a restaurant that offers us outstanding quality and enough leftovers that I know I am going to get inspired for the “morning after”.

After a recent visit to the Precidio Social Club in San Francisco for some birthday celebrations –I ended up with some of my meal as a “doggie” bag. They have on the menu an oven roasted ribeye steak for two (30oz), which while on the expensive side ($48 per person) is also some of the best beef I have ever eaten and comes with a huge amount of crisp seasoned fries


 So what to do with those left overs for Sunday breakfast?

Then I remembered a dish I had done some years back that vas a variation on Shepard’s Pie that hadIMG_2323 a potato base that crisped up.

  •  Preheat the oven to 350 or 375 degrees ( I used both and they work fine affect the cooking time)
  •  In a clear glass casserole dish (I stress clear here since when I have made version in metal pans they tend to not crisp as well)
  • Spray well with oil cooking spray
  •  Layer the French fries and gently press into place. You may want to add salt, pepper, herbs, etc if your fries aren’t spiced. (hint: Tator Tots right from the freezer work great for this recipe too!)IMG_2322

In this case I had leftover steak so spliced it up into fork sized pieces (chicken, grilled hamburger, etc all work fine – the idea is meat needs to be cooked or smoked previously) and spread them as a layer over the potatoes.

  • IMG_2325 Break up 5 – -6 eggs. I have used as many as 12 depending on the size, the number of people eating and how dense I want the dish.
  •  Add dried or fresh parsley (chopped), salt, pepper, cayenne, fine grated parmesan chees. Fork whip until incorporated.

Pour egg mixture evenly over the meat and potatoes. The way I prefer to make this is the have the egg mixture just barely hit the top of the solids. I adjust accordingly sometimes here –adding more vegetables or less egg etc.

Top with cubed or shredded cheese that you have a round – in this version I used chedder and a gouda, then sprinkle ½ – 1 cup more of grated cheese. The chees is to taste – it forms the cover of the dish as the eggs cook and the potatoes crisp.

IMG_2327 IMG_2328 Tap the dish a few times to settle any air pockets out. Add any other herbs or last minute leftovers you think will complement it.

Bake for 40 – 60 min. You want it fully set in the middle so a stick comes out clean from the egg part. Smaller portions can do this in 30 mins.

Remove from the oven, let cool a bit.


You can serve this hot from the oven or warm. I have even used this as a “go to” brunch dish and made it in glass brownie pans, making it as a savory “brownie” served more at room temp. When I do that I often like to have a salsa or pesto sauce to serve over it as a “sauce”. Once I even used left over gravy from the night before and added cheese to it while reheating to thicken it

Local 186 still rocks on

Yes – sometimes I just don’t fight it and will eat at the same place several times on a trip. I think Local 186- has become that place for me since its launch. Again this year I’ve already gone twice! Its a great place to go for lunch or dinner, with friends or a date. From its pretty stellar line of burgers to a solid assortment of salads Local 186 doesn’t disappoint. This year so far its been all about burgers with the exception of one meal when I went with a lighter side meal and opted for a Tuna Nicoise salad.IMG_1647 IMG_1648 IMG_1649

Go big when you go to Local – try something new; tackle your way through the side dishes.. you will be back. This year we’ve had so far the fried artichokes, the cheese plate (which is big enough for a meal),  and the fried avocado.

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As for taste – they seem to nail it each time with the burgers – the tuna Nicoise was good and large but its blended style dressing while good – was muted and needed some sharpness in it to really pop the dish.

I also find that the service at Local is always some of the best in town,

located at:
186 Commercial St
Provincetown, MA 02657

Phone number(508) 487-7555