CONFESSIONS OF A                                                                  
A San Francisco Girl's Down and Dirty Adventures in the Culinary Playground

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sometimes You Feel Like a 'Nut (Dynamo Donuts -- San Francisco, CA)

When I was in 10th grade, I stopped eating donuts because I found out how they were made, ie, deep frying. My, how things have changed.

I grew up in the land o' Dunkin' Donuts, and until this day I had not found a superior donut. I was supremely disappointed the first time I ate a Krispy Kreme and promptly fell into a diabetic coma. The "donut shops" that pepper the city always have the same lame offerings, and I was beginning to feel as if the only way to get a decent donut would be to eat some beignets or enjoy a fancy donut on some dessert menu somewhere.

But wait! It's Dynamo Donut to the rescue! I high-tailed it there as soon as I heard they had opened last week.

Awww, yeah, bitches -- that's what I'm talking about. Like A16, and like Bar Jules, I went to Dynamo Donut one day and promptly returned the next. Dynamo lives in a little storefront on 24th St. -- if you didn't know it was there, you might miss it. In fact, I shouldn't even tell you it's there because then you might never find it and there would be more donuts for me.

Sara Spearin, who bakes the goodies and owns the spot with her hubby, Jonny Raglin (you may have heard of him) was sweeter than the donuts and made a fast buddy of Diner #3. She also got her pedigree at Liberty Cafe and Bi-Rite Creamery, and it doesn't really get much better than that in the baked goods department. (Can I get a 'what what, hey yo, what what in here?) I just about got down on my knees and asked her to marry me, except there's the aforementioned problem of Jonny, and, well, Jon.

But the donuts!

OH. GOD. The donuts!

Give me a minute here.

OK, I'm ready.

Day 1: Chocolate chocolate star anise and maple apple bacon. OK, hold up right here: Bacon on my donut?!! Are you the goddess of all artery-clogging goodness? You must be, because that shiz is so delicious that I'll gladly snip a few years off my life for another heavenly bite. This donut is not greasy and it doesn't sit in your belly like a lead sack. On the contrary, this donut with it's springy, yeasty dough and rich maple apple glaze is dangerous in it's consumability. And it has BACON on it. Bacon sprinkles. Made from really good bacon. I tried four different donuts in two days and this was definitely my favorite. This says a lot, considering all the donuts are so finger lickin' good that I am damn glad that I don't quite live in walking distance to this joint.

Now I pretty much have to tie Jon down to get him to agree to a chocolate option over something else. As he laid on the couch on Friday afternoon after a particularly ass-kicking week at work, I shoved a cake-y piece of the double chocolate anise in his mouth as he grimaced. The grimace melted away as he declared: "Oh! Oh! Wow. Oh. Wow. That's good. That's really good. Holy crap. Wow. I love how it's not too sweet. Where are they again?"

And that, my friends, is how we ended up there the following day on our way down to our annual berry picking adventure.

Jon lapped up some of the Four Barrel Coffee ("very good," he says -- and have I ever mentioned that I don't really drink coffee except in Italy? Consider this the moment...). Then we proceeded to inhale the fleur de sel caramel donuts. Surprisingly, these are my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, they still kick the average donut's ass, but it didn't make me want to run away with it like the others did.

The lemon pistachio on the other hand is fucking amazing. These bitches had a slightly sour dough, bright lemon glaze and fresh little pistachio bits. It sounds simple enough but it was truly extraordinary.

The Dynamo folks really have something going with this 2-3 flavors a day shit because I will keep returning for my favorites and keep finding more delicious tasties and then I will have tried everything and liked everything and I will weigh 382 pounds and need a forklift to get out of bed. Come to think of it, staying in bed all the time doesn't sound so bad these days.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

P.S. Here's what I have to say about Bar Jules. Mostly, it's fucking awesome.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Civic Center Farmer's Market, I Think I Love You

I went to the Civic Center Farmer's Market today. While I am now doing the hardest job I've ever had (raising Diner #3), it has the side benefit of being able to take a walk on a sunny day to SF's finest neighborhood for the Civic Center Farmer's Market.

A friend told me about "A Little Piece of Cake." Well, fuck me, why the hell isn't everybody talking about these folks?

I am a sucker for red velvet cake. Despite my love of baking, I've never made one (I don't know why, it's really just stupid at this point). So when I see the velvety redness anywhere, I'll give it a shot. ALPoC has red velvet cupcakes, 2 to a box, for $5. So I bought some.


These tiny cakes are so delicious that I had to physically restrain myself from eating both in one sitting. May I remind you that I have not been pregnant for, oh, a good 7.75 months now, so this really shouldn't be that hard. Emphasis on shouldn't. I'm very much considering locking the other one in a cabinet and making Jon hold on to the key until tomorrow (an acceptable time lapse from cupcake #1).

These cakes of the cup make Kara's look like dog food on cowpies. And I like Kara's. ALPoC's cake itself is moist and fluffy and totally yummers and the icing is a perfectly spread, 1/4" thick layer of cream cheese goodness (one of my peeves about Kara's is the 14 lbs. of frosting on those bitches -- it's like a cupcake with a side of diabetes).

Find a way to get the fuck over to cracktown so's you can get some of this action. I'm thinking I'll just start camping out there on Wednesdays.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

P.S. Click the pretty Examiner link on the sidebar so I can have more money for more cupcakes. Please.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I Scream

It was a nice day. It is a holiday weekend. Everyone wants some ice cream.

Now I loves me some Bi-Rite Creamery. You know I do. And I really wanted some ice cream today. However, when I saw the line at Bi-Rite that stretched into the next block, I wanted to stick one of their compostable spoons in my eye at the sheer thought of waiting in it. The ice cream is really fucking great, don't get me wrong. It's just that I don't see how one could justify waiting in a line of that sort for anything short of...oh, I don't know, war rations perhaps?

If you are a masochist with some serious PMS this weekend that decides you HAVE to go there, get a cone with the brown butter pecan and toasted coconut. The combo is positively magical.

Jon and I picked up some fancy ice cream novelties from our neighborhood bodega instead. Good times.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

P.S. We were at the Ferry Building at 7:00 a.m. this morning (ah, the things you do when you've been awake since 4:45) when we witnessed, nay almost became a part of, a huge police foot chase. As we were unloading Diner #3 from the car, we saw/heard several cop cars and watched at least half a dozen cops going after a man who was calmly walking away from them, coffee cup in hand, canvas shopping bag on shoulder. The cops kept ordering him to stop, guns drawn even getting close enough to beat his legs with their batons, and the man KEPT WALKING (let me tell you how thrilled I was when they started yelling "everybody get down" as my son was smack in the middle of it all in his stroller). Seriously, the dude just looked like a slightly disheveled college professor out for his morning coffee. The cops even fired shots from what we assume was an air gun, and another bystander said she heard an ambulance shortly thereafter. Neither we nor the other folks who witnessed what we saw had any fucking idea what it was all about. If you happen to have the deets, please fill us in. We're dying to know.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Yeah, so, um, since our trip I've been busy. I got a new little gig. Please click on that pretty little link right there, as I get paid by the page view. I know, I'm shameless.

Quick rundown of what I was able to snack on in NYC:
  • Blue Ribbon Sushi -- Pretty good but not amazing. Clever menu items and decent cocktails but doesn't hold a candle to Sebo.
  • Bouchon Bakery -- Home away from home. Dependable and good and convenient since we were staying in the Time Warner Center. Diner #3 experienced his first pate whilst dining there, and my lobster BLT was more than worth the $19 price (a veritable bargain for NYC).
  • Le Bernadin -- hopefully more to come on this one, but the short of it is that I wouldn't go back. The food was truly excellent, but the rest of the package was enough of a clusterfuck that I don't feel a need to eat there again.
  • BarMasa -- Holy fuckballs. Amazing. Will be booking a table at Masa proper the next time I am in NYC (bonus: Diner #3 had first truffles there).
I also finally got a chance to check out Spruce once we were home. Re-read the paragraph about Le Bernadin and that should sum up Spruce as well (well, sort of -- I'd be more likely to return to Spruce).


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld