Restaurant Reviews: 2009 Archives
Pop!! -- yes, the exclamation points are part of the name -- is probably the best thing to happen to downtown St. Paul dining since the Great Waters Brewery. Situated in the old Fhima's space, Pop!! has one of those eclectic Latin menus that takes you south of the border and keeps on going.
A conundrum of modern eating is that, in general, the more rural the town, the lousier the restaurant. One might think that, being closer to the land, one would find plenty of fresh vegetables and local delicacies there. But rural dining hasn't progressed much since the 1950s.Things are changing, however. Farmers' markets continue to expand.
We all have a favorite neighborhood restaurant on that good corner or the busy street, that little café or bistro we can probably walk to even if we drive most of the time. After all, drive-by traffic keeps neighborhood places in business at least as much as word-of-mouth.
Now imagine a neighborhood restaurant with no drive-by traffic at all. Imagine a charming little dining room, with good art for sale on the wall, a pretty patio, all snuggled into a residential neighborhood.
One of the problems with restaurant reviews is context. You can't judge fine French restaurants by the same criteria as Mom-and-Pop restaurants. Of course the former is better, but it's also 30 times the price. But when our imaginations overtake us, we consider the possibility of a neighborhood restaurant with a chef trained in the finest kitchens.
It's the last day of the RSA Conference, and this is my last column. Thanks for reading; it's been fun.
Salt House is great for either lunch or dinner; it's close and easy, and it's good. The food is basic New American, and they mix some really fantastic drinks at the bar.
Is it Thursday already? I know it's hard to leave the convention center, but the food there just sucks. Here are two alternatives.
Yank Sing is probably the best dim sum in San Francisco, and it's walking distance from the Moscone Center.
Another day, another pair of restaurants: the first one walking distance, the second one an easy cab ride.
LuLu is in a large 1910 warehouse. This makes it a good choice for a conference lunch, as there's likely to be a table free when you get there -- although, as always, it's smart to make a reservation. The food is Provençal in style, and generally delicious.
If you think about it, providing restaurant recommendations has a bad positive feedback loop. If you all go to the two places below, they'll be too crowded. So my advice is to hack into the conference's computers and steal the recommendations for tomorrow.
Ame in the St. Regis is great for both lunch and dinner.
Welcome to the 2009 RSA Conference. There are a lot of places to eat around Moscone Center, more if you realize how cheap a taxi ride is compared to your restaurant bill. In each issue, I'll give you two recommendations: one within walking distance, and the other a short cab ride away.
ThirstyBear is a combination brew pub and tapas bar.
The best thing about Korean cuisine, we think, is the panchan. That's the little dishes of pickled vegetables that are served with your meal, and are refilled as needed. The most famous of these is kim chee: napa cabbage pickled in brine with peppers and other seasonings. Some say a Korean meal isn't complete without kim chee.
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.