Sunday, April 13, 2008

Robin Williams and Bimbos

No. We don't have exclusive photos of Robby and some ladies from the Tenderloin. We do have some exclusive news for you Friscoers. Only a few know about it. Robin will be in the city this Monday and Wednesday working on new stand up material at Bimbo's 365 Club in North Beach/Fisherman's Wharf. It's supper secret. That's why you haven't heard about it. All the ticket money goes to charity. Click here for the ticket link. Get 'em while you can!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Express" Yourself

In real estate, it's always location, location, location. In food, it's "Food" first, "location" second. I mean, if you can get some great grub in a not-so-great area, then who are we to judge? This is the case with Thai Express House ( 901 Larkin at Geary). Seriously some of the best Thai in the city. Seriously, one hell of a neighborhood. Not being one to let the local villagers sway me from good eats, make a trip here for some great food. There are probably over 80 dishes on the menu. How to choose just one?!?!?

Let's start with my Thai deal breaker: Pad Thai. While others in the city have proven a whimpy flavorless dish (hello Bangkok Noodles on Powell ???) this one just rocked. Great flavors and not greasy. The Gai Ga-Prow was a tasty, spicy mix of chicken, chili, and bell peppers. We asked for it spicy and I'd say it was medium spicy. Param Pack (crispy tofu and veggies and a yumm-a-rific peanut sauce) was a good vegetarian dish that had lots of flavor and for desert try Roti, a coconut flavored ice cream. Why is this not a popular American flavor I don't know. I'd eat it on the 4th of July! The decor is unexpected modern. The large windows let you see the show outside...kinda like your own personal "Urinetown." The service is quick, not personable, but you get your food and that's what matters. After the Great American Music Hall, this is one yummy place to be!

Thai House Express 901 Larkin at Geary Open everyday 12 noon to midnight

Frisco Survival Tip #1,345

The seats on MUNI have shrunk. Or else everyone in the city has become fatties. Here's a tip...especially for you "oh-so-hip-and-cooler-than-you-cause-I-have-a-IPod" guys: Close your damn legs. Do you realize that your spread eagle takes up not one, but two seats? Unless you have some weird MUNI fetish, keep 'em closed and share a seat with a friend. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Down With War! Where's My Mochachino?

Friscoers love a good party and a good cause. Down with war. Go green. Stop pollution. Save the whales. Use Paper. Not Plastic. As goes Frisco, so does the rest of the world. This city has the most committed protesters who stick by their ideals. Did you miss the big anti war protest down Market on Wednesday? Don't worry....Here's a few highlights:

A girl who didn't want to do the "sit down" cause she didn't want to get her pants dirty.

A guy yelling "Oil is Death. Corporations Kill" whole holding a Starbucks.

A guy carrying an "End War" sign while handing out menus to some Chinese restaurant in the Haight.

So say we all.

Only in Frisco, kids.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pizza Prowl: Memories of "Blondie's"

Flashback to 1996. A small little store at the Powell cable car turn around. A small counter where you can get a big slice of thick crust pizza and a coke for $2.50 or get the special of the day.

Flash to 2008. A wide open store with down stairs seating. You can still get the pizza/drink special, but it costs you $4.00. The crust is thinner. They still have a special of the day. But there's more than just pizza - Mexican food, BBQ, frozen yogurt.

The memories of Blondie's. Too bad they're gone. Blondie's today resembles little of what made this store great. I'm a crust-aholic. The bigger and thicker, the better. Blondie's had great crust. I asked the counter when they changed their crust and was told that it's the same as always. Bull crap. A slice today is smaller and thinner. I had the special pizza of the day, "The Wheat Crust Vegetarian," ($3.25 a slice) a mix of vegetables (green pepper, olives, something else) on wheat crust. The crust was good, if not a little grainy. The vegetables were decent, not great. I then had the Cheese Slice Special (slice and small drink). The cheese was oily, gooey and runny. The crust had little crunch to it. At $4.00, it ain't worth it. But the tourists will go for it.

Blondie's made the mistake of menu over expansion. Why in the world would they think they would be the place for Mexican food, BBQ Chicken, or Sweet and Sour Chicken? Business basic rule #1: Do what you do and do it well.

It's sad when you see a past fave go away. But we'll always have the memories.

March and the Penguins

Wanna know who's the most successful entertainer? Nope. Not Britney, Cher, or Paris. It's those damn cute 'n cuddly penguins! They've had more hit films than Will Smith. "Don't Call It Frisco" reader Vinnie of Valencia sent me this tip about the Bay Area's very own "Happy Feet." Meet San Anselmo's Jim Fox, former IT guy turned Sphenisciformes. Don't call him Jim. Call him"Penguin Man." He's currently the only penguin we know who sings, taps, plays the ukulele, and has his own CD. Maybe you've caught his act in Union Square. Perhaps you know some of his dittys, such as "The Global Warming Blues" (Didn't Melissa Etheridge record that one?) or my favorite, "The Inky, Dinky, Winky Hot Dog Song." Like all major recording artists, you can catch Penguin Man's latest music video here. Why Penguin Man has not been booked into Nickies or the DNA Lounge, we don't know. Probably discrimination. Let Penguin Man's voice be heard! Rise against the machine!

Only in Frisco, kids!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cheap Eats: "King of Thai" Still Reigns

Cheap and quick. The way I like my Thai. King of Thai Noodle House (184 O'Farrell @ Powell...but many other city locations) knows what they are doing. Open every night till 1 AM and located right next to Macy's Union Square, it's a popular location and often crowded on weekdays and weekends. The tables are cramped up next to each other in a room awash in lavender. Why lavender, I have no idea.

I use a Thai restaurant's Pad Thai as a ranking meter and King's version ($7.45) was delicious. Loved the peanut sauce. However, I was knocked over by their great Pad Kee Mao ($7.25), a flavorful mix of a choice of meat, flat noodles, green beans, green peppers, and a lip smacking Thai chili and basil. My BBF Susan had Pad See-Ew ($7.25) - a mix of flat noodles, meat, egg, broccoli and soy sauce. She raved about it. A must when you visit is the Thai Ice Tea - simply one of the best I've tasted. The milk and cream mix was perfect. However, there was a major misstep for the King. The Egg Rolls ($5.45) were fried little pieces of blandness. The only thing they were good for was as something to dip in the fab plum sauce.

Service here is quick. And I mean quick. Not more than 20 seconds at the table, our server brought us water. A few minutes after ordering, the food started to roll out. Don't expect personality with your service. It's quick and efficient. With the bill you get a tasty after dinner mint called (I think..I can't really read the wrapper) "UST." Have no idea what it's made of but, boy, it was tasty. Another major downside is that they don't take credit cards. But the "King" still rules with good, quick and cheap food.

King of Thai Noodle House 184 O'Farrell (and other city locations) (415) 677-9991