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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Learning about Certified Angus Beef

Julie Boggs of Westbrook Angus Certified Angus Beef is not the same as Angus or Black Angus which you may see on everything from beef at restaurants and supermarkets to even fast food burgers. In order to be designated Certified Angus Beef, it must pass a strict set of requirements and USDA inspection and approval, and very little of it does. In fact only 1 in 4 inspected makes the grade. That's the main thing I learned when I met with ranchers, chefs and restaurateurs to learn about beef and the Certified Angus Beef brand in particular. The ranchers I met bred breeding stock and they told me they like the Angus breed for a number of reasons, it's temperament, size, and ability to produce. Over the course of several meals I got a chance to try many cuts of Certified Angus Beef steak including rib eye, tenderloin, top sirloin and filet mignon. It was very well prepared by restaurant chefs from the steakhouse chain El Gaucho and also from Aqua by El Gaucho . It was truly...
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Free lunch in San Francisco (for the next 48 hours)

Thanks to smartphone apps you can now get through security and into your seat on a plane, book a hotel room, deposit checks, find a parking spot and even buy lunch. And today if you live or work in San Francisco and have a smartphone, I am buying you lunch, courtesy of  GoPago . GoPago recently launched a free mobile app that lets you order and pay for food and drinks using your smartphone ( iPhone  or  Android ). Browse for restaurants in San Francisco, order your meal online, pay securely using a credit card, then skip the line and the hassle of handling cash. When you waltz into the restaurant, just flash the receipt on your phone, and you're good to go. Download the free app ( iPhone  or  Android ), use the code  AmazingAmy  and get $10 credit good for lunch (or breakfast or dinner). And no, I didn't choose the code. GoPago did. But I am very happy to share it. The code is good for $10 in credit and is only available for 48 hours so check it out ASAP. The roster of ...
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wine Road, Sonoma County

The view from Everett Ridge Winery Recently I was invited up to Sonoma to visit the Wine Road. The Wine Road isn't an actual road, but a winery association with a wide variety of members and their mission is to increase awareness of Northern Sonoma County. Think of it as your own personal concierge, available to craft the perfect experiences in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys. The Wine Road covers six different AVA's, represents about 150 wineries, or around half of the wineries in the region, over 50 different lodgings and produces a fantastic map of the area. I go up to Sonoma frequently, but this latest trip hosted by the Wine Road introduced me to a number of wineries I hadn't visited before. Here are the highlights of my trip: Kendall Jackson Wine Center I know what you're thinking. Really? Kendall Jackson? The brand I find in the supermarket? Well, yes. Kendall Jackson has a series of stunning Wine Center Gardens  and an outstandin...
Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Del Popolo Pizzeria

Del Popolo might look like a pizza truck, but according to the proprietors, it's a mobile pizzeria. At a reported $180,000 to build the thing, I think they can call it whatever they like. It's a refurbished shipping container with an actual pizza oven inside plus minimal prep space for a couple of cooks.  The menu is short and sweet, just two pizzas in one size. There's the classic Margherita, the pizza by which all pizzas should be judged, and when I was there a white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, basil and garlic. Will people stand in line to buy a pizza? On the streets of San Francisco? Oh yes, they will! This is the set up. A mini kitchen and pizza oven and a window where orders are taken and pizza "delivered."  They offer some wacky sodas including Cheerwine , Manhattan Special  and Empire . But being parked across the street from a supermarket, there was no shortage of choices.  So how was the pizza? Excellent. There was a nice ...