Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bio- a little French twist in Sausalito

Bio started in San Francisco, and now its Sausalito location is not only open, but beckons with French hospitality.  The window denotes that its menu has an emphasis on crepes, and it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Enjoy watching a French television channel while waiting for your order.  Bio is owned and run by Sylvie Krawec, who will greet you, seat you and do all the tasks, including cooking to bring you a meal which is local, organic, and with many gluten free options.

Sylvie is originally from Madagascar, although it's been 25 years since she's been there.  There has been a chalkboard sign outside touting the "Best Coffee from Madagascar" (usually $2, special price $1).  And it is really smooth, rich and delicious.

I think this is the only place in Marin to serve galettes, a buckwheat crepe that is gluten-free. The restaurant is also potato-free according to Sylvie.  The Galette with vegetable of the day ($14) has a choice of filling featuring chicken, jambon de Paris, duck confit or smoked salmon.  I chose the jambon de Paris.

I cut open the galette to find the filling also included a white cheese. The dish was accompanied by the vegetable of the day, a mix of finely sliced summer squash and red peppers which was sauteed in a little olive oil and herbs.

I also tried the "Natural Organic Berry Purée" ($4) which was made of organic strawberries the morning I visited.

I enjoyed the food, beautiful decor, and not to mention the French TV so much I had to return for a second visit the next day.  I changed it up by ordering a Bio  Croque-Monsieur ($8) with vegetable of the day. That day's vegetable was a ratatouille freaturing very finely sliced vegetables. Summer squash, zucchini, onions and I think eggplant that made a nice addition to the sandwich.  The surprise was that the sandwich base is a gluten-free thick slice of brioche, topped with ham, cheese and Béchamel sauce.

Bio is relaxing, inviting and the food is good too.

2633 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 324-7080

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Friday, September 12, 2014

BBQ n Curry House

Sausalito has its own Halal Indian & Pakistani restaurant in Marin City, the BBQ N Curry House.   Shahid and Sana Saracha have poured their hearts into making their offerings with care and giving friendly service.  Besides being Halal, where the animals are killed humanely, the dishes are prepared with whole herbs and spices for the most part, which means you get all the flavor, without stomach upset.  

The yogurt used in the mango lassi ($1.99), and other dishes, is house made and it tastes exceptionally fresh. 

The samosa ($3.99) was served piping hot and was crisp on the outside, tender on the inside.

This special dish - Aloo Keema ($12.99), roasted potatoes simmered with ground beef, onions, tomatoes, garlic, green peppers, ginger and special spices will get you hooked.  It is a very simple dish but elevated by the ginger and 'special spices'.  Half of this came home with me and shared with a friend that had dropped by, who kept making 'mmm.. mmm' noises as he polished it off.

This garlic cheese naan ($1.99) was addictive, and garlic was very much in evidence.

This plain naan ($1.50) was hot, buttery and had a delicious blistery quality.

Another tasty special is the Chicken Jalfarzi ($12.99)- tender morsels of  boneless white chicken pieces in a thick stew with red peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic and special spices.  I've ordered this dish several times and it it consistently flavorful.

My friend enjoyed the fish biryani ($12.99), which he kept praising for several days after the meal.   

 The fragrant basmati rice ($2)  was the perfect foil for the other dishes as well.

The service was great and the owners were friendly.  If you want to catch a plate here soon, you'll need to show up before Shahid and Sana take a vacation from September 25 to October 13, reopening October 14, 2014.

BBQ n Curry House
160H Donahue St.
Sausalito, CA 94965

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fleeting Hatch Chiles

Are Hatch Chiles on your radar?  

These beauties are only in season a few weeks each summer, and still available for a couple weeks at our bay area Mollie Stone's Markets. Hatch Chiles are only grown in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, and its season is in August and September.

I got my hands on some fresh ones and took them to a friend's house for a birthday barbecue.  First I split them so that the flat side would rest well on the grill.

Then these prepped chiles got a quick bath in a fresh lemon and olive oil mixture I whisked together.

With the oil marinade, it's not surprising that these flamed up a bit on the grill.

Nicely grilled, the Hatch Chiles made a nice addition to the summer's bounty of grilled vegetables.

There are other ways to preserve the experience year round, with dried Hatch Chiles, Hatch Chili powder and a peppy Hatch Salsa. Melissa's makes the Hatch Chile powder and the Hatch Salsa.  Melissa's also provides fresh Hatch Chiles by the case to Mollie Stone's. A Hatch Chile cookbook is available for sale at Mollie's as well, with 176 pages of Hatch Chile inspiration.

The Hatch Chiles I bought were pretty mild with only a slight kick.  The Hatch Salsa was a little spicier.

I brought the salsa to the birthday barbecue as well.  My friends gave it a thumbs up and it disappeared fast. Mollie Stone's is celebrating the season not only with roasts at it's various San Francisco bay area locations, but its delis and bakeries are including it in some seasonal dishes, such as twice baked potatoes with Hatch Chiles, a Hatch Chile corn bread, and I even saw a Hatch Chile Relleno Casserole in its Sausalito store. Celebrate the Hatch Chiles as part of the fleeting fall season. And if you need another reason, a medium-sized fresh Hatch Chile has as much vitamin C as six oranges!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Former Mill Valley Champagne Space to Morph

Champagne French Bakery & Cafe

Enjoy Mill Valley blog reports that the former space of Champagne in Mill Valley is the intended home of a new modern Mexican restaurant "Playa".  Karen Goldberg, owner of Mill Valley's TamalPie has big plans for it.  Read more at Enjoy Mill Valley.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Off the path for breakfast

Anchorage 5 Restaurant is a favorite locals hang out in Sausalito. Located a few blocks off Bridgeway across from the Heath Ceramics outlet, it is not far from the harbor and quite a few boaters and live-aboards enjoy breakfast or lunch here. I'm posting from a couple of recent trips here.

The French Toast Sandwich ($10.95), is really a deconstructed one with the ingredients (French toast, one egg and three pieces of bacon) plated attractively. There is cinnamon added to the batter which gives it interest, as well as the maple syrup served on the side.

The "Sailor" ($11.95) has a hamburger patty, two eggs, grilled mushrooms and onions piled on rye toast with a topping of cheddar cheese.  This is definitely filling and indicated for those who need the calories to row the boat.

Service is efficient and cheerful, and if you want to catch the more laid-back local vibe, you won't go wrong with a breakfast or lunch at Anchorage 5 Restaurant.

475 Gate 5 Road
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-8329

Previously reviewed:

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Loco for Mole

Hungry after a work out at 24 HR Fitness at Marin Country Mart in Larkspur, I paid the neighboring El Huarache Loco a visit for lunch.

All the offerings are neatly listed on adjacent blackboards. I chose the Mole "El Huarache Loco" ($10). It is described as "Veronica's recipe for chicken mole comes from her family's restaurant in Mexico City". Veronica is the owner and started this in La Cocina in San Francisco, a nonprofit food business incubator. El Huarache Loco is one of its success stories.

The mole was deep, rich and very satisfying. I detected hints of dark chocolate. It was accompanied by rice and creamy beans as well as tortillas. The service was prompt despite a hungry throng in the restaurant.

1803 Larkspur Landing Cir.
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 925-1403

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Devoto Orchards Cider

Stan and Jolie Devoto Photo credit: Devoto Orchards

Next county north of Marin is the place where Stan and Susan Devoto started their 20-acre farm in 1976 with a diversity of crops, including more than 50 varieties of heirloom apples.  Grown on the Goldridge soil of Sonoma county, 6,500 apple trees form the basis of Devoto Orchards Cider, and new brand, Golden State cider. Currently, Devoto Orchards Cider is owned and operated by Jolie Devoto and Hunter Wade.

The semi-dry Devoto Orchards Cider is pressed and fermented in stainless steel to preserve its bright acidity of the fruit and the aromas. There are several opportunities in August to taste and enjoy hard ciders sourced from the Devoto's organic and heirloom apples, as well as meet the owners.

August 23: 3:15 to 6:15 p.m. on a 150-foot yacht during Seven Stills first annual "I'm on a Boat" event. There will be 29 breweries and catered bites for 370 guests on a 3-hour tour while also listening to DJ curated tunes.  Devoto will pour with sister cidery, Golden State Cider.  Tickets are $100 for General Admission and $200 for the VIP Whiskey Lounge. Purchase tickets here.

Photo credit: Devoto Orchards

Devoto Orchards will also be participating in the Taste of Petaluma same day, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 23.  Devoto will be pouring alongside 40 participating restaurants and breweries. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.

August 24: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Santa Rosa's Farm to Fermentation Festival.  Devoto will participate in the cider and cheese pairing activities and libations lounge.  The event is at the Santa Rosa Finley Community Center.  Buy tickets here.

August 27: Golden State Cider, Devoto's sister brand, will debut with a public party start at 4 p.m. at the Southside Spirit House in San Francisco.

For more information about Devoto Orchards ciders, please visit or call 707-861-0595.