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Get In My Belly! The Top Things to Eat This Week

Sara Deseran and Carolyn Alburger | November 21, 2013 | Food & Drink Story Eat and Drink

1. I don’t normally order baklava because, as desserts go, it’s often treated as a second-class citizen. But the pistachio-based baklava at Troya (a Turkish restaurant which happens to be one of the city’s most underrated spots) is served warm and aches with butter and just the right amount of honey. It’s so damn good. Take note that there are two locations of Troya: one in Pac Heights and one in the Inner Richmond. 


2. Speaking of butter, Thomas McNaughton’s pastas at Flour + Water still wow. They’re rich and spendy, but the portions are sanely sized. My husband and I brought our kids here the other night for a little pasta awakening. There was a lot of moaning with pleasure. Yes, you can get a seat if you’re up for showing up at 5:30 pm, which we did. —SD

3. I’m still thinking about the beef noodle soup at the new House of Xi’an Dumpling, which sits on the cusp of North Beach and Chinatown. The spicy broth is afloat with tender brisket and housemade noodles that are essentially made to-order by some noodle master guy. His work station is amusingly situated smack in the middle of the dining room, but his noodles are serious stuff. They have that perfectly springy energy to them. —SD

4. Napa-based Woodhouse Chocolate sent me some of their chocolates to sample. Their peanut butter cups, made with peanut gianduja and bits of peanuts, are addictive. I see them in stocking stuffers. I see not sharing. —SD

5. I got to TBD, the second restaurant from the AQ guys, last night. We tried a lot of different things, but a dish from the “Hearth and Embers” section, made of braised cabbage with clams, chilies, and bonito, was by far my favorite. The cabbage was so sweet, the broth so umami-y! With all the kimchee being brewed up around town, I nominate cabbage as vegetable of the year. —SD

6. On a recent trip to Napa, I tried Gary & Kits dark chocolate almonds, made by the Clif Family Winery. Yeah, they're just chocolate nuts, but they've got a proportion of dark chocolate to sea salt that makes them perfect. —CA

7. Kale salad might be over-played, but chef Dennis Leary's rendition at his new Terminus Cafe is worth building into your weekly "healthy" lunch routine. To the chiffonade of kale, Leary adds roasted chicken, rosy apple chunks, toasted pumpkin seeds, and paper-thin shards of hard goat cheese. It's served with a fluffy butter cloud of house-baked challah, but I recommend avoiding it so you can rationalize one of the coaster-sized, under-baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Now you see why healthy was in quotes. —CA

8. I keep coming back for more of Flour & Co bakery's Nutty Granola. It's got a deep honey flavor that walks the line between not-too-sweet and a little salty. The owners make batches two times a week from steel-cut oats and a trio of nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds). On my to-do list: Sprinkle the granola on Madagascar Vanilla ice cream from Three Twins. —CA

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