the wondrous Shake Shack burger

by foodhoe on October 28, 2014

1450 S Dixie Hwy Coral Gables, FL 33146| 786.470.3701  | website


Mr. K and I recently vacationed in the Florida Keys, a stunning resort area surrounded by brilliant turquoise blue waters and wafted by warm gulf  breezes.  In the spirit of vacation, I abstained from controlling our eating agenda, with a single exception when I noted that the celebrated and much ballyhooed Shake Shack had a location in Coral Gables which was conveniently on the way back to the airport.  And so we had to stop there.  Shake Shack is a chain with 31 locations in the states, 24 overseas locations in the Middle East, Turkey, Russia and the UK, and none out our way, although they plan to expand in the mid-Atlantic, Chicago and Las Vegas is as far west as they get for now.  Americans, nay the world loves a good burger and this place is really making an effort to be known on a global scale.  I know you’re thinking, yo foodhoe! How lame to cross the country and set your sights so low… But this is the Shake Shack my friends! People have been raving about this place for years and I heard reports that waits of an hour and a half were standard practice, so we felt like we won the jackpot when we found no such lines and easy seating.


The restaurant is green in color and because it is constructed with recycled and sustainable materials, featuring tabletops sourced from reclaimed bowling alley lanes handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY, as well as window seating with wooden counters made from river-recovered cypress.  They aim to please with free Wi-Fi and there’s a ping pong table for interested parties. It’s hard not to have heard about the Shack, which is on the radar of hamburger aficionados everywhere, having been discussed on Nightline by Josh Ozersky, a true burger and meatophile and at Esquire Magazine’s State of the Hamburger panel in 2011. In the early years, all burgers were made from a special blend created by master meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda who has a show called Meat Men on the Food Network. When the chain expanded to Florida, the team found a small local Miami purveyor called Bush Brothers, who use the same cuts, the same process, the same overnight fresh shipment of buns and other ingredients.  The menu offers a variety of burgers, hot dogs, fries, shakes and frozen custards, concretes which are dense frozen custard ice cream blended at high speed with mix-ins, beverages including beer and wine and even a couple of treats for your dog.


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hiro sandwich worship at urchin bistrot

by foodhoe on October 23, 2014

584 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110 |  415.861.1844 |  Website


When my friend Ben, who writes the evocative and lovely food blog Focus:Snap:Eat, told me that there was a new restaurant in the Mission whose menu listed a number of dishes featuring its namesake sea urchin, also known as the foie gras of the sea, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon.  Joining us was Brenda, the intrepid food explorer/marketing ninja who writes the smoking hot Bites & Bourbon blog.  The restaurant is located in former Wo Hing General Store space (the original location of the Slanted Door) on Valencia, and was opened by Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, the chef/owners of Terra and Bar Terra in St. Helena and Ame in the Hotel St. Regis in SoMa.  This is a playful homage to France’s cuisine bistronomique, serving market driven updates on classics along with modern artisinal cocktails.


The interior is dominated by a lively mural along the back wall that was designed by Chef Hiro, lined with bright red booths across from the long bar area where you can also enjoy a casual meal


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7 Courses of Beef at Anh Hong in Berkeley

October 5, 2014
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2067 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 | 510.981.1789 | website For years I have wanted to try the Vietnamese feast called 7 courses of beef, and was very excited when my friend Brenda of Bites and Bourbon organized said feast at the venerable Anh Hong restaurant in Berkeley.  Joining us were Christina of East Bay […]

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Capone’s Speakeasy in Alameda

October 2, 2014
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1400 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501 | 510.522.2391 | website Capone’s Speakeasy is a new venue in the tranquil island of Alameda, which is just off the coast of Oakland.  It’s smack in the middle of bustling Park Street, which is jam packed with many excellent restaurants that make the area a destination.  The former […]

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The lucky rice festival in San Francisco

September 22, 2014
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This is the scene at the Lucky Rice festival, the annual celebration of Asian culinary culture in America that was held at the dramatic Bently Reserve conference center in San Francisco earlier this month.  The Lucky Rice festival showcases Asian culture through cuisine and cocktails and shares it with food enthusiasts in a traveling road show where the chefs and bartenders […]

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Modern Mexican Cuisine at Papito West, SF

September 16, 2014
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425 a hayes st. SF 94102 | 415.554.0541  | website I met my friend DebbieG for a hosted dinner last week at Papito West in Hayes Valley.  A hosted dinner you ask?  One of the perks of being an obsessive chronicler of everything I eat is that I occasionally am invited to check out new […]

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Pieology, fast custom pizza in Pleasant Hill

September 8, 2014
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2380 Monument Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA. 94523 | 925.338.2475 | website Pieology Pizzeria is a chain from SoCal that specializes in customizable pizzas that recently opened up in Pleasant Hill.  It joins a block of fast food chain restaurants (Panda Express, Wingstop, Rubios) that is visible from the I-680 and is just off the exit […]

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