Check, Please! Bay Area reviews Stella Alpina Osteria, Bette’s Oceanview Diner, Chou Chou


>>Announcer: THE FOLLOWING KQED PRODUCTION WAS PRODUCED IN HIGH DEFINITION.>>THE BEEF TORTA WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD.>>I ACTUALLY DON’T DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PIZZA.>>THIS IS A TEMPLE TO –>>WE COULDN’T SEE IT, AND WE COULDN’T HEAR IT.>>LIKE, “WHOA! I’M ACTUALLY IN SAN FRANCISCO?”>>THIS IS AMAZING! [ LAUGHTER ] BRING ME MORE.>>HI. I’M LESLIE SBROCCO. WELCOME TO “CHECK, PLEASE! BAY AREA,” THE SHOW WHERE REGULAR BAY AREA RESIDENTS REVIEW AND TALK ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS. NOW, WE HAVE THREE GUESTS, AND EACH ONE RECOMMENDS ONE OF THEIR FAVORITE SPOTS, AND WE SEND THE OTHER TWO TO GO CHECK THEM OUT AND SEE WHAT THEY THINK. THIS WEEK, HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR EMMA LOGAN APPRECIATES THE STAFF AT HER PICK. THEY’RE FAST, EFFICIENT, AND FRIENDLY. SHE RECRUITS THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE SO THAT SHE CAN WATCH AND EVALUATE THE ONE SPECIAL CHEF WHO COOKS ALL THE EGGS. AND COMEDIAN, VERY FUNNY MAN, BOB SARLATTE, DOESN’T CLOWN AROUND WHEN IT COMES TO DINING CHOICES. JOKING ASIDE, HE WON’T STAND FOR ANY SLAPSTICK IN THE KITCHEN OF HIS CORNER BISTRO. HE’S GREETED WITH HUGS AND A KIR ROYALE. A WITTY WAY TO START THE EVENING. BUT FIRST, IN-FLIGHT TRAINING MANAGER PATRICK COURNOYER SOARS TO GREAT HEIGHTS WITH EVERY MOUTHFUL AT HIS DESTINATION. AND THAT’S WHEN THE RESTAURANT LOCATION IS BELOWGROUND. THE MENU, HOWEVER, REFLECTS THE CHEF’S HIGH-ALTITUDE HOME IN THE ITALIAN ALPS. IT’S LOCATED IN BURLINGAME, AND IT’S CALLED STELLA ALPINA OSTERIA.>>WELL, I COME FROM A LITTLE VILLAGE AT THE FOOT OF THE ITALIAN ALPS. AND OVER THERE, WE HAVE A LOT OF TRUFFLES. THERE IS VERY GOOD WINE. AND EVERYBODY COOKS IN THE FAMILY, FROM MY GRANDMOTHER, MY MOM, MY DAD. WE DO A LOT OF BRAISED MEAT. WE USE THE POLENTA. WE EAT POLENTA WITH MILK. WE EAT POLENTA FRIED, GRILLED. IT’S VERY HEALTHY. NOT TOO MANY INGREDIENTS, BUT NICE QUALITY AND FLAVORS. AND WE SPECIALIZE IN HOMEMADE FETTUCCINE, HOMEMADE BABAVELA. USE A LOT OF — IT’S ALL THE STUFF THAT BASICALLY WE DO IN THE MOUNTAINS. WE TRY TO KEEP IT VERY, VERY COZY AND FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE, YOU KNOW, LIKE YOUR FAMILY WAS COMING TO DINE, OR MY FAMIIY WAS COMING OR MY FRIENDS. MY WIFE GREETS CUSTOMERS AT THE DOOR. SHE KNOWS THEIR NAMES ONE BY ONE. AND I COME OUT. I VISIT THE TABLES. AND, YOU KNOW, THEY WALK AWAY WITH THE FEELING THAT THEY’VE BEEN EATING IN SOMEBODY’S HOUSE. AND THAT MAKES ME VERY HAPPY.>>SO, PATRICK, WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT STELLA ALPINA?>>OKAY. SO STELLA IS A DINING EVENT FOR ME. IT’S — YOU GO. IT IS UNDERGROUND. IT’S LOWER THAN STREET LEVEL. IT’S — WHEN YOU WALK IN, ALISA OR CHRISTINE — ALISA AND MATTEO OWN THE RESTAURANT. CHRISTINE IS THE ENERAL MANAGER. WHEN YOU WALK IN, YOU’RE GREETED WITH A SMILE. YOU HAVE A GREAT TABLE. ALL THE TABLES I THINK ARE GREAT. THEY HAVE A GREAT PATIO OUTSIDE. AND IT’S JUST A DINING EVENT. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT GOING FOR GREAT FOOD OR GREAT WINE. IT’S ABOUT GOING FOR A DINING EXPERIENCE.>>FOR THE ATMOSPHERE. IT’S FUN. >>EXACTLY, EXACTLY. THE FOOD IS INCREDIBLE, THE WINE LIST IS EXTENSIVE, AND I LOVE THAT MATTEO, THE CHEF, COMES OUT AND MAKES SURE THAT THE MEAL IS GREAT.>>NOW THIS IS A COMEDIAN’S DREAM — A NAME LIKE MATTEO FERRARI, RIGHT? [ ITALIAN ACCENT ]>>MATTEO FERRARI — VERY NICE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>YEAH.>>BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS IS GONNA BE A GREAT SHOW, BECAUSE I LOVE THIS PLACE.>>YEAH.>>DID YOU LIKE IT, TOO?>>NO. IT WAS AMAZING. THE FOOD WAS SO GOOD.>>GREAT.>>AND EVERYBODY WAS SO WARM.>>PATRICK’S BEAMING. HE’S GOING, “WHOO!”>>YOU KNOW WHAT? I’M A BIG FRONT-OF-HOUSE GUY. AND THAT’S IMPORTANT TO ME, TOO.SE OF WHAT I DO SOMETIMES, YOU WANT TO BE GREEEED WELL. YOU COME IN, THEY WERE GREAT TO YOU, AND THEY DID SOMETHING THAT’S FANTASTIC. THEY MADE A GREAT NEGRONI. THAT, TO ME, IS THE MARK OF A GREAT ITALIAN RESTAURANT.>>ALL RIGHT.>>SWEET VERMOUTH, CAMPARI, AND GIN.>>ALL RIGHT.>>OH, I WISH I COULD HAVE HAD ONE.>>HINT OF ORANGE. AND I DON’T KNOW WHICH IS THE WOMAN’S NAME THAT YOU WERE MENTIONING, BUT THE WOMAN THAT GREETED US SAT US AT THE MAITRE D’, WHICH IS ANOTHER WOMAN. SHE MADE THE DRINK. ‘CAUSE THE BAR’S VERY CLUBBY. YOU CAN SEE THE BAR.>>RIGHT.>>LIKE YOUR OWN HOUSE.>>IT’S A SMALL PLACE.>>YEAH.>>SO WHAT DID YOU HAVE TO EAT?>>I HAD — WELL, MY WIFE DOESN’T EAT VERY HEAVY, SO SHE GENERALLY GOES FOR TWO APPETIZERS — APPETIZER AND AN ENTREE. I OPENED UP WITH THE — BECAUSE, FOR PURPOSES OF DOING THIS, I ORDERED LIKE A BEET SALAD, THE BIETOLE. FORGET WHAT IT WAS. DELICIOUS.>>RIGHT.>>REALLY WELL-DONE. GORGONZOLA ON TOP.>>MM-HMM.>>AND I ALSO ORDER SPECIALS A LOT TO SEE WHAT THEY’RE — IF THEY’RE GONNA TALK ABOUT SPECIALS, LET ME SEE THE SPECIAL.>>THAT’S RIGHT. RIGHT.>>SHORT RIBS FF THE BONE WITH THE MASCARPONE RISOTTO. >>OH!>>FABULOUS. [ LAUGHTER ]>>NO. I, TOO, LOVE THE SPECIALS, AND THAT’S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I LOVE ABOUT ITALIAN FOOD IN GENERAL IS THAT YOU KNOW YOU CAN ALWAYS ORDER THE SPECIAL AND YOU’RE FINE. HERE, WE HAD THE CARPACCIO, WHICH IS ON THE MENU, BUT WE ALSO HAD THE MOST AMAZING, FLUFFY TRUFFLE-STUFFED GNOCCHI I’VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. AND THEN A BROWN BUTTER SAGE SAUCE. IT IS NOT ON THE MENU, BUT, OH, IT SO SHOULD BE. YOU HAVE TO GO DURING TRUFFLE SEASON. THE GNOCCHI ARE SORT OF LITTLE POTATO CLOUDS THAT EXIST IN THIS POOL OF BUTTER AND CRISP SAGE. AND IT WAS ONE OF THOSE DISHES THAT I WAS SAD I WAS SHARING. AND I –>>THAT’S GREAT.>>YOU KNOW, I GOT THE BREAD OUT, AND I PULLED THE BREAD A LITTLE BIT CLOSER. AND IT JUST WAS — IT WAS SO GOOD. AND WE HAD THE VEAL OSSO BUCO, VELVETY, FALLING OFF THE BONE.>>OH, YEAH.>>THE SPECIAL PASTA, WHICH IS ALSO AMAZING. -pAND IF YOU’VE EVER MADE PASTA IT’S REALLY HARD TO GET IT THAT CONSISTENCY. SO JUST OVERALL, FANTASTIC. THE ONE THING THAT WAS TOUGH WAS THAT I DROVE AND IT WAS A STORMY NIGHT, SO I COULD NOT DRINK.>>OH!>>THAT DIDN’T STOP ME. [ LAUGHTER ]>>THEIR MAESTRO WINE LIST IS REALLY GREAT.>>AND FOCUSED ON PIEDMONT WINES, BAROLOS, AND QUITE COMPLEMENTARY TO THE CUISINE. WHEN YOU GO, PATRICK, WHAT DO YOU REGULARLY ORDER?>>WELL, THAT APPETIZER THAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT IS — PILLOWS OF LOVE IS WHAT I LIKE TO CALL THEM. [ LAUGHTER ]>>THAT’S A BARRY WHITE ALBUM, I THINK.>>YES. I THINK IT IS. I THINK IT IS, BOB. BUT — AND IF IT’S NOT ON THE MENU, THEY’LL MAKE IT, BECAUSE I DEFINITELY LOVE IT. THEIR POLENTA GORGONZOLA. I ALSO HAD THE BRAISED SHORT RIBS, WHICH WERE INCREDIBLE.>>JUST OFF THE BONE. JUST FELL OFF THE BONE.>>RIGHT.>>THEY HAVE A RABBIT. AND I’M NOT A BIG RABBIT FAN, BUT THEY REALLY DO IT VERY WELL. THEIR PASTA DISHES ARE EXCELLENT. THEY HAVE A RIGATONI, WHICH WE HAD, WHICH HAS TRUFFLE OIL AS WELL, TOO. AND I’M KIND OF WARY WITH TRUFFLE OIL WHEN I GO TO RESTAURANTS, ‘CAUSE I KIND OF CAN FEEL LIKE IT’S TRYING TO BE A LITTLE TOO OSTENTATIOUS. BUT THEY DO IT SO WELL. ANDDYEAH. SO THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT I NORMALLY — OSSO BUCO IS –>>IT’S PHENOMENAL.>>IT IS. DID YOU HAVE DESSERTS AT ALL WHEN YOU WERE THERE?>>YES, I DID. I HAD THE TIRAMISU.>>WE DID, TOO. WE DID, TOO. WHICH WAS REALLY NICE. IT WAS NOT SO HEAVY. IT WAS A LIGHT TIRAMISU.>>THAT WAS IN MY NOTES. EXACTLY WHAT I SAID.>>AND IT WENT SO WELL WITH A CAPPUCCINO. MY HUSBAND AND I WENT TO ITALY ON OUR HONEYMOON, AND THAT’S WHAT THIS REMINDED ME OF. THE CAPPUCCINO WAS SPOT-ON. THE FOOD WAS EXACTLY THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO TASTE. IT’S ALMOST LIKE YOU HAVE AN ITALIAN GRANDMOTHER, BUT NOT QUITE.>>NONNA.>>EXACTLY.>>YOU KNOW, IT’S JUST — IT WAS A GREAT, GREAT EXPERIENCE. AND I FELT LIKE IT WAS A REALLY GOOD VALUE FOR THE MONEY. SO THAT WAS A GREAT THING, TOO, ‘CAUSE IT FELT LIKE A SPECIAL NIGHT OUT, BUT IT DIDN’T COST LIKE A SPECIAL NIGHT OUT.>>MM-HMM.>>IT USED TO BE OLD ALPINE INN, WHICH MANY PEOPLE KNEW AS A LANDMARK. AND THEY STILL KEPT THAT STAINED-GLASS WINDOW, BECAUSE STELLA ALPINA ACTUALLY MEANS EDELWEISS.>>RIGHT.>>SO IT KIND OF HARKENS BACK TO THE OLD ALPINE –>>WHY DON’T THEY JUST SAY EDELWEISS? [ LAUGHTER ] IT WOULD BE EASIER TO REMEMBER THAN A LONG NAME.>>IT IS.>>STELLA ALPINA OSTERIA.>>EXACTLY.>>I CAN REMEMBER IT. I JUST CAN’T PRONOUNCE IT. [ LAUGHTER ]>>THAT WAS THE THIRD PLACE OF THE THREE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THAT I WENT TO. AND A LOT OF TIMES, YOU’RE GOING — [ SIGHS ] “I GOT TO GO OUT OF TOWN.” AND I’M A CITY GUY. AND I’VE EATEN A LOT OF GOOD ITALIAN FOOD. AND A LOT OF TIMES, THE PREJUDICE MIGHT BE, “GEEZ. IT’S GONNA BE IN BURLINGAME. HOW GOOD OF A PLACE IS IT GOING TO BE?” AND IT WAS FANTASTIC.>>AND YOU’VE BEEN THERE REGULARLY, BECAUSE IT’S CLOSE TO YOUR OFFICE.>>OH, REGULARLY. YES. AND WE’VE HAD CORPORATE EVENTS THERE. I WENT THERE FOR DINNER 12 NIGHTS IN A ROW IN DECEMBER. 12 NIGHTS IN A ROW.>>NO KIDDING?>>ALL RIGHT. PATRICK, THIS IS YOUR RESTAURANT. GIVE US A QUICK SUMMARY.>>OKAY. SO IF YOU WANT A DINING EVENT, GO TO STELLA ALPINA. IT IS GREAT FOOD, GREAT SERVICE, GREAT WINE, GREAT EVENT.>>OKAY. EMMA?>>I THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT. IT’S REALLY GOOD ITALIAN FOOD SERVED WITH A HEART.>>AND BOB?>>NICE ATTENTION TO DETAIL. GOOD FRONT-OF-HOUSE SERVICE. TERRIFIC COCKTAIL UP FRONT. MADE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WANTED TO SPEND THE WHOLE TIME THERE. AND IT’S A LONG TIME THERE.>>IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY STELLA ALPINA OSTERIA, IT’S ON PRIMROSE AND BURLINGAME. THE TELEPHONE NUMBER IS 650-347-5733. IT’S OPEN FOR DINNER TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY. RESERVATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED. AND THE AVERAGE TAB PER PERSON WITHOUT DRINKS IS AROUND $30.>> EMMA LOVES TO JOIN THE ECLECTIC MIX OF CUSTOMERS AT HER PLACE IN BERKELEY. THEY, ALONG WITH THE WAIT STAFF, REFLECT THE DIVERSITY IN THIS UNIVERSITY TOWN. HERE, EVERYTHING IS MADE FROM SCRATCH, FRESH EVERY DAY. IT’S ON FOURTH STREET, AND IT’S CALLED BETTE’S OCEANVIEW DINER.>>BETTE’S DINER OPENED IN 1982. WE’VE BEEN HERE 26 YEARS. THOUGHT OF OUR NAME, BETTE’S OCEANVIEW DINER, BECAUSE, ACTUALLY, OCEANVIEW WAS REALLY A TOWN CALLED OCEANVIEW BEFORE IT WAS PART OF BERKELEY. THEY CALL IT BETTE’S OCEANVIEW NO-VIEW DINER. ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I KNOW WE’VE BECOME SUCCESSFUL IS BECAUSE OF OUR STAFF. WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN HERE A REALLY LONG TIME, THE LONGEST OF WHICH IS DARRYL, THE CHEF, WHO’S BEEN HERE FOR 24 YEARS. WE LIKE TO THINK OF OUR FOOD AS SIMPLE FOOD THAT’S CAREFULLY PREPARED. AND WHEN THAT COMES TO EGGS, WHICH ARE OBVIOUSLY VERY IMPORTANT TO US, IT MEANS THAT WE SCRAMBLE OUR EGGS SOFT AND CUSTARDY, WHICH I THINK REALLY ACCENTUATES THE BASIC FLAVOR OF THE EGGS. WE LOVE THEM THAT WAY. SOME PEOPLE DON’T LOVE THEM THAT WAY, AND WE’RE WILLING TO COOPERATE AND BURN PEOPLE’S EGGS IF THAT’S WHAT THEY’D LIKE. WE MAKE CORN BEEF HASH EVERY DAY. WE MAKE SCRAPPLE HERE. IT’S A PRETTY UNUSUAL THING FOR A RESTAURANT TO DO. IT’S A PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH DISH. AND, OF COURSE, OUR SOUFFLE PANCAKES, FOR WHICH WE’RE VERY WELL-KNOWN.>>ALL RIGHT, EMMA. I LOVE THIS. I MEAN, THERE’S NO OCEAN VIEW AT BETTE’S. COME ON! [ LAUGHTER ]>>THERE WAS, LONG TIME AGO. BETTE’S HAS BEEN AROUND FOR SO MUCH LONGER THAN ALL THE SHOPS THAT ARE OVER THERE. IT’S BEEN THERE OVER 25 YEARS NOW. AND IT’S JUST AN AMAZING DINER THE ENTIRE TIME I’VE BEEN THERE. I LIVED IN THE EAST BAY FOR A LONG TIME, AND AT THAT POINT LOVED BETTE’S. MOVED TO THE CITY. IT’S THE ONLY RESTAURANT I STILL GO BACK TO SEE. AND THE REASON IS JUST GOOD BRUNCH. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE GOOD BRUNCH, PERFECT EGGS, FANTASTIC POTATO PANCAKES? IT’S JUST ONE OF THOSE PLACES WHERE ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU GET IS GOOD. I JUST — THE BAKED GOODS, WHICH THEY ARE WELL-KNOWN FOR, ARE GREAT.>>RIGHT. AND THEY MAKE MIXES, AND YOU CAN ACTUALLY BUY THE MIX FOR THE PANCAKES.>>MM-HMM. WHICH YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET IN SAFEWAY, WHICH IS KIND OF SURREAL. BUT THERE YOU HAVE IT.>>RIGHT. [ LAUGHTER ]>>IT’S JUST — EVERY TIME I GO, I LOVE IT. THE PEOPLE THERE ARE WONDERFUL. I LOVE TO SIT AT THE COUNTER AT THE DINER THERE AND ACTUALLY WATCH THE KITCHEN. IT’S CLEAN. IT’S WELL-ORCHESTRATED.>>NOW, DID YOU — DID YOU HAVE TO WAIT IN LINE?>>NO. WE WENT THERE AT LIIE 1:30 ON LIKE A WEDNESDAY.>>WOW.>>RIGHT IN BETWEEN THEIR BREAKFAST AND THEIR LUNCH SERVICE, WHICH IS SHORT SERVICE, ‘CAUSE THEY ONLY — IT RUNS UNTIL 4:00.>>THEY ONLY DO BREAKFAST AND THEY ONLY DO LUNCH.>>BUT THEIR SERVICE WAS IMPECCABLE, AND THEY PRIDE THEMSELVES. IT’S ALMOST LIKE — IT REMINDS ME OF AN OLD CARHOP SITUATION AND THE OLD DINER KIND OF THING. THEY WERE RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. THEY EXPLAINED THEIR SPECIALS. THEY WERE REALLY ATTENTIVV. THEIR SIDE DISHES WERE AS GOOD AS THE MAIN DISH THAT YOU WERE HAVING, WHICH IS IMPORTANT.>>SO WHAT DID YOU HAVE?>>I HAD A SALAMI OMELET WITH GREEN ONIONS WITH A NICE LITTLE BAGEL AND GREAT POTATOES ON THE SIDE. PLUS A MIMOSA. [ LAUGHTER ] SEE THE TREND HERE?>>RIGHT.>>THEIR SERVICE IS PROBABLY TOP THREE OF ANY PLACE I’VE EVER BEEN SERVED AT, BECAUSE THEY ARE REALLY JUST ON YOU. GREAT EYE CONTACT WHEN YOU COME IN. SIT YOU. REALLY GREAT SERVICE.>>NOW, HE’S QUIET OVER HERE. NOW, YOU GOT TO JUMP IN HERE, BECAUSE I HEARD YOU SAY “WOW!”>>YES. ALL RIGHT. SO I’M NEW TO THE BAY AREA. BEEN HERE FOR ABOUT A YEAR OR SO. I KNOO IT’S AN INSTITUTION HERE IN SAN FRANCISCO. WE WAITED FOR AN HOUR AND 15 MINUTES, WHICH I WAS PREPARED FOR, BECAUSE I WENT ON THE WEBSITE. I WENT ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT NOON.>>RIGHT.>>AND I THINK IT WAS GREAT HOW THE GUY — YOU KNOW, HIS VOICE AND HIM SHOUTING OUT THE NAMES IS KIND OF A STAPLE IN THAT AREA. AND, YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT IT WAS GOOD. I FELT A LITTLE RUSHED IN IT, BECAUSE — I MEAN, IT IS A DINER. I WILL SAY THAT. IT IS A DINER. AND I FELT IT WAS VERY LOUD WHEN WE WERE THERE. ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON, IT IS VERY LOUD.>>I THINK SOMETIMES WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT TAINTS YOUR EXPERIENCE SOMETIMES, BECAUSE IT’S LIKE, YOU’RE GOING, “OH, THIS IS SO COOL, I CAN’T GET IN.”>>RIGHT. WELL, AND, YOU KNOW, THE THING ABOUT OUR MEAL WAS PROBABLY 45 MINUTES. SO WE WAITED LONGER THAN HOW THE MEAL WAS. AND I HAVE TO TELL YOU, I BOUGHT THE PANCAKE MIX BEFORE I WENT IN. SAFEWAY OR ANOTHER GROCERY STORY. AND I DID NOT MAKE THE PANCAKES VERY WELL. [ LAUGHTER ] BUT WHEN I WENT TO THE DINER — THEY WERE HORRIBLE. THEY WERE HORRIBLE. THEY WERE BAD. BUT WHEN I WENT, THE PANCAKES ARE INCREDIBLE. I ALSO HAD AN OMELET. I HAD A CHORIZO AND CHEESE OMELET, WHICH WAS — I BELIEVE THEY MAKE ALL THEIR MEATS THERE, RIGHT?>>THEY DO.>>SO IT WAS — THE EGGS WERE — THE OMELET WAS GOOD. NOT AS GOOD AS THE PANCAKES. PANCAKES. I HAD BUTTERMILK PANCAKES. THE COFFEE — OKAY, SO — NOW THE COFFEE — I AM A HUGE, STRONG COFFEE FAN, BUT IT TASTED BURNT TO ME. BUT I HAVE TO SAY, THE SERVICE WAS GOOD. IT WAS FINE. THE PEOPLE THERE WERE VERY NICE. YOU COULD TELL THAT THEY HAD BEEN THERE FOR A WHILE. AND I WOULD GO BACK. IF I WAS OVER IN BERKELEY, I WOULD GO BACK.>>GREAT.>>BUT THE PANCAKES, HANDS DOWN, EXCELLENT.>>RIGHT.>>VERY GOOD. [ LAUGHTER ]>>I LOVE, ACTUALLY, THEIR SPECIALTY MEATS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THEY DO IS A SCRAPPLE. AND A SCRAPPLE IS A VERY EAST COAST/PENNSYLVANIA KIND OF THING. AND IT LOOKS LIKE A MEAT LOAF SLAB THAT YOU SORT OF FRIED THERE ON THE GRIDDLE, BUT IT’S MORE LIKE A VERY SMOOTH SAUSAGE. AND THEY HAVE SCRAPPLE. THEY ALSO HAVE CORN BEEFFHASH. THEY HAVE GREAT BACON, WHICH I THINK IS A MEASURE OF A GOOD DINER.>>RIGHT.>>I LOVE THEIR — [ ALL TALKING ]>>MY BUDDY HAD FISH TACOS, AND HE LOVED THEM. HE SAID THE LETTUCE WAS FRESH. YOU NEVER HEAR ANYBODY SAY THAT.>>YEAH.>>WOW.>>AND HE DIDN’T FINISH IT. AND THEY BROUGHT LITTLE CONDIMENTS, SO HE COULD DIP THE REST OF THE FISH TACOS IN THAT THEY –>>YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE PASTRIES. THEY LOOKED INCREDIBLE.>>THE SCONES ARE AMAZING.>>I DIDN’T — I WAS SO FULL, I COULDN’T EAT ANYMORE. [ LAUGHTER ] BUT I WOULD HAVE. BUT THE PASTRIES LOOKED EXCELLENT. AND THEY ALSO HAVE THAT TAKEOUT PLACE RIGHT NEXT DOOR, TOO.>>I LIKE THE DECOR, TOO. THERE’S STUFF ON THE WALLS.>>VERY NICE STUFF. FIESTA FLAIR.>>DINER FEEL TO IT.>>YES, RIGHT.>>AND I FOUND OUT ABOUT WHY IT’S CALLED OCEANVIEW DINER FROM LOOKING IN THE BOOK WHILE WAITING. SO IF YOU’RE GONNA GO, LOOK IN THE BOOK TO FIND OUT WHY IT’S CALLED OCEANVIEW DINER.>>YOU READ THE WHOLE BOOK, I GUESS, WHILE YOU WERE THERE.>>WELL, I COULD HAVE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>AND A COUPLE OTHER BOOKS.>>I WAS PREPARED FOR IT. I DID COME WITH SOMETHING TO LOOK AT.>>SOME OF THE SHORT STORIES.>>RIGHT, NO. AND I WAS PREPARED. YOU HAVE TO BE PREPARED FOR A WAIT.>>ALL RIGHT. EMMA, THIS IS YOUR SPOT, SO GIVE US A QUICK WRAP-UP.>>BEST EGGS IN OR OUT OF THE CITY. IT’S A FANTASTIC PLACE. DINER, BUT AMAZING FOOD. I LOVE TO SIT AT THE COUNTER AND JUST KIND OF WATCH THE WELL-CHOREOGRAPHED KITCHEN DO THEIR THING. IT’S JUST PHENOMENAL.>>OKAY. AND PATRICK?>>YEAH. I MEAN, I THINK IT’S A GOOD PLACE. I FELT IT TO BE A LITTLE RUSHED. IT WAS A SUNDAY AFTERNOON. BUT I LIVED IN BERKELEY, I WOULD DEFINITELY GO BACK FOR BREAKFAST.>>OKAY. MR. SARLATTE.>>WELL-GREETED, ATTENTION TO DETAIL. EVERYTHING DONE WELL ON THE PLATE. AND I’D GO BACK IN A HEARTBEAT.>>OKAY. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY BETTE’S OCEANVIEW DINER, IT’S ON FOURTH STREET IN BERKELEY. THE TELEPHONE NUMBER IS 510-644-3230. IT’S OPEN WEEKDAYS FROM 6:30 A.M. UNTIL 2:30 P.M. AND FROM 6:30 A.M. UNTIL 4:00 P.M. ON WEEKENDS. RESERVATIONS ARE NOT ACCEPTED, AND THE AVERAGE TAB PER PERSON WITHOUT DRINKS IS UNDER $15.>>THIS ULTRA-CHARMING BISTRO IS THE FAVORITE HANGOUT FOR BOB’S ENTIRE FAMILY. IT NEVER FAILS TO DELIGHT, FROM THE FIRST CALL FOR A RESERVATION TO THE LAST SIP OF SAUTERNES. IT’S ON DEWEY BOULEVARD IN SAN FRANCISCO, AND IT’S CALLED CHOUCHOU.>>IT’S A SECRET OF SAN FRANCISCO FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KEEP IT AS A SECRET. WE ARE A RESTAURANT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD FOREST HILL. MOST OF OUR GUESTS ARE FROM FOREST HILL. THEY ARE SO AMAZING. WE GIVE THEM AS MUCH AS WE CAN, AND THEY KEEP COMING BACK. CHOUCHOU IS WHERE YOU WANT TO HAVE FUN, YOU WANT TO HAVE GOOD FOOD. YOU WANT TO BE HUGGED, YOU WANT TO BE KISSED, AND IF YOU FEEL BAD, YOU COME HERE. IF YOU FEEL HAPPY, YOU COME HERE. AND IF YOU FEEL IN LOVE, YOU COME IN HERE. CHOUCHOU TRANSLATION — IT’S A NOTIFICATION OF KINDNESS. WHERE YOU SAY TO YOUR LITTLE BABY, YOUR LITTLE GIRL, YOUR LITTLE SON, “MY CUTIE PIE.” OF WHERE YOU SAY TO YOUR WIFE OR TO YOUR GIRLFRIEND, “MY SWEETHEART. MY DARLING.”>>OKAY. SO BOB — AND MANY PEOPLE — I JUST HAVE TO SAY THIS. MANY PEOPLE ARE GONNA RECOGNIZE YOU. IF THEY CLOSE THEIR EYES, THEY’RE GONNA SAY, “I KNOW WHO THAT IS,” BECAUSE YOU’RE THE VOICE OF THE 49ers, RIGHT?>>PLEASE RISE TO HONOR AMERICA. HERE ARE YOUR STARTING LINEUPS. YES. [ LAUGHTER ]>>OH, BOB.>>24 YEARS I’VE BEEN DOING THIS. p>NOW TELL US ABOUT CHOUCHOU.>>CHOUCHOU IS KIND OF IN THE HOOD. I LIVE NEARBY. IT PERSONIFIES TO ME A NICE, PARISIAN PLACE THAT YOU WOULD GO TO AS YOUR PLACE THAT YOU GO ALL THE TIME, YOUR LOCAL SPOT.>>RIGHT.>>YOU’RE GREETED WELL. NICK IS THE GUY’S NAME THAT I KNOW THERE.>>MM-HMM. NICK, YEAH.>>AND HE LOOKS KIND OF LIKE — WHAT HE WOULD WEAR. THE URBAN FRENCH GUY OUTFIT, MAYBE, ‘CAUSE I’M AN URBAN FRENCH GUY. HE GREETS PEOPLE. IF YOU’RE A REGULAR, HE’LL GIVE YOU A LITTLE KIR ROYALE WHEN YOU COME IN, GOOD TABLE, AND MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU BELONG THERE. AND THEIR FOOD IS TERRIFIC. THEIR SERVICE IS GREAT. AS I SAY, I FEEL LIKE STAYING THERE SO LONG THAT I DO END UP GETTING THE CHEESE PLATE AT THE END AS A DESSERT. MY DAUGHTERS ARE — I LIKE IT ‘CAUSE MY DAUGHTERS ARE INDOCTRINATED INTO THE WAY THAT I LIKE TO DO THIS KIND OF STUFF.>>RIGHT.>>WE HAVE A LITTLE SAUTERNE AT THE END. VERY NICE SALADS.>>AND ARE THERE THINGS THAT YOU GET ALWAYS WHEN YOU GO THERE? ARE YOU A — YOU KNOW, DO YOU –>>WELL, YOU KNOW, I ASK ABOUT THE SPECIALS, LIKE WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT. LIKE I DID IT AT ALL THE OTHER TWO PLACES — THE SPECIALS. THEY HAD A DELICIOUS KIND OF PATROLI WITH A FRISEE SALAD ON TOP. IT WAS DONE VERY WELL. I ALWAYS GET THE PATES. I LIKE ALL THE STUFF THAT’S BAD FOR YOU THAT RAISES OUR CHOLESTEROL UP TO –>>THAT’S ALL RIGHT. THE EGGS, CHORIZO.>>RIGHT. EXACTLY.>>NOW, WHAT DID YOU GUYS HAVE WHEN YOU WENT TO CHOUCHOU?>>I HAD THIS FRISEE SALAD WITH A POACHED EGG AND A LITTLE BIT OF THE ITALIAN BACON ON THERE, AND IT WAS AMAZING. IT WAS SO GOOD. I COULD SEE THAT IT COULD BE A LITTLE SALTY FOR SOME, BUT I LOVE THAT WHEN I’M HAVING A GOOD SALAD.>>IT’S BACON! IT’S BACON! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?>>AND THAT WAS AMAZING. I THINK IT’S FUNNY THAT YOU SAY THAT YOU STAY A REALLY LONG TIME, ‘CAUSE ALTHOUGH I ENJOYED MY EXPERIENCE, I WAS IN AND OUT OF THERE IN AN HOUR.>>WOW. REALLY?>>IT’S PHENOMENAL TO ME JUST –>>DID YOU FEEL RUSHED? OR, I MEAN, WERE YOU –>>IT WASN’T SO MUCH THAT I FELT RUSHED AS I FELT SPEEDILY SERVED. LIKE IT WAS ALMOST AS IF THEY WERE TAKING THE APPETIZER PLATE AND GIVING ME MY ENTREE. AND SO IT WAS AN INTERESTING — AND I’M SURE IT WAS IN PART BECAUSE IT WAS A WEDNESDAY. IT WAS SEMI-EMPTY. THE FOOD WAS GOOD. THE SERVICE WAS DEFINITELY GOOD. IT JUST WAS SORT OF SURREAL TO BE FED THAT FAST.>>IT FELT LIKE YOU WERE IN PARIS WHEN YOU WERE THERE. IN AND OUT. [ ALL TALKING ] [ LAUGHTER ] AND PATRICK, WHAT ABOUT YOU?>>WELL, I HAVE TO TELL YOU, THE ONLY THING THAT I DID NOT LIKE — AND I TOLD NICK THIS, SO I GOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT NICK, BECAUSE NICK IS WONDERFUL.>>ISN’T HE?>>HE SAT DOWN NEXT TO –>>LOT OF COLOGNE ON NICK. NICK LIKES THE COLOGNE.>>HE DOES.>>I DID THAT, THOUGH.>>I GOT TO TELL YOU, HE SAT DOWN NEXT TO US. I WAS ON A DATE. I TOOK A DATE THERE. AND I WAS ON A DATE. HE SAT DOWN NEXT TO US AND WELCOMED US AND TALKED WITH US ABOUT THE RESTAURANT. I GOT THE WHOLE HISTORY OF THE RESTAURANT.>>AND IT’S NOT BECAUSE THEY KNEW YOU WERE HERE FOR THE SHOW.>>NO. HE HAD NO IDEA THAT I WAS FROM THE SHOW.>>IT’S ALWAYS ANONYMOUS.>>AND THAT’S WORKING FOR ME, TOO, ‘CAUSE I’M THERE A LOT. DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.>>RIGHT. HE HAD NO IDEA. SO — AND HE WAS EXCELLENT. MADE US FEEL COMFORTABLE AND WELCOME. I HAD A BEET AND MOZZARELLA SALAD, WHICH I DID NOT LIKE AT ALL. AND I TOLD — HE ASKED ME ABOUT IT, AND HE KNEW WHEN I SAID IT. HE GOES, “I KNOW. WE’RE TAKING IT OFF THE MENU.” SO MY SALAD WAS THE ONLY THING THAT I DIDN’T LIKE.” BUT I HAD A LAMB CASSOLETTE, WHICH WAS INCREDIBLE.>>RIGHT.>>THEY CUT IT OPEN AT THE TABLE FOR ME, WHICH I THOUGHT WAS JUST A GREAT TOUCH.>>COOL.>>A LOT OF ROSEMARY IN IT, AND I LOVE ROSEMARY. SO IF YOU DON’T LIKE ROSEMARY, DON’T GET IT.>>MM-HMM.>>BUT IT WAS STRONG, AND I LOVE ROSEMARY. SO — BUT THE CASSOLETTE WAS EXCELLENT. AND WE’LL GET TO DESSERT IN A MINUTE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>YOU KNOW THAT I’M GONNA HOLD YOU OFF ON DESSERT.>>OVERALL, WHAT I REALLY LIKE ABOUT THE PLACE IS IT DOESN’T PLAY ABOVE ITSELF.>>NO. YOU’RE RIGHT.>>YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? YOU GET THE NICE SENSE OF IT’S A FRENCH PLACE, BUT IT’S NOT SNOOTY. IT PLAYS TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD.>>AND NOW WE CAN TALK ABOUT DESSERT.>>OH. OH, HONEY.>>OH, GOOD.>>BECAUSE THE PASTRY CHEF IS FROM PARIS.>>YES.>>IT’S ONE OF THEIR SPECIALTIES.>>IT IS.>>AND THE TARTS.>>OH! THE TARTS ARE — DID YOU HAVE A TART?>>WE HAD A TART. WE HAD THE CHOCOLATE WITH WALNUT TART.>>OH.>>AND IT WAS SO GOOD, AND IT WENT SO WELL WITH OUR COFFEES.>>YEAH.>>AND IT JUST — IT WAS THE PERFECT GANACHE, WITH TOASTY WALNUTT>>YES.>>YOU ALMOST COULDN’T EVEN TELL THERE WAS A CRUST ON IT, BUT YOU KNEW, BECAUSE IT WAS SO RICH AND DELICIOUS. IT WAS JUST — IT WAS A PHENOMENAL TART.>>CHOCOLATE AND WALNUT TART.>>YES. AND EMMA, I HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOU. I HAD THE TRIPLE-CHOCOLATE — I’M A CHOCOLATE FIEND. I LOVE CHOCOLATE. I HAD THE TRIPLE-CHOCOLATE CHOC TART, AND I COULD NOT GET ENOUGH. AND NICK WAS SO GREAT. ‘CAUSE HE KNEW THAT WE DIDN’T LIKE THE BEET SALAD, HE BROUGHT US OUT DESSERT WINE.>>IS THAT COOL?>>AND THE BEST TO PAIR WITH THE TRIPLE-CHOCOLATE TART. AND I WOULD GO BACK JUST –>>WHAT DID YOU HAVE?>>I DON’T REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT I HAD.>>MAYBE A BANDOL OR SOMETHING.>>YES, THE BANDOL. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I HAD — THE BANDOL.>>OH, THAT’S A GOOD CALL.>>AND IT WAS PERFECT. IT WAS PERFECT WITH THE TART.>>WELL, AND BANDOL IS RED DESSERT WINE, ACTUALLY, FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, IN THE RHONE REGION, AND IT’S PERFECT WITH CHOCOLATE.>>YES. IT WAS SO GOOD. SO YES. DEFINITELY HAVE A TART. IF YOU’RE GONNA GO, LEAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT, WOULD YOU AGREE?>>YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TART.>>DEFINITELY. I WAS SO GLAD THAT I KNEW TO SAVE ROOM.>>RIGHT.>>AND IT’S RIGHT BY THE MUNI STATION, TOO. SO FOR THOSE WHO DON’T WANT TO DRIVE, BECAUSE THEY’D LIKE TO HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF A DRINK –>>YOU KNOW, THAT’S ONE THING THAT’S JUST REAL QUICK.>>RIGHT BY THE MUNI STATION.>>YOU KNOW WHAT? IT REMINDS YOU — THAT’S WHAT MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT PARIS A LITTLE BIT. YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN. FOREST HILL STATION IS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN.>>RIGHT. YEAH.>>NICE LITTLE VIEW OUT THERE, ALL THE CARS AND STUFF, YOU KNOW?>>ALL RIGHT. MR. SARLATTE?>>OH, MAN. WELL, IT’S JUST — IT’S MY PLACE, BUT IT COULD BE EVERYBODY’S PLACE IN THE SENSE THAT YOU GO IN THERE, YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE BEING TAKEN CARE OF. THE FOOD IS GREAT. IN FACT, IT WAS HARDER FOR ME TO CAPITULATE THIS, LIKE I DID THE OTHERS, BECAUSE IT’S MORE THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE THAT I LIKE. AND I THINK IT’S GREAT.>>OKAY. AND EMMA?>>I THOUGHT THE FOOD WAS GOOD. I THOUGHT IT WAS A LITTLE FAST FOR MY TASTE, ‘CAUSE I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE HAD THE LINGERING, FRENCH EXPERIINCE. BUT I — YOU KNOW, IF I WAS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND NEEDED TO EAT, I WOULD GO BACK.>>AND PATRICK?>>A GOOD LITTLE RESTAURANT. YOU KNOW, I WOULD — NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, EASY TO GET TO, OUTSIDE OF THE CITY AND IN THE CITY, AND A GREAT DATE RESTAURANT.>>IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY CHOUCHOU, IT’S ON DEWEY AT FOREST HILL IN SAN FRANCISCO. THE TELEPHONE NUMBER IS 415-242-0960. IT’S OPEN EVERY DAY FOR DINNER AND BRUNCH ON SUNDAYS. RESERVATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED. AND THE AVERAGE DINNER TABBPER PERSON WITHOUT DRINKS IS AROUND $40. WEEL, I HAVE TO THANK MY RAUCOUS, REALLY FUN GUESTS ON THIS WEEK’S SHOW — PATRICK COURNOYER, EMMA LOGAN, AND BOB SARLATTE. PATRICK CHOSE STELLA ALPINA OSTERIA, AND HIS CHOICE WAS SECONDED BY BOTH EMMA AND BOB, WITH THEM LOOKING FORWARD TO MANY MORE VISITS. EMMA’S DESTINATION, BETTE’S OCEANVIEW DINER, SATISFIED BOB’S HANKERING FOR BREAKFAST ALL DAY WITH POLITE HELP, REASONABLE PRICES, AND GREAT QUALITY. PATRICK THOUGHT IT FINE, ALTHOUGH HE FELT A LITTLE RUSHED AND THOUGHT IT, MM, SLIGHTLY TOO LOUD. FINALLY, BOB AND HIS FAMILY, I GUESS, RIGHT, CHOSE CHOUCHOU.>>CHOUCHOU. [ LAUGHTER ]>>EMMA WAS SLIGHTLY HURRIED THROUGH HER MEAL, WHILE PATRICK DECIDED THAT IT WAS A GOOD LITTLE RESTAURANT AND WILL DEFINITELY GO BACK. DON’T FORGET, FOR MORE DISCUSSION, YOU CAN VISIT OUR WEBSITE, AND YOU CAN ADD YOUR COMMENTS. YOU CAN VIEW THIS AND ALL THE SHOWS ONLINE, TOO, OR DOWNLOAD THE PODCAST. AND YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT THE KQED WINE CLUB WINES WE’VE BEEN TASTING — ACTUALLY, WE’VE BEEN DRINKING — TODAY, LIKE THIS CHARDONNAY FROM AUSTRALIA. SO JOIN US NEXT TIME, WHEN THREE NEW GUESTS WILL RECOMMEND THEIR SPOTS RIGHT HERE ON “CHECK, PLEASE! BAY AREA.” I’M LESLIE SBROCCO, AND I’LL SEE YOU THEN. CHEERS.>>CHEERS, LESLIE.>>WHOO-HOO!>>CHEERS, BOB.>>Announcer: THIS SHOW IS AVAILABLE IN HIGH DEFINITION, COMCAST ON DEMAND, AND VIA PODCAST. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE RESTAURANTS FEATURED, TO COMMENT, OR TO APPLY TO BE ON THE SHOW, GO TO OUR WEBSITE AT KQED.ORG/CHECKPLEASE.

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