Food Adventure Team

Exploring San Francisco, one restaurant at a time.

Archive for February, 2009



2845 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

Suggested by Besha

In attendance:

Time for another sad case of the missing review. The good news is, Assab is so fantastic that I’ve gone back numerous times in the past few years. It’s Ed’s and my go-to Eritrean restaurant in San Francisco. We’ve introduced many people to it and everyone concurs: Assab is the bomb! My favorite dish is shiro – “medium-mild seasoned ground chickpeas cooked with onions, tomatoes, and light pepper”. It’s wonderfully creamy and flavorful. For two people we generally order one meat combo and one veggie combo, substituting either the zucchini or the okra with shiro. We always waddle away stuffed to the gills and very happy! The proprietors of this place are delightful and the service is impeccable. I highly recommend Assab!

(Written December 6, 2010.)

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Zante Pizza

Zante Pizza

3489 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Suggested by Josh

In attendance:

When I saw that this restaurant serves Indian Pizza, I was all over it. I’d heard of this phenomenon, but never actually partaken in it. Zante came highly recommended, so I looked forward to Wednesday night.

I was not disappointed. We started with two “Assorted appetizers” — each order consisted of one veggie and one meat samosa, two chicken pakoras, and two lamb (?) pakoras. And of course they came with various chutneys including the ever-present mint chutney. I must say, the appetizers were great. Bold spices, delicious meat, tender chicken. Greasy of course, but most deep fried things are.

For pizza, we ordered the extra large “Best Indian Pizza,” which has basically everything on it. It was enormous! The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming abundance of garlic. Do NOT get this pizza if you don’t like garlic! It was delicious, though. The pizza had basically everything on it. Cauliflower, shrimp, chicken, lamb, mozzarella, their special sauce (garlic), etc. It was all slathered on top of what was basically a giant naan. The naan was perfectly crisp on the bottom, and deliciously soft around the edges, as naan should be. Naan makes a perfect pizza crust, it turns out. Highly recommend dipping it in mint chutney, too.

While the pizza in general was quite tasty, I did wish that the toppings had been chopped less finely. I don’t really know what all I was eating; because everything was chopped so finely it kind of turned into mush. Delicious mush, but a more varied texture would’ve made me happier.

I also got a mango lassi, which was the brightest shade of orange I’ve ever seen on a lassi. It looked like pureed carrots! It was nice and creamy and had decent mango flavors, but it was overly sweet. Like sweet tea sweet. I prefer a bit of tartness in a lassi. Not bad though.

Conclusion: Tasty, would definitely go again– or at least order from them, since they offer free delivery to the whole city! There are things I wished they did differently, but the price (SO CHEAP) and the novelty make up for it in the end. And, pizza aside, their regular North Indian food was pretty awesome.

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Honorary Food Adventure: Art’s Crab Shak, Oakland

Art’s Crab Shak

4031 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94611

Suggested by Andy

In attendance:

It just so happened that everyone in attendance at this dinner was a member of FAT, and because it was quite adventurous indeed, we declared the excursion an Honorary Food Adventure.

Art’s Crab Shak is a… fine dining establishment (?) situated on Broadway and 40th St. in Oakland, near where a bunch of us live or have lived. It’s that place you always drive by and say, “What the HECK is Art’s Crab Shak anyway?!” Momentum gathered around this question and finally we found ourselves sitting in a booth around a formica table, calculating which bucket-o-crab was the most cost efficient. On a Monday night, no less; fortunately our blatant flaunting of Anthony Bourdain’s “No seafood on Monday!” edict has not caused us any gastrointestinal distress.

Legend goes, Art’s used to be a steakhouse. It sure looks it. Now it’s an odd combination of dive bar and crab “shak”. Low ceilings, dim lighting, and dated decor add to the ambiance. All beer is bottled (a fine selection of Budweiser, Cornona, and Heineken) and wine is house only. For appetizers, you get a choice between about 10 different deep fried items. Crab comes in one-person, two-person, three-person, and four-person sized buckets (the three-person size, inexplicably, will get you the most bang for your buck). And what a buck it is; this is not a cheap restaurant. A one-person bucket will set you back $27! Don’t be surprised when they hand you the bill before you receive your meal; they expect you to pay for your meal in advance. Makes you wonder about their typical clientele…

The appetizers, eh, they were alright. Bunch of fried stuff. We got the hush puppies, the fried zucchini, and the tequila lime buffalo wings. The buffalo wings were actually quite tasty; crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, flavorful, and not too greasy. They came with a great hot dipping sauce, too. Hush puppies and zucchini came with classic ranch sauce for dipping, and were tasty enough but nothing thrilling. We decided that at Art’s Crab Shak, you really should just go straight for the crab.

The crab, oh glorious crab! Granted, it wasn’t the most amazing crab EVER,but it sure was tasty, and utterly DRENCHED in melted butter, lemon, garlic, and pepper, topped with mushrooms that had been marinated in the same. Completely delicious. It came with sandwich rolls that had been sliced, buttered, and grilled — a basic garlic bread for dipping in the crab butter.

The fun of eating crab is really in the full-body, primal experience of it. We tied on our plastic bibs and dug in, butter spraying every which way, crab claws cracking, our brows furrowed in intense concentration as we struggled to get every last morsel of meat of of the legs of these delicious sea spiders. When it was over (too soon) we were buttered up to our elbows, our grins glistening and stomachs distended. Two wet-wipes apiece were not enough to clean this mess.

Final conclusion: “A totally worthwhile venture; Art’s Crab Shak met our expectations.”

Photo by Ed

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