Thursday, March 01, 2012

Out The Door, Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is one of my favorite places in San Francisco, filled with so many delicious things! I've spent a lot of time there over the years, and have tried numerous products from every vendor. On the rare days where I don't go out to eat, I'll post reviews of different Ferry Building establishments, so that you still have something food related to read!

Today's pick is Out The Door, part of the Charles Phan restaurant group (of Slanted Door fame). There is a kiosk located at the far end of the building that sells cooking kits and there is a fast food style eatery. The cooking kits are awesome - they are basically Slanted Door food at 1/2 the price, where in exchange you put in a minimal amount of effort (< 10 minutes of "cooking"), to get amazingly delicious, high quality food in the comfort of your own home. It isn't take out, more like having one of their souz chefs in your kitchen - all the prep is done for you already (beef marinated, everything measured out, etc), and you get the same high quality ingredients the restaurant uses. I'd even argue that it often is better than eating at the restaurant itself, since you can control the time from wok to table, which can really matter for this sort of food - no waiting for the food to be plated, for the waitstaff to come find it and bring it to you, etc, just wok to mouth, 30 seconds later. Noms. They have kits for many of the top dishes from the Slanted Door, and I highly recommend both the shaking beef and the caramelized shrimp kits.

They also have some surprisingly good baked goods, not at all what I'd expect from a Vietnamesse take out place. In particular, the black currant and orange scones are amazing! The following are notes I've collated through the past year or so. Subsequent tastings are inside brackets to separate out different tasting experiences.
  • Cookies
    • Oatmeal raisin cookie: Tasting notes: Decent, very nice and buttery.  [ Raisins good, cookie good ] [ again, pretty decent ] [ very buttery, yum ] [ very decent ] [ not very flavorful, kinda dry ]
    • Chocolate chip cookie: Tasting notes:  Good quality chocolate chips. [ meh, not very good flavor, crisp, dry ] [ nice and buttery, pretty decent ]
    • Ginger cookie: Tasting notes: good ginger flavor, thin but soft, pretty decent [ crispy, but nice ginger flavor ] [ crispy, but awesome ginger flavor ] [ intense ginger flavor ]
    • Peanut butter cookie: Tasting notes: good peanut butter flavor, nice and soft [ nice peanut butter flavor, buttery, yum ]
    • Oatmeal raisin + date cookie: Tasting notes: Awesome.  Nice buttery flavor, lots of fruit. [ really good flavors, sweet from date, yum! ]
  • Scones
    • Black currant and orange scone:  Tasting notes: Harder style, crystallized sugar on top, currants and orange zest throughout. Flavorful, buttery, nice. [ ridiculously buttery, almost caramelized on top, but so freaking good ] [pretty good. orange flavor really nice]
  • Cakes
    • Chocolate cake, with chocolate chips.  Tasting notes: Meh, nothing special decently moist, but just chocolate cake.
    • Lemon pudding cake: Tasting notes:  super sweet, not very good.
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