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Country of Origin Concerns - Page 2

post #31 of 42
Thread Starter 
Don't confuse San Francisco with other parts of the Bay Area. AFAIK, SF has but two farmers markets, one @ Ferry Plaza and another, on Sunday, downtown. I cannot speak for the quality at the downtown market, but many people feel that the Ferry Plaza market is good. By comparison, Berkeley and surrounds have something like fifty markets (literally depending upon where you draw the line :smiles:) most all of which comply with some standards. With the exception of Monday, there are markets nearby every day.

Some of the best seafood in SF is provided by a guy here in Berkeley. He's known all over California and often gets the most interesting fish, and certainly some of the freshest. There are also a few good salmon fisherman here and there's very good fishing north, along the coast.

Yes, I've been to Brandy Ho's, but it's been a while. A lot of us preferred Henry Chung's Hunan - just a few doors away from Brandy Ho's, but both are well regarded.

The truth is, the Bay Area is a mecca for foodies, and, arguably, Berkeley is Ground Zero.

post #32 of 42
Hi shel thanks for straightening me out!!! :D

And also, thanks for the heads up on Henry Chung's Hunan! I will spread the good word!

(you're still lucky! ;) )
post #33 of 42
Thread Starter 
When Henry opened his Hunan restaurant, it was the first Hunan restaurant in the area, and maybe even the first in the country. It was a very small place, maybe four or six seats at the counter and about five or six tables. There was a narrow aisle between the counter and the tables, and the tables were lined up along a wall, with just barely enough space for a chair between the table and the wall.

On a Friday or Saturday night the line for people waiting to get in could stretch around the block. Needless to say, the restaurant was crowded and everything was a VERY tight fit.

Now, here's the thing - in order to sit at a table, on the wall side, there was only one way to gain access, crawl on your hands and knees under the table and wiggle your way to a chair. It was an amazing sight to see people crawling under those tables to get seated or to leave the restaurant. Crawl, wiggle, wiggle, crawl ...

I'd been in small restaurants before, but this may have been the tightest fit of all. Of course, everyone crawled - rich and poor, hippies and yuppies. T'was a vey democratic seating process :lol:

SF Gate: Multimedia (image)

post #34 of 42
Wow is that a successful start or what!! Very cool history.
post #35 of 42
hahahahaaha! What a cool story! It just goes to show you that if the food is out of this world and limit who and how many get to experience it, you can set expectations really high! (which means a person will jump through about any hoop to experience it!) Then relish talking about being in the elite group who is in the "inner circle". Elitism sure works in the restaurant and catering biz!
post #36 of 42
Thread Starter 
It wasn't Henry and Diane's intention to limit the number of people at the restaurant. They had little money, and the small place was all they could afford. However, without any advertising - just word of mouth - the place really took off. But the end result was the same.

Henry's 87 or 88 yo now, has four restaurants (he's pretty much retired), and it's still a family business. If youcan find his cookbook, you'd find some great recipes - easy and tasty. I've posted one or two here at some point, and have a few more on the computer. Maybe I'll post a few more.

Kind regards,

post #37 of 42
Thanks Shel that would be wonderful if you would post them sometime! I've come to the conclusion that I can cook most of it better at home than going out! I've found very few that I really enjoy here although we do have some dynamite Vietnamese places and noodle houses!

What is the name of his book, do you remember?

TIA! *Mwuah!*
post #38 of 42
Thread Starter 
Many of Henry's recipes are quite easy. The key, as in all cooking, is to get and use quality and "authentic" ingredients or proper substitutes. I'll post some recipes in the recipe section and links to those that I have posted here.

Of course I remember the name of his book! Henry's book, and Jim Lee's Chinese cook book are my two favorite chinese cook books. Henry Chungs Hunan Style Chinese Cookbook

I urge you to get a copy ... I got mine from Henry when it first came out. I only wish I asked him and Diane to sign it. The book is OOP now, but sometimes you can still find a good used copy, like above.

post #39 of 42
I'll be looking for that book. Thx
post #40 of 42
Thread Starter 
I understand that there's a paperback edition as well ... but if you can, go for the real thing ...

post #41 of 42
Thread Starter 

Another Simple Henry Chung Hunan Recipe

post #42 of 42
Originally Posted by shel View Post

Do you care where your food comes from?

It matters a lot to me but I know I am not seeing retailer consistently provide that marking at the point of purchase (store). I am unsure of the compliance rates in the US stores and some stores do better than others. Since Snopes confirmed that some Chinese farmed Talapia fish is feed manure, it is obvious China laws and our are DIFFERENT. These differences apply to many Chinese crops.


I want to know the COO. Its proper to let everyone decide for themselves.

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