The Other Critics

Reidinger Claims Firsties on Criolla Kitchen; Kauffman Takes a Pie Tour; Bauer’s Loving All the Pickles Everywhere

Photo: Grub Street

Well, it’s not often that Paul Reidinger gets first dibs on reviewing a place, so we should give him some credit this week. The Guardian scribe hits up Criolla Kitchen in the Castro (formerly known as Bagdad Café), and comes away quite happy! He says of chef-owner Randy Lewis’s food that it’s “brightly seasoned, full of life, and reasonably priced,” and makes a comparison about the triangle, glass space itself to “an early edition of Zuni Café.” He loves himself some hush puppies, and the mirliton salad, but says the barbecue ribs were “flavorful but slightly dry.” He says good things, too, about the shrimp po’boy, and compliments the “artfully seasoned” batter of the fried chicken. All in all, he says, he was “bewitched.” This is like the biggest rave we think we’ve ever the ever-equivocal Mr. Reidinger write, but is it really deserved? Anyway… [SFBG]

Meanwhile, Jonathan Kauffman appears to have spent a couple of weeks stuffing himself full of pie, hitting up mobile vendors and pop-ups like Pie Fridays, Three Babes Bakeshop (operating out of the Stable Café at 2128 Folsom), PieTisserie (operating out of 1015 Clay in Oakland), and Butterlove Bakeshop. He loves Pie Fridays’ black and blue (blackberry-blueberry) pie, but says baker Sunde White’s “’super duper lemon pie’ … outshines them all.” Also of note, PieTisserie’s key lime pie, and chocolate-pretzel pie; and he’s very complimentary to Esa Yonn-Brown’s perfectly crisp all-butter crust at Butterlove, which he says stayed crisp days after baking, unlike any of the others. And her apricot cherry pie he calls “a marvel.” [SF Weekly]

And Michael Bauer blogged about pickles today, rounding up the trend that we appreciate as well in which restaurants all over town are featuring pickles on their menus, alone or as components of dishes. He calls out favorites, like the pickle plate at Bar Agricole, Nick Balla’s awesome selection at Bar Tartine, and some unusual pickles from chef Rachel Sillcocks at Piccino, which will be the subject of this Sunday’s review. [Between Meals/Scoop]

Reidinger Claims Firsties on Criolla Kitchen; Kauffman Takes a Pie Tour;