A rotating exhibit of the things I love most about living in San Francisco.

Posts tagged “lunch

b. patisserie bakery opens in Lower Pac Heights

Check out the following story: b. patisserie Sweetens Lower Pac Heights, Starting Today – Eater Inside – Eater SF.

b. patisserie, ala sf Eater

We were fortunate enough to try the kouign amann, sort of a hockey puck formed of buttery, flaky and compressed pastry layers thus dipped in sugar. This is an amazing and beautiful thing. And, a meal in itself. The other items described in the link above merit your swift attention, notably some fun macaron options. Savory lunch items, too! This is a major local opening folks, do go.


brunch series, Local’s Corner

I’ve been wanting to try this place since it opened, by all accounts an exquisite fixed price brunch in the Mission. Sister restaurant to one of my neighborhood favorites, Local Mission Eatery, Local’s Corner is a relatively new restaurant that has very quickly developed her own following. The restaurant is located off the 24th Street beaten path (on Bryant) and as such has a relaxed and quiet vibe, more home kitchen than restaurant. Warmth is reflected back in bright morning sun, in the decor, and in a genuinely friendly waitstaff. A sunny August day, conditions were ideal for this leisurely Sunday brunch. I was there with a dear friend, a nationally-renowned interior designer who also happens to be a fellow foodie, home gardener, and home cook. As a designer, he has a high taste-level and is equally blunt with his criticisms. Read on to see the  brunch in pictures, with our reactions:

Brunch at Local's Corner, the Mission, San Francisco

Brunch at Local’s Corner, the Mission, San Francisco

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house made bread, huckleberry preserves

house made bread, huckleberry preserves: this was a highlight, still warm and full of flavor

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Seasonal vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, mustard aioli. Fresh, clean flavors and a big thumbs up. Refreshing.

Seasonal vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, mustard aioli. Fresh, clean flavors and a big thumbs up. Refreshing.

..

hash of sous vide chicken, fingerling potatoes, scallions and sous vide egg

hash of sous vide chicken, fingerling potatoes, scallions and sous vide egg

Perhaps the most controversial dish, it was salty. Too salty for my friend. Pushing it for me. The marriage of ingredients in the hash was amazing, a subtle grilled flavor balancing the savoury and sweetness of the corn nicely for me. Still, we both marveled over the egg. I had read about sous vide eggs like this one but this was my first time eating one. The texture, evenly smooth and creamy from eggwhite through to the yolk, was like a fine custard. Sublime. We took the opportunity to chat to our server about it, and we got a wealth of information about the sous vide process, learning the chicken for the hash was prepared by that method as well. I’d love to try it at home, but one does need specialized equipment to do it, and I’d be eating dozens of eggs a week, which couldn’t be a good thing. In the meantime, I’ll know to come to Local’s Corner for the perfect egg, toast and more.

Press: Bauer review

Local’s Corner
2500 Bryant St. (at 23rd Street)
San Francisco
(415) 800-7945

localscornersf.com


ethiopian in SOMA: MOYA

20120802_food_moya_1det by markevnic72
beef tartare and salad, a photo by markevnic72 on Flickr.

Moya, aother “find” within walking distance of my office, ethiopian is a fun alternative for lunch. Today I was joined by a fellow artist (painter), paralegal-by-day. He’s also got some wild stories. WOW. Always fun.

I ordered the kitfo, a beef tartare with clarified butter. You heard me correctly. This was accompanied by salad, KIK ALI-CHA (yellow pea stew) and the ingira bread. The first bites of the tartare were amazing but be warned, this is heavy stuff. They give you a lot of it and I wasn’t able to finish it. It’s really rich. The salad does help to cut that richness but in itself, was unremarkable. My friend had a grilled chicken with ethiopian spices and enjoyed it a lot. He too felt we got a lot of food for our buck. The menu does cater to american tastes, and is not as broad as I’ve found at other ethiopian restaurants. It is quick though, and perfect for a well executed, nontypical lunch.

Moya

415.431.5544

121 9th Street
San Francisco, 94103

eatmoya.com


lunching at my favorite cafe, starstream

Roasted fig, fresh basil and stracciatella cheese sandwich with salad of arugula, red onion and fingerling potatoes

Roasted fig, fresh basil and stracciatella cheese sandwich with salad of arugula, red onion and fingerling potatoes

Given the choice of trying a new restaurant or going back to one that is tried-and-true, I’ll usually opt for the former rather than the latter. So if a place does manage to keep me coming-back on a fairly regular basis why, that’s an endorsement in and of itself. Starstream certainly is that kind of place, and it certainly has a hold on me. I keep going back. And without fail, every time I do there’s at least one new thing waiting to be tried, something that blurs the line between sweet and savory (a distinguishing factor for which Starstream is known, check out my previous review here). As much as I try to resist that bit of sweet at the end of the meal, I can’t. (It is the best cookie in San Francisco, after all) And then there’s Remi, the owner and chef, who is a true gem.

The following is a lunch in pictures. Joining me on this latest visit was MUS•e•YUM Trustee, L., a former advertising exec. who’s eaten at some of the top restaurants in town and beyond, so he has a refined palate and holds the bar high. L. always presents a neutral and unbiased review. . . it was his first time eating here, in fact. (Not his last, he really liked it!)

On my plate were the roasted fig, basil & stracciatella cheese sandwich and the salad of arugula, pickled red onion and sliced fingerling potatoes . Both of these dishes reflect Chef Remi’s signature approach of bringing savory and sweet together, in a deftly-balanced way. L. also loved his meal, the Pork Conserva sandwich and Citrus Salad. He appreciated how well-balanced all the flavors were on his plate, as well.  The brightness of the citrus fennel salad was a real highlight, as well as the iced Bergamot tea he ordered with his meal, very aromatic and rich. We both agree the rolls on which the sandwiches are served are pretty great and well worth mentioning; they’re beautiful, they’re flavorful, and they’re made in-house by Remi, as well. We also agreed the portion size is exactly right. We left completely satisfied, but not stuffed. In fact, as always, I had room for a little dessert, the dark chocolate and red chile pepper scone, dusted with gorgeous crystaline turbinado sugar. The flavor of the scone was nothing short of amazing, the richness of the chocolate totally satisfies your sweet tooth, and it’s accompanied by a real nice “kick” on the back-end, thanks to the chiles. Awesomeness.

And this visit we found out about a bit of exciting news from Chef Remi- . . . so stay tuned for a big story mid-February!

 

Pork Conserva sandwich and arugula/fingerling potato salad at Starstream Cafe

Pork Conserva sandwich and arugula/fingerling potato salad at Starstream Cafe

figarella sandwich at Starstream

figarella sandwich at Starstream with the delicious iced bergamot tea

dark chocolate and red chile pepper scones at Starstream

dark chocolate and red chile pepper scones at Starstream

Starstream Cafe, on Harrison Street, SF

Starstream Cafe, on Harrison Street, SF

Starstream

1830 Harrison at 14th St (near the Best Buy)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: Mission
(415) 864-6370

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 am – 4 pm

Links to articles in the Press:

https://sites.google.com/site/mattegrayinsf/journals/journal-2010

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/10/star_stream_belgian_waffles.php

http://www.rundown.com/article.php?article_id=1445

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/09/best_chocolate_chip_cookies_san_francisco.php


best restaurant series, mexican with a french accent at Papito

 

trio of salsas, Papito, Potrero Hill, SF

trio of salsas, Papito, Potrero Hill, SF

Could this be my new favorite mexican food place? I mean, if you’re greeted in French, by a Frenchman, does it still qualify?? Duck confit tacos??? Really???

• • •

Yes. Yes. Yes. YES.

I cannot think of a better word to describe this experience than enchanting. Picture it, two gay guys, positively wrapped around the finger of our gorgeous french waitress who guided us through our meal. She spun a web around us with her cursed chile-lime parmesan dust,  having sprinkled it on buttery grilled cobs of corn. I think we ate more because of her. Or maybe it was the Huitlacoche (have you tried it? it’s a blue fungus that grows on corn. Also known by the names, ‘corn smut‘ and ‘raven’s excrement‘, it’s fabulous!) that she put in the mushroom quesadillas. We did whatever she wanted us to do. Duck confit tacos. Witch! We were willingly enchanted though, smiling, laughing and purring through the whole thing. (Churros and chocolate!)

elote, the cursed chile/lime/cheese dusted ears of corn at Pepito

elote, the cursed chile/lime/cheese dusted ears of corn at Papito

duck confit tacos at Papito

duck confit tacos at Papito

quesadillas of mushroom and huitlacoche at Pepito

quesadillas of mushroom and huitlacoche at Papito

Leaving the restaurant left me a little turned-around though. Having interacted with a greeter, the owner and the waitress, I left saying an ‘au revoir‘, which the owner promptly returned, but then quickly switched, to an ‘adios’ (delivered in a french accent), which I quickly returned and then switched to a ‘see ya later‘. Oh, yes. They will!

The space. Charming Enchanting cafe, small(ish) and sunny. Parisian in look and feel.

The food. Purr-inducing. Unmistakably Mexican with a presentation, technique and quality that impresses. While accent is french, this is unmistakably mexican fare.

The verdict. I can’t wait to go back.

Papito

317 Connecticut
(between 18th St & 19th St)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Neighborhood: Potrero Hill

(415) 695-0147

Papito in the Press:

churros and chocolate at Pepito

churros and chocolate at Pepito



best restaurant series, starstream

exquisite pizzas and sandwiches of Starstream

exquisite pizzas and sandwiches of Starstream

I first met Remi at Goody Goodie Cream and Sugar, home of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in San Francisco. (Evidence here. and here.) Frankly, Remi had me at the chocolate chip cookie but upon ordering that, she offered me a sample of a product in development: the cocoa nib wafer. This thing blew me away, chocolate made savory. Earthy. Magic. Combining notes of chocolate (without the sweetness), and oil-cured olives, Remi had just taken me to a new place! And how great would this be with a strong cheese and a bold Italian red?! What followed was a conversation about food that only happens between folks that are in love with it. . . wine pairings for cookies, cheese pairings for fruit (and prosciutto), favorite producers at local farmer’s markets. I was hooked.

On a subsequent visit, Remi offered me a sample of a “bun-in-development”. She’d been offering featured sandwiches at Goody Goodie made with bounty from the day’s farmer’s markets (example here) and now had some tantalizing information for me- she’d finalized plans to open a restaurant. Not surprisingly this would be the place she’d been wanting to open for a long time, a full-service restaurant that would afford her the space and tools to showcase her unique talent, her ability to bridge pastry and savory (and, a place with seating!) Owing to the relationship Goody Goodie has with scooter-loving Blue Bottle coffee-making Vega next door on Folsom, the two entrepreneurs envisioned a palate-pushing Roman-styled industrial-chic café and the name would be Starstream.

Yesterday I had a great lunch there with my gorgeous friend, one who happens to be a foodie of the first order! Between us we (naturally) tried a little of everything, from a great citrus salad, to the ‘squashed’ pizza Schiacciata to a flight of sandwich sliders and the famous cookies. The salad: greens dressed in a light citrus vinaigrette with pieces of citrus fruit and notes of fennel, was served on the aforementioned cocoa nib wafer. My pal was blown away by the combination of flavor profiles, from earthy to bright, which really worked. This salad was one of the highlights of the meal, for sure.

citrus fennel salad at Starstream, San Francisco

citrus fennel salad at Starstream, San Francisco

The pizza: thin and light, the house-made crust is stuffed not with tomato but rather Bellweather Crescenza cheese, arugula & Prosciutto de San Daniel. The flavor is at once bold and light. The sandwiches themselves were wee works of art, each unique in terms of shape and bread kind and style. These included a mortadella with fried quail egg, an egg salad on focaccia (the standout) and the Robiola Di Langa– creamy cheese made from goat, sheep & cow’s milk, micro greens & Fuji apples.

sliders at Starstream, with an assortment of pickled vegetables

sliders at Starstream, with an assortment of pickled vegetables

The styling details of the meal are part of the fun, right down to the fried quail egg and mini pickle stabbed on top of the mortadella slider. The sandwiches came with an assortment of pickled vegetables that were a gorgeous array of pinks, arty in their presentation and tangy delicious. The lemonade was special, too, made with honey and infused herbs, not overly sweet. (Teaser, Remi told us she’s working on a line of different lemonade concepts for next year, so stay tuned! I thought this was an awesome idea since one of my favorite beverages to make at home is rosemary-infused lemonade, using herbs cut from the garden. Here’s the recipe in case you want to try it, too: Recipe link here.)

The meal ended with Goody Goodie cookies, all of which are available at Starstream as well as the G.G. Folsom location.

From the pastry side, I’ve previously sampled not only the cookies but also the brioche bomb (cinnamon, sugar and orange in a brioche bun) and a spice cake with citrus glaze. Next up, I plan to try the famous Belgian Waffle.

brioche bomb from Starstream

brioche bomb from Starstream

The space itself reflects the materials of the neighborhood, industrial concrete and metal, but somehow it does not seem cold or austere here. The lines are clean and the space is chic. There’s ample seating inside but on a nice day, grab a table on the east-facing sidewalk to capitalize on that morning light while you enjoy your coffee.

Looking ahead, I know Remi has some new menu ideas planned not only for the morning coffee and pastry crowd but also for the lunch-time crowd so do expect more great things to come at Starstream and if you’re lucky, you’ll be one of the first to get a sample, too;-)

Starstream

1830 Harrison at 14th St (near the Best Buy)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: Mission

(415) 864-6370

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 am – 4 pm

Links to articles in the Press:

https://sites.google.com/site/mattegrayinsf/journals/journal-2010

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/10/star_stream_belgian_waffles.php

http://www.rundown.com/article.php?article_id=1445

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/09/best_chocolate_chip_cookies_san_francisco.php


best restaurant series; venezuelan is the new salvadoran, and Mr. Pollo becomes my favorite spot in the Mission

I’m afraid this is another case in which I have to weigh sharing the good news about this fabulous restaurant, with the possibility that with every bit of press owner Chef Manny Torres Gimenez gets, it will be that much harder to get in. “Mr. Pollo” is not a big restaurant. No matter, it’s worth the wait for Manny’s food. Everything is made to order, just for you, mere steps from the kitchen. It’s like eating IN his kitchen and he’s going to treat you with that kind of respect.

arepas rellenos con jugo de lulo at Mr. Pollo, in the Mission, SF

arepas rellenos con jugo de lulo at Mr. Pollo, in the Mission, SF

A dish popular in Venezuela, Mr. Pollo is known in particular for the arepas, thick fluffy cornmeal ‘pancakes’ in which you’ll find melted cheese, pulled meats, veg and melted butter. On my first visit I had the good fortune to have a good friend who is Venezuelan as my dining companion.  I can assure you, he was impressed. He loved it. We’re already planning a return visit.

The tasting menu caught our eye, too. Though we didn’t order it, next time I will. The menu changes daily, at the whim of the chef. Four dishes for $15. . . a steal! The table next to us ordered this and the parade of dishes they received was elegant and sculptural.

So go check out Mr. Pollo as soon as you can. Tell Manny MUS-e-YUM sent you but don’t go on the same day that I do, please!


lunching in san francisco, chicken and waffles at Farmerbrown’s Little Skillet (and bratwurst. for reals.)

best fried chicken, chicken and waffles at Little Skillet, SOMA, SF

best fried chicken, chicken and waffles at Little Skillet, SOMA, SF

The best fried chicken I’ve found in San Francisco is at Farmerbrown’s Little Skillet, bar none. The skin is so perfectly seasoned, with lots of black pepper and a nice spice blend as a base. Crisp without being dry, the skin comes of cleanly and easily, releasing a plume of steam as you peel it away. Next you’ll start to pull the meat. It is succulent and juicy. The waffle is thick and dense, Belgian-style with deep pockets for your syrup but frankly, it’s so good you might not even need to use it. . . did I mention the dusting of powdered sugar?

best fried chicken, chicken and waffles at Little Skillet, SOMA, SF

best fried chicken, chicken and waffles at farmerbrown's Little Skillet, SOMA, SF

I’ve also tried another combination on their tempting menu, bratwurst and sauerkraut on a waffle. It works. Trust me.

bratwurst, saurkraut, waffle at Little Skillet, San Francisco

bratwurst, sauerkraut, waffle at Little Skillet, San Francisco

For a chicken and waffle place, Little Skillet makes a mean bratwurst. I dare say it is among the best you can get in the City. The sauerkraut is fresh and light- they didn’t go cheap. The waffle, unsweetened, makes an excellent bread, and serves as the roll for your sandwich. Don’t knock it ’til you tried it!

The verdict, I’ll be going back A LOT.

Seating, not inside. You place your order at a window, in an alley. There are some benches in the alley on which to sit. If it’s not raining, or super cold. It’s still worth it. Go.

Little Skillet (link to website and menu)

360 Ritch St
(at Brannan St)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Neighborhood: SOMA

(415) 777-2777

Hours: Mon-Sat 9 am – 2:30 pm

Interesting factoid: do you know why chicken and waffles were thrown together in the first place? In an era in which jazz musicians were leaving their gigs in the wee hours of the morning (or night, depending on your point of view) it was too late for dinner service and too early for breakfast service so. . . they sort of combined them. The pairing was born!


lunching in san francisco, Goody Goodie Cream and Sugar and coming soon, Starstream

lunch at Goody Goodie Cream and Sugar, 1246 Folsom Street, SF

lunch at Goody Goodie Cream and Sugar, 1246 Folsom Street, SF

Goody Goodie a stellar place to get your cookie fix, having in fact won top honors from SFWeekly, but what you may not know is that you’ll also find wonderful sandwiches there at lunch time. The type of sandwich varies from day to day, depending on what is fresh and local, and available at the nearby farmer’s markets. Owner Remi is a foodie of the first order, so you’ll find wonderful combinations of fresh fruit, meats, and artisanal cheeses all layered in her homemade rolls. Pictured here, my sandwich is made with elephant plums, piave cheese (a hard, nutty cheese) and prociutto! And it was so good, I’d never heard of piave cheese in fact, but the strong bite of it paired very well with the sweetness of the plums and saltiness of the prosciutto. Combining flavor profiles in this way (and probably with an artisanal cheese) is Remi’s signature style, so you can expect something unique and surprising on your visit, too.

Remi knows her wine, so I’m certain she’ll be more than happy to suggest a pairing for your sandwich if you ask!

Currently, Goody Goodie operates out of a salon at 1247 Folsom Street (between 8th and 9th) so service is to-go, not dine-in.

But just wait, because dine-in possibilities are on the horizon. Remi is nearing completion (early October) on a new cafe @ 1830 Harrison Street (between 14th and 15th, near the Best Buy) to be called, Starstream. Watch this space for details!

Goody Goodie cream & sugar

1246 Folsom St
(between 9th St & 8th St)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: SOMA

Hours: Wed-Sat 10 am – 2 pm
UPDATE: from the Tablehopper,
“According to a post on SFoodie, a new café called ~STARSTREAM~ from John Quintos (Cento, Special Xtra, and Vega) and Remi Hayashi (owner of Goody Goodie) is soft opening this Thursday October 21st . You’ll be able to pick up breakfast, lunch, and Blue Bottle coffee, and eventually some additional treats beyond the lineup you’ll find at Hayashi’s Folsom Street window. According to the post, “She plans to bake breakfast pastries, breads, and sandwich rolls, as well as more elaborate cakes and tarts. The space came with a pizza oven, so Hayashi will also be doing individual Roman-style pizzas at lunch, which she first began baking at Splendido … The partners are working on [a] beer and wine license, and eventually hope to do dessert pairings not just with wine but with tea and coffee as well.” There will be 4-6 kinds of pizza and Italian-inspired sandwiches on housemade bread. You’ll find 30 seats, including a farm table that seats 18. For now, coffee and pastries will be served Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, and look for weekend brunch to launch later on. 1830 Harrison St. at 14th St., 415-864-6390.”

best bakeries in the bay area, bakesale betty

baked goods at Bakesale Betty

baked goods at Bakesale Betty

“Without a doubt the best find in years.”

That still holds true. I’ve been going through some of my reviews on Yelp.com and found my Bakesale Betty review, penned 4/2/2007. At that time, I’d been hearing early reports on Yelp.com about this phenomenon in North Oakland, and decided to plan my first foodie roadtrip to check her out- destination eating. Now, three and half years later, the lines are still present every time I’ve gone, the food is just as good, and Betty has opened a second location. It’s not an exaggeration to say the excitement of hearing about and discovering Bakesale Betty through Yelp.com inspired me to become more involved in the local foodie community and since then, I’ve used Yelp to plan other foodie roadtrips, too. Of course, any trip to the East Bay incorporates a stop at Bakesale Betty, now a true mainstay.

What I loved from day one was the visible presence of owner Alison Barakat and her husband, both of whom on that first visit worked the line and despite the crowd, gave us and everyone else their full attention, even following up with us after we’d ordered and taken a seat outside. Conscious of the fact that people were waiting, they’ve always been generous with samples for the line, often cookies warm from the oven. And the food is superb. Really, with the volume that Bakesale Betty produces on any given day, nothing appears to fall through the cracks. Betty employees always seem cheery and the food never fails, whether you’re there for lunch, or coffee & a dessert.

Bakesale Betty

5098 Telegraph Ave
(between 49th St & 51st St)
Oakland, CA 94609
Neighborhoods: Rockridge, Temescal, North Oakland

(510) 985-1213

Hours: Tue-Sat 7 am – 2:30 pm
apple pie at bakesale betty

apple pie at bakesale betty

What I’ve had:

the best scones. Large, somehow not moist but not dry either. All the scones have the candied ginger component, and maybe that ‘s part of the trick. They’re coated with a gorgeous layer of sugar which makes them crystaline. And, they’re huge; I always get one (if not three more) for the freezer.

scones and cookies at Bakesale Betty, Oakland

scones and cookies at Bakesale Betty, Oakland

Cookies. Often offered as samples, and often warm. Large thin(ish) disks. Chocolate chip are more crispy than chewy, but with some moistness at the center and plenty of chips.

Strawberry Shortcake. It has never been my favorite dessert, until I tried it at Bakesale Betty. In fact, it was slipped in our bag free since we’d had  particularly long wait. I think I liked the shortcake as much as the big, fresh strawberries. It all came together as more than the sum of its parts.

Chicken Pot Pie. Food PORN. It’s incredibly thick, filled with huge pieces of pulled chicken and a savory binding cream full of vegetables that will satisfy you on every level both physical and spiritual. This is comfort. You can take it home and pop it in the freezer and bake it whenever you want.

Fried Chicken Sandwich. Twice dipped in buttermilk and lots of black pepper, this is one huge piece of white smothered in a light, bright vinaigrette slaw. Green peppers balance that fat pretty well- this is an exciting sandwich, served on a fresh-baked roll.

fried chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty

fried chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty

Beef Brisket Sandwich. Just as good as the chicken, this time the players are beef brisket slow-cooked and melt in your mouth tender, dressed with horseradish, caramelized onion and … potato chips. Yes, potato chips. This is now my favorite one.

beef brisket sandwich at Bakesale Betty

beef brisket sandwich at Bakesale Betty

Egg Salad Sandwich. Big pieces of hardboiled egg held together with olive oil rather than lots of mayo. It’s really good but with the other items on the menu. . .best scenario go with a friend and get one of each, and share.

Here’s that first review:

“Without a doubt the best find in years.Buddies and I made the trip to BB’s from SF having read such great reviews here.  It was soo worth it, and I encourage anyone reading to make the pilgrimage.  Hit around 1.30 on a sunny Saturday afternoon, a short line, but cheery.  We, three of us, ordered the fried chicken sandwich to see what the buzz was bout and chowed down in a sunny spot outside.  FOOD PORN.  And it got better: we ‘d eyed all the baked goods ordering and definitely planned on getting sweets to go. . and out of nowhere Betty‘s husband comes out to chat.  Friendly.  Brings us four cookies to sample.  YUM. Betty also came out to chat with us.  Friendly.   Clearly they LOVE what they do and it shows in the food experience. We went back in for the banana bread and can say it’s top notch.  So if you just want a casual, fun, and above all delicious moment in your day, a trip to Bakesale Betty‘s is it.

KUDOS, we loved it!!”