Archive for the 'SF Bay Area local' Category
It’s been a long time since my last bento gear shopping update, so there’s a lot to cover! Today I cover San Francisco Japantown, with a couple of new stores on the list. Highlights are the new Kinokuniya Stationery & Gift store with a variety of bento gear, the conveniently located (but partially hidden) Daiso dollar store, and the Sanrio store with a new shipment of heatable aluminum bento boxes.
Full store info and shop addresses are at the bento gear shopping guide for the San Francisco Bay Area, and you can also find reader updates at the Bento Store Locator with Google Maps. Photos of shop inventory were taken and used with store permission (click on any of the small photos for a larger version). (Click to read the full post.)
* Daiso (NEW)
* Kinokuniya Stationery & Gifts (1st floor) (NEW)
* Kinokuniya Stationery & Gift (2nd floor)
* Daikoku by Shiki
* Ichiban Kan
* Nijiya Market
* Sanrio (NEW)
* Soko Hardware
(Warning: Photo-heavy post ahead!) Read the rest of this entry »
Published by Biggie on March 11th, 2010 tagged SF Bay Area local, equipment, shopping | 54 Comments »
The holidays are a time for giving, and in the food blog world that’s come to mean the Menu For Hope food blog annual fundraising campaign, now in its 6th year. Started by Pim of Chez Pim, Menu for Hope raises money for the United Nations World Food Programme, the world’s largest food aid agency (it raised over US$250,000 over the last three years for the program!). Specifically, this year’s donations will go to the WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P), a new initiative that helps smallholder and low-income farmers supply food to WFP’s global operations, improving farming practices and putting more cash into their pockets.
In Menu for Hope, food bloggers around the world offer a variety of food-related items for the online raffle. Every US$10 you donate earns you one “ticket” to bid on an item of your choice. At the end of the campaign, tickets are drawn and results are announced on Chez Pim on Monday, January 18, 2010.
A full list of bid items is will be posted at Chez Pim, and the Western U.S. regional prizes will be shown at Gluten-Free Girl. A mere US$10 gives you a shot at some pretty cool food-related prizes! Check them all out and see what appeals to you.
I’m happy to offer another bento kit for bidding this year, with products courtesy of Skater Company, Japan’s largest manufacturer of bento boxes, and ZESPRI, the New Zealand kiwifruit company. I’ll also give each of the winners a personal tour of San Francisco’s Japantown if you’re in town (details below).
- “Winnie the Pooh Goes Bananas” Bento Box Kit and tour of San Francisco’s Japantown, by Biggie (me).
Pack adorable lunches with unusual Winnie the Pooh food shaping tools and a banana-themed “Putifresh” bento set. The yellow bento set includes a watertight bento box, two matching bags, chopsticks, elastic bento belt and a Zespri “spife” (spoon/knife combo) for packing whole kiwifruit. The tools include a boiled egg shaper, sandwich cutter, onigiri rice ball shaper, vegetable cutter, pancake ring and silicone food cups, all shaped like Winnie the Pooh. The Pooh-themed tools are high quality, direct from the Skater Company in Japan. Make lunch as tasty as your own pot of honey! (prize code UW20)
Published by Biggie on December 14th, 2009 tagged SF Bay Area local, admin, bento, giveaway, shopping | 16 Comments »
On my last trip to Ichiban Kan and Daiso discount stores, I picked up some cheap new silicone versions of bento accessories that actually make sense in silicone. I’ve started reaching for them recently in favor of standard paper or plastic ones as they’re reusable, flexible, dishwasher-friendly, and you can heat them up.
The first are silicone food dividers (baran) that separate different foods in a bento lunch, keeping flavors from mingling and keeping textures intact. They’re washable and reusable — I’ve had good results with putting them in a utensil basket in the dishwasher to keep them from flying around. (Time to update my bento care & maintenance post…) At US$1 for a pack of three (bears or grass versions available online), they’re still reasonable. I’ve also heard of people cutting up flexible cutting mats to use as dividers.
Up to now I’ve been using edible dividers or lightweight plastic dividers (shown at right) that are meant to be disposable, but I wash and reuse them until they’re torn, worn or lost. The drawback with these is that they don’t do as well in the dishwasher, and they’re so flimsy that they do get torn and worn. They are adorable, though, so I’ll keep them in rotation to liven things up a little. (Read on for shaped silicone food cups…)
Published by Biggie on February 22nd, 2009 tagged SF Bay Area local, decorative, equipment, review, shopping | 18 Comments »
A few notes today with bento shopping updates for San Francisco locals, a new Facebook page for Lunch in a Box, a tentative logo, and links for my latest TV appearance. Because this is probably Bug’s last year of preschool, lately I’ve been spending a lot of time touring elementary schools to help us navigate San Francisco’s school lottery system. To anyone else in the same boat — I feel for you, and be sure to check out the SF K Files, a blog by a San Francisco parent who went through the same process last year. The numerous reader comments are invaluable and can help you get savvy quickly.
I also made a Facebook page for Lunch in a Box, so Facebook users can track updates there if it’s easier. On the Facebook page I put up a placemarker Lunch in a Box logo that I had a designer work on; I’m not totally sure about it yet. Thoughts?
Links are up for the appearances I made last week on Fox40 Live, the Sacramento Fox affiliate’s live morning news show. There are two 4.5-minute segments about “Creative Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner Leftovers”. In the first TV segment, I showed the Turkey Mole Enchilada recipe and ways to use leftover bread. In the second TV segment, I demonstrate the Curried Turkey Croquette recipe and show ways to repurpose leftover cranberry sauce. Verdict: Not perfect or anything, but at least I’m still breathing and didn’t use bad language. It was a lot of fun!
A few shopping updates today for San Francisco Bay Area locals. I’ll be updating the San Francisco Bay Area bento shopping guide and the store entries in the Bento Store Locator with this information for quick reference. If you have info or updates on the best places to find bento gear in your neighborhood, be sure to add it to the Bento Store Locator so that we can all benefit, wherever we are in the world!
- Super Tokio: Selection of cheap bento boxes, and reasonably priced Lock & Lock insulated bento sets (individual and picnic) (SF Richmond Dist.)
- Sanrio: Unusual bento accessories and character goods (pricey) (Westfield Mall, SF Downtown)
- Yes Variety: Many cheap bento boxes and thermal lunch jars (mostly from China), including reasonably priced Lock & Lock insulated bento sets (individual) (SF Sunset Dist.)
Published by Biggie on December 4th, 2008 tagged SF Bay Area local, shopping | 17 Comments »
It’s been a while since my last bento shopping update for San Francisco Bay Area locals, so there’s quite a bit today. I’ll be updating the San Francisco Bay Area bento shopping guide, the online bento shopping guide, and the store entries in the Bento Store Locator with this information for quick reference.
- Kawaii Corner: Selection of cute kids’ character boxes, plus online store with international shipping (SF Richmond Dist.)
- Kamei: Tiger thermal bento kits and Asvel bento boxes (SF Richmond Dist.)
- Ichiban Kan: New branch of Japanese-style discount store to open March 2009 in Tanforan Mall (San Bruno)
- Kukje: Tiger thermal bento kits, Asvel bento boxes, and Lock & Lock boxes (Daly City)
- Katachi: Touristy sword & knife store in Japantown with Hakoya boxes (SF Japantown)
- Nijiya: Some men’s Asvel boxes in stock (SF Japantown)
- Sanko: Depleted bento stock, more due in December (SF Japantown)
- Target: 5-packs of silicone baking cups for US$1 (U.S. nationwide)
(Alert: Due to ongoing issues with my hosting provider, I’m going to be changing web hosts over the next few days to reduce site downtime and speed up loading time. The transition *should* be seamless to readers, but some of the latest reader comments might appear to go temporarily missing in the transition. I’ll do my best to move any stray comments to the new server — rest assured that they’re important to me, and haven’t disappeared into the ether!) Read the rest of this entry »