Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brandy Ho Ho Ho

I thought Brandy Ho's Hunan Food had gone out of business, because I don't hear much about the 28-year-old restaurant anymore, and I don't find myself driving on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco much since we moved almost an hour north. Seems it's still in business, however.
I've never eaten there, but I always adored the logo, with the perky red chile pepper, skinny and bright and wearing a green cap.
Whoa-Ho! I visited Brandy Ho's website today, and they've had a graphic modernization. I think that skinny chile pepper is still there, all stylized, standing in for the apostrophe. But the cuteness is gone.
Too bad. I've been calling my Cayenne peppers Brandy Ho as I harvest them this year, but only because they resemble that old cute cartoon with the green cap.
Now, what shall I call them? Hello Cayennie?
They're not very hot peppers, alas. They dry out well, and I'm planning on grinding them in the spice grinder.
This freaks out my mother. Like the mother in A Christmas Story, she says, "You'll shoot your eye out!"


Kailyn said...

I knew that Brandy Ho was still in existence but did not know about the logo change. I too have never eaten there -- mostly due to the mixed reviews from friends.

And what is it with mothers? They think that everything will shoot your eye out. If it were up to them, we'd have no fun. So I say grind away.

(Oooo. And I love it when word verification gives me a real word. Today's word is "satin.")

namastenancy said...

Most of our mothers grew up in the ear when having fun was Not What Good Girls Did. Good Girls Who Had Fun got into trouble. I am so glad that times have changed a bit (although I'm still not in favor of girls getting into That Kind Of Trouble).
I adored Brandy Ho's - they have several restaurants in the city and if I want to get a seat for lunch, I have to get there early because the place fulls up quickly.
What to call the pepper- maybe "not such a ho ho ho pepper."
Groan. I am really really bad.

Greg said...

Those peppers are very photogenic.
Never had much luck growing peppers here.

The Spiteful Chef said...

Brandy Ho is a total stripper name. No WONDER she's forsaken an adorable logo for one that's all sleazy and pole dancer-ish.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Tell your mum that you'll wear goggles - that should set her mind at ease.

cookiecrumb said...

Kailyn: Darn, the logo change is very sophisticated, but I looked at photos of their food online and it all looks deep-fried.
Satin! What's with word veri these days?

Nancy: But if you say it's a good restaurant, I believe you.

Greg: The red of a ho's fingernails, eh wot?
Try growing your peppers in pots. They get hotter the more sun they can have. (You can move the pots around, chasing the sun.)

Spiteful: Oh, that's what I always thought, too. Very lap dance. But yesterday when I checked out their website, I learned that Brandy Ho's is owned by a man named Brandy Ho.
Slap my butt and call me staggered.

Morgan: I might! Have you seen those no-tears onion goggles? (Hmm... stocking stuffer...)

sfmike said...

Their food was never as good as their graphics (or name), but the food wasn't bad though of course you're right, it's old fashioned and mostly deep fried.

For a better choice with the same kind of food, go to the Hunan Restaurant, particularly in its Financial District location on Sacramento Street (between Montgomery and Kearny) which still puts out the best fresh, spicy, inexpensive Chinese food in the city.

cookiecrumb said...

SFMike: Hi, friend.
Oh, you mean Henry's Hunan! Tha best. We have eaten a lot at the Sansome location, so thanks for the tip on Sacramento St. (That's not the tiny, original spot, is it? I don't think so.)
And they have a cartoonish chili pepper logo, with a green hat and... a face!

sfmike said...

Dear cookiecrumb: The original location of the Hunan at Kearny and Jackson was destroyed in the 1989 quake, so the Sacramento Street location is where they moved and it's run by Linda, the daughter of the founders who is a wonderful person. The best part about the place as opposed to the Sansome location is that the space is small and the grandmothers working the woks are right at the counter.

pea said...

well. regardless of what the sign looks like, *those* peppers in the pix are adorable.

namastenancy said...

What Mike said - it's Henry's Hunan. I usually go to the one on Natoma because it's right around the corner from Utrecht Art Supplies where I do my best to keep the art supply industry alive by copious infusions of retiree money. The one on Natoma is always busy but I like the cheerful crowds and pleasant wait people. Plus, who can be grouchy after a huge platter of Human smoked pork and a beer? Best rainy/gray day pick up ever.

EB said...

Brandy Ho's took up residence in the Castro, in place of a slightly run down Thai joint. Now the place is super slick... and adorned with the new Ho logo.

Passionate Eater said...

Ugh, I have a nightmarish story affiliated with Brandy Ho's. My first date in SF! And the worst part was, he "pretended" to pay with a business card he had in his pocket, and when we left, we were chased down the street by the waiter!

limoncello said...

I have to (lightheartedly) disagree with sfmike about the best thing about the Sacramento Street Henry's (vs Sansome). Much as I like to watch the dumpling-folding and Diana's-pie-assembly, the very best thing, IMO, is that the Sacramento Street location offers mapo tofu as a rice plate!! Sit at the counter and watch the woks, with a humongo plate of spicy tofu in meat sauce, and life is good! Mmm, almost went today just for that, but wanted to get out to the Castro for a "Milk" matinee. Ah, the decisions imposed by unemployment :(
Henry's just opened another location, in Noe Valley.

cookiecrumb said...

Mike: That sounds so inviting. I must add here that I did frequent the original Hunan on K&J a few times; so small and loads of fun. But, yas, my geographical memory tells me it was on a street perpendicular to Sacto.

Pea: Adorable in their Christmas togs! Just the right amount of heat for the season, too.

Nancy: I was always partial to the scallion cakes and a plate of pot stickers; whatever came after that was just candy. :)

Erin: Yes, a new place in the Castro, but the Columbus Ave. place is still going. And, I do much admire the new graphics!

PE: Horrors! What a nightmare. I bet you never went back.
You have such GOOD stories.

Limoncello: First, unemployment. I got "laid off" five years ago, and it's a happy thing indeed. (If there is enough savings and investments to live on.)
Second, I *must* have the mapo tofu. I make it at home, thanks to a recipe from Passionate Eater, who commented just before you (thanks, PE). But your intimate counter experience sounds good. See you there.
Oh, and Henry's in Noe Valley? Maybe I should move back.
(And give up my backyard farm? NO.)

kudzu said...

Something tells me you are high on prescription drugs or you would never, ever think of leaving Marinland. Bite your tongue. (Or your fingertips, as it were.)

dancingmorganmouse said...

I forgot to say, that wee O one, in the right hand corner, adorable!

namastenancy said...

I'm sure that you wouldn't ever want to leave your beautiful garden - or Marin County for that matter. But if you are ever in the hood, send me an e-mail and I'll treat you to lunch at whatever branch of Henry's Hunan you fancy. They have a new one out on Church St. and as walking back from 30th and Church to my apt. on Market is one of my favorite walks, I think that the one I'm trying next.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: "Bite my fingertips." Very funny!
I'm staying here, neighbor.

Morgan: I know, little curly tyke! :D

Nancy: OMG, I used to live on Chenery St., just about 10 houses up from 30th and Church.
You're on for a lunch date.

Paula Maack said...

Hi Cookie,

I'm sorry to post here (please forgive), but I couldn't find an email address, and I wanted to include you since I love your site so much.

I am hosting a semi-secret Santa exchange for the food blogging (and reading) community, and I would like to invite you and your readers to join in the fun.

This is a great way to get to know your fellow food bloggers and readers, since you can peruse each other’s blogs or exchange emails and find out about cultural heritages, traditions, and special recipes, and to learn about the goodies they have available in their community to share with you, as well as their likes and dislikes, and what they have been longing for that you may have right in your own backyard. Think of all the opportunities for requests of unique homemade goodies, and exotic food and kitchen items!

Why is it “semi-secret?”

Visit my blog to find out that and other details, as well as to participate in the exchange.


~ Paula
(of Ambrosia Quest)

Sweet Bird said...

I think my hand would actually burn off were I to hold those peppers. I'm such a baby.

cookiecrumb said...

Birdie: These are wuss peppers. No heat. You'd be safe.

Sophie said...

ooo... i am a tofu super fan! sigh. i want the mapo tofu soooooo badly right now. with rice.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.