Most folks like me keep a list of some sort of places they want to try. From hole in the wall to fancy shmancy places that may require a small loan to dine at. My list is pretty long and just as I take something off 2 more come on to take its place--kind of like the mythical hydra and I trying to be like an eating Hercules getting through them all. It's a Sisyphean task to say the least but I soldier on because I like food and if it's good then all the better. One such place that's been near the top of my list for awhile is Frances. I'd heard nothing but raves about since it opened thus it is a difficult place to get reservations at unless you can go right when they open at 5pm (during the week no less!) but you know folks have jobs and stuff and it's difficult sometimes to make that work. Though me and SO finally got schedules to mesh and made our way their one weekday at 5 night--miracles happen.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
A peanut butter and jam cookie from Frog Hollow Farms at the Ferry Building. This was a delightful surprise--very nutty and filled with homemade apricot jam--tasty, slightly crisp and sweet--I could have eaten more than one. Can't wait to see if they try a different jam flavor because I will try them all.
- Schroeder's re-invention gets another so-so review this time Le Bauer himself.
- Summer's not over yet so still time to hit up some of the Bay Area's best bbq places.
- Get your cioppino on at these San Francisco favorites because seafood is good for you.
- That guy from Benu decided to open a more "affordable" restaurant in Hayes Valley.
- These are Thrillists favorite SF donut shops--though still not totally sold on Bob's.
- Anonymous doesn't like group b-day dinners. Umm...then why are you going?
- Another SF stalwart institution is calling it quits after 60 years.
- In case you haven't been to the new expanded Outerlands (it's so far!) here's a look.
- Because Southern fare didn't fly at SFJazz now it's Mexican--let's party.
- Since banh mi's are taking over here's your new cookbook to help it along.
- 18th and Mission getting brewery. What will this do to the hood and the NIMBY's?
- 7x7's six ways to taste summer....while it is still summer.
- SF Weekly's guide to the socially inept cafe just right for you!!
- Because Southern fare didn't fly at SFJazz now it's Mexican--let's party.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Pizza from a truck, it used to be a novelty when Del Popolo hit the streets with a wood-fired oven that was mobile and served up hot pizzas to the masses. Since then several other trucks have come on the scene so it's not such a rare occurrence to come across one at Off The Grid or in this case at SOMA StrEatFood Park. This time around it's Firetrail Pizza truck, which isn't so much a truck as a trailer with a semi-permanent spot here.
Monday, July 14, 2014
In this town you can pretty much turn any corner and come across a restaurant you've never heard of. Sometimes they are new, sometimes they've been there for awhile and it's flown under every one's (meaning mine) radar. When this happens I feel out of the loop and think how did I miss this? I was out running some errands one day and while I was heading back home I took a different root (really I was trying to stay in the shade) and came down 5th and made a left on Folsom and walked half a block when I strolled past this little place that had a patio out front. I stopped and took a gander at it and the menu hanging out front. It was called Jamber Wine Pub and I tried to think if I'd read about it somewhere and forgotten or just totally missed the run up to it's opening. I'm going to go with a little of both, lest you think I don't have my pulse on the food scene of San Francisco and I loose any credibility I've built up. Or whatever. I marked this place down on my "to try" list and one late lunch day while I was still gainfully unemployed I made my way over there to see what was the what.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Yes, I was back at Sweet Inspirations and had the poppy seed cake with cream cheese icing. If this doesn't satisfy your sweet tooth nothing will and at $6.50 for a slice bigger than anything else you'll get in town it's a real good deal. Oh, and did I say it was sinfully, creamy, yummy? If not, well it is and if you yearning for dessert or have a sweet tooth this place will definitely satisfy you.
- FoodGal shows you how to make Humphry Slocumbe's "damn strawberry ice cream."
- Who makes a better banh mi? SFWeekly has a sandwich throw down.
- Who has the better brew and food? It's 7x7's beer hall throw down.
- Manresa vows to rebuild itself--better, faster, stronger--wait, sorry I mean the fancy restaurant.
- Tasting Table rounds up the usual San Francisco cheap eats suspects.
- 7x7's top ten hangover breakfasts in town. Unless it includes saltines and ginger ale I'm out.
- Alamo Drafthouse is finally making its way to San Francisco--take that Kabuki!
- 8 fried chicken sandwiches worth searching out in the city.
- Leave it to Thrillist to combine MUNI and bars into the ultimate citywide drink map.
- It's time to have tea with strangers! For those who aren't into the coffee thing.
- Some folks got a look at the (expensive) food to be dished out (sold) at new 49er's stadium.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
In the great pantheon of sandwiches I'd heard of banh mi's but never really tried one. Then I was in Vietnam and, well, they are everywhere and for about a $1 you get a smallish sandwich with a strip of meat, supposedly pork, with some carrots, some onion, a little cilantro, a pepper or two and a smear of what looks like mayo on a bun with the size and look of hot dog buns. A little street food to just grab and go. Interesting, but mostly, unimpressed. Back here, especially in the last few years, the banh mi has really taken off with any number of placing serving up what I'd like to call a suped big American size version of it. I've had a few since my return and for the most part, I kind of like what's being done. One place in town that's been slinging these banh's for long before it became a fad is a tiny (I mean really tiny) little place called Saigon Sandwich in that lovely part of town called the Tenderloin.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
At La Farine Boulangerie Patisserie in Berkeley I'd say it's more about the bread (see below) than the sweets. The red velvet wasn't chocolate with red food coloring (like it should be), just regular yellow cake mix colored, plus it was a little dry. The puff wasn't custard but a very light fluffy cream. It was just okay, the shell was a little hard to cut too. Eh...probably should have gotten the cheesecake.
- And then just as I try La Farine a landlord dispute leads to their sudden closure.
- A special burger for each day of the week in San Francisco. Get your meat on!
- Dining out on your Paleo Diet got you down? This place has come to your rescue.
- New Street Taco place in the Haight. Though not exactly street prices.
- A guide to the best Bay Area sandwiches, if, you know, you want to drop more than $8.
- BUGS! BUGS! BUGS! It's what's for dinner!
- Michael Mina's high end sushi (?) place has opened in the Financial District.
- COOKIES AND ICE CREAM!! COOKIES AND ICE CREAM!!
- New restaurants to check out this month. Chubby Noodle anyone?
- SFist likes these 9 hot dogs in San Francisco because...summer and drunkenness.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
"There is no there there," is a famous quote by Gertrude Stein about her childhood home in Oakland and as you can rightly guess, it is not a compliment. While I don't consider the East Bay a wasteland like she did, I don't get over there much, but not for the reason you think. Mostly I start to think, oh I should pop over there and then I see myself getting on MUNI to BART and the whole idea just exhausts me. So yes, I'm a bit lazy and joining the huddle masses on public transportation is not the most fun thing in this town--I ride it enough to know. But I had been promising my friends and former co-workers CW and CR I'd come over someday and we could all nosh and catch up. Thus it was that I rallied my internal fortitude and made plans to journey across the bay and dine. Only knowing peripheral places over there I left it up to them to pick a spot and didn't put any parameters on what kind of food. After de-BART-ing at Rockridge and jumping in CW's cute tiny car we headed over to try a hotspot and favorite of her's Noodle Theory.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
El Porteno is mainly known for empanadas (which you should definitely try--especially the mushroom) but at the Ferry Building they also sell shortbread cookies filled with dulce de leche and covered in white or dark chocolate. They are crumbly goodness that will give you a real sugar rush for only $2.50--a bargain that you can pair with a cup of coffee from Blue Bottle a few stalls away.
- San Francisco Magazines Best of the Bay Area is out and here's the food list.
- And yet another list, this time best Bay Area breads.
- Local chefs go global in their search for new food to serve us local eaters.
- Because everyone wants to know how M. Bauer keeps his girlish figure, here you go.
- Here's where you can get a burger in the East Bay when you absolutely have to go there.
- Another stalwart comes to an end as Coco5000 sells it's building to Marlowe.
- Tablehoppers chatterbox is LOADED with tidbits this week--seems she had quite the weekend.
- 17 (sort of newish) restaurant openings to be on the lookout for.
- Shaved ice! Snow cones! Italian ice! Because it's summer in San Francisco!!
- Giants create and edible park at AT&T Park. That's soooo San Francisco.
- San Franciscos biggest food festival kicks off in July at Fort Mason..if you can afford it.
- In such a food heavy city the SF Chronicle does away with it's food section.
Friday, June 27, 2014
I (vaguely) remember when I moved here 16 years ago this month and marveled at this city by the sea. It was also at this time that I became enthralled, and a bit overwhelmed by all the restaurants that seemed to be everywhere. Little neighborhood spots that you heard about from friends, in the paper weeklies that filled newsstands or just stumbling across something while wandering around the different hoods. Internet was around but it wasn't exactly easily accessible to track down hot new things like cool new places to eat. Into this world was when Q Restaurant came into existence and me and my friend Miss O (who works in the neighborhood) found this place serving up Southernish dishes, like ribs and tater tots and drew us into it's food web. Thus it was with some sadness when I heard the news they were closing down, not because business was bad, but after all these years they were just ready to move on. As June 29th would be their last day I texted up Miss O and said we really need to have a last meal there and we finally got our calendars to mesh and showed up on a Thursday at 5pm right when they opened to have one last meal for old times sakes.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
"Adam and Eve on a raft! Wreck 'em!" I first heard this phrase on an episode of "I Love Lucy" where the gang of four bought a diner to run together and then of course things fell apart and hilarity ensued. The term is diner lingo for 2 scrambled eggs with toast and it came to mind when I was thinking of places for solo eaters to dine. And of course, what better way to get a decent meal at a decent price when by yourself than at a diner--a place as ubiquitous to American eating as pie.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
A side of veggies and one meat (pulled pork) for $8 from Golden Gate Meat Company at the Ferry Plaza is one of the better deals to be had there. You get a lot of each and if for $2 more you can get an additional side dish. The pork was actually pretty good by the way but they have other meats to choose from like brisket, sausage (on a stick), meatloaf and beef roast.
- PieTisserie makes a comeback with a Lake Merritt location.
- Exactly how much will that beer and pizza cost with a proposed $15 minimum wage?
- SFGate has 15 Bay Areas places for late night (past 10pm) weekday dining.
- A hammock cafe is trying to get started in SF. Not sure I even know what to say.
- You know you want this grilled cheese cake for your birthday..come on admit it.
- Tasting Table now gives you their choice for best pizza in San Francisco.
- Get in on the Saison test kitchen now! Yours for only $498!! Going fast!! (most likely)
- There are four new burgers in San Francisco and Thrillist has your rundown.
- Chef Alexander Alioto explains his new Mission restaurant Plin and what to expect.
- Southern food in the Bay Area? Why yes my dear, here's a list for you sweetie.
- Zagat always gets the early tastes, this time it's Perdition.
- And finally 7x7's bits, pieces and bites of food news to finish off your week.
Monday, June 16, 2014
A few weeks ago The San Francisco Heritage Foundation completed their list of the 100 "Legacy Bars & Restaurants" in town and like most folks I decided to look over the list and see how many of the places I'd been to over the years. Turns out I'd been to a fair number over the years, though some I hadn't hit up in a while. This whole list came to mind as me and the SO had just gotten out of a movie at Van Ness and were looking for something to eat when the neon brightness of Tommy's Joynt caught my eye. I took it as a "sign" to get back in touch with one of the first places I myself had eaten at upon my arrival here 16 years ago. Thus we made our way up the block and across the street to eat.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Dim sum from Delicious Dim Sum in San Francisco. Decent, basic dim sum in Chinatown and all this for about $5. For a quick bite while walking around it works fine.
- Belcampo Meat Co., a new butcher and restaurant is now open on Russian Hill.
- Samovar Tea Lounge has a new location on Valencia for those who aren't in to local coffee.
- In case you aren't up to the above dim sum Food GPS says these are the best in town.
- Outerlands has begun dinner service. TBD is now fixed price and other Tablehopper tidbits.
- A former Top Chef contestant finally opens Aveline in town. Will she pass the quick fire?
- Places for soccer and food in the East Bay, if you are into that kind of thing.
- Thrillist has a new favorite burger in town, you just have to go to Market & 6th St. to get it.
- SFWeekly puts out a comics issue with stuff about, you know, food.
- Inside the minds of chefs a chat with Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga about food and prices.
- IT'S SOFT SHELL CRAB SEASON!! If that excites you here's where you can get 'em.
- So does this mean we can start bidding what we'd actually pay to eat at restaurants now?
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
It's a mostly sunny, breezy Saturday and what better time to hit up SOMA StrEat Food Park to grab some grub while running errands. The SO and get lucky with the parking and make the circle stroll to see what our choices are. Normally we end up getting different things but there are only a handful of truck today and by some miraculousness we both decide to try the same vendor and hit up Oui Chef.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Fried chicken waffle sandwich with olive oil vinaigrette cole slaw and gochujang sauce from Bok Ssam food stall at Off The Grid Fort Mason. Both spicy and sweet with tasty crispy chicken it's a big messy sandwich. I wish the waffle part was a little thicker but otherwise pretty good.
- Here's a list of all the places newly opened or renovated last month. Have you been yet?
- Q Restaurant closing up shop after 16 years in business..this funky spot will be missed.
- When you want something different every night from the same place try Pop Up Cafe!!
- First a new building now a Ferry Building kiosk--Dandelion Chocolate not so small batch.
- Summer. Strawberries. Desserts. Zagat. That's all you need to know.
- Chef Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie reveals her favorite San Francisco treats.
- Tante Marie's long standing cooking school is closing, but classes here till September.
- And not to be outdone, Fleur de Lys is to close also after more than 40 years.
- Mission Bay gets a food emporium (like that Eataly thing) here's hoping it lasts.
- Airbnb says group dinners are the new thing. Do they this has been going awhile here?
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
After a brief break for brunch I'm back on the meat wagon again as the explosion of roast/smoke/barbecue houses continues in San Francisco. This time I'm turning my attention to 4505 Burgers & BBQ, the new brick and mortar location on Divisadero of the popular burger/meat vendor from the Ferry Plaza's Farmers Market.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
The bacon and pea quiche with side salad from La Boulange Bakery in North Beach. A decent filling lunch for only $6.75. That's good for San Francisco.
- Dandelion Chocolate blooms even bigger BUYS building space for new factory.
- Even healthy San Franciscans made this carb heavy burrito sell out in no time.
- 8 new openings in the area Thrillist says are worth trying out.
- Oh, yeah...another new coffee place opens (yawn) this time in Embarcadero Center.
- And yet another new coffee place opening though this was adds tea into the mix.
- Red Dog finally opens in SOMA. Though menu prices seem more fit for Pac Heights.
- The Tacolicioius folks are now slinging noodles at a place called Chino...in the Mission?
- Le Marais Bakery works on expanding their tiny Marina space into full on bistro.
- The Bay Area's best Caribbean spots...according to Zagat.
- Here's your full line up of food vendors for Outerlands because they are what really matter.
- 6 new restaurants with outdoor seating because that's what we need this time of year.
Friday, May 30, 2014
San Francisco has any number of neighborhoods like the Mission or SOMA or Castro and what not. But there are parts of town that are on the fringes of hoods and seemingly cross over from one to the other such as TenderNob--the space between the Tenderloin and Nob Hill. These combo name hoods are really more for locals but sometimes these areas in between are more ambiguous like say the area around Franklin Park to the West of Portrero Avenue and East of South Van Ness. It's not really the Mission and not really Potrero Hill--more like MissTrero? Though it doesn't have a combo name. What does this have to do with anything? Well, nothing really but me and the SO decided to grab brunch one early-ish Sunday morning and I suggested we head out to this spot of town thinking we could slip into Universal Cafe (a place I hadn't been in ages) but alas, even 10:30 am was too late as a waiting crowd had already amassed outside. Thus we set our sights on another place a few blocks away and voila we were able to get into Slow Club before their rush eventually packed the place (which it did).
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Wait!! Don't stop reading yet! I know you are probably already rolling your eyes and thinking--food court? Really?! And I say stick with me here, I'm serious. One caveat to always remember when dining out in San Francisco is that food places are not the same as they are in other cities. We are a foodie town and I tell you know this extends to the few food courts you will find here. We aren't talking about your Panda Express or Sbarro Pizza joints with their steaming trays of gelatinous stuff or lumps of cheese that have been resting under heat lamps for several hours. The places we get here are an upgrade over your standard mall food.