Feast

FEAST: 10 contemporary kitchen essentials

All you need to shift your cooking from serviceable to superb

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By now, you (hopefully) know the basic building blocks of good eating: fresh, in-season vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and — for the carnivorous set — lean, unprocessed meat and fish. Awesome. But unless you're an adherent of the new Paleo diet fad, which mimics the eating habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, it's going to take a bit more to transform this no-frills foundation into something you'd want to sit down to. Here are a few kitchen essentials that can quickly shift your cooking from serviceable to superb. (Emily Appelbaum)

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FEAST: 6 best breakfast bets

Up before noon? The Guardian counsels eating

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SF: a brunch town if ever there was one. The life of the alternative journalist is such that we're rarely awake at sunrise, wondering from where the hell our next hangtown fry will materialize. But there are times when it behooves one to dine at 8 a.m. on a weekday (occasions that usually correspond to the appearance of a mother or father). Set that alarm, sweetie: here's where you'll find Guardian staff dragging to before a big day.

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FEAST: Distilled genius

From carrot liqueur to the best in absinthe, a tour of the city's new tipples

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It's a thrilling time in Bay Area spirits. The same players who've made us proud in years past continue to reinvent themselves, while newcomers add flavor — literally — to the scene. In visits to four local distilleries, I came away inspired by their inventiveness and skill. And while none of the spirits I tasted use extracts or flavorings (like many of their big-brand counterparts), they do manage to fit in countless pounds of local, unexpected fruits, even natural herbs.Read more »

FEAST: 6 hot C-cups

Hot action! A mug of these hot chocolates will set you down the right sleigh path

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A funny thing happened on the way to adulthood: hot chocolate became interesting. Remembered by most Americans as the insipid, lukewarm, desiccated powder-based drink of ice rinks (often dispensed from a machine that simultaneously squirts water and dark matter into your cup), 21st century big-kid hot chocolate has heat, depth, spice, richness, variety. It is, in short, both hot and chocolate. And let's not forget innovations in topping technology. Read more »

FEAST: 5 far-out sammies

Find the creme of the crusts at these neighborhood delis

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We SFers have such an abundance of cafés and restaurants to choose from that it's easy to get panicky — Where am I? I haven't seen a restaurant in feet! I'm hungry! What will I eeeaat? — when we stray a few blocks outside a foodie greenbelt. At times like these, don't close your eyes, click your ruby slippers together, and repeat, "There's no place like the Valencia corridor ... " Because if you do, you'll miss some of the best unsung and out-of-the-way sandwich places the city has to offer. Read more »

FEAST: 5 sardinerias

The salty swimmers finally get their due in SF's eateries

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When it comes to sardines, you have to think outside the earthquake shelter. On the flavor-o-meter, the tinned food of last resort (served on tarps with Saltines and stale water) bears no resemblance to its wild, fresh self. Even a humble sardine doesn't deserve to be jammed in like a sardine, oil slicked, and left to age in the farthest reaches of the cupboard.Read more »

FEAST: The new, new nanobrew

Beer in a basement? Trust us, you're gonna be hip to these hops

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caitlin@sfbg.com

The newest trend filling steins doesn't mark a huge change from the norm — in fact, it's pretty nano. Nanobreweries, to be exact: a model of DIY suds start-ups that's allowing beer entrepreneurs to build their empires just the way they like them. Enterprising beer nerds, you've hereby discovered the brewpub version of underground farmers markets.Read more »

FEAST: 7 burrito-free late nights

Unique spreads for the nocturnal set

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We're spoiled rotten living in the city where if you fling an ankle boot, it's bound to hit a taqueria open past last call. Its like a burrito vortex — go out in San Francisco and at some point you will get wrapped up in flour tortilla and snuggle in with your old buddies, carnitas and shredded cheese. But gooey and warm as it is in there, you must resist the pull to turn into a burrito. I know, I know, we're gonna hold your hand through this one. Read more »

FEAST: 10 kick-ass brunches

The Guardian staff's favorite hangover remedies

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We here at the Guardian don't survive on green buds and printer ink alone. We eat real food. Sometimes! But we do get up late and hungover. While we often forgo fancy brunch — unless we save our pennies for the amazing eggs-meet-legs "Sunday's a Drag" buffet at Harry Denton's (www.harrydenton.com) or dim sum nirvana at Yank Sing (www.yanksing.com) or Ton Kiang (www.tonkiang.net) — we'll sure as shootin' shell out for thrifty chilaquiles and bloody marys, especially the way the Bay makes 'em. Here are some of our dearest bleary-eyed, late-morning tummy fillers. Read more »

FEAST: Free crystal glass!

Culinary adventures in Asian dessert cafes

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