Food & Drink

Without Reservations

Backstreet girl
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paulr@sfbg.com
Like all books, cookbooks must pull their weight. This means, for me, offering at least two and possibly three — or more — recipes I can work into my rotating repertoire. Pretty photographs are nice, as is exoticism or a local angle, but it is one of life's eternal verities that shelf space is limited, and a cookbook that hopes to find a home in the puritan kitchen must be useful. (I have noticed over the years, in my reconnoiterings and snoopings in other kitchens, that spattering tells the tale. Read more »

Watch on the Rhine

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paulr@sfbg.com
If San Francisco were Europe, Divisadero Street would be the Rhine: the heavily traveled commercial artery that crosses a jigsaw puzzle of (sometimes) quarrelsome fiefs, duchies, and principalities on its way north or south. In this paradigm I make the stretch of Divis from California to Geary, more or less, to be our Alsace-Lorraine, the six-of-one, half-dozen-of-the-other province long the subject of a tug-of-war between greater powers. Read more »

Gourmet GPS

FEAST 2006! Our annual guide to the best food and drink in the Bay
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marke@sfbg.com
The first thing they should hand you when you land in the Bay Area is a fork. (Well, that and maybe a condom.) The Bay is brimming with deliciousness, and one of the best things about living in such a genteel environment is the copious amount of wanton gourmandizing to be had. International specialty stores, world-famous organic eateries, precious little bistros, tasty pastries, cuisines you've never heard of ... Read more »

Listen in

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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
CHEAP EATS It's hard to talk to yourself. You don't have anything to say, and you're afraid you might be boring. But the trans man in the bar said if I wanted my voice to change, I was going to have to practice into a tape recorder. Read more »

Melons and melancholia

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paulr@sfbg.com
There are those who spend the year passionately awaiting Christmas, and then there are those who spend the year passionately awaiting the arrival of charentais melons.
Although I like Christmas, I belong, in my heart, to the latter group, and I must recuse myself on the question of which is the more bathetic passion. Read more »

Camp Hip

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paulr@sfbg.com
Everybody seems to love Thai food, but the oohing and aahing is generally confined to the cooking. You don't hear much about the stunning designs of Thai restaurants. In one sense, this is just fine; good food is its own reward, and overclever interior decoration can lead to sensory overload. Read more »

Larry Bain's top five ways to put your money where your mouth is

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BUY FOOD WITH A FACE
Know the person behind your potato, the woman behind your wasabi. Know who grew what. That's better than all the certification in the world. Read more »

Eat your politics

Local culinary sage Larry Bain's Nextcourse bridges the food divide and brings good eats to the masses
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culture@sfbg.com
A lot has happened since Californians first rebelled against the canned food and Jell-O molds of the postwar industrialization era. The American food politics revolution is very much alive and well and thriving in the Bay Area, where the movement started. And California is still the food basket of the United States — it's been the top grower in the country for more than half a century. Read more »

Late-night luau

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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
CHEAP EATS I mean, they were already practically married, but my friends Little Him and Little Her officially said they did in the Presidio last weekend, and there was a decidedly islandish theme to the event.
Hawaii, I mean — so technically I should have been playing the uke instead of steel pan. But I'm not a very technical person.
And this isn't the society pages.
It's the food section. You want to know about my week in Idaho, right, being a semiprofessional cook for the first and probably last time ever? Among other whimsical dishes, I invented angeled eggs. Read more »

The viognier quandary

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paulr@sfbg.com
The evening's menu was to include shrimp, marinated in paprika and lemon and grilled on skewers, and the issue was wine, as in: which one?
"I will bring a viognier," said the imminent guest decisively, as if settling on the prescription to be given for some mysterious ailment.
"Great," I said, "that should be fine." Viognier! It would have my vote as the world's most disappointing white varietal. Read more »