Food & Drink

Chaste and chaser

Philosophy, theology, ethics, cereal
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
CHEAP EATS A picture begins to develop: dating, for the chicken farmer, is turning out to be a sort of exercise in quantum romantics. Things are happening and not happening at the same time.
I'll start out being totally, over-boilingly in love with a complete stranger, and this gets gradually perfected to a sweet, simmering, and in a couple cases, cuddly friendship — miraculously without me ever getting my tits licked, which is all I really want, really. Read more »

The clarifications

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paulr@sfbg.com
Doctrines of infallibility are for popes and neocons, and need I say more? The rest of us lowly humans must make do with the doctrine of fallibility, a splendid coat of many colors. If you screw up in the kitchen, you add some mustard or vinegar — pancake makeup for defaced or deformed dishes — and hope for the best. Or phone out for emergency pizza. If you screw up in print ... well, there it is, as the tin-eared Emperor Joseph was wont to say in Amadeus. Errata have a way of accumuutf8g, like spatters on a chef's apron, until finally a laundering is in order. Read more »

Life after Julie, continued

Julie's Supper Club and Lounge II
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paulr@sfbg.com
Reincarnation is a sketchy proposition, even if you're a restaurant. True, you won't come back as a rabbit or a mosquito — a couple of the less juicy possibilities human beings have to worry about in anticipating their next go-round in life — but you will certainly be stuck with a past that, even if punctuated with interludes of glory, has to have culminated in some sort of gloomy closure for you to be available for reincarnation at all. The truth is that the names of successful restaurants don't recycle easily. Read more »

In the genes

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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
CHEAP EATS Hold on a second. Let me call and ask her ...
OK, it's OK to tell you now: Crawdad de la Cooter is pregnant! I had to keep it a secret for a long time because that's what pregnant people do to you — they tell everyone, and they tell everyone not to tell anyone. So we all go around bursting at the seams and looking at each other, wondering who knows what. But now I can write restaurant reviews and songs about it and everything. Crawdad's going to be a mama! Her new guy, Crawguy de la Peter, is going to be a daddy! Read more »

Fish in the balance

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paulr@sfbg.com
When I write about seafood these days, I cringe a little, wondering whether, by describing the eating of fish, I am in effect abetting the collapse of the world's maritime ecosystem. That I would be doing so in a rather tiny way makes no moral difference; nor does the fact that I personally will not buy or eat any seafood other than what I know to have been taken from sustainably managed (and usually local) populations — and this is a very brief list.
Historians of the future may well regard the 21st century as the interval in which the fate of this planet was decided. Read more »

Nights of the round table

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paulr@sfbg.com
If, like me, you associate the letters K and L with wine — as in K and L Wines — you might have to do some expectation adjustment when you step through the doors of KL Restaurant, a Hong Kong–style seafood house in the westernmost Richmond. Despite the heavily maritime menu, the only alcoholic drink on offer is beer, and the only beer is Heineken. No Tsingtao? Not even Sapporo or Tiger? Unheard of. Not that there's anything wrong with Heineken.
The restaurant's winelessness did not come as a complete surprise. Read more »

Explosives

Cafe Gratitude
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
What am I grateful for?
Bacon. Fried chicken. Butter. Barbecued chicken. Butter. Bacon fat. Eggs ... None of which you will find by the way at my new favorite restaurant, Café Gratitude. I went to the one in Berkeley with my old blackberry pickin' pal and new favorite massage therapist NFC, and even though I couldn't find no chicken-fried steak on the menu, I have to admit to having had one of the Times of my Life.
Has the chicken farmer lost her mind?
No! My old pal NFC has, because I would have taken her to Chez Panisse or even House of Chicken and Waffles ... Read more »

Don't block the box

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paulr@sfbg.com
In the Thousand Years' War between beer and wine, beer has long enjoyed an advantage on the party battlefield, mostly because of the keg, the bunker buster of party drink delivery. Oh yes, kegs do run dry, they must, but has anyone actually seen it happen?
Wine, on the other hand, comes in bottles, and while some of these bottles are, in theory, party sized — the jeroboams and nebuchadnezzars that hold massive amounts of champagne spring to mind — they are unwieldy, lacking the keg's convenient tap. Could wine's secret weapon in the struggle for party preeminence be the box? Read more »

Sea rations

Alamo Square Seafood Grill
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paulr@sfbg.com
One of the stronger arguments for vegetarianism is variety: there are far more kinds of vegetables and ways of preparing vegetables than there are meats and ways of preparing meat, even if you eat mutton. (And know where to get it.) Fish and seafood too are more various than meats — or at least they have been. Read more »

Quantum breakdown

Tao Yin and Amarin
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
CHEAP EATS Christ, I love quantum theory, how something can be something, and at the same time something else, and so on, right?
Nobody rides in my pickup truck with me except Earl Butter, because nobody else can handle the mess. When it got to the point where even he was starting to grumble, I decided to say that I had cleaned my truck, without actually doing a thing, same way he says he has hair on his head so now he does.
I cleaned my truck! It's spotless! It's clean! Smells nice too ... Read more »