Top Stories

Top Stories

Beer here!

Why choosing Bay Area craft brews is good for the earth, the economy, and your palate. Plus: Light beer's plight
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molly@sfbg.com

It all started with Stella.

I'd made my weekly (OK, sometimes twice or thrice-weekly) stop at Amnesia and ordered a pint of the Belgian lager not-so-affectionately known among beer snobs as "British Budweiser." Why Stella? It's light, easy to drink a lot of, and feels classier than PBR. So when I'm not on a $2-a-beer budget, Stella Artois is often what I order.

This time, however, the mustachioed bartender Matthew Harman didn't simply poor me a glass. It was earlier than usual. He had some time. Read more »

Fall Feast 2009

Our seasonal guide to the Bay's best food and drink
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Man (and woman) cannot live on PBR and pasta alone. I should know. I spent the whole summer trying. But now that my leftover Burning Man groceries are gone and the weather's getting colder, I can't help but crave real food again. And what better time and place is there to be really, really hungry for a substantial meal made with fresh ingredients than right now in San Francisco? Despite the struggling economy, innovative restaurants keep popping up — and the old classics are offering better deals. Read more »

4 fine wine bars

FEAST: How to kick the same-old-drink habit
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It's time to quit your drinking habit. No, not that one. The one where you sidle up to your usual bar and say, "I'll have a glass of cabernet (or chardonnay or merlot)" with nary a glance at the wine list. I know, I know. You're tired. You had a long day. But there's a big world of wine out there, and lucky for you, we live in a city with lots of delightful options by the glass, from Down Under stickies to the reds of the Med. Here are four places that specialize in remarkable vinos, so it's easy to trade in that mediocre merlot for a truly vinaceous adventure. Read more »

6 supper-worthy soups

FEAST: Liquid warmth (or sometimes chill) for the soul, all in a bowl
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Take almost any kid to the grocery store and their favorite place is likely the candy aisle. Me? I salivated in front of the soups. All those colorful cans promising savory combinations of belly-warming meat and veggies caught my childhood fancy, no matter the season in my temperate hometown of San Diego. Back then, the decision always was between hearty beef barley, comforting chicken noodle, and more-fun-than-tasty alphabet soup. Now my palate has matured — but my taste for a brothy meal in a bowl has not. Read more »

A readable feast

FEAST: Q&A with Celia Sacks, owner/founder of Omnivore Books
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In the age of the Kindle, who gets excited about actual books anymore? If response to Omnivore Books is any indication, the answer is: foodies. At a recent Frank Bruni reading, people were lined up outside Celia Sack's new Noe Valley shop, clamoring for a peek. And at her first pie contest, 48 folks entered, 80 judges tasted, and everyone left happy. All the excitement may sound like something only a big-box bookstore or corporate-sponsored festival could pull off, but it's clear the former pet food purveyor has struck a nerve with her delightful little niche shop. Read more »

10 latest, greatest openings

FEAST: Our favorite new Bay Area hot spots
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There's been plenty of activity in the world of food in the last few years, especially in San Francisco. Street food madness reached an all-time high, spawning festivals and an array of carts, trucks, and stands from established and new chefs. Pop-up restaurants appeared in cafes, backrooms, and undisclosed locations. Overall, prices actually went down (while quality remained high) and deals proliferated. (See ... economic news isn't all bad.) There also have plenty of top-notch restaurant, café, and bar openings. Here are a few of our favorites. Read more »

10 latest, greatest openings

Our favorite new Bay Area hot spots
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There's been plenty of activity in the world of food in the last few years, especially in San Francisco. Street food madness reached an all-time high, spawning festivals and an array of carts, trucks, and stands from established and new chefs. Pop-up restaurants appeared in cafes, backrooms, and undisclosed locations. Overall, prices actually went down (while quality remained high) and deals proliferated. (See ... economic news isn't all bad.) There also have plenty of top-notch restaurant, café, and bar openings. Here are a few of our favorites. Read more »

6 innovative ice creams

FEAST: Frozen desserts in fun, funky flavors
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It's not just you. There really is an explosion of new places to get sweet, cold, creamy treats in the Bay Area. But why the new interest in this classic American dessert? Neil Gottlieb, founder of Three Twins in the Lower Haight, considers the trend the newest place the slow food movement is having an impact. "There's a renaissance of making ice cream the way it should be made — with fresh ingredients." Jake Godby, chef/owner of Humphry Slocombe, agrees. "Ice cream is the new cupcake," he said. But does that mean the market will become oversaturated soon? Read more »

4 phenomenal falafels

FEAST: Middle Eastern treats for those who don't eat meat
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Falafel — those delightful deep-fried chickpea (or sometimes fava bean) balls — could quite possibly be the perfect food. It spans cultures: Originally a fasting food from Egypt, falafel became popular in the Middle East, was adopted by Jewish immigrants to Palestine, and is now a favorite fast food internationally. It spans food preferences: vegetarians like the protein-packed nutrition; omnivores like the crunchy/chewy texture. And, when combined in a pita with vegetables and hummus, yogurt, or tahini, the highly portable sandwich combo spans locations. Read more »

Appetite: Franziskaner Dunkelweisse, Swoonbeams, cider sauce, and more

Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news
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Every week, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter, www.theperfectspotsf.com, shares foodie news, events, and deals. Read more »