Some people find shopping at thrift stores to be an arduous task. I’ll admit that several years ago I used to think the same. I would usually emerge from a Goodwill store empty handed, feeling defeated and worried that I had picked up the lingering scent of mothballs during my unsuccessful hunt. Soon I realized that the problem wasn’t the stores I was visiting—it was me! My theory is that in order to hit the thrift store jackpot, you need to be shopping with an open, creative mind, lots of free time and even more patience.
Seasonality. It’s is a word bandied about a lot here. “Our menu is seasonally driven …” How many times have you heard a chef say that?
For some reason, tomatoes are the most seasonally sacred of all vegetables and fruits: Should an unwitting chef serve a tomato in January, I guarantee the Chowhounders will log on to vent about the sacrilege. While the average diner might be vague on the seasonality of an artichoke (it has two seasons here: spring and fall) and have no guilt about munching on green beans year-round, everyone knows that a slice of tomato=a slice of summer. (And, for the record, summer ended September 21st.)
Not surprisingly then, last week I went to order a sandwich from The Sentinel, chef Dennis Leary’s tiny sandwich shop, and noticed the note: “No more tomatoes until next summer—sorry.” Then Jessica told me that she was at Tartine and ordered an open-faced sandwich that was listed as having tomatoes on it—only to be told that tomatoes would no longer be served with it because tomatoes are out of season.
You may recognize the sexy trio backing up blue-eyed indie-cutie Zooey Deschanel in this December's Jim Carrey comedy "Yes Man". It's San Francisco's own, Von Iva making their big screen debut and singing along Ms. Zooey in the fictional band Munchausen by Proxy. Von Iva also wrote the song "Yes Man" specifically for the film (it'll run over the end credits). This isn't the first time the ladies have contributed to a Hollywood production (see Showtime's The L Word or the 2008 Jerry O'Connell/Heather Graham movie Baby on Board), but it is the first time you can see them rocking the big screen. The film comes out December 19th.
Lovers of Tartine’s legendary morning buns have noticed the recipe’s absence from the pages of the bakery’s cookbook, Tartine (Chronicle Books), published last August. “We didn’t do it on purpose,” says co-owner Elisabeth Prueitt, who’s been surprised at the number of calls and emails she’s had from people requesting it. Although she plans to put the recipe on Tartine’s own website soon, for immediate sweet-tooth satisfaction, we've got the recipe right here.
Tartine 600 Guerrero St., 415-487-2600
As they say: Don’t judge a dog walker by its cover … or something like that.
Celia Sack, whose identity for the past 10 years has been as co-owner of the Noe Valley Pet Co., is pretty much the last person you’d think would make the leap from selling Nyla bones to antiquated cookbooks. On November 8th, she's opening Omnivore: Books on Food, located just around the corner from the Pet Co. on Cesar Chavez in a former butcher shop. (When she told me this I had a butcher shop déjà vu—like everything these days is being opened in a former butcher shop—call me crazy.) You also might not assume that Sack has a library of 5,000 books stored in the Castro District home that she shares with her partner Paula Harris (the other owner of the Pet Co.). Formerly a rare book specialist at Pacific Book Auction Galleries, Sack will be carrying hundreds of books—both brand, spanking new and very, very old—on everything from raising pigs to cooking pork.
This is such an obvious fit for SF.
There so many great cookbook stores around the country but none here. I love to cook and my collecting interest has always been food books, particularly ‘Victorian era professional’—they’re not cookbooks, they’re more about how to set up a pastry shop and display your popular penny cakes in a display. For some reason that’s fascinating to me.
A few weeks ago I went to Traci Des Jardins' Acme Chophouse to taste the season's best sustainable meat and game in preparation for the holidays. Traci and executive chef Thom Fox were joined by the owners of Sonoma Country Poultry and Marin Sun Farms to talk about their turkeys, duck, geese, cows, goats, lambs, pigs and chickens. Bottom line: "The better the animals are treated, the better the meat tastes," according to Marin Sun Farms' Judie Geise.
The story of Harvey Milk, who rose to prominence in San Francisco first as an outspoken community activist and later as a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors, has long tantalized directors eager to capture his odyssey on the big screen.
A lot's happened since SF pop darlings Loquat dazzled us with their critically acclaimed debut, It's Yours To Keep in 2005. For one, lead singer Kylee Swenson (whose ethereal, lullabye voice is reminiscent of Aime Mann and Feist, only less drone-y) and bassist Anthony Gordon got hitched. But there were also hardships - family deaths, an apartment fire and lost jobs - enough to bring the band to the brink of a break-up. Fortunately for us, Loquat weathered the storm and used all the material for what they call their most inspired album yet, Secrets of the Sea, which was released last week. We caught up with Swenson and Gordon from their East Coast Tour, where they're set to play the CMJ Festival in New York on the 24th. They're returning to the Bay to play a much-anticipated Hometown CD Release Party at Bottom of the Hill on November 8. Here's what they had to say about the new album, their Treasure Island Music Festival performance and the San Francisco music scene.
By now you have probably figured out that it is far easier to do the right thing from the beginning than it is to undo the wrong thing.
Take paint for example: Did you know the EPA estimates that 64 million gallons of paint are diverted away from landfills and incinerators thanks to responsible disposal and recycling? The only problem is that the EPA also estimates it could cost close to $500 million to keep a handle on all that incoming paint.
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