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Sara Deseran

Gavin vs. Brown: Sunday's Times Magazine Dives Deep

Mark Leibovich begins this Sunday's Times magazine feature, "Who Can Possibly Govern California?", by summing up our fair state: "Calamity is just part of the equation here, as if God gave California so much glamour and grandeur and great weather that he had to throw in some apocalyptic menace to provide a little balance. Earthquakes, say. Or Sacramento." Or foggy summers.

A Down-and-Dirty, Last-Minute Fourth of July BBQ

The situation: Since your house has a view, your friends have elected you to be the host of the fireworks party.

The problem: You haven't had time to even think about what to cook.

The solution: A menu of grilled sausages with spicy mustard, German potato salad, fruit kabobs and chilled raspberry cream pie.

Rosamunde Sausage Grill (545 Haight St., 415-437-6851) doesn't just make the best sausages in SF, they sell them uncooked too. Our perennial favorite is the spicy beer sausage. Pick up as many as you need ($3 a sausage) and while you're at it, add in some of their great potato salad to-go.

Let's Be Frank Dogs: All the Way to the White House?

The 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival—the kind of place where the likes of Toni Morrison, Sandra Day O’Connor and Frank Gehry bounce around ideas with a capital “I”—kicked off yesterday. Some of the brain food on offer? SF’s own Let’s Be Frank grass-fed hot dogs.

The isn’t the only time LBF has been invited to participate in the festival. Last year, says LBF co-founder Larry Bain, Colin Powell slung dogs at their cart. There are also rumors that the White House could be serving the LBF dogs for their annual Fourth of July picnic. As Bain put it: “I’m not allowed to say, but people are talking to people who are talking to people.”

Today's Hot Links: Cheesecake to Chowder

• Z is For Zesty? The Times serves up an A-to-(almost)-Z guide of summer drinking by definition.

• The Mission District's latest "clean, family-friendly, neighborhood place featuring hand-thrown, thin-crust pizza made from locally-sourced ingredients" also has intentions to be "well-lit." Michael Bauer can leave his flashlight at home.

$100K and Counting: The Warren Buffet Steak Lunch for Glide

The bidding is up to $100,100.00—over $50,000 more than yesterday, for Warren Buffet's annual lunch auction to benefit the Glide Foundation here in SF:

Today's Hot Links: Top Chef Masters and Pi

Top Chef Masters: Neatly summarizing the love-fest vibe of Top Chef Masters so far, Elizabeth Falkner quipped, "we were meaner when we were judges." And then there was this and this.

Parc 55's Voyeuristic Union Square Publicity Stunt

As part of their re-opening promotion taking place June 16-18, Parc 55 Hotel is giving the world a glimpse inside one of their newly renovated 'View' rooms by placing a see-through hotel room in middle of Union Square, the clincher being the fact that it’s complete with a live woman, apparently fresh from the shower (wearing a robe, towel wrapped around her head, and randomly, a pair of sunglasses) lounging on the bed with a magazine—shopping bags littering the floor with her day’s loot.

Hopefully, no drunk Union Square tourists will taunt her, lest they end up like those poor kids in the zoo. Those ladies who lunch can sure be tigers.

Anthony's Cookies: Catering To The Kid In Us All

Yesterday, my son, Silas, and I were walking home from his summer camp in the Mission District, and passed by Anthony's Cookies on Valencia Street—the simple, all-cookie bakery that opened a few months back and has since been quietly gaining a mini cult following for its very old-fashioned, no-frills approach. I'd had Anthony's Cookies a while ago when someone brought in a box of them to the office. The cookies and cream were by far my favorite, but for some reason I didn't write about them.

But it's amazing what putting a face to a cookie will do to make it taste memorable.

Coi and Danko Reviewed: Hypersalads, Lurkers and Scary Pigeons in Dark Alleys

This weekend, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both looked West. For their "Save or Splurge" travel destination, the Times landed in San Francisco, alternating between $6, brick-sized "super" El Farolito burritos (speaking of: has anyone had their chile relleno burrito?

Ed Levine Takes Two Pizzerias and Breaks Down Their Soul

Last week, I blogged in defense of Pizzeria Delfina versus Gialina, an opinion I still stand by.

Michael Bauer might have beat him to it, but finally Ed Levine posted his personal opinion about Gialina and Delfina's pizza on the Slice blog.

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