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It's F-ing Cold Outside: What to Eat to Warm Up

An old building with big windows and skylights, our office at 7x7 is very cold right now. Editors are dressed in coats, scarves and jackets and drinking copious amount of tea. Which has us all thinking about warming, comforting foods and where to get them.

Yesterday morning found me at the new Bush Street Out the Door for breakfast, following in Jessica's footsteps. She's already reported on the beautiful thing that is the bowl of chicken porridge (basically jook or congee) topped with bits of shredded chicken and a few slices of a Chinese donut (think savory not sweet). Paired with a pot of hot tea, it was perfection. Thing is, Jessica didn't snap a photo and I did, so here's some Tuesday inspiration.

The other night I was at Salt House, a great holiday restaurant with with its high brick walls, rustic wood floors and tall windows looking out onto the skyscrapers of downtown. It's one of my favorite spaces in SF. The Rosenthal brothers go big when they cook, which is why we ordered the poutine—a huge pile of french fries, braised beef and gravy all mixed together, made in the Canadian tradition with a slightly gentler California twist.

Outerlands is a restaurant I finally got to over the weekend, and with its driftwood-esque interior, I think it's best suited for a grey and rainy day, where you really feel like Ocean Beach is the edge of the world. Sitting in there, my hands wrapped around the hot apple-lemon-ginger cider and watching the loaves of levain come out of the oven, while they hand-grind (yes, like with a hand crank) their coffee beans makes me (almost) want to be a hippy and wear Guatamalan hats with ear flaps and a wool pancho. Get the "eggs in jail," basically a egg-in-the-basket/toad in hole concept using thick slices of the signature bread. Don't leave before buying a loaf of bread to take home.

And then there's my personal lunch go-to, from Jade Cafe (18 Geary St., 415-981-6138): A bowl of bracing, vinegary and spicy hot-and-sour soup paired with a side of house special fried rice. Jade is just a block from here, but for this kind of pleasure, you can choose any favorite, neighborhood American-Chinese restaurant. There you will find much happiness and a warm heart.