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Eat + Drink

Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. March Madness at Royal Exchange: Even though most of the games won't be showing in the hours they're offering this deal, Royal Exchange is aiming to get FiDi denizens in the mood for the final weeks of March Madness. They're offering $3 Bud, Bud Light, and Shock Top hefeweizen all day, as well as $5 buffalo wings and nachos to help soak it up. It should provide some balm to those whose busted brackets mean they won't be seeing the $20 for the office pool anytime soon. (Monday-Friday through April 5th, 11 am-11 pm, at Royal Exchange, 301 Sacramento St., Financial District.)

Eat It: Hot Dogs, Spring Feasts and Underground Food

All-You-Can-Eat at Showdogs

Chow down on dogs, onion rings and microbrews—all for a good cause! On March 25th, Showdogs is hosting an all-you-can-eat bonanza. For $20, you’ll have unlimited access to beer, gourmet sausages, bbq fries and onion rings. There will also be live music and an auction of gift certificates to both Show Dogs and sister restaurant Foreign Cinema. Proceeds will benefit the nearby SF City Academy.

The Best 1-2 Punch Dates in the City

If you want to date in this town, you need a plan. Here are seven drink-and-dinner itineraries that only require finding one parking spot.

The Blind Date: Rickhouse + Gitane (Union Square)

His Kellerness on Being (Like) the President, The Burger Concept and Benu

Thomas Keller was interviewed for NBC New York's "Feast Sitdown." It's a doozy of an interview (ok, mostly a snoozy), but here are some choice quotes for you Keller addicts. Read the rest here. Catch the man himself at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Classic April 8–11.

Absinthe Team Prepares to Dominate Hayes Valley

If all goes according to plan, this is shaping up to be quite the season for the Absinthe crew.  We've been tracking the developments over at Comstock Saloon—highlights include a mid-April opening and pickled eggs—oh, yes, and drinks from Jonny Raglin and Jeff Hollinger, as well as a tricked out location in a historic building on Columbus. Now, via Grub Street and Tablehopper comes word that the Absinthe crew is taking over the Citizen Cake space—soon, Hayes Valley domination will be complete.

What Makes a Good Sports Bar?

The art of running a good sports bar is slightly different from that of running a good bar. As more and more high-class palaces of mixology open in SF, it's important to remember that sports bars, too, deserve love. Here are the four SF contenders that were nominated for Thrillist's Bar Madness contest, and our thoughts on each. (McTeague's made it to the Final Four, but was knocked out by Chicago's The Fifty/50).

The reader picks:

Liza Shaw is obsessed with Sparkling Sake

I got turned on to sparkling sake when I was in Tokyo last fall to do a spot-check on the A16 there, which opened in September. I go three or four times a year to talk to the cooks about new recipes and see how things are running. We were at this yakitori place in Ginza, some seriously down and dirty spot that’s a celebration of the chicken. They put all parts of the chicken on a skewer—tail, neck, gizzards. But we started the meal with sparkling sake, and that’s how I got introduced to it.

The New Cool Kids: Ice Cream, Popsicles and More

Just in time for the most beautiful day, here's a lick of good news to go with it. Looks like the city is soon to be even richer in ice cream (and popsicle) shops. Here's the scoop.

Market Watch: The Asparagus Has Sprung!

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market's Lulu Meyer gives us the fresh scoop every week.

Why Brunch is for Suckers

I'm not really a breakfast person. Rather, I am not a going out to breakfast person. Nothing irritates me more then waiting on line, early on a weekend morning, to eat overpriced eggs and cold toast. Like Peter Meehan wrote today, "I think there’s value in putting money aside to go out to a place that's doing something cool rather than overpaying for a meal that's better at home." He was talking about homeburgers—hamburgers made at home—but he could just as easily been talking about pancakes, fried egg sandwiches and home fries.

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