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Eat + Drink

Sweet Wines for Holiday Sweets

You know you're deep into the holiday cheer when you open the door in the morning and find brownies and cookies on your doorstep. Let the poundage begin! Whether you like it or not, holiday sweets are unavoidable. So, all the better to make them palatable by drinking the right kinds of things with them. While I'm not a prolific drinker of dessert wines, they do have their time and place. So there are three versatile types of sweet wines to keep around to cover most of your holiday needs. Just remember the basic fact of pairing sweet things: The wine should always be sweeter than the dessert. If you don't follow that, neither dessert nor wine will taste good. If you do follow it, it's all good!

Christmas Countdown: Gifts for the Butcher Girl

The thirst for blood is a draw during the holidays: While the tweens (and their moms) are swooning over New Moon, the lady foodies are finding the butchers mighty fine (Ryan Farr! Ryan Farr!). For that special woman in your life, there is no end to Christmas present ideas.

First Bite: Chilango Does Churros

I'm not even a huge churro fan. I like fried dough, sure, but given a choice of desserts it wouldn't top my list. But the churros at Chilango, which opened earlier this fall on the site of the forgettable Aztec Taqueria at Church and Market, are so good that they make the other very good food that you might order before dessert almost pale in comparison. With their crisp exterior, just-cooked almost custardy interior and generous dusting of granulated sugar and Mexican cinnamon, these set the gold standard.

Beer, Cocktail and Wine. Three Gifts for the Drinker in Your Life.

Good drinking is often a pleasure not only in the taste and texture of the drink itself, but also in the peraphernalia that goes along with it. Sommeliers take great pride in their favorite corkscrews for instance, just as do bartenders in their tools. So, for the drinking connoisseur in your life, I present the following gift ideas.

The Eater Wrap: Bocuse Semi-Finalists, Sprinkles Madness, Hot Chefs and Still More Openings

Welcome back to the Eater Wrap, your Friday recap of all the restaurant news, hot gossip, whimsy foodstuffs, and general awesomeness from the week over at Eater SF.

1) Superchef Daniel Boulud unveiled the semi-finalists to represent the USA at the next Bocuse d'Or cooking competition. The French-based competition—dubbed the Culinary Olympics—won't take place until 2011, but the 12 chefs who made the cut will duke it out in early 2010 for a honor to represent America in Lyon.

2010: The Year of the Taco

It might be freezing and rainy, the economy might still suck, but it looks like the sun will come out tomorrow—or next year, rather—in the form of margs and tacos. We can't argue with that.

Shopping? Where to Eat in Union Square

To those of you who are braving Union Square holiday shopping I say, Godspeed! I also say don’t forget to stop for lunch.

Here are my picks for the best inexpensive lunches in the Union Square area:

Muracci’s Japanese Curry and Grill

New 24th Street BART Hot Dog Vendor: Who's Been?

The 24th Street BART station is my regular stop on the way home to Bernal Heights and lately, it's become much more colorful in a very Mexican way. Not only are there the usual tamale ladies and flower vendors, and guys selling strawberries in season, but now you'll find a bevy of stands selling sunglasses and more on the weekends, like a little market. There's also there's a new chicharrónes vendor and now this new hot dog vendor (very official looking, generator and all), like a beacon, illuminating the cold nights. (From what I can see, the woman working it also sell huevos—in what form, I'm not sure.)

We're wrapping up the Big Eat as I type. So, let's hear it: Has anyone tried the hot dog stand out? Worth it or not? You tell us.

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

Each week, former sf.myopenbar.com editor Allie Pape brings you her picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF. This week: A surfeit of dessert wines, a lack of corkage fees. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

Market Watch: Holiday Gifts to Harvest

If anyone has the inside sccop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers market it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll be giving us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to cuesa.org for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.

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