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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. Ironside's Bottomless Brunch: If you're looking for a hangover helper, Ironside has introduced a cheap and tasty option: $16 buys access to an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet, with the standard french toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and grits, plus a few fun twists like ceviche, fried plantains, and bread pudding. Best of all, you can wash brunch down with $10 bottomless mimosas, or a build-your-own bloody mary bar. (Saturdays and Sundays starting January 15th, 10 am-2 pm, at Ironside, 680A 2nd St., SOMA.)

SF Beer Week's Schedule Is Up!

The SF Beer Week website promised a surprise yesterday afternoon at four, and it delivered-- the initial schedule, featuring over 100 events, was posted not long thereafter. The festival runs from February 11-20, and while we'll have a preview of our top picks in the first week of February, those interested in getting in on some of the smaller events should hop on over to the schedule now. Some events, such as the SF Brewers' Guild's Opening Gala, offer discounts on entry if you buy before February 1st, so be sure to grab those tickets soon.

The Week’s Best Food Events: Pizza, Pork, Prized Good Food, and Premium Cheeses

Pizza for Schools

Today's a good day to grab pizza for lunch. Ten percent of all pie sales at Patxi’s Chicago Pizza will go to support SF public schools through edMatch. Together, Patxi’s three locations in Noe, Hayes, and the Marina will match funds raised by school parent groups. Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Whole Pig Dinner

The Best Wine Shops, Neighborhood by Neighborhood

Paul Einbund is the wine director of the Slanted Door restaurant group including Out the Door Bush Street and Westfield Centre as well as Heaven's Dog. He also runs the beverage program at Frances, and has worked at Coi and more. Look for him here every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @pauleinbund.

Now that the holiday season has come to a close, it’s time to replenish the wine cellar. Here is a short list of some of my personal favorites. Shop at any of these and you will not be disappointed. They all have good selections of fairly priced, interesting wines. 

Good Food Award Winners Coming to SF Saturday

It’s been almost two-and-a-half years since Slow Food Nation set up shop in San Francisco. Filling the void is the Good Food Awards, “the first national awards platform to recognize American craft food.” In this DIY era, it’s no shock that there were over 780 submissions from 41 states in categories from coffee to preserves to chocolate. Of the finalists, there are surprisingly only 16 from around here (and out of these, only four are from SF).

Cheese Plus Divulges Three Fondue Recipes

Call it retro or call it trendy (witness the oddly-named Fondue Cowboy that opened last year in SoMa), there's nothing better for staving off the winter chill than a big pot of gooey, melty, boozy cheese set out for dipping. Luckily, you don’t have to go outside—or even own a fondue set—to whip up a batch. Cheesemonger extraordinaire Samantha Chertoff, from Russian Hill’s beloved Cheese Plus, gives us the scoop.

Market Watch: Local Chefs' Favorite Winter Fruits & Veggies

This week’s Tuesday market took place on a gorgeous winter day; it was sunny and crisp out and the farmer’s stands were brimming with winter produce. The chefs too were out in abundance picking up ingredients for their menus. I stopped to chat with a few of them to find out what they were shopping for and out how they would feature them.

Comfort Me with Locavore

When I'm freezing, I don't venture very far for food. Fortunately, Locavore is two blocks away from my apartment in Bernal Heights. Though the exterior looks a bit like a dance club, the restaurant's chef Jason Moniz and partners Mario Duarte and Cesar Ascarrunz have lovingly crafted a sophisticated and welcoming space that's downright cozy. There's a wooden community table in the center, lots of candlelight, black and white photos of pigs, and chicken-wire light fixtures that could be hokey, only it's not. A gray concrete ceiling and floor adds a touch of modernity.

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. Yelp's Holiday Hangover: Instead of throwing a single crazy holiday party, Yelp has decided to spread the wealth by throwing five. (We won't tell them that the holidays are over if you won't.) Each night will feature a different theme, from Casino Night to the Seven Deadly Sins, with free Widmer beer, Skyy vodka, and wine tastings. Head over to their site to choose your poison (you only get to attend one), and try to keep the "Hangover" part as fictional as the "Holiday" one. (Sunday, January 9-Thursday, January 13, 8-10 pm, at Payne Mansion, 1409 Sutter St., Pacific Heights.)

Locked & Loaded: Meet Contraband Coffee, the City's Newest Roaster

We've been waiting on Contraband Coffeebar so long it was starting to feel like Christmas. And in fact, after finally resolving permitting issues, the Larkin Street café opened its doors on Christmas Eve. It was an early present to the neighborhood. Despite being a longstanding bustling retail corridor, Polk Gulch has never had a destination coffee spot. Hell, there hasn't even been a relatively good coffee shop in the area. But Contraband changes that. It serves great coffees in a pleasant setting. In short, it was worth the wait.

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