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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. 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.

Eat It: Tasty Resolutions

Craft Bar
The holidays have a way leaving little to be desired of stiff skinny jeans, which you may have already traded in for jeggings that stretch for expanding wastelines. Before you bid your denim adieu to Goodwill, learn how to upcycle old jeans into necklaces while you get a taste of jams and spreads from Stephanie Bushnell of Sweets La Petite at Etsy Lab's Craft Bar, Thursday, January 6, 6-9 p.m. Food and workshops take place at Museum of Craft and Folk, at 51 Yerba Buena Lane. Free with $5 admission to the museum.

Gourmet Detox

How to Buy Wine: Some Purchasing Tips

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.

It’s time to replenish your wine cellars after all the holiday parties.  Here are some tips on how to have the most successful purchasing trips.

1. Go Local.  There are good wine shops located in almost every neighborhood in San Francisco.  Find one near you with a friendly, and knowledgeable staff, and follow the steps below.

Eat Here Now: Smokin’ Warehouse Barbecue in Bayview

When I get a craving for something, I become so singularly focused on satisfying it that I can’t let it go. It's recently BBQ that's gotten a hold on me, and until now, I haven't been able to find a spot in SF that compares to Everett & Jones in the East Bay.

I finally tried Smokin’ Warehouse, which opened last October, and am happy to report that I now have a go-to spot this side of the Bay. Smokin' Warehouse is nestled in an uber-industrial, loading-dock infested area of Bayview, but don't let the location dissuade you. Their 10-hour smoking process and melt-in your mouth brisket and pork ribs are well worth the trip.

My Year That Was: Eating Up 2010

I ate and drank a lot in 2010. In no particular order, I present to you some of the corners of my mind. Take it away Barbara

How to Drink on New Year's to Avoid a Hangover

Ah New Year's Day, a time for resolutions, bowl games and... hangovers. For those who want to feel on top of the world on 1/1/11, try these drink recipes from the Trader Vic's Bartenders Guide to keep a slow buzz going all night.


The San Francisco
Adapted from Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide, Revised

.75 oz The Bitter Truth Sloeberry Gin
.75 oz Italian vermouth
.75 oz French vermouth
1 dash The Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters
1 dash The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
Shake ingredients with ice cubes. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

A Practical Guide to New Year's Bubbles: How to Chill It, Open It and Serve It

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.

Was that a gunshot or someone opening a bottle of sparkling wine?  Before the clock strikes midnight, there are a few things you should know about serving the bubbles.

1. Temperature matters

If the wine is too warm, it’s going to explode all over everything.  Fun, but you wont have much left to drink.  If the wine is too cold, then you wont taste it.  Sparkling wine should be served a little colder then most white wine - let’s call it 55 degrees. 

Market Watch: Shopping with Spruce's Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan, Executive Chef of Spruce Restaurant, comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market weekly to pick up fresh fruit, heirloom vegetables and a little inspiration. Mark’s menu changes seasonally and the smells and tastes at each farmers’ stands are an important part of his creative process. Mark’s kitchen is also supplied with herbs and vegetables from the restaurant’s private farm, SMIP Ranch.

Yes You Can: An Antidote to Holiday Gluttony











I'm back from my Christmas holiday. During this two day period, I consumed: stollen (Swedish-style buttery bread toasted and topped with more butter), Dungeness crab dipped in butter, leg of lamb dripping in fat, baked root vegetables (more butter), permsimmon pudding with hard sauce (boozy butter), homemade donuts dipped in chocolate (enough said), a cheddar cheese spread on crackers (a pickle thrown on top for health), yorkshire pudding cooked in beef fat, a slice of standing rib roast large enough for a T-Rex, potatoes au gratin (cheese and butter and cream and cream and cream), cheesecake and chocolate buche de noel.

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