Eat + Drink
The fine old House of Shields happens to be next door to my gym on New Montgomery, so I've been watching the progression of its rebirth from the outside: The original sign has been refurbished and the exterior has gotten a paint job. But today, chef-owner Dennis Leary (of the Sentinel next door, as well as the new Golden West) was standing at the door with some of guys in charge of all the hard labor and he let me take a peak.
It looked a little bit like a church in there this afternoon, all gorgeous wood aglow, now that it's been stripped and refinished. It was also dark, barring a shaft of light coming from the high windows, the sun illuminating the construction site's dust.
Yesterday was the autumn equinox for the Northern Hemisphere, the official beginning of fall. As the daylight hours begin to decrease our farmers are working anxiously in the fields to harvest the last of their summer crops. Over the next few weeks we’ll see tomatoes, basil and peppers alongside shelling beans, persimmons, and pumpkins as the farmers also begin to harvest their first fall crops. With daylight waning pastured egg production will slow on farms like Eatwell and Marin Sun. Autumn will also mean that many of our farmers must begin planting and planning for the winter months.
Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
1. Drink Me's South of the Border Party: The good folks over at Drink Me magazine are throwing another of their cheap-booze parties; this edition, held at Tres Agaves, has little choice but to be Mexican-themed. Join in a free tequila tasting, sip on $4 cocktails and $3 beers, and nosh on the free taco bar (for the first hour only). Whatever you do, though, be sure to RSVP before you go-- otherwise, it's a $5 cover. (Tuesday, September 28, 6:30-10:30 pm, at Tres Agaves, 130 Townsend St., SOMA.)
Let’s make a deal: If you decide to eat here—and you should—you will not order samosas, pakoras, or aloo gobhi. Not because those things aren’t good, but because Viva Goa specializes in food from the Indian region of Goa, a coastal state where the cuisine has been heavily influenced by a 450-year-old Portuguese stay that ended in 1961. Viva Goa is the only place in San Francisco where you can try this style of food—lots of seafood, rich with coconut and redolent with warm spices such as clove and cinnamon. Try the Malabar Jinga (shrimp cooked with garlic, mustard, and curry leaves in a tangy, spiced tomato sauce), followed by the pomfret (a flat fish stuffed with a brick-red spice paste and onions, and then gently fried).
Germany has given us many things (killer sausages, the pretzel, Heidi Klum), but few have rivaled our intense love affair with beer and its annual worship, Oktoberfest, which is 200 years old this year. If you missed Toronado's festivities last week, hit up one of these beer-soaked spots for a taste of Oktoberfest in the Bay:
If I were you, I'd get to spotting some beasts. Spot one (well, a stencil of one) and tweet us @7x7bitsbites and you will win two tickets to CUESA's Sunday Supper (a $400 value), plus a spot in one of Ryan Farr's upcoming butchery classes (value: priceless). Second and third prize, chosen at random from all the spotters, is two tickets to the reception that precedes the dinner.
Have you checked out the Wednesday Mint Plaza Farmers' Market yet? (We're embarassed to say we haven't either, but we're going to remedy that right NOW).
Beyond the fact that you can stock up on fresh produce during your lunch hour (while sipping a coffee from nearby Blue Bottle), here's another reason to go: Thermidor (who buys directly from the market) and Chez Papa are now offering $5 gourmet lunches during market hours (10 am to 2 pm).
Get over there! (We're hurrying).
Decorated in large part by the random stickers so highly favored by bars in the lower Haight, Molotov distinguishes itself by also featuring pinup girls, black and white portraits, and men in straw cowboy hats tipping slowly to the left. Also, $3 whisky sours at happy hour. So you can afford to get really smashed no matter what the economy’s doing. Which might explain all the drunk dudes playing the Lord of the Rings pin ball machine.