Eat + Drink
Baseball aside, football season is just getting into full swing. For fans, it's important to know where the best bar stools and high-definition TVs are. Liquor.com has highlighted the Mission's very own Elixir as the place to park for those football games you just can't miss, along with a few other spots around the country that serve up football and cocktails in style.
This week, a good proportion on my meals have been between two slices of bread. The sandwich is a satisfying creation, equally suited to breakfast, lunch and dinner and co-opted by nearly every culture in the world.
If you're a fan of whisky, you'll want to hit up one of these WhiskyWeek activities, which all lead up to the annual WhiskeyFest on Friday at the San Francisco Marriot. Expand your knowledge of the spirit at these events:
Thursday is the new Friday. At 1 pm, Jimmy Russell, master distiller at Wild Turkey, will be discussing his life, signing bottles, and educating whiskey devotees on the virtues of Wild Turkey at John Walker & Company on Sutter Street (where all Wild Turkey products will also be 15% off during the event).
Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
1. Big Nate's 20th Anniversary: Over in a quiet corner of SOMA, former Warriors center Nate Thurmond has been selling his barbeque to a hungry public for two decades. To celebrate, Big Nate's BBQ is throwing an all-you-can-eat anniversary party, with a cash bar featuring Abita Amber and Mission Blonde Ale, Wrangler Red, Shannon Ridge Sauvignon Blanc and plenty of tasty smoked meat. The price tag? A mere $10-- and Nate will be in attendance for your autograph/photograph needs. (Saturday, October 9, 12-4 pm, at Big Nate's BBQ, 1665 Folsom St., SOMA.)
Lunch at Comstock Saloon for 20 bucks
If you've exhausted the downtown dining options, venture a bit farther to the edge of North Beach, where Comstock Saloon just started serving up a $20 three-course lunch, Monday through Friday from 11:30-2:30 p.m. If you have to take a nap after eating the oyster po'boy and maple-bourbon pudding, that's your business.
Paul Einbund is the wine director of the Slanted Door restaurant group. He's also worked as the sommelier at Frances, Coi and more. Look for him here every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @pauleinbund.
I was recently in Denver for an immersion class in the wines of New Zealand. The wineries had initially gotten together to send a group of sommeliers to New Zealand for the weekend, but when that didn't work out, they decided to bring New Zealand to us—in Denver! The obvious choice. What I learned on this trip is that the people are great, the food and music are fun and that the wines can be very good but still have a long way to go. Kiwi invasion you ask? Don't trade in your Burgundies just yet, but the winemakers of New Zealand are working hard to make some good stuff.
Here are the wines that I think are great right now.
Kumeu River Chardonnay 2007 ($20) is one of the first great wines from New Zealand. This wine is like white Burgundy but softer and ready to drink on release.
Bars specializing in only one kind of spirit have recently been sprouting up around the country. Liquor.com rounded up the best specialty joints in the nation, and our very own Nihon Whisky Lounge on Folsom Street made the list. If you're a fan of Scotch, the bar offers more than 200 single malts from Scotland, plus blends and whiskies from around the planet, all available by either the taste, glass or bottle.
The sweet-centric Top Chef spinoff, Top Chef Just Desserts is in its fourth week—and while one of the SF cheftestants has already gotten the ax, Yigit Pura, the Turkish-born pastry chef at Taste Catering, is still in the running. The show airs each Wednesday at 10 p.m. Tune in to root for the home team.
This morning on my way to work, I swung by The Summit, which just opened its doors today. The space is modern and massive, with ceilings reaching to almost 24 feet high, wood paneled walls and an angular handcrafted wood bar made of reclaimed walnut (I'm waiting for someone to dare to tell me something's not reclaimed). Above, a mezzanine set with work spaces wraps around and below, sits the cafe space set with bench tables and couches, of which were already occupied with the requisite Mac laptop users nursing Blue Bottle. It's a sweeping, light-filled space.