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Eat + Drink

Italian Beer, Long Derided, Gets Spotlight at Pfiff! Beer Dinner

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a remarkable meal put on by Des and Rob Denunzio, authors of the excellent Bay Area beer blog, Pfiff. The theme was “The Italian Modernists.” Now, I know little about beer and even less about Italian beer, but I do know that the wonderful southern European country has a great reputation for, well, wine. So the idea of an Italian beer tasting was intriguing, made even moreso by the fact that we would try 9 interesting and esoteric Italian beers, each matched with a different course.

Ubuntu and Manresa: Where Vegetables Go To Die

We are just getting around to reading this article, written by Raymond Sokolov for the Wall Street Journal. As usual it's not new news for anyone who lives out here in the Bay Area (or, you know, reads the New York Times), but his glowing portrait of Los Gatos' Manresa and disciple Ubuntu, up in Napa, means we'll hardly be surprised when biodynamic gardens and haute vegetable temples start cropping up like wildflowers in the coming year.

Get It While It's Hot: Food + Sex Magazine Debuts

It was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of this magazine—Food + Sex just released its premiere issue, a thin little volume with a collage-y design and a juicy collection of essays. Ever wondered about worm sex? Want a recipe for human-incubated yogurt? It's in there. This, gleaned from the "About Us" section of their facebook page, pretty much says it all, while simultaneously not making any sense: "By weaving erotic, shocking and thoughtful layers of beauty, wildness and the human spirit, we peer into the fire of hope and fear to find the hidden, seek the cosmic and reflect on the elemental connectedness in life that opens us to new ways of being."

Wexler's: What To Drink With "Not BBQ"?

Seeing as I grew up in the heart of Texas bbq country, I'd been eager to get in and try the fare at Wexler's, the new Financial District spot with cuisine "informed by" cooking traditions of the American South and Southwest. Now I knew better than to expect bbq itself, especially since last spring I took Wexler's chef Charlie Kleinman back to aforementioned home for an inspirational little two-day bbq tour, where I got familiar with Kleinman's concept, which is not easily summarized. Certainly "bbq-informed" is not the most romantic sounding culinary description. Luckily, none of that matters, as the final result speaks for itself. No, it's not bbq--not even close--but what I had was very good.

The Voracious Reader: Omnivore Books' Pick of the Week

Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books on FoodSan Francisco's only food book store, specializing in both new and antiquarian cookbooks—knows what's cooking. Find the best of the latest food writing and cookbooks on Bits + Bites every other Monday.

Taste Catering Gets a Tomato of Their Own

No matter that the farmers markets are brimming right now with heirloom tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, some chefs want a customized tomato that they can call their own. So it was with top-notch local SF catering company, Taste, who dreamed of a tomato that was the ideal flavor—a balance of sweetness and acidity—as well as the perfect shape. 

The Eater Wrap: A Fire At Chow, A Demotion At Oliveto And The Spruce Takeover Of Aqua

It's Friday, which means time for the Eater Wrap, the weekly recap from Eater SF on all the happenings from the local restaurant scene.

1) On the corner of Market and Church, an early morning fire took out Chow this morning. According to the restaurant, the initial estimate on the forced vacation has been set at "at least a few weeks."

Word On The Street: The Must-Do, Must-Eat At The SF Street Food Festival

For the last many, many months (you know, when I wasn't eating burgers), I've been working tirelessly with La Cocina to organize the city's first ever San Francisco Street Food Festival. Now, with the big day less than 48 hours away I'm thrilled to be able to tell you all that we're ready. Bring on the pupusas, the barbequed oysters, the agua fresca the...well, here are my top seven picks for things you really, really shouldn't miss when you come and join me and fellow food-lovers at the festival (THIS Saturday, August 22, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Folsom Street between 25th and 26th).

The Booze News: How Distinctive Is Really Old Wine?

The Booze News is a roundup of pertinent or otherwise interesting drink-related stories from the media. I try to do it once a week.

Market Watch: Pepperoncini, Bronx Grapes and a Farm Tour

If you’ve never tried Bronx grapes your chance has finally arrived. With a deep-rosy hue, this rare variety is a cross between the Thompson and the Black Concord. They have a very delicate skin which makes them difficult to ship or store, so you’ll only find them at the farmers’ market.

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