Eat + Drink
I'm not even a huge churro fan. I like fried dough, sure, but given a choice of desserts it wouldn't top my list. But the churros at Chilango, which opened earlier this fall on the site of the forgettable Aztec Taqueria at Church and Market, are so good that they make the other very good food that you might order before dessert almost pale in comparison. With their crisp exterior, just-cooked almost custardy interior and generous dusting of granulated sugar and Mexican cinnamon, these set the gold standard.
Good drinking is often a pleasure not only in the taste and texture of the drink itself, but also in the peraphernalia that goes along with it. Sommeliers take great pride in their favorite corkscrews for instance, just as do bartenders in their tools. So, for the drinking connoisseur in your life, I present the following gift ideas.
Welcome back to the Eater Wrap, your Friday recap of all the restaurant news, hot gossip, whimsy foodstuffs, and general awesomeness from the week over at Eater SF.
1) Superchef Daniel Boulud unveiled the semi-finalists to represent the USA at the next Bocuse d'Or cooking competition. The French-based competition—dubbed the Culinary Olympics—won't take place until 2011, but the 12 chefs who made the cut will duke it out in early 2010 for a honor to represent America in Lyon.
It might be freezing and rainy, the economy might still suck, but it looks like the sun will come out tomorrow—or next year, rather—in the form of margs and tacos. We can't argue with that.
The 24th Street BART station is my regular stop on the way home to Bernal Heights and lately, it's become much more colorful in a very Mexican way. Not only are there the usual tamale ladies and flower vendors, and guys selling strawberries in season, but now you'll find a bevy of stands selling sunglasses and more on the weekends, like a little market. There's also there's a new chicharrónes vendor and now this new hot dog vendor (very official looking, generator and all), like a beacon, illuminating the cold nights. (From what I can see, the woman working it also sell huevos—in what form, I'm not sure.)
We're wrapping up the Big Eat as I type. So, let's hear it: Has anyone tried the hot dog stand out? Worth it or not? You tell us.
If anyone has the inside sccop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers market it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll be giving us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to cuesa.org for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.
SF Eater today writes that the Tsar Nicoulai booth in the Ferry Building is closing. It's understandable why—this is not exactly a period of widespread populist Champagne and caviar consumption. However, it's still a bummer. A little scoop of caviar every now and then (without having to buy a whole tin) is a wonderful thing, especially when you pair that with a nice glass of bubbly. (Vodka and caviar advocates: sorry, you're wrong.
As a resident of Bernal Heights—a neighborhood that's known more for its liberal politics and crunchy good vibes than its haute cuisine—I was excited to finally get a taste of the much-anticipated Sandbox Bakery, which just opened. No slouch, owner and pastry chef Mutsimi Takehara started learning her craft at La Farine in Oakland and at Chez Panisse. She was then the pastry chef at Rubicon and spent 10 years as the Slanted Door pastry chef. So she's spent some quality time with butter.