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Eat + Drink

Obsessed: Sharon Ardiana of Gialina on Banh Mi Sandwiches

I’m obsessed with banh mi sandwiches, especially the ones at Saigon Sandwich. It’s so ramshackle, and there is always a line. It’s always crazy. It’s neither hip nor trendy. But this is a place for people who want a good sandwich. The roll is perfect—not too soft, not too hard. It’s like the Goldilocks of sandwich bread. And the balance of ingredients is just right. Meat, lightly pickled shredded daikon and carrot, fresh cilantro, and raw, honkin’ slices of jalapeño that bring it all home. Also, the counter at Saigon Sandwich is always filled with interesting things, like sticky rice in banana leaves. Plus, it’s less than $4 for a sandwich, so I usually order a half-dozen of them and give them to my staff, who are also kind of obsessed.

First Bite: Ragazza

The whole neighborhood probably let out a collective cheer when news spread that Sharon Ardiana, proprietress of the popular Glen Park pizzeria, Gialina, would be opening her second restaurant in the Metro Hotel, at Page and Divisadero.

5 Outdoor Happy Hours To Soak In the Sun After Work

No one should head straight home on any 80 degree San Francisco day. Brace yourself for this heat wave with a few choice happy hours to celebrate the end of the work day.

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana's got a sweeping view of the sunny bay and a happy hour to match. For a day like this, sip a cold $5 Pisco Sour or Caipirinha after work, where their specials on food and drinks last from 3 pm to 6 pm every weekday. Pier 1 1/2, (415) 397-8880

Say Hello to Fall with Seasonal Apple Cocktail Recipes from

Apple flavored drinks sometimes have a bad rep, what with all the sour apple schnapps and girly Appletinis out there. Luckily, has the remedy for this just as autumn arrives and apples of all kinds hit the market. Check out these apple cocktail recipes to experience this fruit to the fullest!

House of Shields at 60 Days and Counting

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.

Bay Area Power Couples: Gayle Pirie & John Clark of Foreign Cinema & Showdogs

It's hard to start a business in the Bay Area. And even harder to make it successful. We're inspired by the couples who have done it together and have decided to highlight them every week in our "Bay Area Power Couples" blog series.

Market Watch: Fall Fruits & Vegetables @ The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

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.

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. 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.)

Cheap Date: Via Goa

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).

Oktoberfest Around the Bay: Where to Drink, Eat Brats and Polka

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:

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