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California Food Goes National

The May issue of Bon Appetit is on newsstands now, and in it is an article by writer Nathalie Jordi titled "California: Food's Golden State." The article chronicles her roadtrip through the state:

The Chron's Top 100: Are You Feeling It?

Now that we have a blog, I'm supposed to be writing about things the minute they happen—or at least within 24 hours. Which brings me to Michael Bauer’s annual “Top 100” that came out yesterday in the Chronicle. But I’m having a hard time stoking the fire within me to care who made the cut and who did not. (i.e. The Matterhorn is in it again! The horror! Sebo is not. The horror!) Certainly I have my opinion—much of which doesn't jive with Bauer's. But honestly, if I ended any statement with an exclamation point in reference to the Top 100, I’d be faking it. I feel similarly about the Michelin guide, and Zagat's for that matter.

Rain, Rain (Don't) Go Away: The Tonga Room Rally

I can only imagine that the call to action is that classic Hawaiian song, "Mele Kalikimaka."

New Ballpark Grub: Can You Say "Bacon-Wrapped"?

In the past few years I've heard of other ballparks in America serving "gourmet" fare—sushi in Seattle, Cuban sandwiches in Miami, fish tacos in San Diego. At AT&T Park the food has historically been pretty standard—hot dogs, garlic fries, beer. But starting on Monday, opening day, there's a new game in town. Tres Agaves has taken over the three concession stands formerly leased by Compadres, so eating at the game is about to get a lot better. What's in store?

Nachos, made with housemade chips, real cheese sauce (no Whiz), pico de gallo and Tres Agaves' legendary carnitas.

Vegetarian tamales

Taco trios (your choice of chicken or pork)

and ... wait for it ...

Distilling Heaven at Hangar One

If you're a spirits geek, then it's no question whether or not you love brandy. The question is: how much? If you're true blue (or true amber, really) then you've probably got your ticket to the Craft Distillers conference on brandy this weekend at the St. George/Hangar One distillery on Alameda. If not, this is your final notice to get with it and get your ticket.  Guests will include such heroes of American distilling as Steve McCarthy of Oregon's Clear Creek Distillery. Panel discussions such as "American Eau de Vie," and "The Tradition of Apple Brandy Production in the US" will be running throughout the day. For details go here.

The Eater Wrap: Majestic Closure, Taco Tiffs, Gitane Behind the Scenes

Welcome back to our partnership with Eater. For this weekly Friday column, Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including hot openings, sudden shutters, industry interviews, and all the taco truck minutiae your Friday can handle.

1) Despite housing a pair of rising star chefs in the last two years, Cafe Majestic never quite caught on with the local dining scene, and as a result, the restaurant suddenly shuttered its doors this week, claiming it didn't have enough money for dinner service. You do hate to see that.

Blue Bottle Opens At Ferry Building

Well, what can we say? It's about time. We predict that in a few years that little blue bottle you see to the left will be popping up elsewhere—New York? Los Angeles? Seattle? Blue Bottle, it's time to fly.

Nate Appleman Named One of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs

This just in: Nate Appleman, pizzaiolo, San Francisco darling, butcher extraordinaire and chef of A16 and SPQR, has been named one of Food and Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs of 2009. He's joined on the list by Chris Kostow, chef at Meadowood in St. Helena, giving the Bay Area ample representation on the New York-based mag's list. Congratulations! And also, oh no! Now we'll never be able to get a table.

Market Watch: This Week's Cream Of The Crop

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.

Ode to April 1st: Or Why We Might Be Better Off Without the Family Table

Taking a break in our normally scheduled food news …

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