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Eat + Drink

Best of the Best

We joke around in the office that our Best Of issue, which is coming up in June, should be called the “Best Places Our Friends Told Us About” issue—because the most valuable tips always come word of mouth. First, we start with our own personal list collected from the past year and then we start polling the people whose opinions we respect, for everything from their new secret spots to their perennial favorites. Finally, we fan out and give everything a try. To be honest, the hardest part isn’t coming up with the ideas, but whittling it all down. Playing favorites can actually be a rather painful experience.

The Eat + Drink List: This week's top 7


courtesy of The Great Tortilla Conspiracy

1. Corn Fed

Four Barrel Coffee Coming Soon

Lest you think we have reached the coffee saturation point, let me just tell you right now that you are mistaken. For there's a new game in town, and it's going to be a good one. Jeremy Tooker, the one-time co-owner of cool kid  headquarters, Ritual, is about four weeks away from opening his own spot, Four Barrel Coffee. The 3,000 square foot cafe (375 Valencia at 15th) is not, however, a Ritual knock-off. For one, Tooker is adamant that the cafe won't have WiFi—something, he admits, they felt they "had to do" in order to bring customers into Ritual. Instead, he's hoping that, "I don't know, maybe people will talk to one another." There won't be any Chai, or any other kind of tea, for that matter.

The Bourbon & Branch Boys Deliver

Imagine this: You’re standing along the very unremarkable stretch of Kearny Street—the stretch on the cusp of the Financial District populated by endless, unremarkable work-a-day sandwich spots like Briazz and stores like Loehmann’s Shoes (not unremarkable)—and you pass a guy (for the hell of it, let’s just imagine he’s cute and Irish and wearing a paigeboy cap and suspenders) tooling down the street on an antique bicycle with a basket full of gorgeous whiskey. For whiskey lovers such as myself, this could be quite a vision.


Brian Sheehy, Dahi Donnelly and Doug Dalton of Future Bars

The Corpse Reviver Cocktail: Morning of the Living Dead

Most mornings, my wife, Christie, likes to sleep in. She works late into the night, so it's understandable, yet at the same time she does often need some encouragement to emerge from the cozy confines of the covers. Today, it was especially difficult for her to get up, since we had stayed up late talking. At a certain hour, I came in and joked to her resistant ears that she resembled a corpse and I’d decided to make her a Corpse Reviver to help her get out of bed. A drink first catalogued in the Savoy book by Harry Craddock, it's a strong, hair-of-the-dog type of concoction. I thought it would be just the thing.

Anchor Brewing and Buena Vista at SFO

Going through airports is as bad as it’s ever been. I don't mind taking off my shoes in security--it's the belt that's annoying. One thing that's made flying better, however, is the appearance of local food and beverage vendors in the terminals. I noted this trend a decade ago in my native Austin, TX, as its then-new airport sported such local favorites as Matt's Famous El Rancho (Tex-Mex), Schlotzsky's (sandwiches) and the ever-popular Salt Lick BBQ, whose airport location is closer to the original restaurant (and its pit) than downtown Austin is, so you know the meat is fresh.

Smoking Gun: Beretta Opens

The opening of the latest place to eat and drink in the Mission District, brings up two issues:
1. How much pizza can SF take? (I’m thinking a lot, because I’m currently celebrating the close proximity this new spot to my house.)
2. Those star SF bartenders—excuse me, mixologists—sure get around. And I don’t mean in that way.

Lost in Translation: Eating LA

I’m back from spending almost a week in LA for an unofficial spring break. As Janelle Brown, the formerly SF-based author (now situated in LA’s Los Feliz hood), said to me for a recent 7x7 interview: LA and SF are like yin and yang—they fit together perfectly.

The Eat + Drink List: This week's top 7


Mixt Greens gears up for number three.
courtesy of Stefanie Michejda


1. Now Open: This week’s new restaurants

Halibut Season Has Begun

With all the fuss we make over spring vegetables, the lowly wild Alaskan halibut gets pretty short billing. The largest of all flatfish, measuring up to four feet wide, eight feet long and over 600 pounds, wild halibut is considered a good choice on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list. Fisherman use bottom longlines that cause very little damage to the sea floor and ensure a low by-catch; the fish is considered sustainable.


That's a big fish.
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