Eat + Drink
There are approximately 600 restaurants in SF that have a burger on the menu. But who makes the ultimate gourmet burger, the pièce de résistance, the gold standard by which all others should be measured? To narrow it down, we set some standards (burgers must be high-end, include all-beef patties and be served for dinner), then we tasted, pondered and scrutinized 20 of the city’s best. Here they are, ranked in order, from 10 to one. The victor? It’s not who you think it is.
Photography by Ed Anderson.
I must admit that I haven't been much of a fan of reality tv. I prefer my entertainment to be of the made-up variety. As much as I love food and cooking, the cheftality tv shows have been pretty horrendous. Watching Gordon Ramsay turn red while yelling at idiots is fun for about five seconds. And witnessing Padma and Tom Collichio's eternal scowls and disapproving head shaking is as inviting as cold oatmeal.
The Eater Wrap returns after a week off to bring you all the best and brightest local restaurant news of the last seven days or so at Eater SF. Oh, and did everyone notice the newest member of the Eater family, Eater National? It's your new source for celebrity chef doings, Top Chef gossip, and much much more. Please do give it a whirl!
The first chill of fall finally touched us the other day: the air tightens, and the breeze hits your cheek, letting you know, this is as warm as it's going to get today.
When it comes to wine, people will say that, now that there's a chill in the air, the season of blowsy summer whites and rosés is over. I say, in a gutteral Vin-Diesel-esque growl, "It ain't over until I say it's over." And, with that, I put on a sweater and crack yet another bottle of pink wine and pour it into another tumbler.
In the game of pig one-upmansship, Heath Putnam—the owner of Wooly Pigs—just pushed in all his chips. Not your obvious hog guy, the former software and financial analyst has become the first breeder of the burly (and yes, hairy) Austro-Hungarian Mangalitsa pig in the Western Hemisphere, a hog classified as an "extreme lard-type" versus the usual "meat-type." Two years since bringing the pigs over to the US, his work is paying off. Of course, King Keller got first Mangalitsa dibs a year back. But this Saturday, you can experience the rich, fatty pork at (no, not Incanto) … Frascati! Michael Mina is up next.
Every fall, from October through December Bariani Olive Oil harvests Manzanilla and Mission olives grown on their farm outside of Sacramento. The olives are hand-picked and pressed each day during the harvest season. This week at Bariani’s Saturday stand in addition to their wonderful unfiltered oils, you can also get your hands on raw Manzanilla olives. Never cured your own olives before? It’s easy and takes more patience than skill. Pick up some Manzanillas at Bariani this week and start experimenting.
Tomorrow, October 8, Petaluma-based photographer (and co-owner of Laloo’s goat milk ice cream) Douglas Gayeton, author and photographer of the gorgeous new book, Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town, will be holding a signing at 18 Reasons. Join him for wine, cheese, ice cream and a sneak peek of his sepia-toned images of Italy. The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and the cost is $10.
Who knows exactly why things suddenly become popular. You could blame it on the media (although, as of now, there's a one less media outlet to blame), or you could blame it on the power of suggestion—a chef sees something on a menu someplace, it lodges in his or her consciousness, and before you know it they've put it on the menu at their restaurant without even realizing. Think of it like seeds scattered in the wind, trends moving from coast to coast.
Yesterday I blind tasted a wine at RN74 with a couple of top sommeliers. It was light colored, obviously Pinot, probably Burgundy. Bright with perfume and fresh berry fruit flavors, the wine had punchy acidity, a lean body, and a bit of tannin. I guessed 1988 Chambolle--a lean, high acid year that also made lovely perfumed wines. The sommeliers guessed younger--2001 and 1996. We were all wrong, it turned out, but I was the closest. It was indeed Chambolle. Yet my vintage was off by 26 YEARS! The wine was a 1962.