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Eat + Drink

Being a Locavore

I’m loving the organic-seasonal-local trend that’s swept the Bay Area, but I must admit that it perplexes me. Why is this a trend at all? When did we get so far removed from our food and food sources that we now only get a gold star if most of what we eat comes within 100 miles of where we live?

Extinct Food

To a Tea

There are so many things to love about Samovar Tea Lounge, especially during this dark, rainy, wintry time of year. Primarily, of course, there are the teas, virtually any kind you can think of: fair trade, organic, kosher, ancient (picked from trees more than a thousand years old!); green, white, black and even Pu-erh, a rare and extremely rich tea from China.

Repeal Day



December 5 is an important day for drinkers, as on this day in 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified, repealing Prohibition and reinstating our right to imbibe. Phew.

It’s hard to imagine the 14 years America spent as a dry country. Certainly, in the decade of the raging ‘20s there was still a lot of drinking going on. But this was all illegal and organized crime saw a huge increase as they became the arbiters of the new underground economy. Repeal not only legalized drink; it also put the kabosh on a great deal of criminal dealings. We celebrate with a big batch of bathtub gin and a toast to Al Capone.

What to Give

Yes, it’s that time of year. I just rather suddenly realized that it’s the 6th of December, and I’m guessing that there are others out there who have just awoken for a semi-delusional state, the reality of the holidays and their fast and furious arrival still seeming like some sort of surprise. Every year, I try to make a mental list of the gifts that I would most like to receive.

Tower of Power

Having written about food in San Francisco for over 10 years, I live with a lot of restaurant guilt. I’ve eaten at plenty of places, but there are also plenty of to-dos on my list.

Cut to internal monologue: This city is only 49 square miles. Get on it, Sara. Look at Marcia from Tablehopper—she’s a machine, she’s killing you. Look at all the Yelpers. Look at Joe Blogger and your next-door neighbors, for god’s sake. Michael Bauer has eaten everywhere—three times. What kind of food editor are you, anyhow?!

Bar Jules Is Open

Just a few hours after my five-bowl meal, I headed over to Bar Jules—at Hayes and Laguna—next to Suppenkuche. I was curious about it after reading Eater SF’s paint report entitled Hayes Valley Quite Possibly Colorblind—funny.


My New York Competition

Little did I know when I was in New York a couple of weeks ago that I would be going back so soon. But, indeed I was—though this time not as a journalist, but as a bartender.



A cocktail I created at the suggestion of Duggan McDonnell at Cantina (we just had to invent a cocktail that contained some form of sherry, and it had to be available on a drink menu somewhere), somehow made it to the finals of the National Sherry Cocktail Competition. And I got a return trip to duel with some of the country’s best.

A Five-Bowl Meal

On Saturday, I raced the first annual North Face Endurance Challenge half-marathon. If you saw the elevation chart, or ran the course, you’d probably come to the same conclusion that I did: It was brutal. Anyway, I ended up doing pretty well (2nd for my age group, 5th overall women), so I thought I’d share my post-race celebration meals, which happened to be concentrated in Hayes Valley.


Taken during construction....

Bates and Schmitt



I’m a huge cider fan, dating back to my teenage years and my first trip to Europe. It was with my parents, and I was about 15 years old. Going to Europe at that age with one’s parents was difficult enough. I was always trying to drift behind or bolt well ahead of the family unit so that no observers (especially the European teenage girls) would suspect that I was traveling under the auspices of parental units.
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