Eat + Drink
The 24th Street BART station is my regular stop on the way home to Bernal Heights and lately, it's become much more colorful in a very Mexican way. Not only are there the usual tamale ladies and flower vendors, and guys selling strawberries in season, but now you'll find a bevy of stands selling sunglasses and more on the weekends, like a little market. There's also there's a new chicharrónes vendor and now this new hot dog vendor (very official looking, generator and all), like a beacon, illuminating the cold nights. (From what I can see, the woman working it also sell huevos—in what form, I'm not sure.)
We're wrapping up the Big Eat as I type. So, let's hear it: Has anyone tried the hot dog stand out? Worth it or not? You tell us.
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.
SF Eater today writes that the Tsar Nicoulai booth in the Ferry Building is closing. It's understandable why—this is not exactly a period of widespread populist Champagne and caviar consumption. However, it's still a bummer. A little scoop of caviar every now and then (without having to buy a whole tin) is a wonderful thing, especially when you pair that with a nice glass of bubbly. (Vodka and caviar advocates: sorry, you're wrong.
As a resident of Bernal Heights—a neighborhood that's known more for its liberal politics and crunchy good vibes than its haute cuisine—I was excited to finally get a taste of the much-anticipated Sandbox Bakery, which just opened. No slouch, owner and pastry chef Mutsimi Takehara started learning her craft at La Farine in Oakland and at Chez Panisse. She was then the pastry chef at Rubicon and spent 10 years as the Slanted Door pastry chef. So she's spent some quality time with butter.
Several minutes into poring over our menus at Delarosa, my dining companion looked over at me and muttered, "This place is totally ripping Beretta off." That would be true if not for one important fact—Delarosa, which opened in mid-November on Chestnut street in the Marina—shares the same owners as Beretta, and ripping off is part of the plan. Consider for a moment the following: San Francisco can at times be a fractious town. Neighborhoods, like boroughs in New York, are clearly delineated, with crossover limited to a few choice restaurants. Marina folks aren't going to drive across town to wait on line at Beretta, and Beretta regulars won't brave Marina parking to try Delarosa.
The Last Course
Well, if you’ve made it this far so you’re probably looking forward to the finale of Top Chef, which airs tonight, December 9, at 10 p.m.. It’s down to the boys—Kevin red beard and those dastardly Voltaggio brothers—and the final throwdown all takes place in our own backyard, at Cyrus in Healdsburg. Watch tonight to see Cyrus GM Nick Peyton and chef Douglas Keane as they open their restaurant to the competition.
Cuckoo for Cocoa
An old building with big windows and skylights, our office at 7x7 is very cold right now. Editors are dressed in coats, scarves and jackets and drinking copious amount of tea. Which has us all thinking about warming, comforting foods and where to get them.
There's something compelling about a vineyard covered in snow, especially here in California when we don't see it much. What makes it so interesting? Probably just the fact that we're used to vineyards being such a symbol of vibrance, life and energy--to see them looking snowbound, shuttered and contemplative proposes an entirely different angle on wine. It reminds me of northern wine regions and makes me want to drink Burgundy and Champagne (actually, that's nothing really new).
These photos were shot the other day in the Santa Cruz Mountains and sent out by Shannon Flynn of SCM winegrowers association. Nice to see that appellation getting into the winter holiday spirit!