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Eat + Drink

Books for Cooks: Required Summer Reading



I read food books more than I read anything else. Whether I'm deep in a new cookbook—I just bought James Oseland's (editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine) divine Cradle of Flavor—or eating up one of Diane Mott Davidson's food-centered murder mysteries, food and good writing seem to go together like beaches and barbecues, or popsicles and summer days. Here are some of the books lying next to my bed right now—some other time, we'll have to talk food films.

Best-O-Burger Opens

The newest lunchtime rage downtown is Best-O-Burger, a kind of little urban version of In-N-Out on none other than Belden Lane: Angus beef, cast-iron skillets, fresh-baked buns, housemade fries (and onion rings), plus a few extras like daily-made gelato and gelato shakes. The tidy red and yellow space opened on the corner of Pine and Belden on Monday, and by Thursday the line was snaking out the door for four hours straight, from 10:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m.


Greenleaf Produce gets fresh

Sometimes it seems as though if we get any closer to our food that soon we might be buying it a drink and inviting it to spend the night. Not that this is a bad thing, per se, just that we food-obsessed San Franciscans are always looking to get closer to the source of our meal, to be more in touch with local farms, the seasons, the hardships. Enter Greenleaf Produce. One of the first organic produce companies to open in San Francisco, Greenleaf got its start in 1975, founded by Jameson Patten, and was purchased after his death in 1993 by Bill Wilkinson, the (formerly) retired GM of the Campton Place Hotel.

Fresh Ricotta: You Know You Want It

We all think we’re the master (mistress?) of our own universe, but the truth is, we’re not. You think you’re drawn to that fuchsia top because you like it? Sorry. Most likely, a highly-paid fashion forecaster set the palette for Summer '08 way back, stores have placed it strategically and, voila: You’re suddenly overwhelmed with the need for a closet-full of hot pink.

Similarly, if you have fresh ricotta on the mind, the versatile cheese has, in fact, been subliminally wiggling its way into your collective craving conscious for most of spring. And there’s more than one chef to blame (or in this case, thank).

The Eat + Drink List: This Week's Top 7


photography by Stefanie Michejda

1. Shuck and Swallow

What to Drink This Summer


Rosé: Because summer is just around the corner.


It’s been a long couple of weeks, as we’ve worked to put the finishing touches on our annual best of the city issue. We’re all exhausted. A low-grade sickness has spread around the office. We’re not eating that well, and some of us are having a hard time getting a good night’s sleep. You see, dear readers, what we do for you?

Shochu in Japantown: A Bar Named Ikkyu

While wandering through Japantown in search of big ice cubes for an upcoming 7x7 column, a friend and I found ourselves in Ikkyu, a lovely little room on the ground floor of the easternmost building of the Japan Center. An oddly festive place, it wasn't open when we first stopped by, so we returned after 7 p.m., and it was open, though mostly empty. This was a good thing, as it allowed us to chat with Kako, the spirited owner, who had come over from Japan to take over the bar (which, it turned out, had been previously owned by a man with a big ice cube machine … must have taken it with him when he left).

Bosom Buddies: Where Dinner and Drinks Meet


The Lone Palm, perfect for a pre-dinner Scotch

Dinner and drinks go together like movies and popcorn, milk and cookies, olives and caramel. It’s good idea to have some standby combos, ideally a bar and a restaurant located a stone’s-throw away from each other.
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