Eat + Drink
One thing that will be left behind when all this recession nonsense is said and done, is the legacy of what we’ll deem the “fancy burger.” When we tell our grandkids that 2009 was the year we learned to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps—while, of course, maintaining some sense of luxury—we will have to include the fact that our strength was often fueled by a patty of house-ground, grass-fed beef.
Just in: Clock Bar, Michael Mina's gorgeous and sophisticated watering hole in the Westin St. Francis, is celebrating its first anniversary all week. (It hurts that its head barman and celebrated cocktail master Marco Dionysus just had his last day there.) But Clock Bar roars into year two with an impressive list of guest bartenders and high-octane sponsors this week. Here's the sched:
Franck Leclerc, owner of Café Claude and Gitane (and a Frenchman through and through), doesn’t have oysters on either of his menus, even though he’s obsessed with them. Instead, he prefers to slurp down a dozen after work at one of his neighborhood haunts.
“I’ve always loved onion rings. There is a majesty to them when they are done well. My ideal version are the ones we serve at [my new restaurant] Showdogs, sweet onions that we soak in buttermilk and then batter with rice flour. But when you need a fix, you need a fix: If we have meetings at Foreign Cinema, we’ll frequently indulge in a white paper bag of rings from Jay’s Cheesesteak. They are sort of the classic, overbreaded, super-crunchy style. Zuni puts out a good onion ring—Judy [Rodgers] and I are of the same school. There’s always a gorgeous onion under a lacy, crispy crust. In the late ’80s, before I had kids, I used to go to Edinburgh Castle. I’d order a lager-and-lime and onion rings and douse them with malt vinegar.
Dave McLean’s Magnolia Pub has been a fixture on Haight Street for 10 years, during which time it’s attracted a devoted following of brewpub aficionados. Of course, Dave’s obsessed with beer (and makes some of the best around) but, as befits a Pennsylvania native, he also enjoys a good cheesesteak.
Wondering where the chefs go for a bite on their days off? David “Baz” Bazirgan has a penchant for barbecue. Something about slow-cooked meats—tender, touched with smoke and eaten out of hand—makes him a little bit fanatical.
It seems that San Francisco is now gripped with full-scale hot dog mania. For your edification, we present the following (incomplete) timeline:
This is a big week for my inner Francophile. For one, tomorrow is Bastille Day—one of France's most important National Holidays and always a big, boozy fête. Two, the second half of the Tour de France kicks off tomorrow, and the drama is high as to who will take it—comeback story Lance Armstrong or Alberto Contador (his feisty teammate) or someone else altogether.