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Eat + Drink

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.

Use Your Words, Part 2

Eat + Drink Poll

Thanks to the hundreds of you who’ve voted in the annual Readers Choice Poll and went the extra mile to back up your nominations with some eloquent turn of phrase. If you missed it (voting closed yesterday), or if you loved it so much that you want to do more, here’s your chance—it’s not too late!

We’ve added five extra questions, included a free-for-all spot for you to input your own category (and nomination) and extended the deadline to December 30.

Homecoming Parade

I was on vacation, and now I’m not. Everything else, as writer Calvin Trillin once wrote, is just commentary. I thought about posting some pictures from my non-traditional Thanksgiving trip to Kauai, but then thought better of it—not only might they be jealousy inducing, in nearly every single image I’m eating something: a pineapple frosty, onion rings, banana pancakes, eggs with a side of fried rice. Fitting, maybe, but hardly attractive. Hard to pose for a photo when your frosty is giving you brain freeze.

Let Us Now Praise the BLT

When the days get cold and dark like this, nothing quite does it like basic comfort food. My current kick is the BLT: a little genius of a sandwich that’s stellar when tomatoes are in season, bread is fresh and bacon is high-quality, but is even damn good when all its elements are merely mediocre.

My current three local BLT faves are each a little different in scope and genre:


Liverpool Lil's BLT with avocado.

1. Liverpool Lil’s version is simple and down-home, with basic sliced bread and the always-nice addition of avocado.

The Ginger-Barn (Day 2)

Jessica is out of town, lounging around somewhere on the island of Kuai.

Unfortunately, I'm not.

Instead, I'm here to give you an update on the gingerbread barn we're working on at the Palace Hotel (along with chef Russell), for their annual gingerbread competition, which I know you're absolutely dying to hear more about.



Very small photo of Jessica
helping with our very
big gingerbread barn.
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