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Eat + Drink

The Butcher Girls

As a Bernal Heights resident, I’m having a little Bernal pride moment. Maybe a little girl power moment, too.

Stopped by the brand new Avedano’s Meats Holly Park Market whose refurbished porcelain, neon sign has been lighting up Cortland Street since it opened a couple weeks back. Part butcher and part gourmet market, it’s a bit like Bi-Rite meets Blue Fog (see our story, "The Fancy Food Show" on the rise of the gourmet market for more on this). The space, which is a long-closed butcher shop, has a ton of history and the women that opened Avedano’s have kept many of the original elements, so it has a nice vintage feel.

Port of Call: Wood Tavern



I journeyed to the Rockridge area the other night to check out Wood Tavern, founded by Rich and Rebecca Wood—the former owners of Frascati in Russian Hill. Housed in the space that was formerly Grasshopper, it’s a shame this place isn’t in SF—it’s good eating and mighty good drinking.


A Little Tart

I’m not referring to your sister, I’m referring to these new-ish “cocktail sodas” from Stirrings.



As someone who cooks from scratch, I’m a firm believer in doing things the long and hard way. But I will grudgingly admit that Stirrings is making some good products for those who have neither the will nor the time to take the long way to mixing drinks. The people who are coming up with these products obviously have good palates because the sodas aren’t sweet or cloying the way most mixers on the market are.

Freak Out!

You never know what you’re going to find when you go through a move. I happened across this bottle that had gotten buried behind some shopping bags in the pantry. Thirsty from carrying boxes, we chilled it down and popped it.



The beer is, I think, a one-off, from one of my favorite California breweries, the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma. Known for their quirky senses of humor and risk-taking brews, Lagunitas manages to have a lot of fun and still make great beer.

My Heart Loves Salmon

A group of us ventured to Marin on Saturday to go trail running at Fort Cronkhite, and—after an hour-long Spinning class and a grueling seven-plus-mile run (more than half of it UPHILL)—we ended up at Fish. Even though the line was 30-deep when we arrived and the 20-some picnic tables outside were packed, we persevered so as to taste the creations of chef-owner Chad Callahan (formerly at Masa’s). I wish I had my camera to record our gluttonous meal, but I had no idea that we’d end up eating so well.

Sipping Summer


A starring ingredient in gazpacho.

Happy Meals

I love the idea of happy hour, but when I’m done with work—and not taking a boot camp class or teaching a class of my own—I’d rather eat than drink. That’s how my friend and I found ourselves at Sudachi last Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
 

Napa, Inc.

The story titled “Napa Stunner” reported that Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, one of the most prestigious and historical names in Napa, sold out to wine giants Antinori and Chateau Ste. Michelle. This week’s story was so big that it almost obscured Duckhorn’s sale to a mysterious “investment group” and William Hill’s sale from Beam Wine Estates to Gallo.

Breaking Ground

Read this press release Frank Gehry-Designed Hall Winery Officially Breaks Ground in Napa Valley to find out more about Napa’s latest planned architectural wonder of a winery. The new Hall winery will find itself in the stylized company of Opus One’s ziggurat and V. Satui’s Castello di Amorosa.

Sandwiches, Then and Now

I am prone to food nostalgia. I tend to romanticize great meals of the past—and remember them in painstaking detail (Sara Deseran and I share this odd skill), and then wonder when I’ll get back to taste, say, the great cheeses at Benoit in Paris again, or a loaf of my mother’s Christmas stolen. There’s a particular sandwich that falls into this class—the Cuban sandwich at Chez Henri in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has the perfect bread, the perfect ham and roast pork, the perfect pickles and the right ratio of filling to roll. It is an extraordinary sandwich, and it is also very far away. So today, when our office ordered lunch from a new Cuban joint around the corner, Paladar, I crossed my fingers and chose the Cuban.
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