Local: Mission Eatery is not a sandwich shop. That is, it’s not only a sandwich shop, though every day chef Jake Des Voignes (formerly of Fifth Floor and Fish & Farm) is making a half-dozen sandwiches, including one with roasted potato and green-garlic ricotta and another with braised lamb and Cara Cara orange marmalade. It’s not a restaurant, either, though a few nights a month the kitchen stays open late, serving a family-style menu that’s both prepared and served by the chefs. It’s not a bakery, though Knead Patisserie, headed up by Des Voignes’ wife, Shauna, has set up shop in the far corner, making a small selection of cookies, parfaits and cakes. I wouldn’t call it a cooking school, though classes—called labs—invite the public to geek out over asparagus, loquats or tomatoes in a hands-on setting. And it’s certainly not a bookshop, but members of the cookbook club can come in any time and borrow books from the extensive library, which includes The Fat Duck Cookbook and Julia Child classics. The hybrid space is so very San Francisco, from the hyperseasonal food offerings to the pleasant insistence on building a community from a hungry demographic. There’s something incredibly intentional about Local, as though each decision is guided by a larger philosophy about food (not surprising, given that the owner, Yaron Milgrom, postponed his doctoral studies in medieval Jewish mysticism to open this spot). That’s what makes Local so interesting—its ambition, its high-mindedness. It’s also what makes Local so confounding—what is this place, exactly? It’s all of those things—sandwich shop, bakery, restaurant, library, classroom—and above all, it’s another place for the food-obsessed to come to roost.
Sometimes, it’s nice to be part of the club. Here are four places where membership has its privileges.
LOCAL: MISSION EATERY LIBRARY
A $35 annual membership fee ($50 for couples) gets you access to the cookbook collection—borrow one for up to a week (and don’t worry about getting it dirty). localmissioneatery.com/library/cookbooks
Membership is $40 for a year, but comes with a bevy of discounts from merchants, including Bi-Rite Market and Creamery, Tartine, Pizzeria Delfina and Omnivore Books. You’ll also get discounted admission to all events. 18reasons.org
MARIN SUN FARMS MEAT CSA
No need to rise early to hit the Marin Sun Farms booth at the farmers market—your custom box of meat will be delivered to a location of your choosing, near your home or office. marinsunfarms.com/meatclub/meatclub.html
SLOW FOOD SAN FRANCISCO
Though the SF branch of this group has been criticized for being less active than other chapters, the $60 annual membership still gets you discounts to select Slow Food events and invitations to members-only meet-ups. slowfoodsanfrancisco.com