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Freeze Frame

I just returned from a quick tour of the Heartland (Michigan, to be precise) and I am here to tell you that this lovely state, where one is never more than 6 miles from a glorious body of fresh water, is a really nice place to visit in August. Michiganders are just as nice (and as blond and blue-eyed) as you may have imagined, Lake Michigan is really just like a salt- and shark-free ocean, complete with tides and waves and sand beaches, and there are farm stands everywhere.

Tcho: Beta Chocolate from the Founder of Wired

You know how sometimes you’re confronted with something that is so over your head it’s embarrassing? This is a familiar feeling for me. I felt it through every math class of high school, during a conversation with a friend who works as an industrial designer for venerable pie-plate company Pyrex (I thought we’d have so much in common—I like pie, he designs pie plates! All was going fine until he started to talk polymers) and, most recently, while reading the website for SF-based chocolate company Tcho.


The chocolate revolution will be digitized.

Trans fats: Yea or Nay?

We got talking in the office yesterday about the trans fat ban in California, recently passed by good old Arnold Schwarzenegger (this was after a breakfast of donuts, mind you, and a heated discussion on the topic of Sara's post yesterday,"fried on the inside.") The ban calls for trans fats to be phased out of restaurants by 2010 and bakeries by 2011 and brings to mind an important question: Can you legislate good health?


Somewhere out there, a hydrogenator sits idle.
photograph from bantransfats.com

As American as Mission Pie

We’ve been quietly cheering along Mission Pie since they first opened, because it’s precisely the kind of feel-good food business we like to see popping up in our neighborhoods (rather than, say, another Subway). So we were particularly excited to note that, after many months of construction, including the beloved San Francisco seismic upgrade, Mission Pie has finally expanded. Now they have a lovely café facing Mission street, with plenty of tables so you can sit and gossip over your slice of plum-frangipane or white peach-blackberry pie.

King's Bakery: Make It All Better

Sometimes, when the world is too much with you—say, when the magazine you work for is in the throws of closing the July (fun-in-the-sun!) issue and you haven’t left your desk for what seems like days (what is that thing you call the sun?) and your mind draws a blank when faced with yet another blog to post—you need the comfort food equivalent of your grandmother’s bosom (and let me tell you, my grandma had a great one), something you can really rest your weary head on. Metaphorically speaking, of course.


The only thing that will do in a crisis situation.

S is for Swanton Berry Farm



I don’t think there’s any path you can take directly from SF that offers a quicker—certainly more breathtaking—antidote to city-living than a trip down Highway 1 to Santa Cruz. On a sunny weekend, like this last one, it was everything I needed. Find a friend to drive you, so you can gaze out to the sparkling ocean without careening off the steep cliffs to a horrible death. It’s impossible not to look.

Candybar: No Just Desserts

I often have evenings where a sweet-tooth craving overwhelms me. One that needs to be fixed right then and there—and then I grumble (I'm a woman of more than one rant) about why on earth there isn't a place designed for these moments, places made for nothing but tucking into a piece of pie, a slice of triple-layer cake, a pudding. Something comforting and familiar. (Something like this strawberry crostata from the Zuni cookbook that my friend Alan makes. Mmmmmm.)


Thorough Bread and Pastry

Last week, the former Just Desserts space on Church Street near Market became home to Thorough Bread and Pastry (248 Church St., 415-558-0690), an artisan bakery operated by the San Francisco Baking Institute, where its students get a taste of experience while the rest of us get a taste of heaven.


Sugar Pie, Honeycomb


The ice cream truck is no longer reason to scream: It the waffle truck now—on tour all the way from Belgium. The Waffle Mania truck parks itself at the Civic Center Heart of the City Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 8 am to 2 pm and the lines can be long. Some have ordered 12 at a time; bloggers protested when the waffle truck was absent one morning; and according to co-owner Derby, Michelle Williams, of the defunct Destiny's Child, is one of their fans.


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