Hog & Rocks
The reigning crab of the West Coast, Dungeness are rolling into the Pier in full throttle now in the Bay Area. Although the large crustaceans get their name from the Northern port town of Dungeness, Washington, these hard-shells are very much a San Francisco thing.
More into farm-fresh than slow-smoked, San Francisco isn't much of a BBQ town. Aiming to change that, a slew of Southern expats in the local restaurant industry will be stepping up to the picnic plate in the coming months. Take Elizabeth Wells, for example. A native of Montgomery, Alabama who's lived in San Francisco for about ten years now, her craving for "the true flavors of the SouthEast" has not abated. In October, Wells will be opening Southpaw, a Memphis-style BBQ restaurant with an on-site brewery and a fun tagline: "Put a little south in your mouth." Around the corner, the restaurant vets behind Hog & Rocks and Maverick will be opening a Hofbrauhaus-style, counter-service spot inspired by the classic "meat and three" restaurants of the South. And the Marina's got something hot in the slow-cooker too. More on what's in store after the hop.
Long a staple of izakayas and taquerias in San Francisco, tongue meat has started to break ethnic barriers, slipping its way onto California-influenced menus of every stripe. Chefs adore its flavor and its texture. Diners fall into one or two camps: "Why not?" or just "Why?" Love it or hate it, menu sightings of animal tongue are becoming almost common at popular restaurants around town. Over the course of interviewing several chefs about it, descriptors like "melt in your mouth," "unctuous" and "delicate" were each dropped on several occasions. Naysayers, are you ready to be convinced? Take a look at what chefs are doing with it around town these days. Maybe it'll get you to watch your mouth.
Upgrade your usual store-bought Super Bowl eats and try these recipes cooked up by local chefs and bartenders from Maverick, Hog & Rocks, Public House, The Pilsner Inn and The Brixton.
3 lbs chicken wings
2 quart chicken or pork fat (vegetable oil is fine too)
1/2 gallon water
1 cup salt
2 cups Tres Agaves nectar
1 whole head of garlic
This week’s Tuesday market took place on a gorgeous winter day; it was sunny and crisp out and the farmer’s stands were brimming with winter produce. The chefs too were out in abundance picking up ingredients for their menus. I stopped to chat with a few of them to find out what they were shopping for and out how they would feature them.
Post up at one of these places and get ready to scream "Go Giants!" all night long.
Hog & Rocks 3431 19th St. (415) 550-8627
They're really throwing out the (orange) welcome mat for Giants fans during World Series games. Sip on $3 Sam Adams lager in orange plastic cups and $6 beer and shot combos. There will be plenty to eat, from $5 artisanal ham plates, $1 oysters for the first three innings and $1.50 for innings 4-6, free Crackerjacks, plus wings drenched in Youk's hot sauce, duck nachos, and housemade jalapeno sausage corndogs and mustard. They're even opening early at 4:30pm for Wednesday's game!
I've been walking the streets of the Mission District for years now and while the long stretch of Valencia Street—and, of course, the 18th Street gourmet ghetto—has become nationally recognized as a dining destination, Mission Street itself has held tight to its collision of dollar stores, taquerias, cheap furniture stores and generally cheerful, Latin-influenced funk.
We just got off an Outside Lands press conference call with Kings of Leon singer Nathan Followill, Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello and Scott Youklis, head chef at Maverick. They're just excited as we are to eat our hearts out and listen to the good tunes coming our way August 14th and 15th.