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Markets & Stores

A Gold Star for Golden Produce

I’d like to point out a little gem of a market on Church Street in Duboce Triangle, across from Safeway. It’s called Golden Produce, and it’s got some of the freshest, best-looking and most affordable vegetables in town, much of them certified organic. We’re talking plump, perfectly shaped eggplant the color of Cabernet and muscular-looking bell peppers that seem to have been airbrushed by Pantone. Even more enticing are the baby vegetables—fingerling potatoes, tiny artichokes, mini-bulbs of bok choy and sunburst squash the size of silver dollars.

City Barn, Country Barn


Red Barn's offerings: From lemon cucumbers to peppers.

Slow Food Nation: Ritual Roasters Gets Fresh

Today we start a month’s worth of Monday blogs, leading up to Slow Food Nation, which lands on SF this Labor Day weekend. I’m glad the big food festival is happening here, but I’d venture to say that in SF, Slow Food Nation is almost redundant. It’s kind of like putting an Obama bumper sticker on your car. There are Slow Foodies wherever you look.


Ritual Roasters' owner Eileen Hassi and her vacuum-packed baby.

The Chef's Market

Last week—the first sweltering day of the heat wave—I headed out to the San Rafael Civic Center farmers market in order to pick up some locally-grown vegetables and fruit for a photo shoot we’re doing for 7x7’s August food issue.

Let's Be Frank

Do any of you ever suffer from meal regret? It happens to me all the time (a hazard of the job, I guess)—most frequently when I have a disappointing, though calorie-rich, meal then wish that I’d saved I hadn’t wasted 1/3 of a my daily allotment of food on something that wasn’t even that tasty. But occasionally, the meal regret occurs when I’ve already eaten a full meal of deliciousness, then see something else delicious that I wish I could try but am too full to consider.

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.

A Taste of Morocco in SF



My mother's family is Moroccan and to them, everything equals food. Visits from family: food. Saturdays: food. Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays: food. Getting on a plane = packing food. My suitcase from a recent trip to Toronto was, in fact, full of Tupperware containers of couscous, tagines and salads when I got home. Here’s how someone homesick for Moroccan copes:

1. I get preserved lemons from Rainbow Grocery. You can find them in one of the bins at the back of the store, near the olives. I dice them and put them in salads with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, hearts of celery and onion. And a dash of parsley.

Greenleaf Produce gets fresh

Sometimes it seems as though if we get any closer to our food that soon we might be buying it a drink and inviting it to spend the night. Not that this is a bad thing, per se, just that we food-obsessed San Franciscans are always looking to get closer to the source of our meal, to be more in touch with local farms, the seasons, the hardships. Enter Greenleaf Produce. One of the first organic produce companies to open in San Francisco, Greenleaf got its start in 1975, founded by Jameson Patten, and was purchased after his death in 1993 by Bill Wilkinson, the (formerly) retired GM of the Campton Place Hotel.

Green Almonds in the Market Now

I think native Californians have a terrible problem of not realizing quite how lucky they are. There’s the weather thing, of course, but what I’m talking about is the access—with all this gorgeous countryside just outside the city limits, things show up at the farmers markets here that are far from typical. You may already feel tired of asparagus after gorging on it these first few weeks, but elsewhere they’re still picking through the same tired heads of cabbage and barrels of potatoes. It’s not pretty.

Halibut Season Has Begun

With all the fuss we make over spring vegetables, the lowly wild Alaskan halibut gets pretty short billing. The largest of all flatfish, measuring up to four feet wide, eight feet long and over 600 pounds, wild halibut is considered a good choice on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list. Fisherman use bottom longlines that cause very little damage to the sea floor and ensure a low by-catch; the fish is considered sustainable.


That's a big fish.
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